Sunday, January 21, 2007

Whoa, Baby: It's COLD Outside!

If the New Orleans Saints weren't feeling it today, I certainly was. It was a balmy 20 degrees (F) when I ran 3 miles this morning and that's always a challenge.

My biggest problem isn't a lack of motivation to run; it's my stubbornness about going out in the cold (whether for running, driving, taking out the garabage or finding $1 million in the snow) that keeps me down.

Several years ago I reached an almost Zen-like state in which I found comfort in any situation — whether steaming or cold. But then I got my nerve endings back and I've been a wimp ever since.

There's a lot to learn about running safely in the cold. In fact, I never realized until recently how much my body's core temperature plummets when I winter-run.

Despite how warm I feel when I've hit my stride, I can feel the effects of the cold almost immediately when I stop running. Granted, I typically hit the shower so quickly (more of a hygiene-related/respect-for-fellow-human-beings thing than smart move for body heat) that my near-hypothermic shivers don't last long, but it's better that I never hit that low point period. Right?

"Running in a Winter Wonderland" from Madison Magazine agrees. Check it out to get some great tips for running in the cold, dressing for the cold and staying safe in the cold. I know more than one person who stupidly disrespects the elements in favor of latent, self-inflicted harm... and could use some tips from the experts.

It also includes the classic quote: "Snow especially seems to be a weather condition that rarely deters determined runners. Even when it's ten below, it is not uncommon to see people that are so bundled up, they look less like runners and more like Eskimos in a hurry." And that's just good fun.

This Eskimo is going to hurry off to bed. Eighteen miles to go!

(Peyton, Tony and Lovie just made it to the Super Bowl!)