January 18, 2005

Owned! ...Revisited

But who or what is owned?  Did I own the three miles I just put in?  Or did they own me??

I got off work early and headed home to put on running gear.  I was freezing my nuts off just standing in the subway station, what made me think I could run in this weather?  Granted, the sun is shining mightily, but that’s cold comfort when the temperature is:

I had on all the layers from Sunday, plus extra socks and my FroggToggs rain gear over it all.  FroggToggs are very lightweight, made from recycled plastic, and fairly high quality.  They’re cheap, pack small, and are not only waterproof, but wind-resistant as well.  I wear them on my bike, too, to cut through cold and rain.  FroggToggs are a great extra layer, just to trap some air; unfortunately, they can also be a bit of a sauna suit!

The run was very difficult, one of the hardest I’ve done since starting all this in November.  The extreme cold is something my lungs aren’t used to and it was hard to breathe and I was coughing my head off.  I didn’t mind the extra clothes — they were keeping me warm ‘til my blood got up.  Because of the difficulty in breathing, I was running pretty slow, barely keeping at it.  But I did not walk.

My route today, being short, was to go up the hill to the park, enter at 14th street, run the loop clockwise over to the pedestrian underpass (almost to Grand Army Plaza), then turn back and retrace the route.  I made it that far, but cut through a playground and left the park at 11th street on the way back.  The run got easier after that, partly because the buildings sheltered me better from the wind and partly because it was downhill, but my breathing took a long time to get under control after coming in.  I saw only two other joggers.

After my run, I was soaked!  My sweat hadn’t gone anywhere, because of the raingear, and my clothes were wet and noticeably heavier than when I began.  I’ll have to learn to leave the raingear behind no matter what, trusting that I will eventually be warm enough.  After all, I was shedding my hats and Buff neck thingy and welcoming the cold on my head and face.

I feel good though, mostly about having run, not because of the run.  All that keeps running through my mind is a quote from The Empire Strikes Back:  “We’re having trouble adapting the speeders to the cold, sir.”  When I start hallucinating up dead old guys and become convinced I have to get to the Degobah system; then I’ll know I’ve hit my limits.

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