Training update: cold breezes can’t get me downPosted: 26 February 2011
This past week has been quite cold, for Vancouver at least. The last few days in particular have mostly been below 0°C (32°F), and the air so dry that I’m sure I’ve accumulated enough static electricity to power a house.
My scheduled runs this week also did not escape the cold. On Monday, there was a brief flurry that left some sidewalks a slippery mess. I thought I could escape all that by going on a treadmill. But both of them were occupied. I thought I could wait it out, but after almost 20 minutes going very slowly on a bike, I figured I could have just gone outside from the get-go. And so I gave up, added more layers, and went outside.
Wednesday’s run was intended to go a little longer, and it served as a preview for the next run: cold, with a breeze that cut right through me. I only went an hour, but I thought that was the extent of my endurance of winter running.
And then came Saturday’s long run. By the time the training group gathered for the 8:00am start, a snowfall warning has been in place for Vancouver, although it wasn’t expected to start until around noon. If that held, we should have enough time to make it back without having to trudge through snow. Even though it snowed intermittently, it didn’t last long enough to stick. But it was an easterly wind, combined with temperatures below 0°C, that was the story for this run. For almost 20 km out of the 27 total today, we were faced with conditions that would make runners elsewhere in Canada think twice about running outside. The fact that I ran just under the prescribed long-run pace (6:50/km or 11:00/mi) was impressive enough for me. And would you believe it: the snow started to come down just before noon, right after I’d finished my de-stretching. The weather guys got it right for once!
I’ve run in colder temperatures (this past New Year’s Day for example, when it was below -5°C but sunny and little wind), but today’s run was an extreme by Vancouver weather standards. I can’t help but feel a touch of pride for attempting it, but of course I only felt it once my whole body thawed from the experience.