There is no shortage of “You Know You’re A _____ When…” lists on the internet. In fact, it might be some sort of ethical violation of the Blogger Code to add one more such list, but I’m going to take a chance and do it anyway. This second round of Polar “Vortexing,” we’re looking at mid to low teens for tonight’s Hub Running Club run, in the Northeast got me thinking about the identifying traits of runners who battle the cold no matter what the mercury tells them. I’ll readily admit that not all of these apply to me, though I’ve gotten steadily better at tackling the elements rather than retreat to the warmth and safety of the treadmill. The last winter I trained for the Boston Marathon was in 2012, a fairly mild winter by New England standards, and yet I did not do a single long run outside. This year I’ve been much better, largely thanks to my training runs with the Run For Research team. Sure, they can be rough to start off, but they get better and better the more you learn how to properly dress for them.
Without further ado, my list of “You Know You’re a Winter Warrior When ____”:
- Your gloves come with built-in extra gloves.
- You know men wear tights, and real men don’t wear shorts over those tights.
- You know if you aren’t cold when you start running, you’ll be overheated not long after.
- You know that your lungs will not, in fact, freeze from running in the cold, but a face warmer can help warm the air you are breathing, making said breathing easier.
- You’ve worn sunglasses with clear lenses to provide another layer of wind protection for your eyes.
- You break out your trail shoes when the roads get snowy/icy for some extra foot warmth and traction.
- You worry about running in temperatures in the low 30s for fear you’ll get too hot on the run.
- You know Yaktrax aren’t what you use to find a lost yak.
- You don’t look at snowfall as the end of 5K-road race season, but the beginning of snowshoe race season. Check out a recent race recap from EJN at Level Renner.
- You have learned from painful experience the value of a wind-blocking base layer.
- You’d rather train through the winter for a spring marathon than through the summer for a fall marathon.
- You don’t stop drinking cold beer after your long runs; you just switch from wheat to stouts.
- You seek out ultra races…on the Cape…on the beach…through the sand…like my friend Liana.
- You’d take snow on a run any day over rain, and twice on Sundays.
- You know that stale Jujubes are easier to eat than frozen Clif Shots.
- You’ve used beard ice for hydration. Maybe you’ve entered a contest to display your beard ice, in fact.
- You break out your shorts at any hint of temperatures over 40 degrees, just because you can.
- You have an unhealthy love affair with thumbholes.
- You look at getting off work early because of an impending Nor’easter as a good way to get your outdoors run in earlier than expected.
- You know there is no silence more gratifying than that which comes when running alone through the streets in the snow, your footsteps dampened by the layer on the ground and all sane people are huddled inside, leaving the roads car-free.
What moments have convinced you that you are, certifiably, a Cold Weather Warrior? Share them!