Sunday, January 20, 2008


I tried to find some good in this run, and while I'm sure there was some, it was hard to find it while it was happening. I know not every run is good, but I'm sure most of them aren't for these reasons.

The temperature was around 1 degree, and I don't even want to know the windchill, but I was determined to get outside, bite the bullet, and run, despite the weather. And the weather was about as bad as it can get, for a run that is. Or at least for someone not conditioned to run in this kind of cold anymore.

My plan was to run 6 miles, or at least 1 hour. We had gotten another blast of winter overnight and everything was again covered with snow. By the time the sun came up, it was actually a very lovely day, what with all that bright new snow, some blue to the sky, and for a while at least the snow had stopped.

It was hard to know how bad the roads/sidewalks would really be, but, judging from what I was seeing from my windows, it wasn't going to be easy. But I started out with good intentions.

First block: OMG, it is SO cold. The face mask helped, but the cold quickly penetrated even the two layers of tights and gloves.

Second block: I'm not sure how long I can stand this. Tears were forming in my eyes from the stinging cold.

Third block: The Yak Trax were already clogging up with snow, forcing me to stamp my feet often. It was too early to hope for many people to be up on a Saturday morning just for the thrill of clearing their sidewalks.

Fourth block: Okay, finally getting in the street. I think the plows came through last night, I know I heard them. Did they have their blades down?? I barely noticed the speed bumps in the road because of the snow.

And on and on it went. I trudged ahead, into the wind at times with my head mostly down, like I was a charging bull. Then the snow started back up and it was blowing and swirling around me. The only people out were those braving the cold to go who knew where. I was pretty much the only one out running.

Until about 3 miles, when I finally saw another hardy soul out there. This guy was way too happy to be out running in this frigid stuff!

Believe me, I questioned my sanity many times in the course of this run. Why did I buy that treadmill if I was going to risk frostbite for this stuff??

By the time I finally hit the 5.2 mile loop around my entire neighborhood, any thought of doing 6 went out the window. Anything that was exposed was numb; even parts that weren't exposed were numb, and I was worried about frostbite. I had taken 1 hour to get only that far, and for that day, it was enough!

It was a major relief then today to "only" swim my mile!


See Zanne Run said...

1 degree? and i was pretty proud that i was out in 11 degrees today. your plan was 6, but you made it to 5.2 ... that sounds pretty good to me!

want some tips? i cover my face in vaseline or bag balm - i always find that if i wear a mask, my breathing fogs up the sunglasses - the thick layer of vaseline or bag balm offers a really nive layer of protection. i'm sure you've done this - you're the pro!

also - i saw my coach putting, shall we say - "personal lubricant" on his legs before a run once ... i tried it today & it works like a charm!! its like putting tiger balm on or something, but its much cheaper. i just bought the CVS brand. if you haven't tried it - i recommend it!

Sunshine said...

So glad you didn't get frostbite. There has been a lot of warning on the news here about that this past week.
You are a hero. Take care.

Sunshine said...

Challenge Isolation (a temptation in MN winters!) Races at Bethel University in New Brighton (north of Minneapolis)... 200 meter, 400 meter, 800 meter, 1 mile .. etc.

WADDLER26.2 said...

Very impressive. I wimped out and headed in to the treadmill for 6 miles.

Marcy said...

Vickie you are SOOOO HARDCORE!! GO YOU!! ;D ;D

I'm still asking myself why I bothered to buy a treadmill and I won't even go out in those temps :-X :-X

bunnygirl said...

You're amazing in my book! I was miserable just trotting along a damp sidewalk yesterday at 40 degrees!

jahowie said...

Are you flippin' nuts?!?! I'm glad that you avoided the frostbite. I'm glad that my wimpy butt decided to stay inside and run.

Anonymous said...

Just stepping out the door into that kind of cold is an accomplishment!

bill carter said...

That was just impressive! I was blogging about how there was no way I was going out in the weather and here you are tearing it up. your making me look bad Vickie.. the weather can't stop you.

jeanne said...

yikes!! That makes my 18F run today sound like a walk on the beach! i was miserable the entire way! I like zanne's tips. plus, a facemask might help.

except for the fact that it was cold and miserable, i was happy to be outside for a while. but you! You are HARDCORE!!!

Lisa - Slow & Steady said...

The good in the run - you got it done!

Non-Runner Nancy said...

Oh my word, YOU ROCK. I could not have done that.

Fe-lady said... are some hardy soul getting out there in weather like that! You should reward yourself sweetly somehow! (Hope you had a big mug of hot chocolate!)
I feel like a wimp now 'cause I was "so tough" to ride in 30 degrees last Sat.
Everyone was saying how COLD it was....youi would have laughed in their faces!