Friday, February 14, 2014

Winter in New England

February is here and it brought with it a bad case of cabin fever for me.  So, despite the snow and ice on the ground, and the cold temperatures I decided I had to go for a run this past weekend.

I bundled up.  For those of you who live in climates where you don't have to bundle up, it's just not any fun.  Regardless of how thin, well fitted or comfy your winter running clothes are, you end up feeling like the stay puff marshmallow man and running feels a little bit off.

Then, you add Yak Trax to your shoes.  While these give you traction and peace of mind, they also make your shoes fit a little bit differently and your foot strike changes a tad.  Overall, you feel "off".

For this past weekend's run I had on fleece lined tights, a tank top, a long sleeve tech tee, a fleecy top over that and then a puffy vest. I wasn't hot.  I wore a hat and gloves too.  My trail shoes and Yak Tracks rounded out the outfit.

The sidewalks in town here are plowed so I parked at Starbucks and headed there.  However, due to an ice storm we'd had, and then repeated snow storms, much of the sidewalks were coated in a few solid inches of ice.  So, these areas were covered gingerly.  The cross walks can't be accessed due to the plow's piles of snow and the plowed portion is only about a foot wide.

So, I'm not complaining.  I love New England and I love the winter.  However, perhaps someone should invent heated sidewalks so everything melts?  I love being outside in the bright winter sun and seeing the snow sparkle.  I love the crisp air and seeing my breath.  There is a calm to running in winter you don't get any other time of the year.  And when you pass another runner, you say hello a little more excitedly as you are both braving the elements for your love of running.

The other downfall to winter running?  Asthma….if you don't have asthma…I'll describe it for you. When you breathe in cold air, especially quickly, it feels as if you can't get the air in.  Then, it feels as if you can't get the air out.  Your lungs burn as if you swallowed hot water.  Then your body tried to protect itself and you start coughing.  Overall, it's a pretty miserable experience that will drive even the best running to the dread mill for the winter months.  However, every once in a while, it's worth it to get out and see the sun and smell the fresh air.

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