Friday, January 15, 2016

Soldiering forth

And then it was winter.

Who pissed off the Ice Viking?

From Sunday's run in 70+kph/43+mph gusting wind with blowing snow to Monday's windchill of -19c/-2f, Tuesday's "Canadian beach run" through 10cm/4" of freshly fallen snow, then Wednesday evening's suckfest of sideways snow in 50kph/31mph wind gusts, it has not been an easy week.


My ankles and adductors are taking a pounding as I clumsily churn my way through the ever-shifting drifts, while my lungs cry out for oxygen as their supply is diminished by the neck gaiter pulled up to prevent facial frostbite. At length I just can't take it anymore and risk the damage to my skin so I can catch my breath after a particularly tough slog into the relentless wind.


Snowflakes swirl through the air, coming down sideways so they can sneak under the peak of my hat and fly in my eyes. Soon my lashes are thickly covered in snow and frost as I squint to try to see the road ahead.

You call this running weather?

People waiting for or hopping off of buses stare as I pass, looking like they expect someone from the insane asylum to be chasing me with with a butterfly net. I run in loops around my neighbourhood so I'm not too far from home should something go wrong, and watch my lonely footprints disappear as I come around the second and third time. 

Life expectancy: under 20 minutes

Finally some relief on Thursday - the wind drops, the temperature reaches "normal winter" levels (instead of the "sub-arctic hell" that had me in my warmest running gear Sunday through mid-week), and the sidewalk plows and salt have even managed to uncover expanses of bare ground. 

My face also emerges from hiding, much to the chagrin of our neighbours.

While it's incredibly difficult to kick my out-of-shape arse out the door when you can see and hear the depths of winter howl on the other side, it's also an unparalleled way to build fitness and mental toughness for the season to come. Running in adverse conditions gives you a well of strength to draw from when you need it the most, not to mention increasing your appreciation for the simple things in life, like a bit of traction on the streets and a giant, steaming cup of post-run tea. 

1 comment:

Go on, have at me!