Three runs this week and all three have been indoors.
And you know what I have to say about that? Eff you, Mother Nature.
After my bold proclamation that I was rocking the cold weather runs, the temperatures took a nose dive, the winds picked up and the ice settled on the roads. Today, for example, it was zero degrees with a -20 wind chill. Not only did the idea of layering up seem unappealing, the potential of danger lurked just outside the threshold of my front door. Seriously - I've rolled my ankle on phantom branches this fall, I can't imagine putting sole to physical ice.
And so I've stripped down, turned on the treadmill and gone. I went to the Y, walked up steps and did the hamster wheel of a track where 14 laps equals a mile. And then I decided trotting in place was far less daunting than running in tiny circles and trying to count at the same time.
In the 12 miles I've logged, I have felt sort of embarrassed - as if my inner pansy surfaced and laughed in my face. She's a mean bitch, that pansy.
So I decided to shut her up with some firm rules for running this winter, as they seem to change year-to-year. Actually, let's call them commandments as they sound a bit more likely to but her in her place.
1. Thou shalt not run outside if it is in the single digits. It's really great to run in zero degrees so that you can brag about how hard core you are to your Facebook friends that you ran in zero degrees. However, I don't run to brag about it (most of the time) and my FB friends couldn't give two shoots. Yes, shoots. So if it is 9 degrees, my ego is just fine to log 5 miles on the treadmill while I watch "Alaska: The Last Frontier."
How do you like that for irony?
2. Thou shalt not run outside if the wind is blowing at more than 20 mph. I hate running in the wind. It's stupid and makes runs harder. Running in the winter, especially sub-freezing temperatures, has its own sets of challenges and I'm not going to allow it to get more difficult than need be. Plus, it's no fun to wipe blowing snot from your ear canal.
3. Thou shalt not run outside if there is ice or more than 4 inches of snow on the ground. We run so we can keep running. Duh. Running on ice puts that at serious jeopardy. As far as the snow? I'm short, and 4 inches is probably mid-calf. At that point, I might as well pull out the step bench and follow a Jane Fonda VHS.
What are your rules for winter running?
Note: I understand that I am privileged to have a hand-me-down treadmill to the basement and a discount Y membership for teaching there. It's a luxury not everyone has.