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Saturday, January 17, 2009

No Winter Bluster Could Hold Me Back

3.0 miles - 31:22 (10:27/mile)

total: 3.0 miles

Current: Haze
Wind: S at 11 mph
Humidity: 78%
course: neighborhood half mile loop

Current: Cloudy
Wind: S at 10 mph
Humidity: 78%

weight prior: 138.6 lbs
weight after with gear: 145.6 lbs
weight after without gear: 136.4 lbs

Windchill. The story starts there. Midwesterners know the sub-zero temps we have had here, with yesterday at least as low as -23°F where I live, with windchills around -35°F. The temperature listed above is drastically warmer, but by no means toasty. Just because the difference is over 40°F hardly makes a cold thing warm. Still cold. Freezing cold.

That's the beginning. Before I could even get out the door, the cold factor was chilling my bones. Cold just thinking about it.

Warmed up inside, per the suggestion of Bill Bickhart, Wheaton Academy's very successful cross country coach, and himself a runner. He tells me he'll get to the school early, run a while in the gym to warm up before hitting the Illinois Prairie Path or the roads. All I did was dress about ten minutes before and hop around, walk fast. Not a real warm-up, but I am short a gym to take laps around.

As you'll see above, I wore a lot of gear. Some is official running stuff, but mostly, odd sweatshirts and the like.

My time varied, starting at around 10:05, and the next two around 10:40. I'm not certain. Most important is the distance. I shuffled through each mile, huffing and groaning. I will ache tomorrow. Each mile for the next three months, at least, will be as painful. That's OK. I can moan in agony for a long time, so long as I am healthy.

The wind blew snow like ashes strewn on the floor from a fireplace through the chimney. Tiny pieces hit my face, singeing me as they froze a spot of skin. My glasses, worn to protect my eyes as windbreakers, fogged up before the first turn. I kept my head low just to see.

In all, I warm surprisingly warm.

It could be worse. I could be a penguin. See the trailer to March of the Penguins.

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