Sunday, April 26, 2015

Bringing my own sunshine

Truer words were never spoken, my friend.
So once again, I'm complaining about the weather. I know complaining doesn't change anything, but it makes me feel better, so bear with me.

For the past week, we've been stuck in a cold, damp, windy weather cycle. Springtime in Chicago is not for the weak. Much of our weather is controlled by that big lake, Lake Michigan. Winds blow out of the east and with those winds come clouds and cool temps over the area. I live 25 miles from the lake, and we still feel the effects of this big body of water. Before I head out for a run, I always check the temperature, yes, but also the wind direction, so that I know how my run is going to feel.  An easterly or northeasterly wind is going to feel much colder than one out of the west. It's always good to mentally prepare oneself for a blast of cold air as you head out the door.

Brought my own sunshine. BYOS. That's how I roll.
When I went out this morning, I knew it was going to be cold. I was so tempted to either skip my run (gasp!) or take it to the treadmill. Seriously. I'm so over this weather! But I reminded myself of the brutal conditions I ran in this past winter, slipped on a bright yellow shirt to cheer myself up, and headed out the door. Even my Garmin was complaining, taking its own sweet time finding a signal. Was it the heavy cloud cover? Or was it channeling my ambivalence about this run? Finally after about 5 minutes, the signal locked in, and I headed onto the road. I always head out running east and oh my gosh! was that wind cold!

And now you've got this image in your head..
Shake it off, I kept telling myself. Isn't that a Taylor Swift song? Ewwww.  How that got in my head, I'll never know. Not a fan. If you are, apologies. To each his own. Truthfully, I'll never understand the phenomenon of Taylor Swift, except that she's young, blonde, and really pretty. She can't sing to save her life. Dances as well as I do. Which isn't saying much. Before she was famous, I saw her on a TV show--she was 16--singing a cappella with her guitar, and I almost felt sorry for her, she was that bad. Who knew that it didn't matter? Talent doesn't sell. It's all about image. And catchy songs, written by a crack team of songwriters. With Taylor's input, of course.

Such are the thoughts that distract me on a run that I really don't want to do. Did I mention how cold it was? Trying to clear my head and get back into the run, I decided to mix up my route a bit, but kept heading east, so that on the way home, the wind would be at my back. I thought about all those runs I did outside this past winter. I kept reminding myself how lucky I was not to be racing today. Last week's race was on the lakefront path in Chicago, which borders Lake Michigan. When the wind shifted off the lake in the middle of the race, it was like like stepping into a deep freeze, with wind. Since it's so raw, I could only imagine the conditions along the lake shore had to be worse today. It could always be worse. Glad I was only running 5 miles today, I kept moving forward through my neighborhood.

Take that Mother Nature! But she always has the upper hand...

A reminder of what the weather was like a short 3 months ago. I thought longingly about my Thermoball this morning. I think it would have been too warm, though.
I kept thinking to myself that today's conditions felt so much colder than anything I ran in last winter. How can that be? The temperature on one of those winter runs, I believe, was -12F when I headed out. My butt froze, or became, as Beth at Shut Up and Run calls it, "popsicle butt". Truly, my butt was numb. I couldn't feel the hot water in the shower back there. It was really weird. I never had that happen before. No popsicle butt today, not even close. But the cold feels different today than in January. Does it feel colder now because it's April 25, and my expectations are higher? Is it because it was warmer a couple of weeks ago? Or is it, because, as we say, it's not the heat, it's the humidity? Certainly, it's damp today. It was drizzling during my run. Even though I'm miserable, I just keep running, because that's what we do. We run.

I'm like the post office:  
 "Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night, stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds." - Herodotus, 503 B.C. (Inscribed on the General Post Office facility on 33rd Street and 8th Avenue in New York City.) 
Sort of.

Although, as I learned today, this isn't the official motto of the post office. No surprise there, since the only thing I seem to get in the mail these days is junk mail and bills. Speaking of the post office, I hate going there. I don't know what your post office is like, but the one in my town always has a long line outside the door. I love how even though there are a ton of people in line, there's usually only 2 windows open, and how even though there's really long line of customers, postal employees close their window to take a break. When you finally get to the counter, the workers move ohhhhh soooooo sloooooowwwwww. God forbid you have a package to pick up. Better bring snacks, because it's going to take a while to walk back there and get it. I've never ever in my life seen people walk as slow as the post office employees. Seriously. I bet if you lit a fire under their butts, they'd still walk like they're wearing cement shoes.
This is my post office. Every. damn. time. Watching my life pass before my eyes.
Actually, I'm not like the post office at all. Inefficiency=USPS. Not me. Can you imagine if I worked like that in my clinic? Patients and parents would be complaining like crazy! And I'd never get through all my appointments! I'd never get to go home. Speaking of that, what happens when it's closing time at the post office and there's still people in line? Are they taken care of? Or told too bad, so sad, come back tomorrow?

