Thursday, December 27, 2012

Harsh weather, a tough run and a happier mind

Lots of protection from 5 little ounces
Today's run (street): 3.4 miles

Last night's wind and rain carried over into morning and the world looked dark and dreary when I got up. I hadn't thought much about running except for the hope that the weather would clear. I really wanted to avoid another indoor workout if I could. The gray skies and slick roads did little to motivate me so I waited a few hours before deciding to head out.

The cold had prompted me to put on a couple of top layers, but I didn't realize how nasty it was until I finally stepped outside. Conditions were chilly, wet and windy and I immediately returned to the house to grab my running windbreaker. I'd bought this ASICS Serpent jacket at a race Expo four years ago and have always found it effective against rain and wind. My only issue with it has been its tendency to trap heat. Today that worked to my advantage.

I've been fighting the beginning of a cold and set out at an easy pace, running into headwinds and a spray of light rain. My gear selection: three top layers, City Sport winter weight running pants, gloves and an over-the-ears wicking hat, kept me surprisingly comfortable over the first mile. As I moved through the streets, the wind began to pick up and the rain got heavier. I laughed at the unpleasant conditions but chose to keep going. I hoped that things would improve, but they never did.

The winds were challenging and, at times, it felt like they undercut my speed by half. After three miles the conditions had become exhausting and the rain made it increasingly difficult to see through my glasses. I hurried home through the final set of roads, pushing as hard as I could just to get to the end.

Despite the harsh conditions I was very glad that I did this run. I wasn't in the best mood in the morning and had considered taking a rest day. My wife wisely (and strongly) suggested that I get out, saying that a run would change my perspective. Once again, she was right. Tough runs often lead to a far better outlook.

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