Monday, January 16, 2012

It’s not the cold, it’s the wind chill

It’s been another successful march towards running, and I’m feeling pretty good.  I’ve continued with my physical therapy, although it was just cut off by my insurance so I’m not sure if I’ll be able to keep going.  I’ve also kept up with going to the gym (which sometimes requires me to bribe myself with a latte at the Dunkin’ Donuts next door) and I’m continuing to walk as much as I can.  Friday I had a vacation day and spent the afternoon with my friend Joanna hiking in the Douglas State Forest.  The weather started getting pretty wacky with hurricane force winds, hail, and a sharp drop in temperature.  But as they say, “there’s no such thing as strong weather, just weak people”.  Joanna and I weren’t deterred.  We bundled up, kept our heads down, and marched into the wind.
The temperature continued to drop, and Saturday my mother decided it was too cold to ride her horse, so I lured her into hiking with me in the Upton State Forest!  It was just a short three miler, with a wall to climb down and some water to hop over.

Sunday was inhumanely cold.  I was dreading getting out of bed in the morning because I knew I had to go meet up with the running club for our weekly Sunday morning run.  I guessed that a lot of people would bail because of the bitter cold, and I questioned my sanity when I hopped in my car in the 6 degree weather and headed to the run.  I was honestly shocked to see such a huge turnout when I got there!  The house was packed with enthusiastic runners, all preparing to face their frozen fates.  I was getting my gear all sorted out when Anthony came running in the house.  (He had already run several miles before meeting up with everyone).  He came blowing into the house, sweat frozen on his hat, icicles hanging off his ear lobes, and frozen blood dangling from his nose.  This shook my confidence a little, especially since I was only walking and wouldn’t generate enough body heat to warm up.  I headed out on my walk, and the first mile was straight into a headwind.  The sting of the air was brutal, and I periodically wondered if my ear lobes were turning black.  I imagined the people driving by must have thought I was nuts walking in this weather.  Eventually I made it to a trail, where I spent the next 3 miles sheltered from the wind.  That made a huge difference and although my thighs were no doubt turning blue, the rest of my body was fairly comfortable.  Finally, the last mile of the walk back was a tail wind, with a bright warm sun on my face.  By the time I got back to the house 5 miles later the temperature had risen to 12 degrees and if you can believe this, I was actually sweating!
Back at the house all the runners told stories of their runs, into the wind, away from the wind, and how some had to get eye protection to shelter their eyes from the wind.  It’s like we all came back from a war, in the Arctic, and we all had our own windswept stories to tell!  When I got home and looked through the morning news, I found out that although the morning temperature was 6 degrees, it was -15 with the wind chill.  I knew it was colder with the wind in my face!

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