With winter setting in as late as it has this year, I had forgotten what it was like to run in the cold. There had been a few days where I needed to pull on the thermal shirts to stay comfortable and even more rarely did I need to find my gloves and hat. The day after Christmas, I was walking around in a t-shirt and shorts and on New Year's Eve, I played an outdoor show with The Slip Slams. Both times I was quite comfortable. Clearly, this is not the average progression from fall to winter.
It did, eventually, get to be quite cold this week and I tried to be ready. Layered up with a Cold Gear compression shirt and a sweatshirt, along with gloves and a hat, I set out to brave a 3 miler with temperatures in the low 20s.
I didn't want to look at what wind chill was doing.
The first mile and a half was absolutely brutal, mainly because it was almost painful to take a breath with the wind whipping straight through my nose and hitting the back of my throat in a way that just about turned me around to go back inside. After a while, I did acclimate a little more and it wasn't quite so intense, but I had totally blanked on just how rough it could be to run when it started getting below freezing.
Tuesday was arguably worse than Wednesday as it got gradually warmer and a little less windy, but Thursday felt positively pleasant even if it was only in the high 30s. I thought about that as I was out running and vaguely remembered writing this post from about the same time last year with largely the same complaint. I did get a little smarter in the intervening months though since I now aim to get up and get moving at the normal time, but I wait to run until it's as close to the warmest part of the day as possible. History is cyclical, but hopefully I can make the cycles a bit less terrible for the next time the temperature drops quickly.
The situation doesn't look to be improving just yet for this season as I'm looking at snow on the ground, sleet steadily falling, and a forecast for the same thing to keep happening for at least another 24 hours or so. May have to break out these spiked suckers for my weekend runs:Layering