Thursday, December 4, 2014

Minus 12 Going on Minus 20

On Tuesday morning I got up early to run. I am a good little Canadian runner and so I checked the temperature AND the windchill before deciding what to wear.

-6C was the temp.

-12C with the windchill.

The wind was 14km/hour which didn't cause me any distress. I don't even begin to think about it until it goes above 20km/hour.

So I pulled on my pants, my long sleeved Under Armour shirt, my long-sleeve second layer with the built in mitts that I love. My vest. My toque.

I headed downstairs.

"Are you going to be warm enough?" asked Doug who was heading into the basement for a bike ride.

"Oh yes!" I replied proudly. "It's only -12C with the windchill. The wind is hardly blowing and I have three layers on. In fact, I may be too hot."

Ok, he said, studiously avoiding looking me in the eye.

I walked outside and thought "it's lovely out here". I walked down the driveway and admired the black sky and the bright stars shining. "I am so lucky to be able to run at this time of day" I though as I looked at Orion in the sky.

Then I walked past the edge of the house and felt the first gust of wind.

"Bloody hell!" I gasped. I quickly turned on my watch and started running lest I freeze in place. I had decided to change my route back to one I ran a lot earlier this year. Seven kilometres but with a few long hills to help me get my hill running strength back a bit. It is also a bit more sheltered from the wind which I hadn't thought about before but now was profoundly grateful for.

I went out faster than I normally would have with one goal: warm the heck up. My entire body was freezing to the point where I was shaking as a ran. My lungs gasped for air as my chest shook from the cold. Not a good combo.

A few kilometres in I reached the first hill. The longest but most gradual of them all. By that time I could feel that my chest was warm and glowing but the heat I was generating was not moving beyond the edge of my vest. My arms, despite two layers and 15 minutes of running, were still freezing. I couldn't even feel my legs so I assumed they weren't warming up yet either.

By 4k I was still moving as quickly as I could despite having climbed the second and toughest hill of the run. My goal now was to just get it done and, no matter what, NOT STOP RUNNING.

At 5k, I realized that I had remembered the route wrong. I knew every turn and every hill but the 7k that I remembered was turning out to be 8k instead. And no short cut option to get home faster.

There was no time to whine or complain. No time to stop and gather my energy. It was life or death out there.


I ran right to the edge of the driveway, didn't even bother stretching my calves and flung open the kitchen door with a gasp. Doug, getting breakfast ready in his shorts and t-shirt, turned around in horror.

"It's freezing! Close the door!!"

"Minus twelve my ass" was my response.

He laughed and said "I told you".

I insisted that the temperature being reported was actually incorrect. So was the one on our fancy pants temperature gauge. He smiled patiently, mumbled something non-commital about my temperature comments and suggested that I wear my jacket next time.

So did you notice anything while reading this?

I ran 8k. With lots of hills. Without stopping. Or complaining about low energy, fatigue or slow speeds.

I ran 8k at 5:30am, galloped up hills and froze my keister off. And it felt great!

1 comment:

  1. Way to go!

    And I'm super proud of you for getting out there in such conditions. Good thing you had your toque. :-)