Running with Rhyno: Debating if it is too cold to run outside

I looked out the window with trepidation.

The sun was shining. Tree branches were still. Both signs, it was a perfect day for a winter run.

Just off his bike, my rosy-cheeked colleague Jeff Stokoe, came through the doors.

Is it cold? I asked.

Now Jeff as you may know is a sometimes runner turned Crossfit geek but he still knows my true meaning when I ask – should I run outside?

Runners embrace the winter season differently than most people.

Some of us run in -25 C or colder with the windchill because … yes we are that dedicated. Others like my friend Amanda Skinner will run outside AND run laps at the Collicutt Centre.

You might have seen her recently. A few days last week, she ran 84 laps. Talk about dedication. 84-freaking-laps. Are you impressed yet?

Anyway I digress ….

Often I walk around the newsroom mumbling to myself and checking the weather app on my iPhone. It’s a daily debate. My other non-running colleagues are useless. (I mean that in the nicest way.) My caring coworkers are worried that my lungs will freeze or I will get frostbite.

Jeff not so much. He rides his bike every day to work so he’s the perfect barometer. On Tuesday, I had packed my track running gear so I could zip over to the Penhold arena for some laps (not 84).

But after chatting with Jeff, I threw caution to the wind to run my favourite 5-km loop around the Bower neighbourhood.

So out I ventured out into the dark, cold winter night.

I bid my colleagues adieu as I wasn’t sure if I would ever be coming back. My winter shoes and my balaclava were at my house. I’m one of those runners who has to run straight after work or I won’t run at all.

Fortunately I always have a few bandanas in my car and office so my face was somewhat covered for my run.

I was more worried about slipping on the ice and twisting an ankle as my road Altras did not offer much grip.

I didn’t have to worry as there was at least a foot of snow on all the sidewalks and even more on the trails. Bloody hell, I cursed. When was the last time the sidewalks were cleared in Bower?

Why haven’t I bought a treadmill yet?

Cursing aside, I shifted my mindset and embraced the snow. Hey. I thought. This is a great strength workout.

Eight kilometres later, I had scaled a few snowbanks and successfully navigated slippery sidewalks.

Run completed.

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