The weather person said it was +6 this morning when I got up. That crunchy cold, indicating that the deep freeze has arrived. It really doesn't feel that cold yet, since we barely have a snow cover. My plan had been to run outside today, and I hesitated at first. But after driving to the gym, I was glad I had thrown my outside clothes in the car--just in case. I also took along my new face mask that my friend Jan had given me for Christmas. It seemed like the perfect opportunity to try it out.
I was even more happy that Jan showed up at the gym and wanted to run outside as well. She probably wouldn't have gone by herself, but decided to join me. I warned her about running slow. That was okay with her. So we bundled up and headed out on the dark downtown streets. Actually, it isn't that dark, what with all the building lights and street lights. It is just dark outside.
Running before the sun comes up--in the winter or any time for that matter--usually guarantees no wind, no matter how cold it is. Today, that held true. While it was cold, it wasn't that biting cold that you get on a blustery, even if sunny, day.
The face mask worked very well. It is mostly fleece with a soft neoprene piece around the nose and mouth with holes for breathing. It fits very nicely, without making me feel claustrophobic, and stays in place. My old all neoprene face mask disappeared a few years ago, and hasn't been missed. Not only have I not been running in the winter outside much for a couple of years, but the old mask was a pain, in that it did not stay in place, bunched up, and got really wet. So this was a nice addition to my running gear and the perfect day to use it.
Having someone to run with this morning also made the cold almost unnoticeable. We chatted as we ran along, actually Jan mostly chatted, and I was able to keep up and not get out of breath as much, I'm sure from having the mask. Jan qualified for Boston back in October at Chicago, so I know she is capable of running me into the ground, but she was content to go my pace, or maybe I just was able to keep up, I'm not sure. Either way, we got it done.
I discovered quite a few years ago how much I enjoyed running in the early morning, before it is light out. When it is dark, you only have you and your run going on. Yes, there are other factors you have to consider--mainly safety--but there is this quiet that allows you to run and think and be aware of everything around you without getting distracted at the same time. Its a time to run without being seen--you can run and observe without being observed. At least, that's the way I feel.
We had planned on 30 minutes but it was 31:22 when we finished, and we both felt very good. Some good stretching after and I was ready to get to work.