Whether we like it or not, at least a few winter runs will be in sub-freezing temperatures. If you live in the Northeast, Midwest, or mountain regions, you will probably experience quite a few chilly runs. Everyone has a threshold for what they can tolerate, and the following thoughts are what every runner thinks when that level is reached.
OMG, I’m not doing it.
When you first look at the forecast and see 4o F with a wind chill of -13o, your first instinct is to decide against your run for the day. This is the bargaining phase, where you consider whether you could get away with skipping this run and making up the mileage another day.
Okay, 40 minutes won’t kill me.
After you realize that it’s not a good idea to turn your weekend long run into an ultramarathon just so you can avoid running on the treadmill, you decide to (wo)man up and run. You pile on the layers. How bad could 40 minutes be?
OMG, 40 minutes might kill me.
Your first few steps, you realize you made a terrible mistake. A 40 minute run may actually kill you. You go through the scenarios in your head: you could slip on ice and fall, and no one might find you for days. You could develop hypothermia, or frost bite, or any maladies that occur when people do silly things like decide they have to run in arctic temperatures.
Is there frost on my face?
But, you keep going. You catch a glimpse of yourself as you run past a storefront and notice that you’re starting to look like a snowman. Is that frost on your face?
This isn’t so bad.
Halfway through the run you realize this actually isn’t terrible. You’re starting to warm up! Then you realize you’re running with the wind and will have to turn back eventually.
Did I just cough? Am I getting sick from this run?
Then, you convince yourself that you are getting sick. Is that a tingle in your throat? Is it possible you are getting a cough? Now you are commiserating the fact you chose to run outside and not on the treadmill.
Just one more mile.
Finally, you realize you only have a mile to go. That’s it! This polar vortex run is almost complete!
Done! I am super(wo)man!
Once you are finished, you feel like a superstar. The runs we dread the most end up being the ones we are most proud to finish.
Tomorrow I’m hitting the treadmill.
As you warm up with a hot shower, you tell yourself you aren’t going to do this ever again. If it’s like this tomorrow, you are definitely hitting the dreadmill, no matter how boring it will be.
The next morning you wake up and see the same forecast (or even worse!) for the day. You pull an extra layer out of your drawer because, let’s be honest: you’re going to do it all over again.
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