Today was cold. Really cold. Bitter cold. The whole day, at work, looking outside at the icy coldness (clear skies in the winter are rarely warm skies), I kept thinking of all the reasons to not go running. Then I thought of going on the treadmill, knowing how easy it would be to get off the treadmill if I got tired. Even on my way home, I was still debating whether I was going to run. Such a mental game.
And then I remembered the sweatshirt I didn’t want to wear on Saturday because it wasn’t cold enough. This sweatshirt makes it possible for me to run when it’s freezing cold outside because a) it has a high neckline…like too high for normal wear…and b) it has a hood. I purchased this sweatshirt at H&M back before people in the U.S. even knew what H&M was (thank you Switzerland) and I it was one of two sweatshirts that made it through the Great Closet Clean Out of 2010 (thank you, New York Relocation). I don’t know why I kept it, but it was perfect for tonight. And for some reason, the desire to wear that sweatshirt was motivating. (I am seriously amazed at how normal and weird I can be simultaneously.)
So, after realizing that running on the treadmill (at first I typed dreadmill…talk about a serious Freudian slip) would surely end in disaster (me quitting after half a mile) and deciding that I would, in fact, survive running outside, I donned my winter running wear and was ready to head out the door. And then I remembered the joys of the runny nose that happens in the freezing cold. So, I coated my nose in Aquifor (basically petroleum jelly) so that it wouldn’t be totally raw by the end of my run. And then I was off.
In case you were wondering, there is nothing sexier that winter running. Nothing. (Runners everywhere wish that was true.)
The run was fantastic in terms of my cardiovascular stamina. I took it at my normal slow pace and was doing great…and then a cramp struck my left calf. Serious muscle pain. You’ll be happy to know that I did not let this slow me down. I just pushed through it. Sadly, it was so cold that my poor calf only managed to loosen up with a half mile left in my 3.5 mile run, but it made for an amazing last half mile.
And, because I know you really wanted to know this…the Aquifor on my nose kept me from touching it (there was a lot of sniffing) or wiping it, so my nose is perfectly happy and in tact. Totally worth it.
Finally, the song that accompanied my super fast last half mile (and then some)…Michael Jackson’s The Way You Make Me Feel. As I ran, I imagined myself doing a little MJ dance, with the hand snap and all. It was awesome.
If you ever want to feel hard core, just go running in the freezing cold. I swear people were looking at me like I was amazing…or maybe like I was crazy (hard to tell, but I’m going to go with amazing).
Tomorrow, speed work. I can’t decide if I want to try to do this outside since I can do 1/4 mile sprints easily given the street system here in NYC…or if I want to use the treadmill. We shall see.