10 in sub-10

I need a medal after Saturday’s run. Not only was it the first double digit run of the year, but it was also under 10 degrees during the whole run. Officially, it is the coldest I’ve ever run in, and doesn’t that count for a CPR (Coldest Personal Record)?

In the past I would have just done the run on the treadmill, but my weekday runs have all been on the treadmill and the weekend long run is my only chance to break out of the gym’s confines. Also, part of it was masochistic: I wanted to experience what running in sub 10-degree weather felt like.

I bundled up wearing: a long-sleeve base layer, cotton t-shirt (just for insulation), technical sweater, a running jacket, running pants, long socks, gloves, skully, and neck warmer. The only skin that peeked out from the all black garb was my nose and the tops of my cheeks—so I basically looked like a running ninja.

I rode the subway into Central Park instead of running the neighborhood (it’s difficult to run anything more than 5 miles in my hood). I guess sitting on the subway for 15-20 minutes will do a lot to lower your body temp because when I got out at Central Park it felt like the friggin Arctic. I quickly rushed through stretches and entered the park, but in the time it took me to stretch and walk to my normal starting place my hands and feet had lost any semblance of warmth they had.

The first two miles were rough. The neck warmer was actually a big help and kept my face warm so that I could use my exhales to warm up my hands. My feet, however, were not so lucky. Within a few minutes they were completely numb—damn these shoes built for warm weather! I tried pounding the floor harder, that didn’t do anything. So I tried scrunching up my toes every time I kicked up my feet, it order to rub some warmth into the shoes. I just needed something to warm up my feet until my internal furnace started cranking.

By Mile three I was good. All my extremities were warm and non-frost bitten and I was finally getting into a decent long run pace (~9:00 min/mile).

There was one funny thing about NYC runners that I learned on this run: no matter how cold it is, someone will be wearing shorts. I didn’t think it was even possible to run in the weather in shorts, but half way through Saturday’s run I saw the lone runner in shorts. His legs were bright red and it just looked painful. I was too flabbergasted to even throw some witty comment his way.

Toward the end of the run I passed by the CNN LED screen that you can see from Tavern on the Green. It was 10:33am and a desolate nine degrees. When I passed by again two miles later it was still nine degrees. So. Freaking. Cold.

Actually, it was so cold that icicles formed on my head! Yes, icicles--as in the plural. At first it was just a little chunk of ice that I thought fell from a tree and melted onto my hat. But when it grew back I realized that sweat was dripping down from my hat onto my glasses and the icicles would form in the little space between my glasses and my face. I thought that there was just the one icicle that I could see out of the corner of my eye. But when I snapped a picture later, apparently I had a whole colony of icicles hanging out on my head, plus a clump of ice covering my headphone. This must have been why that woman was staring at me so oddly at the end of my run:


RunToFinish said...

hehe the icicles are funny! Man there is no way.. I mean I love my outdoor runs, but I don't know if I could have done that or not

FLYERS26 said...

CPR... I like that.
I set one on Sat also, here in NJ.
It was brutal cold, -1.3 before I left for my run. Luckly, it wasn't a windy day.

The Laminator said...

Ummm...that guy in shorts you saw running...that was me...


Omigosh, I can't believe there are people running in CP in single digit weather, much less running in shorts!!!

I've had icicles during my CPR too about two weeks ago, but there were nothing compared to the size of yours...so I guess...YOU WIN!

Jess said...

Nice job braving the elements!

Nitmos said...

That's a great picture. One I hope I never have in my collection. But more power to you for getting out there.