You Know You’re Sick of the Treadmill When…
So I haven’t run on pavement in 11 days. Today I had in my training plan a 6.5 mile run. I took my kids out for the bus, and decided I was going to try and run this outside. Mind you, it was 12 degrees out, which is about 5 degrees below what my general minimum outdoor running temperature. But the mere thought of running that long on the treadmill made me consider it. While it was cold, it wasn’t terribly windy and also the sun was rising bright and strong. I decided to go for it.
I suited up: running tights and yoga pants over that on the bottom, a tech T, loose fitting light shirt and then my heavy fleece on top. I added a scarf, which I never do, figuring I could take it off when I got too warm (spoiler alert, I never did). My running headband, my awesome running gloves and my phone. The final thing I added was a small water bottle from my running belt in the inner pocket of my fleece.
I headed out and immediately felt super cold, even with all of the layers. I tightened up my scarf and told myself if I didn’t get warm, I would turn around and go home. I planned a route that looped around the neighborhood, so I would never be more than a mile and a half from home.
Within half a mile, I started to feel that familiar tingle of my body warming up, and felt relieved. It really was a beautiful morning and the roads were actually clear, which lately is unusual with all the snow we’ve been having. Still, I could feel my legs were still not warming up the way the rest of me was, and that nagged at me.
At about 1.25 miles in, I stopped to take a sip from my water bottle. And that’s when I realized why my legs weren’t warm. My water bottle had been leaking in my inner pocket the whole time. It was about half empty, and the pocket was soaked, as was the left leg of my yoga pants. No wonder why they weren’t feeling warm!
I stood there for a minute and contemplated what to do. It didn’t take long to decide to keep going. Now that I’d emptied the bottle, the spot should dry since my blood filled legs would warm up the spot. Right?
Another half mile or so and I could tell the spot still felt really cold. Noticeably colder than my right leg. I looked down and saw that the front of my pants was icy. Holy crap! So was the inside of my jacket. It was 15 degrees out. Of course the water would freeze! Damn!
But I still didn’t want to go home. The rest of me felt completely warm and comfortable and the run was feeling so good. I hiked up the fleece away from my body and pressed on. This worked until the 3.5 mile mark or so. At that point I was starting to think I was a little nuts. My leg would warm up, I’d drop the jacket, it would start feeling cold again, repeat. I finally turned around to go home.
At some point though, I realized, the leg felt OK again. By now I was over four miles in. I could turn around and go home, or add one more loop to go for five. I decided to do it, and see where that put me.
Wouldn’t you know at the end of that loop, my pants started to seem like they were drying off. The leg felt fine, and the thought of hitting my treadmill for the last 1.5 miles just seemed silly. I could finish the run. I turned one more time to add a longer loop.
By the time I returned home, I had completed 6.57 miles. And if it weren’t for that damn leaking water bottle, I could have easily kept going. It could have been a terrible run, but it ended up being a great one. The sun was shining, and the rest of my layers worked perfectly, so I know now that I can run now even when it is 12-15 degrees, which is great because the treadmill is truly sucking the fun out of this training for me.
I haven’t put in a run over 5.5 miles all in one stretch in exactly a month, so today was exactly the confidence booster I needed.