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Cool running

The weather widget in my computer’s system tray rearranged my monitor’s pixels like this Saturday:

Temp 43, Feels like 37

While I haven’t had time to shop for all the cold-weather running goodies you guys recommended, I decided that 43 degrees was warm enough for me to attempt my first outdoor run of the winter. I put on my yoga pants, a long-sleeved t-shirt, and a light-weight jacket and headed for the trail. Then I turned around and headed back to my apartment.

No, I didn’t quit before I started. I had to grab a knit cap because my ears were already cold. Then I went for a run and it rocked! I ran 3 miles at a 10:09 pace, much faster than my Irish Festival 5K pace of 10:31 back in September. So even though I’m about the same weight as I was then, and perhaps a pound or two heavier, I can outrun potential thieves and villains much faster now. Cool! My fingers were cool too, freezing for a mile and a half before they warmed up, so gloves are a must next time. After two miles I unzipped my jacket and during the last half mile I took off my cap. This cold-weather running thing might work out after all, though ask me again when the temperature has a minus sign in front of it. I had such a great high after the run. Exercise makes me feel so alive and happy. Part of the reason I think I’ve been down lately is because I haven’t been exercising as much. Gotta’ change that.

When I was running across a bridge on the trail, I saw a man on the observation deck watching the flecks of ice in the river and my first thought was, “I hope he doesn’t push me over the railing as I run by because I’ll freeze in that water!” It’s got to be one of the most bizarre thoughts I’ve ever had when running. Why would anyone want to push me off of a bridge? And why was I so concerned about the cold water when the fall itself would probably break my neck? The cold must make me kooky.

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Happy • January 7, 2008 at 8:42 am

Good for you! I need to go back and track down your old posts on just starting out with running. That’s on my list of things to do soon … run! (And not just when being chased. Or being pushed by folks looking down at the water. Yikes!)


Debbi • January 7, 2008 at 8:54 am

My training for CMM starts today, and I’m more psyched than I ever thought possible. Your pace was awesome! It might be too warm for me to do that well today.


Lora Ramirez • January 7, 2008 at 8:54 am

I thought about running or at least power walking for the past few months. I had such a bad experience on the treadmill (I sprained my foot!), that I use the elliptical trainers and ride my bike only. Gotsta’ change that! :)


eva • January 7, 2008 at 9:05 am

That sounds like so much fun! I’m too scared to slip on ice to run outside in the winter. Even when it’s above freezing. I hate and fear the winter. Maybe I should try to get over that a little…


Kate • January 7, 2008 at 9:08 am

Well I am sure these next couple days here in the midwest you will almost need shorts….here in Michigan 63 today! What the hell? It was -7 not even a week ago.


Allison • January 7, 2008 at 12:41 pm

PQ and anyone else interested in running,

for those of you who are looking to get back into running shape and own an iPod nano, i highly recommend getting Nike’s product called the Nike+ chip. you have to buy the Nike+ enabled shoes, of course, but it’s totally worth it. the kit is $29 and it tells you how far you ran, your average pace, your calories burned and then allows you to keep track of your workouts at their cool website. it’s definitely a fun and interactive way to monitor your progress. you can set up challenges with other users and join little forums. it’s so cool!


Comrade GoGo • January 7, 2008 at 12:55 pm

Congratulations on getting out there!

And re: the man on the bridge . . . I have paranoid thoughts like that way too often. Sometimes I’ll even plan kung-fu escape scenarios in my head.


Lynn • January 7, 2008 at 1:24 pm

Brrrr…good job on getting out there! Cardio is my next step. Got the weight training thing down, but I just hate the cardio.


Janice Bridge • January 7, 2008 at 1:37 pm

Congratulations! Hooray!! a few thoughts

IF you are jogging on a trail that is exclusively walkers and joggers, then the iPod or comparable is okay. However if the travelway is shared by cyclists, then your situational awareness is definitely impaired. (I am a cyclist and I don’t want to tell you the number of times a runner has jogged in my path even when I have warned him/her, because they did not hear me coming!)

I also find that exercise time can be a great time for meditation and centering – for considering life decisions as well as just being more fully aware of how my body is working. So unless you absolutely can’t imagine running without music – maybe leaving the ipod at home is the answer.

May I also recommend wintersilk.com for wonderful gloves – light weight, flexible, and definitely warm – they come in various weights so you can have several pair. If your hands and head are warm the whole experience is better!


sheddingpounds • January 7, 2008 at 2:42 pm

Nice job getting out there with the cool weather, I can’t wait for you to report back when it’s even colder! I don’t know what to say about that bridge thing that was kind of weird lol.


AKS • January 7, 2008 at 3:47 pm

One more endorsement for the Nike + sensor.


Happy • January 7, 2008 at 4:15 pm

I don’t have the Nike/iPod stuff yet, but I’m eyeing it.

FYI, you don’t have to have the Nike shoes: http://podophile.com/2006/11/30/nike-ipod-shoe-hack-and-sensor-accessory-round-up/

PQ – Wow, you can hack shoes now. Weird.


dinah soar • January 7, 2008 at 5:03 pm

Perhaps your vision of the man on the bridge knocking you off into the water was a protective premonition. I never discount those “warnings”…I believe they are often God’s way of protecting us. The times I don’t follow my gut I always regret it. While I don’t obsess or live in fear, I’m very aware the world is full of wicked people who may cause harm. Always keep your guard up when you are out alone, especially on trails, in parks, the woods…in fact I stay away from those places unless there are plenty of other people around. I had my home broken into while I was home alone—heard the intruder and must have scared him away, so I wasn’t harmed…but no place is totally safe. Prior to the break in I started locking my bedroom door at night because of hearing about another break in not far from my home. That probably saved me…I feel pretty certain I would have been murdered in my bed otherwise.


