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Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Yep, That's Pretty Much What It Looked Like.

This is definitely a winter running Don't.
It's -18C out there right now, which results to about -1F. A Polar Vortex (stop being dirty) has descended upon us in Southern Ontario. -1F equates to something I like to call "PFC": Pretty Fucking Cold. This has led to a deeply uncomfortable quandry, something I've always resisted, like going to the dentist, or hugging my ex mother in law: running in snow. What I've learned is it's best approached these things head on and as fast as possible, like ripping off a bandaid. I know, I know,  I keep going on about running lately, but it's definitely the one thing I'm most consistent with in my life right now, aside from being consistently inconsistent. So, I give you: Running in PFC Weather.

I've never run in weather this cold before, and used to judge anyone I saw traipsing along the darkened deep-winter city streets, be it alone or in packs, as deeply disturbed individuals (or, packs of crazy people running the streets in search of havoc to wreak). Nicole and Ryan, my running coaches for my 13.1 program, offered us a great group call last week during which we lamented the cold, making up all sorts of challenges and barriers to get out of it. They bravely and confidently volleyed each one with Awesome Solutions. Too icy? Wear Yax Trax! Too windy? Remember your balaclava! Snow too deep? There's always the treadmill! What I got out of it was: YOU CAN'T GET OUT OF IT, SO DON'T BOTHER TRYING. I didn't shell out cash and sign up for this to get out of it, so Monday morning I suited up in waaaay too many layers and stood bravely at the door, firmly believing that once opened, the wind and snow would suck me right outside.

Yep, that's pretty much what it looked like.
5 minutes into it I realized I was dressed way too warm. Lesson 1 from Coach Ryan: dress like it's 15 degrees warmer than it actually is. I guess because I never run in 15 degree weather I wasn't sure what that looked like, but now I know!

Some other winter running tips:

  1. Where to run: Run on the street as it's most likely plowed, unlike the inconsistently shoveled sidewalks of your lazy neighbors.
  2. There Will Be Snot: There is a hand signal that runners give to one another while out there on any day under 5 degrees Farenheit. It looks somewhat like doing a snot rocket. Or maybe that was just because that dude in the park forgot his tissues. Remember your tissues! (Now that I think of it, what was he running from, anyway?)
  3. Wicked! Wear wicking layers, like soft merino wool and synthetics, covered by a warm wind breaking shell.
  4. Dry Them Bitches Up: Your running shoes may get wet and slushy, freezing your feet into blocks of soggy ice. Be warned! You may feel compelled to dry your shoes over a heater, or a crackling fire, or a forced-air vent, but apparently that will fuck your shit up, so just crumple up some newspaper and put it right in the foot holes. That'll dry them bitches up.
I'm sure I'll learn more as the winter goes on, but for now, them's the tips. Maybe by the end of the season, after I've expended all my expendable income on new running gear, I'll do a fancy graphic-against-a-white-background thing and offer something of real value. I mainly wrote this post to use the new meme generator I found and to somehow involve my very favorite scene from National Lampoon's Summer Vacation. In my defense, it was crazy,

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