A Very Stupid Mistake or Series of Mistakes

I made a very stupid mistake yesterday when I went for an easy 5 mile run. I didn’t really know what the temperature was (first mistake) and didn’t have enough clothes/layers (second mistake) on over my core, let alone my extremities. Back in December I gave 9 Winter Weather Tips, I should follow my own advice!

I had been playing on the Internet, so I had no excuse for not checking the weather at a variety of weather sites (including this blog and my browser’s weather plug-in). The temperature was in the mid-teens with wind chills in the single digits. Not too bad if you are prepared. So what was I wearing? I had a long-sleeve dry fit shirt and a fleece vest, with shorts and warm-up pants. I had normal socks, cloth gloves, and a silk balaclava. My run was an out and back. During the out section I was comfortable, even using the balaclava as a hat.

When I turned around, I came back into the wind and quickly realized my folly. The wind quickly became biting and I first really felt it on my exposed face, so I pulled down the balaclava. Then I began feeling my abs get really cold, then my fingers and arms, finally I felt the sweat in the crook of my elbow freezing. It was a long 2.5 mile run home.

I made it back, peeled off some of the layers and jumped into the bed, between the top 2 covers. My core temperature didn’t seem very low, but my stomach and back were very red (think sun/wind burn). After warming up a little bit I got into a cool shower. You don’t want to warm your body up with water that is too warm, you can slowly increase the temperature as your body thaws.

So hopefully I have learned my lesson and will dress smarter for my runs. I have plenty of clothes for layering and I have nicer gloves that will stop the wind. My run was officially 5.03 in 41:24. I didn’t really want to run today, but decided I needed a few more miles for the week to continue building up my mileage.

[tags] Winter, Running, Safety [/tags]

4 thoughts on “A Very Stupid Mistake or Series of Mistakes

  1. Sarah Jo

    Kudos to you for getting out in the cold, even though you froze! I think that sometimes as runners we get to thinking we're invincible and can handle anything, which is usually when we get taken down a notch or two!

  2. Mike

    Welcome to MN, looks like the cold is rolling in. Not sure if you're aware but there is a decent indoor running option here if you want a break from the cold once or twice a week. For $1 you can run laps around the concourse at the metrodome downtown on Tues & Thurs nights from 5-8 pm. It's about 2.5 laps to a mile, the scenery isn't the best but a lot of runners do show up and it is a nice change from the cold. There's more info at http://www.runmdra.org if you're interested

  3. crossn81 Post author

    Thanks for your comments! I am glad to be here, but man its cold 🙂

    Sarah Jo, It is definitely a little humbling and a good reminder that we are all human and susceptible to the elements.

    Marty, thanks for the advice. I'll try to remember to check wind direction before I set out.

    Mike, I have heard about this running in the dome. I'll have to check it out soon (this might be a good week as temperatures drop!)


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