Saturday, December 7, 2013

Sub freezing temps? Pull out the yoga pants

I woke up this morning to a text message from my dad, who by 7am, had already been outside for a walk. "Walk was cold, but ok in treed areas. VERY cold in exposed areas." My WeatherChannel app had given Spokane just a measly 3 degrees with 10mph winds. Yet I looked out my window and saw clear skies, which could only mean the sun would be out in likely no more than an hour.

For me, the sun is everything. I got out of bed and tried to ignore the fact I had a long run scheduled today. Because my coach had designated this week as a recovery week, my long run wasn't nearly as long as it has been on weekends past. I just had an hour and fifteen minutes. Recovery weeks are tough for me, but today, I felt thankful for a short long run.

Maci looked excited. I've decided that weather conditions and temperatures don't phase her. She'd already been outside to pee this morning, but apparently didn't remember how quickly she ran back into the house and darted under the covers. When the running clothes come out, and when I'm changing into them, she's ready for action. 

This morning I added a few extra layers. Over my Elements long sleeved t-shirt, I added a heavier top and windbreaker. I don't have a balaclava, so I improvised and shoved my head through the right pant leg of one of my stretchy yoga pants. I used the left pant leg to wrap around my neck and tada!, a new form of versatile running clothing was born. Maci and Bryan weren't nearly as impressed, though I felt pretty clever by my creativity.

Maci and I headed out the door. My biggest concern with Maci revolved around her staying warm, namely making certain her ears didn't succumb to frostbite. Because we were starting from home, we had the opportunity to go out and back, and the loop could be made into a 30-, 45- or 60-minute run. Depending on how Maci looked, we'd turn back for home.

It soon became apparent I was hardly the leader of this run. Maci's energy and enthusiasm in the face of 3 degrees kept me smiling (under my yoga pants, of course) and a desire to ignore the cold for a memorable run outside with my most loyal buddy. She kept herself 5 feet ahead of me, though enjoyed taking occasional offshoots out into the woods to chase a scent, poop, or find me a stick.

An hour had elapsed, upon which we found ourselves back in the warm interior of the house. I took the opportunity to check Maci's ears, only to find they were warmer than my hands. The pads of her feet looked fine, too. Seeing that Maci was more than ok, I took inventory of myself. It wasn't until I peed that I realized my coldest parts were my butt cheeks. The yoga pants had worked sufficiently well, as I could trace, with ice, an outline of my mouth.

I had every intention of leaving Maci to warm up while I finished the last 15 minutes of my run, but she'd have nothing of that. She couldn't contain her excitement. The way her body wiggled suggested her enthusiasm had escaped her tail and warmed her muscles back up again. Maci slipped out the door before I could even get through it, and we were off for our last jaunt in what seemed to be colder temperatures than what we'd just ran in for the past hour.

Currently, the couch feels pretty comfortable, especially as we soak in the heat from the fireplace. Our breakfasts settle in our tummies as we watch the sun flit in and out of the swaying branches. Just give us some time to recover. We're already looking forward to next time.

Post run, Maci finds the benefits of a warm blanket and fire, made
even warmer after 9+ miles, 1 hour 15 minutes, of 3 degrees and sunshine.

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