Cold front

Okay, so it’s not my friend K’s house in Ohio, where apparently there’s snow on the ground already, according to the pictures she texted me. But still, today was the first day it got cold and stayed there, as opposed to the cold overnights and mild afternoons which are typical of October and November in Texas.

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Yeah, you northern people can laugh at what I consider cold. Go right ahead. But I challenge any of you to run a mile in my shoes in July.

Winter here is just a series of cold fronts–it drops into the 50s for a day or three, maybe freezing at night, then things slowly warm up into the 60s by the end of the week before the cycle starts again. Occasionally we get really cold snaps, which I define as anything below 50 during the day. Today wasn’t THAT cold, but the temperatures never got out of the 50s, and by the time I headed out to my Tuesday half-marathon training, it was dropping fast. I even busted out the long sleeves–my Cleveland shirt, in honor of K’s snow.

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This shirt is brighter than the picture suggests.

Tonight’s workout was–surprise–hills again. Two miles out to the top of the same hill from a couple of weeks ago, two miles around part of the Heely Sonova route, then two miles back. I’m pretty used to running by myself, but tonight I ran with C, my friend from the Rogue Running Mad 13.1 back in July. She’s training for the Austin full marathon, and our groups merged for tonight’s workout since my coach was out of town. Our hill workouts were slightly different, but we ran out and back together.

I felt pretty strong on that two-mile hilly stretch. A year ago, I would have babied my hip flexor and walked some of it, but not tonight. Cars passed, the temperature dropped, the wind picked up. And I kept my feet churning up the hills.

I waited for C when I finished–she had further to go than I did–and we ran back together. At some point we both realized our legs were numb from the cold. I was glad I’d brought my gloves. But the time went by quickly thanks to the distraction of running with a buddy.

And then: heated car seats.

Best. Invention. Ever.

I live in Texas, but my car was originally purchased in Ohio, and it has the cold-weather package. When I bought it 18 months ago, I thought the heated seats were a superfluous option that I’d never use. Until I ran a cold-weather 10-miler last fall and turned them on for the drive home. I instantly realized the error of my ways. And on a night like tonight where the temperature had dropped into the mid-40s (brrrrrrrr!) by the time I finished my run, I once again appreciated the foresight of whoever included that option on this vehicle.

I may be strong enough to run up and down a bunch of hills for six miles in the cold and wind, but heated car seats are now a required part of my recovery. Ahhhhhh.

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6 thoughts on “Cold front

  1. I’m officially double-jealous of you now: I have NO HEAT in my truck, seats or otherwise (and it was 36 when I went to work this morning) and you get to do hills on REAL hills – I run repeats on an overpass, because Houston=FLAT. I lived in Austin during college, and fell in love with the hill country – but this is home, so here I stay.
    Good luck with your training!

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      • Yes, a little “invention” of mine…I live right beside the Union Pacific rail corridor, and the local streets that cross the tracks – and the Hardy Toll Road that parallels the tracks – have to go pretty high to clear the trains, and pretty wide to cross two tracks and a total of 10 lanes of traffic, counting the feeder roads; so one trip over the hill and back is 1KM, at 4-5% grade (which is pretty steep for a road). I do anywhere from 5-10 repeats, plus the half-mile there and back, about once every two weeks – it’s a killer workout, but I love it!

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