In which I freeze and sweat at the same time

It has been a chilly weekend here in Austin. Laugh all you want, my northern friends, but we Texans just aren’t built for this. Give us below freezing temps and a little precipitation, and the whole city practically shuts down. School started 2 hours later than usual on Friday, and Zoe’s school was cancelled altogether.

Thanks to that, my planned run on Friday was moved back to Saturday. But then it barely got above freezing and I barely got out from under my blankie, so I pushed it to Sunday.

Sunday gave me the choice between running in the late morning with temps in the 30s or in the afternoon, which was expected to be sunny and 10 degrees warmer. I chose the morning – more on that in a bit.

I haven’t written about running in forever. Mainly because I haven’t been running consistently. I haven’t signed up for any races, so I’ve slacked off. And strange coincidence, I’ve also put on a few pounds.

I’ve been trying to get back in the saddle, but without an upcoming race, it’s hard. I had to pass on being a ZOOMA ambassador again this year because of a date conflict, and so instead of getting to run a free race, I opted to pay an outlandish amount of money for a writers’ conference. So I may be creating one hell of an indentation on this couch, but hey – I’m going to have some mighty fine words to show for it.

But race or no race, I’m desperately trying to turn over a new lettuce leaf and get my ass back out on the road.

I headed out on Sunday in compression capris, a long sleeved tech tee with a short sleeved tech tee over it, a fleece headband, and cheap gloves.

Yeah that’s right. I opted for no jacket. Because I am a bad ass. Also because I’m still looking for the perfect technical running jacket that doesn’t cost like a million dollars. And I’ve run in the cold enough to know that I would get way too hot in my fleece jacket.

And then I was off. I was shooting for at least 3 miles, but if I’d go further if I could.

1 mile in and my body was warm, but still sluggish.

1.5 miles in and I was completely warmed up.

2 miles in I stripped off my gloves and my sweaty hands practically cried hallelujah at the fresh air. Since I didn’t have pockets, I…stuffed them in my bra. For about a block, I was looking extra busty, but alas, there was too much jostling, so I opted to just hold onto them. Hell, I ran a half marathon while carrying two packages of Gu. NDB.

2.5 miles in I developed back AND stomach cramps. A back cramp is usually indicative of poor form or breathing, both easy to do in the cold air. But a stomach cramp is no joke. It could be dehydration, lack of fuel, too much Gu. Sometimes it can mean MUST FIND BATHROOM OR NEAREST BUSH ASAP. Since I didn’t feel like I was going to vomit or you know, I chalked it up to poor breathing and swallowing lots of air. Still mighty unpleasant though.

3 miles in I was yanking up the sleeves of my undershirt. My fleece headband was soaked in sweat.

3.5 miles in I passed a couple walking their dogs. They were bundled up like Eskimos, while I was dying to shed more of my clothing. They gave me that look that people often give runners that says either “I feel sheepish walking by you,” or “WTF are you insane, woman? It’s freezing out here!” Whatever, lazy asses. (I’m kidding; she was like 9.5 months pregnant at least.)

3.78 miles in I passed my house. That is some mental torture right there, but I figured I’d come this far, what was another 0.22 miles?

At 3.9 miles I seriously questioned the validity of my Garmin.

And finally at 4 miles I hit stop and started the cool down walk back to my house. It was a slow 4 miles, much slower than my normal pace. But like I said, I haven’t been consistent, and this is the price I pay.


Why didn’t I wait until the afternoon, when it would be slightly warmer and sunny? Two reasons: One, running in the sunshine is overrated. Give me overcast any day. Two (and the main reason), I know myself way too well to think I would actually go in the afternoon. If I waited until later in the day, I would have blown it off entirely. And I needed to run.

Cold weather running isn’t terrible; it’s actually enjoyable once you get going. The hardest step is the one you take out the door. Or the one stepping out of your warm, cozy flannel PJs in exchange for your cold, thin compression capris. Or the one where you stick your foot out from under your cushy down comforter and feel an icy blast run up your leg. But the good thing is you get over it. You have to keep your ass moving to stay warm.

(Then I got caught up in “mom stuff,” and an hour later I was freezing again so I took the hottest shower known to man. It’s not too hot until your skin is peeling off, amirite?)


Join the Conversation


  1. Gloves in your bra is the image I’m stuck with now, thank you!!

    Glad you got out and ran. Onward and upward! (or off with the clothes, whichever)

    1. I hope that you will always associate gloves with my boobs. Luckily I don’t think you have much reason to think about gloves in Malaysia. 😉

    1. I DO NOT UNDERSTAND THESE NEGATIVE FAHRENHEIT TEMPERATURES! If 32F is our freezing, then that means it was 45 degrees below that??? I can’t fathom it.

    1. Seriously? Like 20 below actual ZERO??? That’s insane. Bravo. I whimped out this morning because it was 26. Only a few degrees cooler than this run, LOL.

  2. Good for you! I won’t run in any weather, and I won’t even walk when there’s precipitation, so… you’re doing a lot better than I am, any day.

  3. If I don’t have a race scheduled (which I haven’t in more than a year) I don’t run consistently.
    But damn you make me want to.

    Even with the cramps and the skin-peeling hot shower.
    There’s something slightly masochistic about runners, isn’t there?

    p.s. Garmins lie. Pretty sure my runs are ALWAYS longer than they say 🙂

    1. I don’t know who to believe. When I wear my Garmin and use RunKeeper on my phone, RunKeeper gradually tells me I have run farther and farther than my Garmin. I know i’m not that good at keeping my pace at this crappy fitness level, so I believe the Garmin. :/

  4. “The hardest step is the one you take out the door.” YES– this is so true. It’s true about everything. I feel that way about writing too. Writing isn’t hard–sitting my butt in the chair to write is hard. Opening a blank document instead of Facebook is hard.

  5. I have been inconsistent with my running, too. I am letting things get in the way and I shouldn’t – because I feel better when I do. I recently got a treadmill so I can’t use cold or ice as excuses anymore. Good for you for getting out there!

  6. Yes, indeed, the hardest is getting on those clothes and getting out the door–so proud of you for doing it. I agree earlier in the day is more likely to get it done and cheerfully.

  7. You’re hard core. We’ve had similar temps here lately. I watch people run by the house from the comfort of my kitchen table where I’m usually eating.

  8. That is SO true, getting out the door IS the hardest, even when warmer! ha! Good for you! Once it gets below 40 I have hard time running outside. My sweet spot is about 55. Why can’t it always just be 55?

    Also… BRRRRR… why is it so cold in the South already?!? So many questions…

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply to Nina Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *