Thursday, December 06, 2007

Cold Weather Criteria

You can't really call yourself a runner until you have slid down an asphalt hill in the dark on your ass because you didn’t see the sheet of ice. Or ran across what looked like firm snow to plant your foot 6 inches deep in a wet mess. Or been sprayed by black slush as a car whizzes by. Or slid into a frozen gutter while trying to avoid oncoming traffic at night. Or stood in your house for 2 minutes fully dressed for the cold before breaking into a tropical sweat. Or heard the jingling of an unleashed dog’s collar right before you bolted into the cold wind. Or tried to stop at the corner of an icy sidewalk but kept sliding. Or found yourself thinking you could run right through that puddle only to realize that puddle was a giant sheet of ice. Or tasted fresh snowflakes. Or discovered the difference between snowflakes at 32 degrees and snowflakes at 20 because of the way they look when they stick to your fleece mittens. Or tasted the fuzzy fleece of your balaclava for 50 minutes straight. Or found that balaclava frozen to your mouth at the end of the run. Or have knuckles raw, cracked and bleeding from too much exposure to the cold. Or remembered the first time you ran below zero degrees. Or have experienced ass cheeks so cold you got the chills every time they rubbed together. Or been outside in 5 degrees but felt 105 under 20 layers of moisture wicking clothing. Or realized there really is no such thing as moisture wicking clothing. Or the lids of your Fuel Belt bottles have frozen shut. Or had your mitten ice over after you spilled water on it while getting a drink. Or have worn two of everything just to stay warm. Or had hands so frozen you couldn’t untie your shoes when you got home so you had to sit in your garage with snowy shoes until your hands became fully functional again. Or found yourself in the woods trying to pull down two layers of tights to leave steamy pee on the ground. Or have felt the difference between rain, sleet, hail, and snow….all in one run. Or climbed hill repeats on an icy snowed over sled hill. Or rolled down that hill in the snow after the repeats just because. Of course if you live somewhere warmer you can still call yourself a runner but you're missing all the fun.

12 comments:

Spokane Al said...

Or had your camelbak freeze and then slide it up under a couple of layers in a feeble attempt to get it to thaw so you could get some liquids during a long run.

Anonymous said...

OR run on a treadmill because you are unable to face the majority of Elizabeth's ORs.

Ashley said...

Or found that the skin on the front of your quads had become splotchy white (frostbite, maybe?)... while living in IL, I didn't allow myself to look at the actual temp before a run. Seeing -4 might have deterred me from going outside. Oh yeah, I sure miss that "fun."

BreeWee said...

I think I need to plan a trip to your state so I can experience some fun running... But I am a wuss to cold... I remember seeing you and Jen H. in Oregon and I was about to freeze and you both thought it was a warm day- I even recall you using the word "perfect". That was "bitter cold".

Stay warm!

Bob Mitera said...

Or have not been able to see because your breath froze on your eyelashes and then your eyes started to freeze shut....and then you went swimming. (This morning for me.)

Or even the deer look at you like you're nuts on a -5 F trail run at 5 am in the dark and you wearing more lights than you currently have on your Christmas tree. (Also this morning)

Bob Mitera said...

Or had a water bottle freeze solid in your car.

Bill said...

Or have the breath sucked right out of your lungs and the sweat freeze instantly to your forehead the second you turn around for the return leg home.

Brenda O said...

Sounds like a typical MN September morning.... ;-)

Laura said...

Or find that your glasses fog up every time you breathe with that balaclava over your mouth and your balaclava gets wet from your runny nose - and you hear the crunching of iced grass as you jump out of the road for incoming cars - that was my morning today in NY State at 15 degrees, which is probably warmer than where you are!

Anonymous said...

Winter helps us all to HTFU!!!!

:-) mary

Fritz said...

Or had icicles form off both ears and nose. Or untied your tights to take a wee and couldn't couldn't get your fingers to work to tie them back up again. Or designed a spreadsheet to figure out which clothes to wear in what temperature with what wind chill. Or had to revamp said chart. Or been constantly surprised because that chart was right; cold during the first two miles, but fine to warm for the next eight. Or thanked the coffee gods for someone who designed a travel mug that will keep coffee warm even when left in a freezing cold car. Or stepped into a shower before the hot water has kicked in and still felt like the water was freaking hot because your skin was used to being frozen. Or counted the number of heads that swivel as you do your run, all with the expression: "runners: dey nuz!"

Anonymous said...

Or had your snot-rocket crystallize upon exit. :)

(BTW - Speed laces are the best, you don't need dexterity in your hands to take them off, or even to put 'em on!)