Alisha • January 7, 2008 at 5:03 pm

Ok, I am new here, but I have something WAY in common with you! When I run, all these weird thoughts and worries come in my head….seriously. Just yesterday it was about these neighborhood dogs breaking out of their yards and ganging up to stand in a straight line in my way so that I couldn’t run past them and make them bark anymore. Ok, I know that was too much! I’ll go now! :) CONGRATS ON YOUR SUCCESS!


K • January 7, 2008 at 5:43 pm

Most people who are attacked or killed – the attacker is someone they know, not a random psycho. Unfortunately, girls in particular are brought up to be fearful when we’re out alone… which I think is sad. I’m not particularly fearful, but I do tend to be… aware of who else is around when I’m out on my own. (And that’s why I don’t tend to wear headphones when I’m walking. I want to hear if there’s someone behind me.)

My mother always used to put it “Don’t go near any axe murderers”. Because, of course, you meet a lot of people carrying axes in a city…

I have had occasional odd thoughts about myself falling off parapets, even if I’d have to make quite an effort to do it! I think edges have that effect on some people.


Mrs. Duffy • January 7, 2008 at 6:25 pm

Count me in on the list of crazy paranoids… only mine usually come in the form of, “I hope the guy in the passing car doesn’t throw a brick at my head… that would sure suck.” Also count me in as a runner-ipod-hater, for the reasons mentioned above. I was going to mention the ipod sensor pouch you see advertised, too, but someone was way ahead of me on that one, too. Sigh. So slow.

43 degrees is close to ideal for me – just a vest & a long sleeve shirt, maybe gloves or a hat if theres “weather” brewing around – but it’s so much nicer to move in cool weather than nasty sticky summer heat, yuck! Although, it’s going to be 70 degrees in New York tomorrow and you don’t hear me complaining. So fickle I am.

Here’s hoping the weather holds out for you!


Kyle • January 7, 2008 at 10:47 pm

I have crazy thoughts like that all the time when I’m out running. That kind of paranoia started when I was mugged in Santiago though, I haven’t always had weird and scary thoughts like that.

Now I run with pepper spray and I learned a few self defense moves so I feel a little better. I also only keep one headphone in so that I’d be able to here if anyone is approaching. Yeah, I’m TOTALLY paranoid.


anon • January 7, 2008 at 11:27 pm

I know you’ve had lots of warm-weather excercise gear suggested, but just in case this has been overlooked, I highly recommend Underarmour. The warmest kind fits like a second skin and is VERY warm, and it comes in lots of pretty colors and styles. Tops and bottoms. It’s lightweight and very stretchy! But it’s expensive, though I think it’s worth it!


airlie • January 7, 2008 at 11:46 pm

I am so jealous! running is just so out of my league! just a dream for the future!


Cindy • January 8, 2008 at 6:35 am

Hi PQ,

Partly, you feel better because you exercised, but I suspect that part of it was also that you exercised OUTSIDE! This time of year, we don’t tend to spend enough time outside and it gets to us, even if we don’t notice the why and how. I always feel better after being outdoors—in any weather, as long as i am dressed properly. So keep up the great work and get outside as much as you can. That is great advice for infants through the aged—- we can ALL benefit from more time outdoors!


Zanitta • January 8, 2008 at 6:59 am

It’s been about the same temperature over here, but the Japanese people as a whole seem to have some kind of objection to insulation. And central heating. It’s good I’ve started exercising really, the after-warmth is the only thing that lets me brave the cold (indoors!) outside of the only heated room in my apartment!


dinah soar • January 8, 2008 at 12:33 pm

In reference to my earlier comment above—Case in point—the recently discovered body of the 24 year old female hiker in GA…murdered by someone she did not know while she was hiking. killed by another “hiker”..yeah right…I imagine he was looking for his next victim….she happened by….we females are prey because most of us don’t have the ability to physically overpower a man…we need to keep our wits about us and use our brain too…we don’t have to be obsessive but we need to be wary…if you don’t believe me, read up on Ted Bundy…he seemed so sweet but was a serial killer who killed at least 60 young beautiful women…these types are cunning…my point is don’t stop doing your exercise…but do listen to your gut and take precautions.


Bella • January 8, 2008 at 6:20 pm

I am so impressed that you ran in such cold weather! Then again, I’m from northern California, so anything below 50 is frosty to me. I’m sure 43 is balmy to folks from the midwest and the east.

I love what you said about exercise making you feel alive. I have begun to feel the same way, although I’m just starting back up with my work out routine. One of my goals (besides losing a ton of weight) is to be able to run a 10K someday. Right now I can walk for a fairly long time, but if I try to run for more than a few seconds, it’s too much for me. I know that as I keep practicing, I’ll get better. As my body gets stronger and healthier I’ll be able to do more and go farther.


Sandy McCann • January 11, 2008 at 8:37 am

I have been reading your blog for quite awhile (coming over from Mel the Shrinking Mom’s blog) but think I never have commented, LOL!

And here I am commenting about cold weather activities…40ish degrees…running…sounds warmer than riding my motorcycle in such weather. Oh, and yes, I feel guilty that while you are going with the “be good” activities, I am just enjoying the ride!

Nice to meet you…



Paula • January 12, 2008 at 8:43 am

I have quite a lot of thoughts like yours regarding the guy pushing you off the bridge. I would just hope I was running by fast enough that he wouldn’t get a chance to grab me!


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Jennette Fulda tells stories to the Internet about her life as a smartass, writer, weight-loss inspiration, chronic headache sufferer, and overall nice person (who is silently judging you). She does this at JennetteFulda.com now, but you can still have fun perusing her past here.

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