Monday, January 29, 2007

Eleven Degrees (Windchill -5)

OK, I know the folks in the mountains and further north have it much worse - but I've gotta say that yesterday's run was my coldest on record. Not just temperature wise, but just in the magnitude of brutal discomfort. Most of it was my fault. Not the temperature -even on my proudest, most egotistical days I would never claim to have control of the temperature - but my lack of preparation for it. First, I assumed (Yes, boys and girls, when we assume, we make an ass out of you and me - well, I seriously doubt you were an ass yesterday morning, but I most certainly was. A cold ass. Fun.)I assumed that the temp was about what it had been every other morning for the last two weeks. Between 20 and 30. Fine, I know how to dress for that - I didn't even turn on the tube for my daily "check the temperature" ritual. Won't be skipping that again any time soon. So I dressed for 32, loaded up my cell phone, my Ditty, my homemade gatorade and my new "gel" recipe (mashed bananas and honey - yummm) and set out for a two hour run. The first block was great. Brisk. But no real wind. Then I turned the corner to begin the long gentle downhill that begins most of my runs. Its a great warm up. Except for yesterday. The thing about that street is that its very exposed, no real shelter, and when its windy, it whips around and shows you who's boss. Yowza, it was COLD. My face sent me a reminder that I forgot to smear it with moisturizer like I usually do before a cold run. Not good. I kept running, wondering how long it would take to get frostbite. Feeling a little demoralized. So I took a sip from my Camelback. Ahh. That felt better. Ok, so we can do this, just keep running and we'll warm up. (I don't know why I suddenly become a plural when situations get tough, but that's just how it is. Safety in Numbers - or something.)Not a problem. My hands were also getting unusually cold. I took a second glance at the gloves I had put on and realized they were not the yummy thick windstopper gloves that keep my hands so warm, even in this kind of weather, but the cheap imitation thick black gloves that let the wind whip right through them. We have two pair that look exactly alike except for a tiny little label. I had grabbed the wrong ones. Ok, still good, just bunch your hands up inside the gloves and pretend they're mittens. I take another sip from my Camelbac. Or rather, I try to take a sip but can't - the tube has frozen. OK, not a problem, just fish the tube up through my shirt and it will thaw out. At mile one, my Ditty dies. No battery. This is the mother of all Poor Preparation Situations. Damn. OK, the water is not thawing out, there's a little piece that I can't get under my top. I make an executive decision and cut the run to five miles. And I feel like a wuss.

It helps a little that, once I get indoors and manage to thaw out my frozen arms - my elbows were so cold they hurt - Hubby looks up the weather and sees that its eleven degrees outside with 20mph winds, bringing the windchill to five below. I don't feel like a total wuss anymore. Just a partial wuss. And incredibly unprepared. Sometimes, winging it is good. But not when its five below.

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