Tuesday, January 15, 2013

January is freezing...who knew???

So, Graham and I live in Santa Cruz, CA and no doubt, the weather is pretty idyllic. So much so that after a while, you truly forget that there is any other kind of weather. We've even gotten as far as to wish that there would just be a really rainy and crappy day in the Cruz so you can watch movies inside without feeling guilty for not going out and being active. Well, a January trip to Saint Louis has cured that. On Saturday, when I bungled through my long run, I was sweating in shorts and a tank top - it was sunny, about 67 degrees and very California-esque. So of course I barely took note of the weather and didn't appreciate it. 

Brand new Lulu running gloves and Runder Unders made
the cold much more bearable!
On Sunday, the high for the day was 30 degrees with sleet. WTF? I decided to try a free Lulu yoga class and was driving to the store when freezing rain started to fall. I literally had no idea what to do. Keep in mind I lived in Saint Louis for about 6 years during and after college. I flipped on my windshield wipers in a panic, smoothing the icy rain into an opaque icy sheen all over my window. Much worse. I was wracking my brain trying to remember what was right...do I pull over and scrape the window? Do I hope for the best and drive blind? Fortunately I finally remembered, ah yes, the defrost. Catastrophe averted. I was able to comfort myself further with retail therapy after class.
This Californian is very proud of my
cold run...probably too proud

My four mile run later on was in 27 degrees. My quasi frozen snot clogged my nose and 4 minutes into the run, my ipod stopped functioning and I got double side stitches. Maybe it was the pumpkin muffin I hoovered shortly before the run... On the cusp of a tantrum, I focused on my breathing as I've heard that breathing in your nose and out your mouth alleviates a side ache. I became fixated on my breathing, which quickly took on the cadence of a choo choo train with me exhaling in powerful, quick bursts. I went on like this for the remainder of the run and ignored the sideways glances from walkers wondering who the hell was chugging up behind them. Though breathing awareness is good, I'll try to tone it down. By the time I finished the run, I had a hair icicle and I felt great.

Hair icicle

Isn't it funny how right after a work out, you have a temporary high? While you're on it, you can't remember why you were hesitant to exercise in the first place. You feel invincible, strong, athletic. Stretching in running tights and an under armor top after the run, I kept thinking that the chill was so refreshing and rejuvenating  I felt amazing and couldn't fathom why I had balked at 27 degrees. It was awesome. I felt like I could run for hours more. I was late to go meet my brother (who also lives in Saint Louis) and so I trundled off to the car. As soon as I closed the door and jacked up the heat, my high immediately vanished. My legs began to complain and I remembered how much I hated being cold. Do we only get exercise highs because we know that the exercise is over? But if the high is our bodies' way of celebrating the completion of something difficult, why do we feel like we could continue on right then and there? Maybe we're just trying to end on a sweet note so that you'll do it all over again soon. Either way, I came down off my high pretty hard and while I stood in the steaming hot shower afterwards, I thought "well yeah, I'm definitely never doing that again." I hope for my own sake, that I do train again come Tuesday.

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