I grappled with a strange thought this morning. Have I become a cold weather weenie? I am a self-admitted warm-weather weenie. I hate to run when it's hot. I always thought I was part snowman because I just melt in heat. I used to say that my ideal running temperature was 44-47 degrees Fahrenheit. I've always thought that's the perfect temperature where you can wear shorts (or a skirt!), a light long sleeve shirt and never feel like you want to push up the sleeves.
Well today in San Francisco it was about 50 degrees. With the wind chill factor and the rain it was probably hovering somewhere in my "ideal running temperature" range. And you know I had the darnedest time trying to get myself out the door. It doesn't help that our apartment is always freezing. We've got terribly insulated windows, skylights that let in the cold, and a horrible heating system. When you feel cold inside it's always hard to imagine how cold it must be outside.
I also usually quite enjoy running in the rain. It's terribly hard to step out the door when it's pouring, but I never mind it if I'm already running and it starts to rain. But today something about the cold and the rain just made me drag my feet to get going.
I finally got out and did 4 miles in cold, windy, rainy conditions. Ironically I was listening to a Runners Loungecast episode entitled "Winter Running" (guest starring Miss Leana!). The people were chatting about 20 degree and -10 degree runs and here I was dragging my feet in the high 40's! I thought fondly of my running days in Syracuse, New York. I once did a 14 mile run in -15 degree wind chill driving snow and the Gatorade Endurance in my handheld bottle F.R.O.Z.E. Whatever happened to my tough cold weather exterior?! I guess everything is relative.
Leana reminded me of a favorite quote on the podcast today. "There is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing. -- Ben Zander"
In the end I remembered how much I love running in the rain. Granted a nice warm rain is so much more fun than cold, driving rain. I got home fairly soaked and freezing. But I had some warm noodley soup for lunch and then had this for dessert:
So I've been officially welcomed into wintry weather here in California today. Now that I've gotten my feet wet hopefully the next one won't be quite so hard.
My sincerest apologies for the above post to all of you who are presently dealing with frozen Gatorade. But I figure since I did my own bit of bitter cold running, I'm going to enjoy the occasional gripe about above-freezing winter runs. I spent 3 mos in running shoes that looked like this:
I will admit that they were some of the happiest running months of my life. I did most of my runs after work so it was always dark and usually snowing. I strung together two video clips of running at Green Lakes in the Syracuse area.
I only did one run by the lakes while I was there (I didn't have a car so drove there the one day I had a rented car when I got back from a road trip). The majority of my runs were done on sidewalks in the Syracuse University area, in the dark, in the snow. It was amazingly peaceful and I miss it a lot. In fact, I will take a Gatorade-freezing cold snowy run any day over a sorta-cold rainy one! I miss the sound of crunchy snow as I run.