Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Do You Need New Tires?

This morning as I got dressed to run, putting on layer after layer, I thought to myself, "I feel like the Michelin Man."  I had on my warmest running tights (men's with a very thin layer of something fleece-like inside), a short sleeved running shirt, a long sleeved running shirt, a red pullover, and a bright blue vest in case of wind.  I put on my warmest, thickest gloves and my (Jason's) bright yellow Snoopy toboggan.  It was 5:30 a.m., 25 degrees and I looked like a multi-colored Michelin Man as I headed out for a quick 6 miler (that became 7) with Kristi.

Now, if anyone from the north is reading this, they probably want to laugh.  Go ahead.  I am a native Floridian who moved to north Alabama seven years ago, emphasis on the world "north."   When one is used to wearing shorts on Christmas and t-shirts on Valentine's Day, Huntsville, Alabama is indeed the north.  And this Florida-born girl could do without anything below 40 degrees, especially when it comes to running in it.

Still, once I'm out there running in it, I usually warm up pretty quickly and I'm usually distracted by the conversation with a running partner or the songs on my ipod, and I do not notice the cold as much (emphasis on "as much.")  It really isn't that bad, once I'm moving, but there are always little reminders that it is, in fact, cold weather running.

When my nose, which starts running after the first 8 steps in the first mile, becomes raw as I continually battle the constant flow.  As if it is a race of nose vs. legs, and I'm trying to keep up with both. That's cold weather running.

When my face freezes so that simple conversation becomes difficult as I start to have trouble pronouncing all my words.  That's cold weather running.

When my summer running pace drops significantly due to the simple fact that if I don't run faster, I will keep shivering...and I'm already dreaming of that hot cup of coffee, anyway.  That's cold weather running.

When, once I get home and peel off all the layers, my bum is pink and...numb despite the fact that I had on my warmest pair of running tights.  That's cold weather running.

When I get in the shower and I can't shave my legs because the goose bumps won't go away...and then I can't get out of the shower unless I begin to imagine, once again, that cup of hot coffee.  That's cold weather running.

And then when I'm headed to work I think, "What am I forgetting?" because I'm only wearing 1 layer and a coat.  And the car heater along with that long awaited hot cup of coffee begins to lull me into a comfortable drowsiness...hardly safe during the morning rush hour.  That's cold weather running.

So sure, it's winter in the south.  Hardly the snow-shoveling, boot wearing, frost-bite concerning cold that so many other states and countries face (although my hair has frozen a few times).  But for this Florida born, Alabama bound runner...it's cold.  Period.

Cold, but worth it.  Despite all that I just wrote, I'm not going to stop running in it.  It may be cold weather running, but it's running.  And I'll take it.


  1. i went out this morning for a 6-8 mile run, and it was the coolest day i've run in africa since being here -- save one when it was raining. i'm guessing it was between 60 and 65 degrees. i ran 14.

    i don't miss the cold days you're talking about. but i miss dearly the days in between here and there.

  2. We definitely had the frozen faces going on this morning!! And I'll never forget that morning when your hair froze! That was hilarious! :-)


  3. I love the 50s and 60s. And the 40s are not bad at all either. But when the weather starts dipping below that...yuck. :) Every time I complain, Jason says we can move to California, which I don't want to do, so I keep my whining to a minimum. :)