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.