Monday, January 16, 2012

I am a Cold Weather Runner

Hey everyone!  Guess who's back?  We've had a really busy few weeks and I decided to give Steph the night off and give myself a chance to tell my side of the "Central Park Escapade."

As I said in my introductory post, Ice Hockey is my true passion.  I learned to skate when I was three on an outdoor rink built by my dad and started playing youth hockey at the age of four.  Needless to say, I'm well acquainted with cold weather and over the years, have developed what Steph likes to refer to as one of my "super powers" - The Electric Blanket.  I'm always warm.  Years of playing a sport on a frozen sheet of ice in the dead of winter will do that to you.  While professional arenas do a decent job of isolating the cold to the ice surface, most local arenas don't have the resources to do this.  The worst have to be the rinks I refer to as converted barns - previously outdoor rinks with sheet metal walls that have no insulation and don't fully seal the rink off from the elements.  Trust me when I say nothing feels worse than putting on wet pads when it's -10 degrees outside and feeling your hair freeze over as you play.
Note: that's not really me, but it sure felt like it.  Steph refused to document the event - that's a shocker!

Off the ice, I wore Birkenstocks throughout high school and most of college regardless of the weather (yes, even snow).  This started because my schools (both located in the Northeast) blasted the heat once the temperature dropped below 50 degrees and in order to not feel like I was going to pass out, I needed a way to regulate my temperature and feel comfortable.  So I dressed appropriately for the temperature inside and coped with the temperature outside.
 Couldn't find a picture of me in sandals (I'm camera shy).  To make up for it, check out this bruise I got from a slap shot a few years back!  $20 bill used for scale.

Long story short, I'm rarely cold and can even heat the area around me, whether it's the steam coming off me when I stop exercising or warming up the bed for Steph before we go to sleep.  Unfortunately, my weakness is heat, when I have trouble breathing and staying properly hydrated.  Nothing is more embarrassing than taking a shower at the gym, walking outside to go to the office, and instantly feeling the need to shower again.

 When I've had my outdoor runs, I've worn nothing more than shorts, compression socks, an Under Armour heat gear undershirt, and a t-shirt.  I tried a wool cap and had to take it off because I was too warm; it was in the 30s.  Yesterday's run was no different.  Equipped with my "cold gear," I set out to do my run and was able to do as well as I did because I was cooled off by the freezing temperatures.  If I got too hot, I just spread my fingers apart to disperse the heat.  At the end of the run, I noticed that my hands were pink and brittle and my forearms were frozen.  No big deal, except for the fact that Steph still had an hour left in her run and I had to find her somewhere in Central Park!  As my workout became a cool down, I got colder and colder to the point that after taking off my shirt to shower, I noticed my upper body was bright red and almost frostbitten! 
The before image.  Yes, I wore the Crazy Bitch shirt on my run and got a compliment or two on it.

... and I wouldn't change it for the world!  Hopefully, I'll be able to survive the Summer!

Anyone else out there have a crazy cold weather story or a suggestion for superhero and/or superpower name?

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