I've digressed again. I keep distracting myself from feeling cold. I just can't get my head in the game today.

Back to the run. When I finished, I checked my Garmin. The time and splits were respectable, considering how I really just phoned this one in. When I got home, I was chilled to the bone. My fingers were numb. I showered in the hottest water I could stand. Put on a hoody with hand warmers, and put my feet on a heating pad. And checked the forecast for tomorrow, when I have an 8 miler to run. 55F and sunny. Ok. I can do that.

I stalked ahead to next weekend, when I have a half marathon. High of 78. Sunshine.

Would you trust his forecast? He's the weatherman on the local news that I watch.
Say what?

Mother Nature keeps us on our toes. Weather teaches us to roll with the punches she throws our way. Got plans? So does she. Only she knows what they are. Weathermen try to predict, but even that's a crap shoot. It's really the only job you can have where you can be wrong and still stay employed. Except maybe at the post office. You'd get better odds predicting weather in Vegas. Control freaks have to let it go. And just when we think we've had enough of the bad weather, Mama Nature rewards us with some pretty nice conditions.

Of course, my race is a week away, and a lot can change before then. But fingers and toes crossed. Positive thoughts.

No matter what conditions she has planned for next weekend, Mother Nature is not going stop me. I'm packing my own sunshine. Just in case.

Do you run outside no matter what the conditions? Are there any conditions that are deal breakers for you? Are you anxiously awaiting warmer weather?

I'm linking this post with Tara's Weekend Update! Head over to see what everyone else has to say.

81 comments :

  1. My deal breakers are sub zero temps, and...sub zero temps. Ok, I am not a fan of rain and thunder and lightening, either.

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    1. You know me...I'll head out into just about anything. Doesn't mean I like it tho!

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  2. I won't do a heavy cold rain, cold and wet... nope. I also wussed out during a blizzard last week, which I would not have done in December or January but at this point I am so over it. or thunderstorms, I don't do those either. I don't want to be electrified. We had nice weather all week and now this weekend it is cold and rainy, I don't complain about rain though we need it, it was dry!

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    1. I still complain about rain, even if we need it. Because I need sun, and it's all about me. LOL....

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  3. Postal employee here! haha Trust me when I say we're not all like that. That shiz wouldn't fly in my office. But it's funny to hear a healthcare worker fussing about postal inefficiency. The roles were reversed last Monday. This postal worker was FUMING as I sat in the waiting room at 6:00 for my 4:15 appointment last Monday. lol It's a good thing they didn't check my BP. I probably would have been admitted on stroke watch.

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    1. Well, touche! There you go! You need to come to me, and I need to go to you. Problem solved!

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  4. I once ran a race on New Year's Eve in MN when the wind chill was -26 degrees! I had just moved to MN from GA and I thought that was the most fun thing EVER!! My family thought I was insane! Now living back in GA....I usually don't run if it's below 30 degrees!! Since it's not that cold very often, it really doesn't affect my running much!

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    1. I guess it is all relative, but I'll run outside no matter what. I just needed to whine a little...

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  5. Ha! Slippery Nipples! You keep making me laugh! Weather does effect my runs that is for sure. I cannot WAIT for shorts and tank tops. It will make my ass-early runs that much better! But, I pretty much run in anything. -8 temp before windchill was the coldest I ran in this winter. I did have quite the ice-face when I was done and it was BRUTAL. I avoid fresh snow... I mean come on... I do have a treadmill so the risk of fall is not worth it to me. Besides, my treadmill is always sports bra weather and I can catch up on my smutty shows I don't have time for otherwise! :)

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    1. I'm like you. I cannot wait for shorts and tank tops. Hoping for them this weekend. I have a treadmill but I just loathe running on it. It has to be really, really bad for me to run on the mill. I did do my winter speedwork on the mill, so there's that...

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  6. I've tended to do more indoors this winter, especially for my interval or tempo efforts. I feel like I get better control on the bike trainer or treadmill and the logistics are much easier. However, I've done my share of freeze my butt off stuff - like running out of the pool in <50F windy morning to get on my bike while sopping wet. Gotta love early season tris. I think I'd rather be cool than overheat, though. Good work on the workout and good luck next weekend! I hope for your sake it isn't 78 at race time. HOT

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    1. I don't think it will be that hot at race time, but it will probably warm up quickly! Stay tuned...

