Getting out the door on a day when temperatures are expected to reach only 24 degrees is an effort – especially when the mercury has not yet risen above the single digits by 8:00 a.m. A friend and I talked on the phone today and both confirmed that cold is fine as long as there is snow to enjoy – and the snow has all melted in our neighborhoods.
It took me three hours and two packets of GU before I braved the elements this morning. By the time I ran at 10:45 a.m. it was about 14 degrees with a wind chill in the single digits, or lower. Like many runners, I realize that the first step is the toughest, perhaps bordering on impossible when you consider leaving the warmth of the house, or in my case the Mini Cooper. Of course when you drive to your workout venue you are pretty much committed to a run no matter what the conditions.
Yes, today the first step was tough…as was the second, third, and fourth. About 10 minutes into the run I began to accept the chill knowing that I would soon warm up because of the ascending on the trail, the precise reason I picked Red Rock Canyon for my workout. All of the trails in the shaded areas were covered with packed snow and quite a few spots were glistening with ice. The sound of the crystalline snow pack compressing and crunching underfoot seemed to echo through the canyon as I ran. In the open areas, the trail was hard-packed gravel and dirt and I could cruise these dry sections, but continued to be careful on the icy sections nearly tiptoeing up rocky crags that were plentiful on the climbs.
During my nearly two hour run I passed about four people all of whom had sturdy hiking boots, or Yak tracks affixed to their running shoes. I wore my Teva X-1 Controls and they performed superbly (I admit I slipped a few times, but without some type of stabilizer on my soles, slipping was a given) and kept my feet nice and dry and rather toasty.
As I ran the final descent to my car I was glad I took that first step…as well as the second, third, and fourth…and completed my Sunday long run as planned. If you are struggling to get out the door on cold days, schedule a run with a friend, or consider going first thing in the morning before it sinks in just how cold it really is outside. After your run, treat yourself to a hot tub, steam room, or even a home-made pear coffee cake. I rewarded myself with a hot tub, a steam, and two pieces of pear coffee cake (pictured to the right) today!