On I went, out of the wood, passing the man leading without knowing I was going to do so. Flip-flap, flip-flap, jog-trot, jog-trot, curnchslap-crunchslap, across the middle of a broad field again, rhythmically running in my greyhound effortless fashion, knowing I had won the race though it wasn't half over, won it if I wanted it, could go on for ten or fifteen or twenty miles if I had to and drop dead at the finish of it, which would be the same, in the end, as living an honest life like the governor wanted me to. -Alan Sillitoe, "Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner"

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Blah blah blah, yeah it's cold or something

I showed this cartoon to my friend Wendy and she didn't think it was funny. I explained to her: it's about sleeping
inside a dead deer for warmth, which is inherently funny, and then it also involves a dance-off: also funny.
She still didn't get it, and I'm forced to concede that one of my closest friends has no sense of humor.  Source.

About a week or so ago, as most of you know, the east coast was hit with a cold front.  Nothing inappropriate for December, but it felt much worse than it was after a relatively mild fall.  Today's supposed to be in the 20s.  It even snowed a little last night.

Suddenly last week, my twitter feed was on high alert.  Everyone and their mother had some comment on running tights, on long socks that would keep your ankles warm, on fleecy hats that could accommodate headphones.

I don't know; maybe I naturally run hotter than most people, but I don't really make that big of a deal of cold weather clothes.  I can't stand to have my head fully covered by a hat in the winter, for instance (odd, since I wear hats all summer).  Usually the most clothing I'll wear is a lightweight long sleeved t-shirt under a running jacket.  When I first started running, cold weather meant an extra cotton sweatshirt.  Slowly I transitioned to expensive technical gear.  It was huge for me when I bought my very first pair of running tights.  Ten years later, I still have them.  I just wore them Saturday, in fact.  They're Asics.

Running in the cold is awesome because you can't lollygag.  Stop for more than a moment to walk and you'll be cold.  You have to keep running to keep warm.  Plus, the runner's smug is in full effect.  Running in the cold is just badass.  "Yeah, it's cold out," you can tell your coworkers.  "I cut my 7m run down to 5m because the wind kept blasting the snow into my face."

Speaking of feeling smug, I'm going to go out running now.  This is the worst time of year at work, and I need at least that little bit of my day to go right.


  1. 1. That cartoon IS funny. The whole idea of sleeping inside a dear, however, is gross.
    2. When I started running (i.e. 11 months ago...) it meant running in the middle of winter horror, but since I was hot all the time (no fitness) I dressed in tights (the thin kind) and a jacket. No hat. That won't work for me this winter. Somehow I gained fitness, resulting in me dressing up for a North Pole expedition every time I head out for a run. Not a pretty sight, I tell you...

  2. I love the looks I get from motorists while running in this weather. Yeah, I'm smug.

  3. Thanks for this. This morning I just threw on some extra layers and was perfectly comfortable. You can't adjust like that in the summer, so I much prefer this.

  4. i thought it was funny too!

    i havent run outside in almost a week. oh the horror.

    also eventually (jan maybe?) i'd like to take you up on your offer to show off your directional skills on the uws :)

  5. Cold weather runs are my favorite. Nothing better than layering up and heading out, and as you said, looking damn smug about it. The actual air temperature isn't reason to bat an eye until it starts dipping into the single digits, really. The thing that sends me inside is the snowy ankle-twisting ice crust layer on the roads... so you get even more Smug Points for running on that if you guys have one over there. Hope that run brightened your day up...

  6. I love this post. That is basically the same attitude I have about the "cold." I must be a warm person.