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  7. I ran in the rain ALL winter - I hated it and complained non-stop. It hasn't rained here for a week and now I kind of miss it!

    I'm too hot, too cold, too wet, too dry, toooooooo fussy maybe??

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  8. I hope warm weather comes your way soon. I can't complain here in PA, as it has been nice lately although it could always be warmer and I'll never complain!

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    1. Rumor has it that things are going to improve!

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  9. I hope warm weather comes your way soon. I can't complain here in PA, as it has been nice lately although it could always be warmer and I'll never complain!

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  10. I'll trade with you...for a few days anyway. 90 here today. :)

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  11. I've never run in snow!! But I imagine I'd prefer that to running in really hot and humid weather!

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    1. There is something to be said for running in fresh snow! We just get a little too much of it!

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  12. We are experiencing a similar spring here in Upstate NY and it is quite frustrating!! Like, seriously, what is up WITH THE SNOW?!

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  13. Oh, my gosh, Wendy; I woke up to thunder and rain this morning and just thought, "I can't do it. I can't run 5 miles on the treadmill this morning." So, I waited until the thunder subsided and then got out there and it wasn't bad at all; nice, cool, 52 degrees in a rain shower. Definitely warmer than what you're dealing with! Of course, it was 89 and sunny by Saturday afternoon; I can totally relate to the weather ups and downs! We'll get there...and when we do, it'll be hot, humid and disgusting; I'm going to enjoy this while it lasts! Have a great day and thanks so much for linking up!

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    1. I bet that felt so good after the humidity you had!

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  14. funny post! Mother nature is a beast! The weather changed by 30 degrees during our race weekend in Nashville! No rain so I am not complaining, those weather folks can't get it right to save their lives! I hate the post office too- and the hours get shorter and shorter! If you can steal a lunchbreak, yes you must take your lunch with you because you will have time to eat it while you stand in line! Happy Monday Wendy!

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    1. I bet the weather at that Nashville race was a beast!

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  15. Awesome job you are a beast! You had me laughing during this post. I hope you have a great and warmer week this week.

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  16. Awesome job!!!! You amaze me, I just feel like I can't get out in those negative temps. I'm thinking some new gear would be good for the winter, I live in Iowa so I completely understand the unpredictability of the mother nature :) Sounds like perfect weather for your half marathon, good luck!

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  17. lol... this sounds like one of my long run rants. And is your weatherman really wearing jeans??!?! haha.

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    1. Seems like anything goes at that station! I guess that's why I watch them.

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  18. WOO HOO - way to push through! The weather is supposed to get much nicer later this week and I am super excited. I am with you on Taylor Swift - I don't understand why she is so popular. She is just one of a host of pop stars like Katy Perry that don't seem that talented. I hate going to the post office too. Love seeing our tax dollars hard at work there! LOL at the weatherman graphic. I watch WGN too - hello Tom Skilling!

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    1. Tom Skilling is another one of my crushes...gotta love a weather geek!

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  19. boo to the weather there! i had no trouble on my runs tuesday and thursday last week in chicago but it definitely wasn't warm. i hope the weather changes for the better soon!

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    1. I was hoping you'd bring some of your DC sunshine with you!

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  20. I hate cold weather too AND I hate the post office. Literally the worst experience in Brooklyn. Hope it gets better by you. NYC is freezing still. I am sick of it.

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    1. They're predicting warmer temps...but every day they downgrade them...

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  21. I say go ahead and complain about the weather--it DOES help in a cathartic way, no? We had some fairly cold weather this week, too. Now bring back spring, except not summer for your race. I think that's the worse situation--when you're not acclimated yet mother nature throws a hot one at you. Fingers crossed for a happy medium for you.

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    1. I'm right there with you. Or be cold at the start and not warm up until after I"m done!

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  22. OMG your post office picture! That totally happened to me last week it was terrible. Why can't they be more efficient?

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  23. Your post office looks identical to mine, line and all.
    The weather forecast is pretty racy lol
    I do watch the weather obsessively when I have an event planned, and usually it changes several times during the week and makes me crazy...
    Hopefully you will get a nice morning for your half! I will run pretty happy until it gets really hot, I also don't do downpours. Cold is always my happier option.

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    1. It's always easier to run in the cold. Ideally, it can be cold for the race and warm up after I finish!

