Wednesday, January 18, 2012

an icy run, and a missing face warmer

This morning's run feature was:  ICE.  Apparently it was a little too warm yesterday amidst some of the snowfall and that froze into a nice solid sheet of ice on the side-street portion of the roads where I run.  Woo hoo!  So I stayed clear over next to the curb where there was a tiny bit of traction, and didn't worry myself about going pretty slowly.  The bigger main road didn't have any sheets of slick like that, but along the side where I run was kind of a mess.  Stuff that had thawed, been moved by plows, and then hardened into a rough, uneven mess.  I ran out more almost in the middle of road(and a lot faster) whenever no cars were in my lane, and then just went slow and easy if I had to get over and run on the bumpy ice.  So I guess it kind of ended up in intervals, sort of...but not with any structure.

I am not a good decision maker early in the morning.  Checking the weather, I saw that it was 27 degrees out.  That's 5 degrees warmer than many of my more recent runs, so I got it in my head that it was a fairly warm morning (for the record, more awake Karen knows that it needs to be at 32 or above to be a fairly warm morning).  So I left my face warmer home, cuz I don't like having to rip it off halfway through the run and carry it.  

When I stepped out of the apartment building, I pretty much immediately realized that was a mistake, but I am pretty lazy that early, too, so I didn't want to turn around and go back for it.  In the 5-minute warmup walk up the steep hill, I really thought I was gonna pay for that choice - the cold was pressing in to give me a headache, my nostrils were trying to frost shut a little bit, and I quickly realized that the facewarmer covers the bottoms of my ears in a way that my headband isn't so good about.  

But you know, once I got going, it was fine.  My body produces an insane amount of heat when I am running, and within less than a minute there was no more cold headache, no more frozen nostrils, no more chilly ears.  My throat isn't sore from cold air (probably because I have mostly learned to breathe in through my nose and out - rather explosively - through my mouth) and my cheeks aren't even very chapped from it.  Ahhh mercy.

Still, I am telling myself now and hoping my brain can recall this on other mornings:  under 32 degrees means WEAR THE FACE WARMER. 

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