I Hate Winter...

This is NOT going to be a happy, positive post as I am not in a good mood right now.  That said, if you don't want to read about what I'm really thinking and feeling right now just go ahead and skip reading this post.  I wouldn't blame you.

I hate winter, I hate cold weather, I hate not being able to breathe.  This afternoon I met up with my buddy and fellow Ultra runner Mark Hilboldt for a 14 mile run.  I met him at Quivira Park at 11:00 and it was 35* with a windchill of 26* and a 15 mph wind.  My lungs were getting tight before we even started.  The plan was to run up the Indian Creek Trail 7 miles to 151st Street then turn around and run back.  As is always the case for me in the cold, breathing very quickly became a problem for me.  Usually Mark & I chat quite a bit while we run but within the first 2 miles I was already struggling for breath as my lungs closed up so I was doing little talking.  Our pace slowed gradually as we went with my lungs getting tighter and tighter.  As we got within a mile or so of the turn around I was wheezing and really really struggling to keep moving.  We got to the turn around and I decided to walk a little bit to see if I could get my breath back, but no such luck.  Once we turned the wind was directly in our face and it hadn't warmed up at all.  It was getting worse and worse.  As we got closer to 143rd St I really just couldn't breathe at all anymore.  We were pretty close to my mother-in-law's house so I called her and asked if she could drive me to my car if I ran to her house.  She said she would so I turned off and Mark continued on since he was having no problems.  I got to her house and was wheezing badly, so I couldn't catch my breath at all.  She drove me to my car and I headed home still gasping for air.  Including running to her house I had done a total of 8.88 miles, well short of what I needed.

Okay, here's the part where I'm going to get negative.  But what good is a blog if I don't say what's really on my mind?  My lungs tighten up in the cold and I can't breathe.  Period.  End of freaking story.  If you couldn't breathe would you want to run?  NO, you wouldn't.  So basically 2 hours after this run I was still trying to catch my breath.  If running were always like this I would never run again.  I hate it, feeling like I'm suffocating is just not fun.  I know they don't mean anything by it, but I'm sick and tired of people calling me a wuss or making fun of me for not liking to run in the cold.  If you couldn't breathe would you be so damn excited to run?  For the most part they are the same people that are crying in the 75-80* days when I am perfectly happy, so maybe they are the wusses.  No, they are not, we are all different.  Our bodies work differently.  Some people are well suited to run in the cold; their bodies warm up quickly, breathing remains fine, they are perfectly happy.  Other people like myself are better suited to running in warn weather.  In the warm air my lungs open up, my sweat keeps me cool and the warm sunlight energizes me.  I'm sick of comments like "you'd never survive in XXXX (colder climate) like me."  Fine, in the cold you are tougher than me.  La-Dee-Da, good for frickin' you.  Let's see how we feel when it's warm and you're crying like a baby.  I'm sorry that I'm not tough enough to run when I CANNOT FREAKING BREATHE!!!!  Let's close up your lungs and see how far you make it, tough guy.

I hate treadmills, but I think I'm going to have to go back to doing my long runs inside for the winter so that I can breathe.  I'll still do one or two shorter runs outside since it takes time for my lungs to get so tight they are a real problem; that'll help keep my feet used to the pavement.  I don't want to do long runs while marathon training indoors, but I have to do what I have to do.

Now I will apologize if you are offended by any of my remarks in this post, but I had to get it off my chest.  I actually feel a little better now that I've put some of this down.  I love all of my runner friends and I know full well they are not trying to insult me when they say these things, but most of them were feeling the same way I am now just a couple months ago when they were crying about the warm weather and I was happy.


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