Running in the cold is exhilarating but it takes a special amount of motivation to get out of a warm bed, pull on layers of running gear and head out in the dark. Or a special kind of stupid! My running friends salute my determination; my non-running friends think I'm crazy. Either way, I love running in the cold.
It's been an up and down winter in Southern Ontario. This past weekend in Toronto was cold: Minus double digits with wind chills significantly colder. Even though I have a complete base layer with fleece jacket, hat and gloves, the first kilometer or so is 'uncomfortable'. Actually it's more like, "What the hell am I doing running in this cold?" But unless it's really windy, I warm up and settle in to a reasonably comfortable run.
Whoever invented modern base layer running underwear has a special place in the heart's of all outdoor winter runners. The magic of this base layer is that it wicks moisture away from the skin without feeling cold. You have to keep running to keep it working. I generally end my runs close to home so the brisk walk doesn't cause any undue discomfort.
Minus 12 C is my current limit though...back in the day I went our for a run in downtown Regina in mid-February. It was minus 40 C with a wind chill estimated to be down around minus 50 C. I never warmed up at all in the first km but pressed on for another km or so. Then it became unbearable. Wisely I turned back. It was a glorious feeling to step into the warm hotel lobby let me tell you! I don't think I'll do that again.
This past weekend could be the final cold snap in Southern Ontario. Approaching mid-March and we have well above 0 C temps in the forecast. We can always get nasty surprises though so the cold weather running gear won't be put away just yet.
Until next time...