So, I couldn't hack it anymore and decided I was going outside to run today no matter what the conditions. This would be only my 4th outdoor run in 24 days! I knew I had to be done by 3 to pick up the kids from school so I thought I'd wait until about 1:00 when temperatures would be a little warmer. It was a whopping -1 degrees when I started and the windchill was significantly colder. What to wear in these conditions is entirely new to me. All I knew was I would have to have very limited exposed skin! I opted to wear a full pullover mask that only had an opening for my eyes. It is open under the nose and has breathing holes across the mouth. I almost had a panic attack trying this on since it's so constrictive. I put another hat over the top and sunglasses. I sweat profusely when I run and I cannot stand being too hot. I wore a baselayer Under Armour shirt,armwarmers over top of this, and my 3/4 zip Brooks vapor dry jacket. I also wore very thin running tights with thermal running pants over the top, smart wool socks and my Brooks Launch shoes. These shoes are not ideal since they are very airy but I wanted to try them on the road and went with them anyway. I opted for mittens instead of gloves since my finger froze off last time and was ready to go. My "plan" called for 10 with 4 @7:15 pace. Day 3 and I have already thrown the plan out the window 2 of the 3 days. I decided I just needed to run outside and could care less about my pace. I also was thinking I could probably only do about 6 miles out there because of the wind and would have to finish up on the treadmill at home.
Here are my lessons learned:
You can't wear sunglasses with a mask! They will fog up immediately.
Smartwool running socks are amazing. My feet were not even remotely cold.
I love my Brooks Launch shoes even more on the road.
I need more than just a baselayer shirt with the jacket. I wasn't deathly cold but of all places I felt like I was getting frostbite on my stomach as I ran into the wind.
Sweat FREEZES. My eyelashes were covered in ice crystals!
You cannot "farmer blow" with a mask on. How am I supposed to get rid of all that excess snot.
Be prepared for passing drivers to look at you like you are some sort of psycho freak! I swear I had 3 people slow way down just to stare at me.
When I got back into my car I couldn't get my mask off quickly enough. It was frozen solid around my neck though and I could hardly get it off. I looked like I just got out of the pool. Absolutely saturated with sweat.
Final stats: 8 miles in 1:02:14. (7:46) My pace per mile was between 7:29 and 7:34 every mile except #6 where I ran into a farmers shed and lifted my mask to blow my nose and clear the frost from my eyelashes. I kept the Garmin going, hence the 7:46 average.
Now, my goal prior to the run was to just run at a comfortable pace and log some road miles. This is exactly what I did. I'm slowly coming to the realization that my comfortable pace may have become become faster. I have a hard time believing in myself sometimes. My mind tells me I'll be lucky to do as well as I've done in the past when in reality I have continued to train hard and should do better. Does anyone else struggle with this stuff? Since my marathon in October I have run many many miles including 3- 20 milers and several speed workouts. Why is it so hard for me to believe I could have gotten faster-my mind always has an excuse for this generally crediting it to an unusually good day. When I first started running with my Garmin in July I noticed that on the days I was running just for mileage my pace would almost always hover around 8:34. No kidding, every time I looked down at the mile mark I would be almost at this pace exactly. I actually ran a 10 mile once in which 9 of the Garmin miles recorded 8:34. Wierd! Anyway this pace gradually moved to 8:12. Looking back at my Garmin history, almost all of my miles except speed work and purposeful long runs were around this pace. I was really increasing my mileage in August and by the end my comfortable pace had moved to around 7:57. Today, every time I would look at the Garmin it would say 7:33. I actually spent much of the run trying to slow down a little bit but sure enough I would look down a minute later and be right back at 7:33. All I know is 7:33 used to feel a lot more difficult than it did today...
Tomorrow is supposed to have a high of 17 degrees. My God, I'm practically considering laying aluminum foil out on the snow in my yard and catchin' some rays! My time is limited due to school programs and my work Christmas party in the evening but I hope to manage my run outside again. Unfortunately we are also supposed to get 2-4 inches of snow so we'll see! Have a great night y'all!