Friday, December 20, 2013

Running Outside in the Frozen Like Olaf

Running in the winter is really a two-headed beast.  One of the beasts looks like this:

It’s hard to think of treadmill running and running in the snow and ice as the same thing.

Indoor running on a treadmill, which I do a lot of, feels like cheating. The treadmill does the work, and I just try to keep up while I watch a movie or flip through hypnotic cable channels.

But when I get outside I feel more alive. The opposite of hypnosis. Never have I gone for a winters run outside rather than inside and regretted it.

It’s getting out there that is the battle. And I don't even mean the first few miles, because really, after the first 20 strides, I’m usually warm enough. It's the putting on the gear. Trying to dig through the dirty laundry for the favorite tights, doubling up on socks, doing running mathematics to figure out wind chill and  humidity and barometric pressure. Then it’s time to piece something together. It all seems like too much sometimes, so I get lazy.  

Yak-trax on my running shoes turn them into golf cleats and really help on the ice.
 Olaf could use a pair couldn't he?

But once I’m outside I love getting frozen cheeks, fresh oxygen in my lungs, and sweating underneath my headband. The sun or the moon shining off the snow is magical. Certainly the best snots that have come out of my nose have done so during a winter time run. My sleeve can attest to this fact.

I will do my best this winter to summon the spirit of Olaf, one of the many wonderful characters from Frozen. If you haven’t seen Frozen yet, Run, don’t treadmill  walk, to see it soon.

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