7 Miles - What Passes for Warm Weather

It's been colder that snot here.  I mean cold.  Like today there was a story in the paper about how a place up north is literally colder than Mars right now.  The governor has already closed all state public schools for Monday, and about a gazillion other institutions have followed suit.  Because it will be that cold.

But not today.  Today was a whopping 20* by sunset, which is about 20* warmer than it's been in quite some time.  As predicted, the gym crowds have crushed my desire to ever run on the track again.  I decided 16* was a great temperature for an outside run.  I was totally ignoring the 20mph winds and blowing snow in the forecast.  I really don't like the gym in January.

I had 7 miles as my 'long run' this week.  I use that term loosely right now.  I'd considered hitting the Greenway which is more sheltered from the wind, but I would've had to get in my car and drive to the gym to park.  Sigh.  Instead I headed out for one of my favorite, and most used, seven mile routes, around Lakes Hiawatha and Nokomis.  The local sidewalks were hit and miss.  Some homeowners tried but didn't get very far in keeping the snow and ice off, some did a nice job, and some did better than the park board.  (Park/city sidewalk on 43rd street near the golf course: I'm looking at you!)  The lakes were pretty well plowed, but snow had been blown back onto the path in some places.  I was in my trail shoes and they handled everything just fine and kept my feet nice and warm.

There weren't many other people out today, a few walking dogs and one or two running.  Maybe the other runners didn't know it's going to be cold on Sunday and Monday.  Or maybe they were at the gym.  The kids were playing hockey at Lake Hiawatha.  There were some cross country skiers and ice fishers on the lakes, and a lone biker on the parkway. 

I realized on this run, I listen to a lot of other voices, besides my own.  Sometimes to my detriment.  As I was out today, this other runner ran by and I checked out what she was wearing.  Bare ankles.  Band over her ears but no hat and nothing on her face.  I was kind of envious.  For the past couple weeks, particularly in Cincinnati I endured various shades of "you're crazy", "why would you do that?" and from my Dad "don't run outside when it's cold like that".  Interestingly, it was my dad's voice I remembered the most so today when I did go out I was over dressed and I still felt guilty.  Which was silly, because I was well dressed and prepared for the weather and ultimately really glad I went out.

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