Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Winter Night Run

The temperatures have been dropping with the past couple days featuring weather that would have sent me to a treadmill in years past.  My natural progression from treadmill running is to not running at all so that I don’t have to endure the torture.  This year I am determined to get in miles outdoors over the winter.  Thus far all has gone well and I have learned a lot.  I was excited to see the lower temperatures so that I could gain experience running in them for an upcoming winter 50k.  I hope for the best but also want to have experienced and be prepared for the worst should the event weather be less than perfect.
Milwaukee at night as viewed from South Shore Park
I started my journey in the early evening well past sunset.  I find running at night particularly peaceful and the weather meant my dog and I had the path all to ourselves.  The windswept ground featured patches of snow and ice from flurries the night before that reflected both my headlamp and my dogs red bike light.  The air was a brisk 18˚F and my breath was clearly visible.  Breathing was surprisingly easy and the first leg of our out and back run was very comfortable with a 20mph wind at our backs.
On the Oak Leaf Trail
The second half of the run was far less comfortable with the 20mph wind now in my face.  The effective temperature was 0˚F with the wind chill and breathing became more difficult.  The wind was the worst along the lake, though the crashing waves were a sight to see.  My run came out to 8.5 miles in a little over an hour.  The experience was manageable but would have been better had I packed a face mask and thicker gloves.  Live and learn.
Keeping watch even though I assured Lefty we were the baddest thing in the woods that night.  We did see a fox along the path.

1 comment:

  1. Running into a 20 mph headwind in (well) below freezing temperatures propels you up about 10 spots on the hard-o-meter. Well played.