Monday, January 26, 2009

12 degrees of difficulty

On Sunday morning I was a little shocked to see the thermometer reading 12 degrees but decided that nothing was going to stop me from running outside. I took off feeling okay but soon regretted the cold as my face and hands (despite gloves) began to hurt. I considered turning back to get my running balaclava but instead decided to just press on. I figured that I'd warm up within five minutes so I put my head down and changed my direction to minimize the amount of wind I was facing.

Normally I'll begin sweating before reaching the 1 1/2 mile mile mark but I was still freezing at that point in the run. Those great Merino wool socks and my running leggings were keeping my lower half toasty but it was pretty cold above the waist despite my three long sleeve jerseys and a light running jacket. As I ran I came up with a wish list of cold running gear (e.g., running mittens) that I'd wished I had brought along.

My body temperature mercifully equalized a few minutes after mile two and I was quite comfortable for the remaining part of the run. The wicking properties of the base layer were keeping me dry and relatively warm. I thought about how I could have dressed differently to avoid the first 20 minutes of discomfort but I also wondered if the things that kept me warm the first half of the run would work against me once I had warmed up. I've read that you're supposed to dress in removable layers on really cold days but I'm puzzled as to what to do with this stuff when you no longer need it.

As the work week starts I'll be back to the treadmill for my morning workouts. I had two great runs this weekend and I'll miss the road until Saturday but I know I won't miss the cold.

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