Running in the cold

One of the questions I get a lot from non-running friends is, “What do you do when it snows/rains/too hot?”

Well.  I still get out there and run.  And that’s when I get that head shaking, “You crazy!” look from whomever asked the question.  I hate treadmill running so much, it would have to be pretty bad outside for me to make that choice.

Today’s one of those days that the piper came calling though.  I tried to time the run prior to the predicted rain turning to sleet, and with only about 50 minutes or so to run, I figured that would be easy.  I was wrong. About one-half mile into the run, the sleet started.  Tiny little sleety ice pellets coming down into the bitter wind kept heading right for my right eye.  Why my right eye?  I don’t know.  But my vision was blurry by the end because my right eye was scratched.

Then the ice stopped and turned into rain.  Hard rain.  Lots and lots of rain.  And did I mention the wind?  Still there.  Still around 32 degrees.  And I was soaked to the bone.

Just three miles into a little 6 mile run and I was ready to quit.  I even changed my route a bit to take me back closer to home, but I couldn’t do it.  I couldn’t stop.  I hate the feeling of quitting anything, big or small, and in the scheme of a marathon training plan that includes 700 miles, ending early on a six miler is small.  But I kept going.

By the time I finished and walked into the house, my hands were so frozen and painful that my wife had to take off my gloves for me.  I could barely speak because my mouth and lips were completely numb.  After about 30 minutes, I made my way up to the shower, but the pain in my hands was so intense when they felt the luke-warm water I started with, the shower took forever.

January was tough with much more snow than is usual in Cincinnati, and it sure looks like February isn’t taking the challenge lying down.

Maybe my friends are right.  I am crazy.

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