Running in the Cold

I’m hitting the point with running now where the lure of the exercise is starting to outweigh the reluctance to get off my backside. I haven’t missed a running club session for weeks, and on Saturday just gone I voluntarily went to Park Run early in the morning, even though the Boyfriend gave me ample opportunity to back out, guilt free.

Monday, however, was a day to test my resolve.

After gradually improvements in the weather for many weeks, we had a sudden return to arctic January conditions. Snow flurries and everything. When I left work to walk to my car, my immediate thought was that I would probably die if I went running. A ‘police incident’ on the M6 meant I was in danger of missing the start, but things cleared up just as I thought they were never going to, and I’d be lying if I wasn’t a little bit wishing things had gone the other way.

Never the less, by six thirty I was dressed in my new running trousers, at least three t-shirts, and ready to go.

After a very chilly warm-up, things were alright. As long as the wind wasn’t blowing (which it did far too often) I actually felt pretty warm, even to the point of shedding my gloves to lend to Mr T, who hadn’t thought to bring a pair of his own.

We ran four miles, or thereabouts, with minimal stopping. My fingers wouldn’t bend and I felt like I’d been given a dentist’s anaesthetic, slurring my way through conversations with a mouth I could no longer feel, but other than that, I felt pretty good.

Then I went home. And as the sweat started evaporating and my metabolism slowed, I started shivering.

I ate dinner, and that didn’t help. I was still slowly getting colder and colder.

I ran a bath and, on stripping off my clothing, realised the problem. I had windburn on just about every bit of skin on my limbs. Despite the fact that I was wearing trousers, a long sleeve top, a jacket. My skin was frigid to touch.

Slowly immersing in a warm bath did the trick, and soon I could bend my fingers and think straight again. While I still plan to go running today, I really hope it’s warmer this evening than it was on monday.

But, as I always say to myself when I find I’m experiencing something unpleasant – it’s good fodder for the writing. Just, not too much more experience of hypothermia please, weather?


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