It was worst day yet.
Thirty degrees, 25 to 35 mile-per-hour winds, creating biting wind chills, snow and ice left over from yesterday's storm, poor visibility, irate motorists.
As I awoke this morning I adhered to my rule of thirty six years of running: I live in the northeast, it is the winter season. There is little else to do, so build up the miles,increase lung capacity, and accept the fact that fast, quality miles are nearly impossible on a day like this.
Battle preparations begin at the base. My socks are a dry wicking material, ideally suited to repelling the cold puddles that pock mark the streets. A pair of Under Armour briefs, with a special nylon panel to guard vital parts from frostbite, with an Under Armour cold Gear top, comprise my core base. I have no stock in Under Armour, but I find the Cold Gear turtlenecks to be the warmest base layer I've found. A pair of nylon running shorts, and a regular T-shirt are next. Nike tights and a nylon Nike jacket make up my outer guard. Nike Aix Max Motos, pretty well-worn, are good in lessening the bb's on ice effect of most running shoes. Nike Dri-Fit gloves (not quite cold enough for mittens, which provide maximum warmth), a warm hat. Today, it was a Marines pullover, given to me by my son. Finally, some war paint, also known as Vaseline, to blunt the effects of the wind.
Believe me, the motorists, who just thoroughly enjoy our presence on THEIR roads, are thrilled to see two strangley dressed figures (my running partner today was Eric Anchorstar) cruising toward them, chatting and laughing.
Allow winter's wind to destroy you on the early portion of your workout, then enjoy it at your back as you finish.
We dodged puddles, tiptoed over icy patches, came to a near stop, as narrow streets narrowed even further as snow and ice accumulated, but we completed 7-miles.
For runners, winter is all about survival. Accept and embrace it. Rise to the challenge, and make sure you are comfortable and safe, as you dream about spring.