The wind chill in degrees Fahrenheit during my last 3 one-mile runs was 7, 5, 7.
I didn’t choose to run in the extreme cold. I chose to run. I’ve run at least one mile every day since July 22, 2019. Why would I allow the extreme cold or heat to stop my streak?
How to prepare
- Get dressed.
- Tie your shoes.
- Walk out the door.
- Survey the pavement for ice.
- Start a one-mile running workout on your Apple Watch.
- Put one foot in front of the other.
These are the steps that I personally follow. It’s my checklist. It’s simple but effective. It doesn’t allow for excuses.
I wear the same clothing whether it’s 0 degrees or 44 degrees. At 45 degrees and above, I wear one less layer if the winds are light. At 32 degrees and below, I wear a neck warmer. I wear the same shoes whether I run on pavement or a foot of snow.
If the pavement is completely covered with ice then I’ll run in the snow on the grass. Either way, I wear the same shoes. I’ve run in up to a foot of snow without issue. My shoes don’t get wet and provide enough warmth.
After ten seconds of surveying, I begin.
It’s fucking cold, alright?
You’ll feel uncomfortable. Every wind gust, no matter how slight, is a gust of misery.
Your thoughts will tell you how insane you are. Negative thoughts may occupy your mind with abundance. Notice them. Study them. Smile with them. Realize that you didn’t choose them. They simply appeared. They are a product of your life up until that very moment. They are a product of your immediate circumstances.
How does your body feel? Are your hands warm or numb? Do your eyelashes feel frozen?
Pay attention. Observe. Put one foot in front of the other.
Cross the finish line. Breathe. Smile. Drink water. Practice yoga. Take a cold shower. Meditate. Eat.
What is “extreme cold”?
It’s subjective. This is one definition of extreme by Merriam-Webster:
exceeding the ordinary, usual, or expected
Single-digit wind chills are expected to occur a few times during the winter months in my hometown of Grand Rapids, Michigan. However, each instance isn’t normal. Three consecutive days of single-digit wind chills are never expected; it’s beyond extreme.
If you grew up in South Florida and have never left, any temperature below freezing is extreme.
In the end, it doesn’t matter. I’ll run one mile if it’s -50 degrees or 120 degrees. Whether or not you run is up to you.
Get dressed. Tie your shoes. Walk out the door. Run. Put one foot in front of the other.
It’s 10:00 a.m. I gotta run.