By Aaron Escobar, from Flickr.com

By Aaron Escobar, from Flickr.com

Yes, I’m dreaming with this photo to the left.

Ok, the weatherman didn’t lie. It was really all of 5 degrees when I ran this morning. It was 4 when I stopped. Huh? Yeah, I don’t get it either. All I can say is that it was cold enough that my legs were RED even when wearing tights and another layer of pants over them.

And yes, I did wear the face mask, and did my bank-robber impression, although I have to admit, a bank robber is probably not going to be stupid enough to also wear a headlamp at the same time, like me. I promise, next time I have the pleasure of wearing the two together, I’ll have Bill take a picture so you can see that I have truly crossed the line and have jumped the shark, as they say, when it comes to being a dork while running, and am TRULY  a gear-head. Yes, I wear that badge proudly, and with honor.  🙂

bank robber or runner? you decide

bank robber or runner? you decide

Anyway, I am proud to say, and especially for Lindsay who commented last week that she’d like to see me with some “8s” in my times, (**wink*), that I did just that this morning. As you can see, I was getting a bit slower but I think that was a side effect of NOT BEING ABLE TO FEEL MY LEGS.  Check out these bad boys below!!!

Lap 1 = 8:34 pace

Lap 2 = 8:48 pace

Lap 3: 8:56 pace

Time overall, for 3.02 miles = 26:28

Average overall = 8:46 pace!!!

Now, granted, this route is mainly flat, and somewhat downhill (I need to try it in reverse and see how much that affects my time now that I have the autolap thing working on my Garmin.)

I’m not sure if you can tell from this photo, but what works well on it is that there’s a strip of mesh that goes over your mouth, so you can breathe a bit better than if your mouth were exposed to the elements. At first, I didn’ t have it situated correctly on my face, and I did freak out a bit – I’m clausterphobic, but once I pulled it down, it worked just fine.  But like all things, it does get a bit wet, as you can imagine, so I don’t know that I would want to wear it for more than 5-6 miles, but let’s be honest, who wants to be out in that cold for that long anyway? NOT ME!

I have to thank all of you for your cheering me on as I slowly, ever so slowly, am getting faster. Especially Lisa, who said to me yesterday that she thought to herself while running “you can do anything for 9 minutes” and also that because of all the speedwork I’ve been doing, I should be able to do under 9 minute miles for a 5K. I kind of kept repeating that to myself as I went out there, even when I COULDN’T FEEL MY LEGS. (Can you tell –  I like to keep complaining about that? Maybe it’s more like a statement than a complaint.  Haven’t decided yet.) I also thought of how she kept up an 8:37 pace for a half marathon, and how Alissa ran under 4 last week. Thanks for motivating me, all of you, I mean it.

Oh, and in case you were wondering – at 5 degrees, whatever you breathe out, will crystallize on your face mask/balaclava. I know. I could see it out of the corner of my eye.  I think I could also see water crystallizing on my face – I tried to wipe my eyes at one point, and I was like, “what is that blurry stuff I see?”  I really do think that’s the coldest it’s ever felt while running. I think the difference between this run and that of my 5-miler a few weeks ago in negative degree wind chills was that there was no sun this time, and no hope of it either, since I ran before/during dawn. (The sun rises here around 7:03 now, I believe, and that’s right when I finished.)

Anyway, I see the weather forecast for this week is we’re expecting 6-12 inches on Wednesday, I believe right after the arctic blast leaves us, on Tuesday. THAT’S JUST AWESOME. (Please, do note the sarcasm.)

Anyway, don’t get the wrong idea – I am totally psyched for my time this morning and am really looking forward to the Lowell Super 5K that I signed up for, this coming Sunday. It’s supposed to be 32, with a wind chill of maybe 18.

That’s practically tropical!!! You see, it’s all just relative and a mind over matter. That, and a  lot of clothes. I have got to weigh all this gear sometime and see how many pounds I’m carrying on my body. Imagine what I could do if all I had to wear was a tshirt and shorts?! I’m excited for this summer, for many reasons.

Happy Running, folks. I’m glad I started off my Monday on a high, albeit cold-as-ice note.

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