Saturday, November 22, 2014

Cold Running

This past week presented a sudden challenge in getting used to running in frigid conditions.  We went from running in shorts and shirtsleeves to dressing in carefully layered clothes practically overnight with the arrival of a lingering arctic air mass that plunged temperatures to or below the freezing point in all the lower 48 states.  (The arriving arctic conditions knocked down most of the remaining autumn leaves by Tuesday, which had retained their fall brilliance through the prior weekend.)

Monday it was raining along with being cold and windy so I didn't run, which left me feeling guilty the whole day.  Tuesday I had to bundle up but I ran 3 1/2 miles around the Tidal Basin, being careful to avoid the ice patches created by standing water on the footpath.  (On Wednesday I did my "long run" of four miles.)

Wednesday I ran 4 miles with a friend and former colleague I met on the Mall although I jammed my ankle when I stumbled on some stairs behind the Capitol.  Thursday I tenderly ran a mile early in the morning to test my sprained ankle and then, since it felt better, I loped 3 1/2 miles around the Tidal Basin at noon, bundled up against the cold with my ankle in a brace due to the slight sprain.  (The wind was down slightly on Thursday which created nice reflections on the water.)

Friday I went out with the noontime running group at work, a shifting band of runners, and four of us did a brisk 3.6 miles around the Tidal Basin at an 8:44 pace, faster than usual because the fastest guy in the division was running with us "to slow him down" because he's coming back from an injury.  We were glad to be able to help him out on his road to recovery.  (A totally clueless tourist wandered across the field of our posed picture on Friday as we laughed unbelievingly at her.)

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