Dec 12, 2009

It's Too Cold to Run?!?

"Shut up, lace them up, and run damnit!"

This was what I had to tell myself earlier this week when Cincy was hit with it's first true cold snap. Temp was 21 degrees, but it was the wind that was making it tough. Wind chill was 7 degrees. Certainly not unbearable, especially compared to many other areas of the country. But it was cold enough to make me question whether I really wanted to run in it. Ultimately, grudgingly, I decided that I did.

So I went upstairs and started digging my gear out:

Wind briefs, running tights, and fleece lined running pants.
Wicking socks and Smartwool socks.
Nike Coldgear baselayer, Mizuno 1/2-zip jacket, and a nice, heavy fleece.
Two pairs of gloves, fleece hat, fleece headband, and balaclava.
Sunglasses to keep eyes from watering b/c of the high winds.

That oughta do it. Lace up my shoes, grab my iPod, Blackberry, & Garmin, and out the door I go.

My body warmed up within the first 1/2 mile. My hands finally warmed up at around 2 miles, enough so that I peeled off my outer pair. I made sure to run into the wind to start so I could have it at my back to finish. Ultimately, it turned into a very nice 7-mile run.

But here's the point of this post. What I got out of this run was more important than any physical benefit I got from actually running. The conditions sucked. My attitude wasn't very good, and I could easily have packed it in and stayed home. No one would have questioned me. The battle was far more MENTAL than it was going to be physical. But it gave me a chance to remind myself that once I get out there, I love being out there. And when I finished, I re-confirmed something I've always known...I'm can be as mentally tough as I like to think I am. So the next time I think to myself, "Eh, just stay in. The weather is so lousy. You don't need to run today.", I'll remember that it won't be as bad as I think it will be, and I'll likely end up enjoying it, and even be proud of myself for doing it.

Get out there and run, folks. You'll be glad you did.

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