Cold and dark (but mostly cold) (but also very, very dark)

I started running about two hours ago.  My run has been over for more than an hours.  My hands, ears, chin and butt are still cold.  It will take another two or more hours to really feel warm, again.  This is cold weather running.

Woke up, much too early.  Had set my alarm 15 minutes earlier for 6 am, so that I could slip another mile in.  But woke up at 5:30 am, anyway.  Dang.  Felt good enough to just start getting ready, though.

Went out the door and was hit hard by the change in weather.  It’s cooling off, folks.  This is where the runners start going their separate ways.  Some to the treadmill, others to the periodic gym workout and the rest hibernate and call it a season.  Then there are those like me, who, after years of trying the off and on running schedule realize we have only been fooling ourselves.  If we’re going to run, we’re going to need to go year ’round.  And if we’re going to go year ’round, we’re never going to make it on treadmills.  We’re going to just have to make this work with whatever warm clothes we find.  Some of us cold weather runners know that as soon as we start to drop workouts, we’re going to go into hibernation with the rest of our runner siblings.  And some of us can’t afford this.  Some of us are about to turn forty and have very lofty goals.  But some of us digress…

The first mile was disconcerting.  It’s hard to remember whether or not I’ll ever warm up when it’s 10 degrees.  I wore a technical T, technical long sleeve, my Costco Paradox long sleeve with a zipper that comes up halfway on my neck, my new running jacket, my Underarmor underwear, my thick tights, Injinji toe socks (to prevent blistering), gloves, somewhat warm NHL Sharks hat and…that’s it.  My winter ensemble almost creates its own load of wash.

Once I got down to the end of the third mile to turn around, I was cold and knew that I just needed to concentrate on not stopping or slowing down.  The last two miles were tough, because I was still tired from Saturday’s run and knew that my body was supposed to be recovering today, not working too hard.  But it was definitely working harder than normal.

When I get home from these cold runs, it’s all about getting warmed up.  The shower can only do about 1/2 of the job.  After that, it’s just time.

It’s a whole different thing, running in these Utah winters.

Location: Provo River Trail, down most of the North jetty’s arm
Miles:  6.1
Time:  5:57 am
Pace:  0:8:35
Temp:  10 degrees, F.
Weather:  Clear and cold
People I saw:  One other runner, at my mile 5 (I waved; no response.  It is too cold for formalities)

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