Hey look ma
here comes the elephant boy
bundled all up in his corduroy
headed down south towards Illinois
from the jungles of East St. Paul.
— John Prine
I have a confession: I have not owned a coat since I was a teenager.
I have a Marmot Precip jacket that I got for backpacking. That’s the extent of my nod to cold weather. Because I don’t like the cold. And I’ll avoid it whenever I can.
I grew up in West Texas, moved to Austin, and ended up in Phoenix. Hot, hot and hot. I love warm weather. I went for an 80-mile bike ride at noon during Phoenix’s record 122-degree day. I run in the afternoon on summer days without a thought. Heat stroke is my friend. Dehydration is delightful. There is something purifying about a hard run on a day when you come back with significantly fewer brain cells than you departed with.
But don’t make me run when it’s below 60. It makes me have the urge to wear a (shudder) shirt. I start thinking about the wind chill factor. And funny tights. I worry about the sun disappearing behind clouds. Too many worries. Not enough fun.
When I was doing a lot of cycling, we became the 10:00 Cycling Society because I wouldn’t leave the house earlier than that. 10 a.m. was when the temp finally got above 60 in the winter. Maybe different people just react differently to the cold. My reaction is to avoid it at all costs.
So when I gripe about running outside when it’s below 60, I’m not being “cute.” The fear is real. I’ll go to the gym and be happy. You can run through three feet of snow. The world will continue to spin on its axis. All is well.
If you want to run in the ice and cold and suffer frostbite and have frozen snot icicles hanging from your nose, that’s great. I totally respect that.
Just call me when we get back to triple digits. That’s running weather. And in the summer when you’re complaining that it’s 105 and too hot to run during the day, I’ll just smile.