It’s cold, I’m not ready, I’m out of practice, I’ve been lulled into false winter temperatures by our mild winter so far. In my mind I like the idea of an icy, wintery landscape. Who wouldn’t prefer the sound of a cold, crisp, frosty but sunny winter morning compared to British ‘dreary’ that we do so well for what seems like endless months? But the reality hits when you need to steal yourself to head out the front door and the cold air rushes in just as your toasty self was least expecting it.
This is the time the feint hearted ditch their trainers and hibernate in a slanket til Spring. I will not be that runner, I will endure even though ice terrifies me. Not to reiterate blogs from last year, but a fall on black ice a few years ago scared me to death. I broke nothing and amazingly hurt nothing yet everything hurt like the aftermath of a car crash. My legs just flew from under me and I landed on my shoulder blades with such force my beanie hat shot off. ( It would have been a guaranteed ‘You’ve Been Framed’ £250 if my neighbours had been recording!) I damaged nothing but was in shock all day and felt truly unwell for the next couple of days. So if it’s really icy I do retreat to the treadmill at the gym.
But there’s so far just been a cold breeze and much lower temperatures. Layers, it’s all about layers, I’ve been running long enough to own lots of kit; leggings, fleeces, wind cheaters and for my head alone, an array of gear including a buff, headband, beanie and bobble so no excuse of losing too much heat from my head. Am I a beanie or a bobble ? Hell, I’m everything.
With Ellie is still laid up post surgery ( pins out her toes now !!), I’m still trying to keep Susie running. We headed out on the coldest Friday morning to date for the ‘natter run’. I chose the bobble as it’s my thickest hat. It’s a Superdry one that clearly I thought would impress the teen offspring . I thought maybe they’d fight to borrow it. Sadly, with its additional mum status, it’s been labelled ‘sad’ and ‘ridiculous’ by same teens so my efforts to gain street cred failed again ! I’d forgotten since last winter when I bought it what a bloody big bobble it actually is, in bright pink too….it’s so big you can feel it jiggle as you run.
The cold is a test for my aging circulation, I love nattering to Susie, but the pace is a bit too steady to warm up properly. 4.5 miles later and my backside was still like an ice block wrapped in Lycra ….. Is there any blood in there ?? It took a very hot shower and some fleecy jogging bottoms to thaw it out. Maybe I need fleecy knickers ? Maybe knickers with warm water heating like winter motorcycle wear……..can you imagine if you forgot you were wearing them you’d probably think you’d shit yourself as they warmed up !! Does a pert, youthful bottom get equally cold ? Owners of pert, youthful bottoms do let me know, I can’t remember that far back! They do say to avoid hypothermia, avoid losing hear through your extremities. I don’t think my bottom is an extremity though, it doesn’t stick out much like Beyonce’s.
There’s a guy who runs on my patch that I see a lot both when I’m running and driving. He’s a baldy so wears a beanie hat most of the time, I totally get that. But no matter how cold it gets he wears a T shirt and very short running shorts plus gloves. I’d love to know what difference the gloves make to his bare arms and legs at 0 degrees? His shorts are so short I’m amazed other extremities aren’t in danger of freezing……do they make little knitted hats for that ?? Perhaps I’ve spotted a gap in the running wear market!
This morning, mid January, the snow finally happened. Not much, but enough to frighten me out of a 5 mile run down to the beginner runner session. The fact it wasn’t really thin and disappearing rapidly made me even more worried about the state of the pavements. The actual park I guess would have been fine, much better grip, but then I’d need to do my Park Run pace round it to warm up and get a workout. I’m jealous knowing others braved it and survived, I guess just like riding a horse, I should take a risk and try it.
I didn’t give in completely, I headed off for a spin class which I haven’t done in a long while. As we’re still in the January new gym member enthusiastic period, it was chocca. I was thrilled when a fellow LCA with a great pair of biceps came in to take the class. About time David Lloyd embraced a super fit LCA. I had to take a bike almost at the front, next to people wearing proper spin shoes !! Nevertheless, in humble bright pink Nikes, I went for it, who needs posh shoes. I still doubt the class was the same calorie burn as my 10 mile round trip run would have been, but when the sweat drips off the end of your nose and you know your bum is gonna hurt for a week despite endless standing climbs, you feel like you’ve done your bit. Plus I added 30 mins of upper body weights at the end just to give my legs a break and work on my own LCA guns!
So tonight, the snow has gone about as quickly as it came. Is that it for this winter? I hope so, I have run tomorrow night I don’t want scuppered.
When it comes to running and the white stuff, do as say, don’t do as I do (coward that I am). Layer up, wrap those extremities and head out there….or just learn to ski.