So many of us are stuck in a deep freeze right now…
…except for Darling Colby, who has been in Sunny Florida for the past week! If I didn’t love her so much, I would hate her…
They’re calling this cold snap the “Arctic Blast.” I guess “Polar Vortex” is sooooo 2014, so someone came up with a new catchphrase. Whatever. “They” are calling it the Arctic Blast and “they” sure are talking about it a lot. Cold temps, wind chill, deep freeze, snow squalls…yeah, yeah, I get it. It’s cold. Once it’s cold, I don’t really want to hear or talk about the minutiae of the different ways in which it is cold, but it is hard to avoid the chatter.
The Arctic Blast got me thinking about my temperature limits for running outside. Figuring out what the magic number is that will force me inside on the ‘mill. Because I really, really, hate the ‘mill.
Before last year’s Peak Snowshoe challenge, I might have said 10. But after having snowshoed up a mountain in weather that was in low single digits at the base and lived to tell, I’m a little more flexible now. Today I ran 4 miles in low teens and was HOT. Sweating, even. It was sunny and despite all the talk about wind chills lately, I barely felt a breeze. I was not bundled up like a character in “A Christmas Story,” either: I wore running tights with thermals under them, wool socks, a turtleneck baselayer, my Bundle Me running jacket and hat and gloves. The only part of me that wasn’t warm was my nose, and it was not painfully cold. Just not warm. I think the sun made all the difference. I also find that any run is more comfortable if I don’t listen to the weather report first. Honestly, all the drama and talk are more annoying than the cold itself.
So, I’m going to go out on a ledge and say that my limit for a short- or –mid length run is zero, assuming no snow or crazy wind. I could definitely add layers to what I was wearing today and make it through some lower temps. And I would definitely prefer that to the treadmill.
It’s the other end of the temperature spectrum that kills me. Heat and humidity. Ugh. I’ll take a day like today over an August dog day anytime, anywhere. I think my heat limit for running is 80-85 degrees and you can be sure that I will bitch the whole way. And feel like crap afterward. In New England, if it is over 70, it is bound to be humid, so the heat & humidity are a package deal and any 80 degree run is going to feel like a jaunt through the rainforest. I’m uncomfortable just thinking about it. I have heard about this magical thing called dry heat, but it rarely visits Connecticut. Sigh. The cold can be uncomfortable, but to me, heat, and especially, humidity are downright intolerable. I see people running in the middle of the day during the summer and am just amazed. How do they do it without passing out?
Are you a hot weather runner or a cold weather runner? Do you have limits for when you will exercise outside? What’s your number?