I’m a runner: And I hate running in cold weather

chris graham runningGood column by Patrick Hite at the News Leader on what runners do in cold weather, and credit to him for going out there today in the single digits to report.

I read enough to make myself feel bad for my approach to running in January and February, which is, run inside.

Every year, I tell myself that I can do it, staying outside, and this year, I made it further than I did last year, when I don’t think I got to December before I threw in the towel and set myself to the treadmill.

We had some early cold weather – I remember running in the Turkey Trot at the Waynesboro YMCA on Thanksgiving morning, and the temperature right before we took off was 25 degrees, luckily with no wind, because, heck with that, I can run in the cold, I can run in the wind, but I’m not running in cold and wind.

I can even run in snow, and I did, at the start of one of our December snowstorms. I’ve been running the Waynesboro High School track the past few months, and I braved the early minutes of a snowstorm to get in a 5K.

What moved me back inside here in the past week is that dreaded combo of cold and wind that Patrick addressed in his story.

Thing is, running this time of year isn’t as hard as you’d think, but you have to be smart, and almost smarter than you actually are, however smart you actually are.

Intellectually, you know that you’ll warm up as you run, so you can get away with running in tights or sweats down below, and a long-sleeved top or sweatshirt above the belt.

But knowing that and convincing yourself that it’s not going to be as cold in five minutes as it is when you head out are two very different things.

I always end up dripping in sweat, and you don’t sweat if you’re not hot, right?

For me, personally, the wind is an issue that I can’t overcome, no matter how much I tell myself that I can do it this time.

Even 10-mph winds just tear right through me.

And so it is that I’m back to my friend the treadmill, which I’ve been on the past week, back at the Y, getting in 6.2 miles as my base run each time out, and I have to say, now that I’m back in that routine, I don’t get my issue with not thinking I can handle running treadmill for medium distances.

Outside or on the treadmill, I have my headphones, to listen to music or a podcast.

I sweat more, a lot more, inside, in a room that is usually 65 to 68 degrees, but, hey, there’s no wind cutting through me, which is a plus.

And it’s consistent. I set the treadmill to 7.6 or 7.7 mph and have at it for 50 minutes.

The good thing is less wear and tear on my feet and joints, though I’ve been experiencing less of that anyway running the track.

No wind. No cold. Those are the keys.

Which is why you won’t see me running outside anytime soon.

The next 50-degree day, factoring for wind, sure. That may be a ways off.

Column by Chris Graham

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