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  24. The post office is kind of like Wal Mart ... 24 checkouts and only 2 open. And Taylor Swift -- I wholeheartedly agree with your assessment! And yes, I'm SO ready for some warmer weather.

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    1. I use the self checkout at Walmart....the baggers throw all my stuff in my bags without any thought. You're right. Just like the post office.

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  25. YOu know how I feel about the weather :) As for Taylor Swift..I have to say that song can get me out of a bad mood in a second. My little guys LOVE to dance to it!

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    1. I think a lot of people love to dance to Taylor Swift's song!

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  26. I agree, most post offices suck. Go to Lincolnshire though. They're actually pleasant in there. I definitely think we're less tolerant of the cold now because it's way past time to be cold. Let's be done with it already so we can complain about the heat.

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    1. There used to be a little post office in DesPlaines and they were the nicest. Of course, it's gone now...

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  27. I am not an all-weather-runner. Your icesicle face and popsicle butt both impress and intimidate me. ;-) I can do rain. I don't do snow (I never see it anyway). I don't do super hot either (like above 85 degrees). Unless it's race day.

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    1. Lucky you, no snow. After the first snow of the season, I"m over it.

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  28. I've become such a fair weather runner. I find I complain more about the weather come April than I do in January because I'm just so sick of the cold.
    I'm a huge Taylor Swift fan, and I'm not sorry :)

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    1. Don't be sorry! Music is so personal, and if you saw my playlist, you'd probably think I was crazy..

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  29. Deal breakers for me are heavy rain starting out, and lightning. Now I've gotten caught in the rain after starting, that I can deal with but I don't usually start with it pouring down. I'm not even going to mention cold cause my cold would not be like what you deal with. But hey I still try to get out and get my runs in even when Mother Nature has her own plans. Makes you a better runner right? That is what I tell myself anyway.

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    1. As my dad would say, puts hair on your chest. Which is funny considering we had 4 girls in our family....

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  30. I can't run outside when there's a heavy, cold rain. And if there's a cold wind, there's no way I'm battling that. Given that I've run 14 miles on the treadmill before, the idea of heading to the gym for a long run when the weather isn't cooperating doesn't scare me.

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    1. Looks like I'm heading out into the wind tomorrow...

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  31. I don't runout side when it's under 40. I hate cold and what is worse is running in the cold and rain.

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  32. Haha I like that... BYOS! The post office line is soooo long in DC, I agree with all your points! People do move slowly. One time someone was helping the line and he did point out I could use self service instead, which was nice b/c it saved me 15 minutes.

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    1. I wish they had self service at my post office!

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  33. We had warm weather and not it's gone. I refuse to bring the boots back out. I will run in any weather except when there is ice on the road.

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    1. Same here! Spring can come back any time now...

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  34. I legitimately cannot stand running in the wind! Especially the head wins. Blahhh!

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  35. Wendy you are a beast. Your mind mustr be really strong or you passion for running is amazing to be out there in those conditions. Hats off to you!

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    1. I love being outside. Even if it's cold, it sure beats running on the treadmill!

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  36. ummmm....I'm just seeing this now (?????) Facebook, waddup????? Anyways, this made me laugh, like most of your blog posts :-) As you know, us midwesterners need to stick together and laugh as much as we can about the weather Momma N throws at us. She doesn't scare me much except for that day back in February when she taunted me as I fell (twice) on the hidden ice (under the thick blanket of pretty snow). Yes, a few (???) bruised ribs kept me inside for a few days, but not for long.

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    1. I've had the black ice try to trip me up too. Usually no one is around to see me wipe out...

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  37. I definitely don't have your dedication. I pack up shop as soon as fall comes knocking. And I don't mean running, since I'm not a runner. I barely even make it to the grocery store when it's cold out haha

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    1. Funny thing about that, I'll run outside all winter, but I pretty much hibernate for everything else!

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  38. omg to that snowy pic of you! I can't imagine running in that kind of weather. I was on the treadmill most of the winter...so good for you! But really, is it spring yet? I mean this week has been nice her ein NJ, but it is basically may, it should have been starting to get nice a few weeks ago!

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  39. LOL! For my race, the day before, it was SO warm and sunny...then race day it was freezing and super windy! Mother nature can be mean! haha

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    1. She is mean! Even today, she gave us a nice morning and then dropped the temps on us.

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  40. It's hard not to complain this year with the weather as terrible as it has been. Training indoors has gotten so old! Hopefully this will be the summer we've all dreamed of!

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