Saturday, February 21, 2015


Another snowstorm, part of the relentless winter of 2014-2015 here in the northeast, has begun.

Before it struck, however, I decided to hit the road at 9:00 a.m. in order to complete my workout before the roads became treacherous. At that time, the air temperature was 12 degrees, with a 'real feel' of two degrees.

The workout was swift. I completed a 6 x 400 meter speed session, (on the road, not the snow-covered track) changed into dry clothes and prepared to hunker down in anticipation of the pending storm.

Forget about stocking up on milk, bread, and eggs. I proceeded to make a trip to the local liquor store to purchase a bottle of wine to get me through the cold, dreary, snowy day. Is this why there's an alcohol problem among the Inuits of the Arctic?

After selecting an Australian Shiraz, I proceeded to the counter, still clad in my tights and running shoes, when a well-meaning clerk posed the double-edged question.

"You didn't run in this, did you?"

First, of course she knew that I had run in "This."

Second, did she think I was Mikhail Baryshnikov, rushing to the store after a Russian ballet performance?

She proceeded.

"Aren't you afraid you'll freeze your lungs?"

Politely, I stated that, although my fingers were cold, there was no danger of "Freezing my lungs."

Evidently, however, that wasn't enough.

"I read that if you run in this weather you can freeze your lungs," she insisted.

At that point, not sure what she is reading, I reiterated, slightly more strongly, that there is absolutely no medical evidence to support such a preposterous claim.

All I wanted to do was buy a bottle of wine!!

Man, people really resent what we do.

I wrote about it in my first book, Running Shorts, in the chapter entitled, 'Why Do They Hate Us So Much?

Don't get me wrong, the woman in the liquor store was not filled with hate, and maybe I'm overly sensitive, but do we runners question why someone plays a round of golf, or why a person joins a softball league?

Oh well, I suppose they'll never understand, and maybe, in a way, their negativity toward us is an underhanded compliment. I think the naysayers WISH they could do what they do.

On the meantime, I'm going to open the Shiraz and thaw out my frozen lungs.