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Not Too Cold for Saturday Running Commentary

How about the return of Saturday Running Commentary?  I ran this morning.  I think I can comment on it.

I knew it would be colder today, after a week or two of lovely 40s and 50s.  For one reason, it was colder already yesterday after work.  I was running Christmas errands in my inadequate work outfit of summer BDUs, short-sleeved t-shirt and regular weight sweatshirt (there are reasons why that is my work outfit, so stop shaking your head in that superior fashion) (you know who you are).  This morning I looked at my thermostat, saw 30 degrees, and dressed accordingly.

For my birthday, one of my sisters gave me an extra warm pair of running pants.  I thought I would give them a try.  I found a long-sleeved Army t-shirt, added a hooded sweatshirt for good measure, put on winter running socks and my toque (um, as well as sneakers and sports bras, but they weren’t winter weight) and I was off.

Those pants are the bomb!  My legs weren’t cold at all!  My upper body was pretty OK with long sleeves and a sweatshirt, and my head and ears were OK in the toque.  This was going to work.  I felt rather jaunty.  Maybe I would run up the hill to HCCC (more properly known as Herkimer College these days).  The sun was up but traffic was still sparse.  I crossed German Street with no problem and headed towards the college.

Then I thought, I have a lot to do today.  I’ll run the hill by Valley Health and save the hill to the college for Sunday.  My plan set, I continued on.

And felt increasingly less jaunty as I went.  I did not really run enough this week.  Sunday, Wednesday and now today.  In my defense… oh, it doesn’t matter what my defense is, the fact is this was the hardest run I have had in a while.  My legs were distinctly unhappy with me.  No matter, I thought, just keep going.  As long as I ran at all, that was a good thing.  I could run 20 minutes and still benefit by it.  Maybe 25. I ran 25 on Wednesday, didn’t I?  Then I remembered it was 27.  Could I do 27?  Don’t think too far ahead, I told myself, just keep going.

I have previously noticed the gentle upslope of German Street.  Today it did not seem so benign.  Had it gotten steeper?  I tried not to think about it.  The hill by Valley Health was not much fun, and I had completely forgotten how the uphill trend continues after you turn the corner.  Quit complaining, I told myself.  It’ll be all downhill soon.  Except for the end of Graham Street, if I run there. Never mind.  Just keep going.

I waited in vain for the I Can Rock This stage of the run.  Still, one benefits from a Perseverance Run, as I like to call them.  I’m sure there are psychological benefits as well.  There would probably be even more psychological benefits if I didn’t spend so much of the run bellyaching about it, but as I observed in yesterday’s post, I can’t always do the right thing.

The cold was bothering my face, but there wasn’t much I could do about that.  At one point I put my hands on my cheeks in the Home Alone pose.  That helped, but it was awkward to run that way.  I probably looked less like Macauley Culkin than that painting people often use for wallpaper on their computers, I think it’s called The Scream.  One thing I appreciated about wearing a sweatshirt was that I could carry tissues in the pockets.  My nose was running better than my legs, as you might imagine.

Eventually I felt I had warmed up enough to take off the sweatshirt.  I tied it around my waist by the sleeves and immediately felt cold.  After a block or so, I thought, “Silly! Put your sweatshirt back on!”  So I did.

It was about 27 minutes into the run (I checked) that my legs began to feel a little bit better about it.  I suppose I must blame the cold.  I usually don’t warm up before my runs, because I figure I run slow enough that it can count as my warm up.  I think in the future on these colder days I’ll do some running in place and stretches before I brave the outdoors.  I imagine that is what real runners do.

As you may have guessed by the 27 minute remark, I put in a pretty good run.  I ended up doing 36 minutes, which is how long I ran last Sunday.  I shall take the liberty of feeling pleased about that.  I shall also feel pleased about completing my blog post for the day.  I’ve been getting a few other things done as well, so perhaps I’ll have a better post tomorrow than my usual Wrist to Forehead Sunday.  As the great Fats Waller said, One never knows, do one?



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