This post was written for and first appeared on One Foot In Reality.
Some days it is just cold outside. At 9:00 AM when Bennie and I got out for our run it had gotten up to 0*F with a pretty good wind chill to bring the feels like temp down into the -12 to -14 range. The good thing was that the roads were clear so I was able to run in my H3's, which I prefer in the colder weather - they give a little more cushion than my N1's which seems to help in the extreme cold.
Usually, in those temps, I don't even bother running outside, do a quick walk with Bean and call it good. However, he was acting like a bonehead, which is his way of telling me that he wanted to go for a run, not a walk.
Okay, I bundled myself up and tried out the red balaclava and my hoodie sweatshirt, under my red fall jacket. Yes, I had a synthetic long sleeve shirt at the bottom. Along with my cold-weather mittens and lined running pants.
You know that extra 5 pounds clothes that you bundle up in to run outside in this crap. The balaclava is going to go away, it no longer stays in place and is only a distraction. I had to keep tugging at it to keep it from covering my eyes and then it came out of the jacket, so my throat was exposed and I had to stuff it back down again.
Not what I wanted in those temps.
The first mile was just tough, I couldn't find a good rhythm and even though it wasn't a bad time - nothing felt right. On the second mile I finally warmed up a bit and even though the time was about the same, it felt a LOT better.
It was so cold we only did laps on top and were never more than a half mile from the house. So I could get home within a few minutes and be back inside with him pretty quickly.
Since it was that cold out, I was keeping a close eye on the amount of shivering and shaking he had going on. At the end of the first lap, I asked "home or more", he took off like he was shot out of a cannon up the road. He was pulling and barking at me to keep going.
Same thing at the end of the second lap.
During mile 3.0, I noticed that he was slowing down a little, even though he was doing his tug-o-war most of the way. When we were coming up off the circle, he stopped to mark a spot and his back legs were shivering pretty good. When we got to the end of the lap, I stopped and started towards the house.
He looked at me, started barking and tugging to keep going up the road. I thought about it, but when looked at his back legs and they were shaking/shivering...I knew it was time to get him inside. He didn't want to, but once we got inside it didn't take him long to get in the chair and lay down. He didn't complain (move), when I covered him up either.
Could I have gone further, yeah - but...with the balaclava being a nuisance and the temps being what they were, I just wasn't enjoying the run all that much.
I was going to do a second run - only on the treadmill after work, but there is something about running outside in those temps that just seems to take too much out of me and my legs. I decided that it wasn't worth it and bagged the second run.
It is a nice relief to just run the miles that I want, instead of feeling like I have to run a certain number of miles this year in order to train for whatever...I know I am enjoying my running more than I have in a while.