Saturday, May 18, 2013

Running in All Kinds of Weather

Ah Minnesota... This far north of the equator we get all kinds of weather. Sure, it's nice that we don't have to deal with the 130 degree weather of the mideast, the two months of summer of the arctic, or the constant heat and humidity of the rainforest region. What we do deal with, however, is the land of extremes.

Less than two weeks ago, there was snow and sub-freezing temperatures. In fact, not too far south of the twin cities, some people got over a foot of snow. Then, not too long after, we hit nearly 100. It was a temperature swing of around 60 degrees.

A change of 60 degrees isn't messing around. In fact, just between this past Tuesday morning, the day started out around 50 and ended close to 100. That's a 40 degree swing in less than eight hours.

I did not run on Tuesday afternoon. Call me a wimp, a wuss, a baby, call me whatever you want, but even if I did have time to run Tuesday afternoon (I didn't), I wouldn't have. It was 39 on Sunday morning when I did my long run, with a wind chill close to freezing. I wore running pants, a running jacket, and gloves. My body wasn't ready to go from being comfortably cool to incredibly hot.

Though it's tough to run in ice or deep snow, running in cold weather is more than doable. Some warm running pants, a good running jacket, gloves and a hat make running in all but the coldest weather no problem. The heat though, especially when you're not acclimated to the hot weather, is much more difficult.

In cold weather, you can always add another layer. In hot weather, there's only so many layers you can take off before committing a misdemeanor. And, when it's really hot early in the season, it's difficult to just up and run when you haven't been in the heat at all.

I don't like getting out in the heat this early in the season. My sweat glands aren't quite ready to pump out the gallons of sweat necessary to keep my body cool. My arms are still pasty white from a winter and cold spring of being covered by long sleeves. I appreciate the warm weather (especially after our terrible cold, snowy spring), but I'm just not ready to hit the roads in the extreme heat, when the soles of my running shoes heat up on the black asphalt, heated by the unseasonably warm sun.

I guess it's time to toughen up, because the weather's not going to get much cooler. If my body keeps cooperating, I'm hoping to keep increasing my mileage as the summer goes on, and unless the weather really gets crazy, things are going to stay warm and get warmer for the next couple months. I guess it's time to de-paste my arms and start upping my sweat production.

This morning I'm running the Autism 5k if it's not cancelled because, of course, Minnesota weather is doing that other thing it does with some morning thundershowers. Oh well, if it's cancelled it's cancelled, and if it's not, I'm waterproof.

Happy Running!


Anonymous said...

I did my track workout at 5:30am on Tuesday... when I was in the sun, it felt like an oven was slowly heating up; when I was in the shadows it was kinda chilly! said...

Oh Minnesota. I think Minnesotans are the toughest people because you have to endure temps well below zero and the heat and humidity of the summer in the 90s. (Which has already happened and blows my mind.) And here I sit with snow that fell yesterday. Geesh!