The thermostat said, ‘7.’ My hands pulled tighter around my coffee cup, as if closing in on the warm ceramic could make my whole body raise in temperature, my shoulders shrugged deeper into my hoodie. Did I want to do that? Did I want to run in seven degrees Fahrenheit?
It was only November. It would only get colder. Such is life at 9,000 feet in the Rocky Mountains. I told myself I couldn’t let the winter win now. I did it; I went downstairs, shucked my pajamas (remembering that cotton does no good in cold weather) for midweight polypropylene long johns, Danskin running tights bought at Walmart, and an Under Armor shirt that I’d inherited from my husband. At the door I pulled on the cap I’d stolen from my him, blue Columbia with a fleece band sewn in around the ears (the only hat that I’ve worn that doesn’t move around while you do), a lightweight jacket with a thin fleece lining, and lightweight Manzella gloves, that I’m pretty sure are meant to be liners. Everything bought on sale or stolen from Scott. Except for the jacket, my mom in law bought that for me, I think she liked the bright aqua color on me. I’m pretty sure she cringed when I started running in it, but it has kept the chill at bay on many below freezing runs. An odd quirk of mine has developed from it; all of my workout gear is either blue or black. Always matches, don’t have to think.
How was it? Not bad. My right nostril will shrivel when it is cold enough, that morning I discovered that seven is when it shrivels in Colorado. But I got out, I got air, I got to see the view.
Then there was that run in Chicago. I had no thermostat in my apartment, I just went. Then I passed that bank sign, it said, ’12.’ I ran a bit more, until I couldn’t feel my bum cheeks, then I turned around and went home.
I have a friend who trained for a marathon over a winter in upstate New York. She would run until she couldn’t feel her legs anymore. Then she would go inside and run up and down hallways until she could feel them and then she would go back out again.
Thanks a lot.
Now I have no excuses. Just polypropylene and the knowledge that exercising in the cold burns more calories, and a little more jiggle from some Christmas fudge.
I keep thinking that I want to sign up for a half marathon in the spring. I don’t like running in the cold. The last six mile run I went on I got so hungry the last two miles were spent daydreaming about the breakfast burrito I longed to devour. I think I ate oatmeal when I got home. Sometimes I hate fudge.
Nemo descends on us today. I thought about running this morning, potentially my last chance before we are buried in more snow than I want to think about. I didn’t go. I didn’t even want to leave the house to run to Starbucks (to stock up on coffee), much less all by myself without the protection of a car. It was only twenty five this morning. A sight warmer than the nine degrees I made myself experience a few weeks ago.
Then there’s Becky.
Thanks a lot, Becky.