Thursday, January 5, 2012

Winter Running beats 102 Degree Running

One afternoon over the summer, I was walking home from work and I posted this photo to facebook with the caption, "Perfect weather for a run!!!"

I was being sarcastic, obviously. 102 degree heat is hardly the perfect running weather. But, nevertheless, I got home, laced up my shoes and ran to Ingrid's apartment with a big fat water bottle in tow. I went inside her apt to refill the bottle and she ran back to my place with me. In 4.4 miles of running that evening, I drank nearly 40 oz of water, that I probably sweat right back out within seconds. Then I rode my bike, with Joshua, to meet friends on the mall and got my sweat glands working some more.

Even though I remember that day and that run pretty vividly, it is hard for me to really remember what it actually felt like running in 102 degree weather. I always do this, when I or anyone is complaining about the heat or the cold I try to look on the other side and realize that the grass isn't, actually, greener. But I can't feel what it felt like on my skin or in my bones. Like the idea of drinking a smoothie post-run makes me want to cry now.

Give me hot chocolate (and water) or nothing!

All I remember about temperatures on "the other side" is that they felt miserable, even if I can't feel them now. When I got home from work on Tuesday, it was something like 25 degrees with a much colder wind chill, and I thought that nothing could be more miserable than that. I barely thought twice about skipping my run. Then yesterday morning, I made a promise on my blog to run last night. But then it was 18 degrees out and I began to doubt myself.

I wore my hideous eskimo coat to work. Yes, I know it's overkill, and I got some funny looks from brave people in little fleeces and peacoats but I'm a wimp. Seriously, I can't believe I'm sharing this with you.

I worked late and didn't head home until almost 6pm. I called Josh as I left and he was already at home. I knew that was the last straw. How could I arrive home, basically wrapped in a sleeping bag, see Josh all cozy in our warm apartment and head back out into the misery? The question should actually be, how could I not? I am lame. I am a wimp. I am embarassed.

I decided that the only way I could make up for my lameness was to get up this morning and run. I did only 3.6 miles because I set my alarm for 6:15 and then kept snoozing until it seemed moderately light enough to ease my fear of early morning darkness (they're the most dangerous of times, I hear).

I made a big fuss and wore three layers on my top half and, within minutes, I was all toasty and covered in sweat. I thought about the many disgustingly hot days this summer when I wasn't afraid to run and I felt rejuvenated. Granted, it was a whopping 34 degrees this morning, not 18, but what's the difference in 16 measley degrees, really?

Ok, there is a lot of difference between 34 and 18 but I can always throw more clothes on. I can always run faster to keep myself warm. And I can always come home and drink a fat mug of hot cocoa.

I'm no doctor or scientist but I'm pretty sure, based on my common knowledge, that running when it is 102 degrees is much more dangerous than running when it is 18, or even 0 degrees. But I did it anyway then, so I should be able to do it now. I am going to go out on a limb and say the grass is greener on this side of the seasons. Well, it is greenest in the fall and spring but we're talking about extremes here. And we're not talking about actual grass, because we all know that it's brown in winter.

Would you rather run in 102 degrees or 18 degrees? If you're a doctor or a scientist, please confirm or deny my theory about the dangers of running in such temperatures. Thanks!


  1. I definitely prefer running in the cold. I don't do well in the heat at all

  2. Good for you, girl! I don't blame you for skipping earlier this week. It was FREEZING! I don't like running in extreme heat OR extreme cold but I think I'd have to say heat. I can usually tolerate heat better than cold. But you're right, running in extreme heat is more dangerous.
    I like your eskimo coat. :)

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