Saturday, January 23, 2010

First Published in the Newsletter of the Prospect Park Track Club



"Ya know it's cold, Michael is wearing (long) pants!"


Yea, that's what they say.  I am not so much into putting on what others think is an adequate amount of clothing.  It is not that I don't feel the cold; I just don't let it bother me so much.  But it does not always work out.


I once did a couple of laps of The Park when it was 25* and snowing pretty heavily.  When I finished the run I noticed that the snow was not melting against my bare legs. So it rinsed it off in a hot shower.  The weird thing was that after the hot shower the skin on my legs was still cold to the touch.  Then during the next week the skin was extremely dry and there was a great deal of pealing.  A few weeks later I showed my legs to my cousin, a runner and an MD.  She slapped my head and told me that another loop of the park would have caused permanent damage; I had first degree frost bite. Not so bad.

One of the NYC Marathons I ran back in the mid 90s was about 40* at the start.  It was so windy that some of the hospitality tents blew over.  They announced that runners should be weary of hypothermia.  They said the first sign of hypothermia is confusion.  That's funny, how do you know you are confused? (Anyway whose head is on so straight when they are running a marathon.) I started that race in my PPTC sweatshirt, a ski cap and a pair of gloves.  When I passed Union St in Park Slope, I felt warm enough to shed the sweatshirt, but I accidental gave the hat and gloves to my wife as well.  As soon as I got to Fort Greene I missed the hat and those gloves.  The run over the 59th St Bridge was kinda sucky.  My big problem was the fact that the tin foil sheet the give you after the finish does not work unless properly tapped down.  Also, our "reunion school" was almost at West End Ave.  Walking over there I had to pause to sit on a stoop.  After some indeterminable about of time I realized I needed to get up.  When I heaved myself up I realized that I did not know which way I was walking.  I suddenly realized that I WAS CONFUSED.  Luckily, I looked up and saw the PPTC banner directly across the street.  When I got into the cafeteria I remember being covered in every body's blanket and still shivering uncontrollably.  Then I felt the need to get sick, and I did.  Then I had some hot coco and felt fine.  That was no fun.


My worst experience with the cold was when I joined my wife for a ski trip to Killington Vermont.  I was not into skiing so I told her I would meet her at the ski lodge. Our hotel had a gym but I could not bring myself to get on that treadmill.  I asked the concierge how far it was to the lodge at the ski slope.  He said it was 12 miles, 6 miles down the road and one turn.  I could not get lost.  It was about 0 degrees outside the hotel, but sunny and there was no wind.  The road was well plowed and the snow was piled high along the shoulder.  I put on all my clothes; a wicking layer against my skin, an insulating layer and then a windbreaker.  I had 2 pairs of gloves, a hat and a balaclava.   


The first 6 miles was great but there were big problems when I made that turn.  It was all uphill and into the wind.  The sweat that had wicked away to my middle layer froze really fast.  When I say "middle layer" I am not just talking about my clothing.  My middle layer got real cold, really cold.  I realized my currant activity could be categorized as how stupid people get killed.  It took me a few minutes to find shelter.  I ran into a bar and asked the bartender if I could use the rest room.  I did not know why he was staring at me when I walked in till I looked in the mirror and saw the frozen spike of hair sticking out of the side of my head. 

When the cab came to take me back to the hotel I explained that I had no cash, only the subway token I keep in my shoe.  That token gets me home from anywhere when I am running back in Brooklyn.  I hoped he would let me go into my room to get his fare. He insisted that I only pay him with that token, that my story was worth more than cash.  I am sure that that token is still hanging from the rear view mirror of some cab in Vermont.

My wife would not have been waiting for me.  They closed the mountain because it was too cold to ski!


I have no stories to tell about running in hot weather because I don't.

4 comments:

  1. a few weeks ago I went for a 13 mile run. It wasn't that cold, maybe low 20s but very windy. When I came home and took a shower my thighs and rear end were covered with a rash and looked like raw meat and I started feeling a desperate itch that hurt to the touch. funny I was going to the doctor but I didn't mention it to him...I knew what he was going to say

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wow.
    Please take better care of yourself in the cold weather! You have kids!!

    I think it's warming up though. We're probably through the worst of the winter!

    ReplyDelete
  3. All I can say is I hope Steph has a nice big life insurance policy out on you because someway or another, God forbid, you are going to do yourself in one day.

    ReplyDelete
  4. First of all, I hate running. Wait, I HATE running. Always have (unless it involved a basketball). But your stories are funny. I wonder what kind of trouble you would get into here in Fairbanks. I see people running at -30* (and biking) like it is no big deal. Personally, I am in my warm car and glad for it.

    I love your running stories.

    ReplyDelete

You do not have to be nice!

LinkWithin

Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin

This is not me

This is not me
Not me.

Blog Archive