Sunday, December 14, 2008

San Francisco "Winters"

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.


RBR said...

OMG! How did I never realize you are in SF?! Right in my backyard so to speak! My hubby and I love the SF Zoo even though it has had its troubles over the years!

Here is a link to some pics he took on Friday (I wonder if you guys were there together? He was with his buddy. They were two kind of scary looking guys with WAY too much camera equipment! LOL)

We will have to meet up at Big Sur. I am pretty excited about that one!

Anonymous said...

Yumm!! Nothing like rewarding ourselves with hot chocolate (or other sinfully delicious dessert!) after a good work out!!

bunnygirl said...

You'll get nothing but agreement from me! I think temps in the 40s are cold and if it's raining too, forget it. Wet cold is a lot worse than dry cold because it seems to seep right into your bones. I've been shivering in humid Houston in the 50s and 60s and perfectly comfortable in dry New Mexico in the 30s and 40s.

Enjoy your hot chocolate! You earned it!

Runner Leana said...

Ohh, that hot chocolate looks so good! I agree with you, it is really hard to get outside when it is already raining. It looks like you have some good winter runs under your belt already though! :)

Shhh, don't tell anyone but the plan is to register for Ironman Canada 2010...

d. moll, said...

BBRRR, what a great sound it is running in the snow.

*aron* said...

brrrr its been cold! for us californians :) but i cant imagine running and having your gatorade freeze - wow!

great job getting out there!

Mica said...

I agree that 40-degree weather is much worse than below freezing. I always think of super-cold weather as an adequate challenge, but in the 40's with rain? That's just junk.

...That said, I am really afraid of slipping on ice. I might have to put some dry wall screws into my shoes come January.

Frayed Laces said...

now i think i could handle the winter if i had a mug like that!

Julianne said...

My favorite temperature is around high 50s to low 60s. It's been so cold this week. Brrrrrr!

Are you doing the Big Sur? I'm thinking about it!!

ShirleyPerly said...

I'm in SFO now (on my way to Hawaii) and saw snow on some of the mountains as we came in for our landing. Snow!?! I don't remember seeing any snow in the Area when I was growing up there or living in the Monterey Bay Area. I did always think that the area was way too cold for me, though. Maybe cuz I never had yummy hot chocolate afterwards!