I have no idea how people in Chicago, New York or Boston train during winter months. I recall reading a UM track coach’s workout on the Internet when I was trying to research the various workouts we did at Rogue. Of course, he recommended that track athletes run outside even in winter. That’s when you monitor the temps closely and as soon as they rise a bit (and it’s all relative),they are out running. When we were still at Purdue I remember a very old man who lived on our street. It didn’t matter if it was rain, shine or snow he would be out running with his headphones, practically bent with age but he kept running. Somewhere in my mind I stored his image and when I started running myself I made a silent salute to him. May I run at his age too.
Back to running in the cold. This morning when we woke up, Texas was under it’s cold spell. The temps outside were around freezing. Jairam texted saying he couldn’t make it to the run. Bharath had finally decided to come running so i nudged him awake. He of course asked to snooze for five more. While I was doing some serious debate in my head:
Mind: my knees are paining…should skip today.
Me: no, next weekend is the first race, I have to go run today. Besides PT said run if you think you can handle it.
Mind: damn PT. But it’s so cold now, run later during the day
Me: rattled off a bunch of chores to do all day…no time to run later.
Mind: but Jairam isn’t coming either
Me: he ran 12 miles this month, he could handle the race next weekend. Besides Bharath’s coming so I’m not running alone.
Mind: ok, how about tomorrow
Me: for gods sake! Slept early on Friday to run today not tomorrow! Tonight will be a late night…
And so it went. Finally, decided enough of rationalizing, this is the only time this weekend to get in the miles. 5 weeks of break wouldn’t help me run next weekend. So I abruptly got out and got ready. Bharath also got out and I marvelled – I’d been asking him to join the long run for months. Now that he had signed up to run the race, he had no choice but to come along. I was glad for the company finally!
It was bloody cold. It was &&))$;-;/!?#%^##<%%%% cold. We met Rogue at Northcross Mall in north Austin to do the second half of the 3M course. We began running down Burnet and I could still feel the chill in my legs. The worst were my hands. Wear gloves, I recall the advice. Soon my hands were numb. We stopped at Walgreens, made them open the store and bought gloves. Unfortunately, the $1.99 gloves were pink so Bharath got utility gloves instead. A Rogue member started running with me, so she helped us find the gloves in the store. We set off once again. I immediately felt infinitely better. Began running a nice, easy pace. Bharath kept a good pace ahead of us. There were a few inclines along the way but nothing that felt insurmountable or un- runnable. My running partner kept running, which was great because every time I felt the urge to walk I had to keep up with her. She gave me good company and down Duval, we started having fun, making jokes even. It felt great to be back running on the streets of Austin. The good, old, broken-into asphalt. Thanks to the cold, my usual aches and pains didn't surface and even when they did, the cold took precedence. Bharath took a detour at 38th and Duval to run home to bring the car as the route was not an out and back one. Plus his utility gloves didn't do him much good as they weren't meant for warmth. I felt a bit sorry that he didn't enjoy his first long run with Rogue or that it was so cold and he wasn't warm enough. But it will be better next weekend because we will be better prepared.
Met coach at the finish and told her it went ok. Bharath picked us up and we celebrated our back-to-running run with fantastic breakfast tacos at Tacodeli. Ah, running and tacos in Austin. Lovely!