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Wednesday, December 2, 2009
The Weather Outside is Frightful
Well, not yet, but it is coming. Around our house, the weather is most commonly differentiated with the kids by little coat days (fleeces) and big coat days (parkas). We've had a very mild start to the cold season here, but starting this week, it is finally looking like we've made the permanent switch to "big coats" to great disappointment. With kids, the cold days are only fun if it is snowing. Much to my husband's chagrin, I have become "weather obsessed" since we've lived in the area. We've been in Massachusetts for 11 years, so one might think I've had time to get used to it (and get over it), but each year, I go through a little bit of a depression when the winter comes to stay. My blood is thin....I am a Southerner! As soon as the weather makes the final shift to winter, I keep on top of the daily temperature high and low, snowfall prediction, number of days since the temperature has gone above freezing, and just in case he was interested, I know what the weather is like in the places we used to live! So as the big coats came out of the closet, the winter weather watching began in earnest!
Another reminder of the impending winter weather came this evening during the monthly Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge team meeting. Each month, there is an organized meeting at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute during which a variety of topics pertaining to this program are covered. Often, the discussions contain a lot of logistical information about fundraising, group runs, or marathon weekend. At each meeting, they also try to have an expert come in to speak about a running related issue...nutrition, training, injury prevention, etc. This week, the expert was the owner of a local running store (and also a US National Marathon qualifier) who came to talk about all the gear you need for winter running. Nothing like this sort of information to remind you that the 20 degree days are right around the corner! There are many in this group that believe there is no bad weather, just bad clothing. While I feel that I have gotten pretty good at determining how many layers to wear in different temperatures having run through the winter last year, I am not fully on board with the idea of running in snow storms or while there are many inches of snow covering the roads. I am more likely to wait until the trusty snow plows make quick work of the local roads before heading outside to run. In addition to the many clothing options out there, they also told us about the footwear items out there to make "snow running" a little easier. There are special snow shoes specifically designed for running that are a little smaller than regular snow shoes which allows you to maintain a regular running stride. There are also YakTrax which fit over your running shoes, and use metal coils instead of spikes to give you additional traction in the snow. I've decided that instead of investing in these "interesting" technologies that would make trudging through snow easier, I am going to put my stock in the recent prediction of a local retired meteorologist who claims we will have less snowfall than normal for the area this winter. While normally I tend to be distrustful of the local weather predictions (I believe they try to sugarcoat the forecasts in order to keep from driving people to leave the area in droves during the winter), I am hoping beyond hope he is correct. Either way, you can be assured that if there is snow on the roads, you will find me on the treadmill pounding out the miles in my regular old running shoes!
Like the kids make the switch from big coat to little coat, I have begun to make the changes for running, too. The shorts have been moved to the back of the drawer and the pants/tights to the front. The lightweight baseball hats have been put away and the wool running caps have been rescued from the attic, just as with the big coats. Winter is here, ready or not!