Waiting for Spring

Today I ran and it was cold.  Yesterday I had a wintry run as well–it was blowing like stink and snowing like stink and I could hardly see where I was going.  Today was colder and windier but without the snow.  The ground was frozen.  It was basically winter.  Mark Breen, the meteorologist on Vermont Public Radio, offered today that Vermont had, with the exception of extreme northeast Alaska, the coldest weather in the United States.  Something to be proud of?

The problem with running in weather like today’s is one of temperature regulation.  Out in the open, the north wind was bearing down hard, and my wind layers separated me from frostbitten extremities.  Once I got into the shelter of a hill, with the sun shining, I started sweating down the back of my neck–too hot.  I ran an out-and-back and when I turned around at the halfway point, I headed directly into the north wind that had so helpfully been pushing me onward.  It bit.

So I sweated and froze, alternately.  On average I was just about right.  Yesterday the snow stung my cheeks and slicked up the frozen just-the-day-before-muddy road.  It was treacherous, or at least it felt so.  It was less dangerous than it may have appeared, considering I was never really more than a few miles from home.  It sure didn’t feel like spring.

I won’t run tomorrow but will lace on the shoes again Wednesday or Thursday, my schedule permitting.  Wednesday promises temperatures in the fifties–T-shirt weather for this time of year.  Of course, in September, 50 degrees will feel like the ice age has returned, but in spring, bust out the flip flops.  So I wait for spring.  Running is just so much easier when the weather is warm.  I have to wear fewer layers, I can leave the gloves at home, and I just feel looser.

If I want to make any kind of mileage goals I need to run when it is cold.  I live in Vermont.  I briefly considered applying for a job in California recently, but only briefly.  Apparently one can run in shorts year-round in the climes I was considering.  That might be nice, but I have to admit, running when the snow blows so hard I can’t see is kind of invigorating.  It is easier to run when it is warm, but it feels awfully nice to run in warm weather after running in cold weather.  I would miss getting pelted in the face by tiny beads of ice.  I am not sure, but I might even be proud of that.

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