Winter has arrived in the upper Midwest. It is cold! I have run the last 3 days after work, 2 of them with Mike from work, and one from home. Each time the temps were between 13 and 18. Monday it was about 15 but it was windy pushing the wind chill below zero. I ran from home and found myself ruuning quite fast over the first mile and a half just trying to get warm as it was mostly into the wind. I ended up doing 5 miles at sub 8:30 pace just wanting to get home to warm up. My girls found it quite fun to feel the skin on my arms and tummy after the run because is was pink and cold.
Tuesday, Mike ran the first 4 miles with me and I continued on a little more than 3 more miles. The wind was less but it was cold. Today, Mike and I did 5 miles and it felt warmer (if there is such a thing at 18F).
The usual winter running hazards are all around and not just the frost bite. There is ice on the ground that is tricky to see as it is dark when we are running. There are the cars that think that if they put on their bright lights, all can see better, NOT! Blinded hoping I don't step off the road is more like it. To be safe, I do wear an orange reflective vest. I hope that is is not interpreted as a target instead of a warning. Sometimes I feel it is both.
Tomorrow I will get to run in the semi cool/warm confines of the Pettit Center as we have another Icebreaker Marathon meeting. I think I will do a tempo run as it is difficult to get those kind of hard runs (or track work) outside in the winter.
I am now up to 1486 miles this year. I have surpassed my 2009 total and still have 3 weeks to go. I am not sure if this is a record total for me in my life. In college, I did keep a log for my coach but I never totaled it for a year. I am guessing it wasn't this amount though as I was a middle distance runner.
I do get to do something new on Friday after work. The place I work volunteers to do bell ringing at the local grocery store for the good ole red kettle. I am going to bring along my oldest daughter, Melissa, to help me ring the bell and wish all a wonderful holiday season and a Merry Christmas. Hopefully it is not too cold or too windy, but if it is, we will dress in layers and still have fun!