Saturday, January 7, 2017

Sharpening the edge

It's been cold here.  Not Fairbanks cold, although Fairbanks seems to have gotten warmer than it was when I lived there; I don't see the regular -40F temperatures that I suffered through being recorded regularly now.  Here, it's been below zero and windy for quite some time.

The other day I looked glumly out the window.  It wasn't snowing, but it was a few degrees below zero with a brisk wind.  Apparently the wind chill made it feel like -15.  Gym day, I thought.  Then I caught myself.

What was this wimpiness? Retreating to the soulless treadmill when it got a little tough? Had I lost  my edge? Gotten soft?

I started running during what was called a "running boom," decades ago.  The sports bra (called the JogBra!) had just been invented.  Spandex for running was a few years off; people trotted down the road in sweats, or shorts over long johns when it was cold.  There were no yak trax or spikes; we ran on ice and sometimes we fell.  I didn't know anyone who ran on a treadmill.  We ran in howling winds, deep snow, and ice storms.  We suffered, but we felt really good about it.

I'd like to think that I haven't changed that much.  I don't want to be a person who used to charge hard at life but then gradually gave up and sought the easier path. 

I put on expedition weight capilene, top and bottom, and attached my spikes to my running shoes.  I put on gloves, pulled a balaclava over my head, and headed for the woods.

The wind cut through my layers.  Although the dog walkers had made a valiant effort to pack down the trails, there is an area that always drifts over.  People had postholed and made the trail a mess in places.  The homemade mountain bike jumps were buried and had to be climbed over.  My pace was slow.  Nobody else was around.  But I was out there.

I thought about the young girl I had been, running on ice and snow and during a tornado watch once (I don't recommend this).  She didn't debate whether to go or not.  She just went.

I think she would have looked at me and said, "It's really not that cold out," and run off, much faster than I do now, expecting her decades-older self to make the same decision.  To just get out there.  To just go.

10 comments:

  1. Glad you made it out there. We got more snow and the wind was out so today my feet felt like they were lead weights with my snow boots on and it was slow going for sure. I cheated and only did a couple miles outside, then came inside and ran on the treadmill...

    ReplyDelete
  2. You get outside more than anybody I know! It must have been really awful out for you to come inside.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I always feel badass when I go out and hike/ski/run despite the crummy weather. Good for you for getting outside!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Weather doesn't seem to stop you very often!

      Delete
  4. Don't run any more, but our trails have frozen nicely from our snowshoe treks, so I walked the old road-trail back to a trail junction, even though it's cold here, too. It was a fascinating "book"....animal trails everywhere...I could identify whitetail deer, squirrel, two species of rabbit, ruffed grouse, voles....but what is that very large canid tracks? Coyote or something even larger. Winter snow gives you much to think about, rather than how cold you are, and how much you have slowed now!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In the woods by my house I mostly see deer and turkey tracks, but I know bears sometimes come through.

      Delete
  5. Bad Ass! Doesn't it feel good to be a bad ass???

    Kudos to you!!! Now I need to pull up my bad ass panties and get out there in the cold too!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think the hardest part is getting out the door! After that it's easier.

      Delete
  6. have never thought about running in the snow before - sounds like a huge effort - I can see why the treadmill would be tempting but those things drive you batty with boredom - getting out there is so much better.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have to admit I sometimes envy your climate.

      Delete

I try to answer all comments, so comment away!