Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Hardcore or Crazy: Pop Quiz

Hardcore: Running during the winter.

Crazy: Running when the temperature is minus 5 degrees F.

Please select one.

In other news, the "Shape Up and Stay Fit" panel discussion at the library last night was a success. I saw some of my RF501 teammates whom I have not seen since the marathon in October or seen very infrequently. Despite the unwelcoming temperature, about 15 people showed up for the discussion. I decided on "running dork" for my wardrobe and wore my official Detroit jacket (OK, I wear it all the time).

My proudest moment was describing how I found myself weighing over 220 pounds two and a half years ago and through Weight Watchers and running I have lost ~60 pounds.

And finally, my Cleveland Marathon training plan has launched as of this week; of course it coincides with the worst cold snap of the winter (high temperature today will be less than 10 degrees; wind chill tomorrow will be minus 20). I treadmilled it yesterday at the gym (3 miles) but the prospect of staring down 5 miles on the treadmill this morning was unpalatable so I decided to see what it felt like to run outside in subzero temperatures. I doubled up on everything: warm tights under warm pants; base layer under warm top under warm jacket; ear band under hat. I fussed around with my outfit for so long before leaving the house that I could only do 4 miles. 4 very, very, very cold miles.

However, something I said last night at the discussion returned to me as I crunched along the snow-encrusted sidewalks. I said that I find "a certain kind of purity" to running outdoors in the winter: the silence, the stillness, the dark, the feeling of being the only person in the world. At 6:30 am in mid-January, it is easy to feel this way.

And lastly, a lesson in irony (real irony, not Alanis Morrissette-style "irony"): I parked my car in the underground area at work yesterday to avoid having it become covered in snow, which was in the forecast. When I returned to it at the end of the day, it was encased in ice from water that had seeped through a joint in the outdoor parking deck overhead. My car had been under the drip all day.

I parked outdoors today.


Glaven Q. Heisenberg said...

And this was "irony" because the water caused the iron in your car to oxidize? Is that it?

Sorry! That's iron-y.


15 people is a great turn out for a library event. At my library, we show "Blockbuster Movies FREE on The BIG Screen" on Mondays. One Monday, It was Hancock. One person. Other nights, zippo. For National Treasure 2, e.g.

Then The Bucket List gets like 24 people to come out.

Of course, we gave out free buckets, too. Plus, a bibliography of books about buckets, aka, A Bucket List.


I still say you're nuts to run in that kind of cold. But I spoze you don't have much choice when you live on the Planet Pluto, aka, MI.

jen said...

BRRRR. I can't believe you are running in that! I vote crazy.

Glad your library event was a success! :)

tfh said...

I agree about the purity of winter running. But that's because our omigod-it's-so-cold here in VA is, like, 20 degrees.

Most definitely hardc-razy.

Kirsten said...

It is COLD over here, too. I *want* to run outdoors, but my asthmatic lungs seize-up when it's much below 0, so have hit the dreadmill at the 24/7 strip mall fitness center in town the last 2 days.

I HATE it. Yesterday I managed 4. Today 4.32, but I had planned on 5. Fail. My brain can't take it. It's horrible. How do people willingly do 2 hour or longer runs on those things? I would rather not run.

BeachRunner said...

Anyone who thinks that is NOT crazy... is crazy.

bunnygirl said...

Any weather you enjoy running in isn't crazy. In minus-5 weather, I'd go straight into an asthma attack and die if I tried to run, but that's me. I get that "certain kind of purity" from running in heat and humidity. But that's what we have around here most of the year and it's the kind of weather I first learned to run in.

To each our own. Crazy is running in weather that makes you miserable and achieves no grander purpose.

Nitmos said...

It is a bit discouraging ain't it...but better days ahead.

I piled a bunch of runs at the beginning of the week so I could sit 3-4 days of this cold snap out.

KimsRunning said...

I don't miss the frozen tundra at all. There was a 5k today that's usually very popular. Only 122 people showed because it was only 45 degrees this morning.

I was not one of them.