I got to run today.

It was a chilly start to the day around 6*F with a five mph breeze outside when Bennie and I did his first walk, and by the time I got around to getting to running, the temp had climbed up to 15*F.

Based on those temps, I decided to stick pretty close to the house and did laps on Philbrick. It was clear and cold, with the winds above ten mph from the NW. However, the sun was out, which made it look a lot nicer than it was.

Since I knew it would be cold, I dressed for single-digit temps and didn’t feel overdressed until the last lap, when I put a little more effort into the run and the temps had gotten a bit warmer. The plan was to run for at least 45:00 minutes at a comfortable pace.

The first lap was slow; I needed to acclimate the body to how cold it was and get warmed up a bit before thinking about opening up my stride a little. Coming back towards the house, I could tell the wind would affect the run, and yes, I was delighted that I had dressed as I did.

Lap 2 – I ran into my nemesis. Yeah, I needed to quickly find a private place in the woods. I have to figure this stuff out; it seems that just about every run after mile 2.0, that not-so-gentle urge becomes a significant problem during too many of my runs.

However, the private spot I found had a great little pond that had frozen over and would be a fantastic place to put on a pair of ice skates and have some fun.

Pond skating is something I haven’t done in years and was something that we used to do, oh so many years ago. After school, a bunch of us would walk up the tracks past the Newport Junior High and go skating on a neat little pond up there. Finding that small pond brought backs lots of memories of those days, and it is nice to re-live some of them in my mind while I was out running today.

Yeah, it was damn cold even back then, but back then I was a lot tougher than I am today.

Lap 3 – Nothing particular other than I got it done.

Lap 4 – I felt a little too warm, the sun had gotten the temps up into the 20s, and I felt quite overdressed going out with the wind at my back. When my watch beeped that I had finished 4.0 miles, I decided to pick up the pace a little more. However, when I turned around, that feeling of being too warm quickly dissipated, and to maintain that faster pace, I had to increase the effort level a little more than I had planned.

When I got to the house, I decided that instead of doing a lap around the Circle, I would finish at the lower gate. That way, I would have to walk a 1/2 mile back to the house and be nicely cooled off by then. Even though the wind was in my face, I picked up the pace for the last half mile and felt strong at the finish.

Down-back is probably the best it has ever been this time of year.

Overall, I met my goal of running at least 45:00 and got in over 5.0 miles. I probably could have dressed a little less, but at the same time, I didn’t feel cold while running. Something I now prefer. I kept my facemask up when heading into the wind and pulled it down below my lips when it was at my back. No, I didn’t get close to anyone who wasn’t family while running when the mask was down, so I wasn’t worried (Mary was out running too).

I will be glad when the temps get back into the 40s to start training versus simply maintaining a base. Running in colder temps isn’t my thing anymore. I do it because I can’t go to the gym and beat up the treadmill for apparent reasons.

Although I do have to say it was nice to remember those days of skating on the pond up the tracks.

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