Um, No (Well, Maybe…)
I’m really struggling this morning with conflicting emotions. I had on my target list for today a 5 Mile race. But I told myself all along that I’d watch the weather before signing up. With all of the cold weather and snow lately, I didn’t want to sign up for something and end up having it be cancelled, postponed, or something I just couldn’t do.
I’ve been watching the weather all week and as it has worn on, I’ve seen very clearly that today was supposed to be very cold. As in 10 degrees. With 20-30mph wind gusts. And I officially have decided against racing today. I had pretty much decided against it last night when I saw the coating of snow fall all over the roads; not enough to shovel but enough to cover everything. Not that that is the deal breaker; if anything, that snow would probably help my traction over bare roads when it is this cold. But the final straw was when I could hear the winds howling at 2am. Cold, cold winds. No. Just, no.
But I’ve been trying to run outside as much as I possibly can these last few weeks. But it is truly unusually cold here for this area. It is rare that it gets so cold here. Usually winter is in the 20s, not the teens or single digits. I ran four miles outside this week when it was 15 degrees and by the end I was really feeling strangely. My legs never warmed up despite having two layers on them. I was fine with my long sleeved tech T and my warmest fleece on top, and my headband. Normally during a winter run I end up taking off my headband and gloves, but not that day. It was too cold. So even though I was sweating, my face was cold; the wetness on my face combined with the cold gave me the oddest sensation of being cold and warm all at the same time.
I never felt that way all last winter. I ran in 20 degree weather all of the time, and told everyone that winter was my favorite running season because I sweat so much. That you can run outside basically all of the time except for maybe a handful of times based on road conditions (not weather conditions). I ran a January and a February race without ever feeling too cold.
But this year? Right now the wind chill here is 5 degrees. I just can’t do it. I can’t bring myself to get out there and run my super slow five miles, which I know will take me an hour at least. So I’m not going to race today. And I am not happy about it. I feel a bit like I’m letting myself down. But I know, as conflicted as I am about it, that it is the right decision, today, for me.
***Of course as soon as I blogged this I felt like a total wimp and challenged myself to do today’s #2014RunStreak mile outside with my dog. I bundled up and went out and it honestly was OK. I learned a bit from my 4 mile run earlier this week so I used warmer layers on my legs and a scarf to protect my face. I managed 1.25 miles and would have honestly been able to go much further but my poor dog’s paws were clearly bothering him so I returned home. I found that I could tolerate the cold for the most part but the slippery half melted coating of the snow was the real problem. I truly would worry about that on the race course. There was no bare ground and parts of my route today were slippery. So while I am still sure I made the right decision on the race, I do feel that I’ve learned a bit better about being able to run in the sub twenty degree range.***