Polar Vortex 2014 – The Revenge

Damn, it’s cold. And it isn’t even winter yet! Seriously. I don’t start complaining like this until at least January, after we’ve already suffered a month of this crap. But we aren’t even out of November. Even by Minnesota standards…it’s cold.

It is hard to believe we’ve been through a week of this hell. It seems like a lifetime already. The four letter profanities are spewing from my husband’s mouth like a busted garden hose in early spring. He’s just beside himself. Well, so am I. But I don’t shout expletives…nor do I openly profess my disdain, except for, perhaps on my blog.

Getting out there has been challenging. I have to will it to happen. Plus, it takes an additional 30 minutes just to dress for the weather. So far, I have been pretty good at guessing what to wear. My tolerance hasn’t built up yet for the season, so an extra layer has made the difference. Plus, the new battery operated heated gloves have kept my Raynaud’s in check. I’m not quite sure if they are also the reason for my amazing ability to get out there and get the runs done, or if has anything to do with being fat adapted.

I can say that there appears to be a change from within. My body heat does seem better regulated this season. But because of it, I’m finding it hard to keep pace in the colder temperatures. I’m almost getting too warm and sweaty under the layers and it is slowing me down. I think I’ll have to take it down a notch and see if it is the fat adaption that is making me this way or if I’m over dressing.

They are promising a warmer weekend ahead. But already, the damage has been done. Winter is here, 80 days early, and we must accept it.


A Week of Running

Sunday: I chose to stay indoors a few days, but for the most part, I got out there.

November 9 - Polar Vortex Approaching

November 9 – Polar Vortex Approaching. 37°

Monday and Tuesday: The morning of the 10th was my surgery. I’ll spare you the gory details, but the good news is that it is gone…and it wasn’t cancerous! Rejoice! I slept a good chunk of Monday and then after a round of P90X on Tuesday, opted to forgo the run.

Wednesday: Wednesday, however, I was devilishly itchy to get out there.

November 11 - First run post surgery. 19°

November 12 – First run post surgery. 19°

And did things look different out there. Seems like we were in for a blow.

Thursday: The next day, temperatures bottomed out, and the wind picked up. I opted to stay inside. I wanted to catch up on The Biggest Loser while I ran, but Hulu Plus said my subscription had run out. I was too lazy to run upstairs and sign up again, so I looked for something else to tune up on the Apple TV. I stopped at a show called Heavy…which may as well be the same thing. Those shows fascinate me…and keep me occupied…and remind me why I run.

November 13 - Opted to stay indoors.

November 13 – Opted to stay indoors.

Friday: I was determined to get back outside. The sun was shining, and the wind diminished. May as well go for it (much to the dismay of my husband…who thinks I’m nuts).

November 14 - Getting colder. 12°

November 14 – Getting colder. 12°

Saturday:  “Long run” day, and despite the fact that I got a late start, I got the miles in. It wasn’t easy. Half way through the snow started flying and visibility got tough…and the roads were quickly getting a blanket of the white stuff. Had to pick up the pace a little to get it done. I couldn’t help but revel in the color of my #neon Newtons in the white snow. Oh, and my hydration froze.

November 15 - My water bottle froze on this run. 10°

November 15 – My water bottle froze on this run. 10°

Frozen Aminos and Electrolytes.

Frozen Aminos and Electrolytes.

Sunday: I don’t really know why I ran Sunday. Oh yeah, now I remember…church, prayers, stress, cows…not necessarily in that order. It was close to noon by the time I even got out there. I was hoping the overnight snow would have time to melt (blow) off the pavement. It wasn’t too bad, but it wasn’t too good, either.

November 16 - Hanging in at 10°. But getting windy.

November 16 – Hanging in at 10°. But getting windy.

Monday: After P90X, I stayed inside and huffed it out on the treadmill…

November 18 - Opted to stay indoors. It was blowing outside this morning!

November 17 – Opted to stay indoors. It was blowing outside this morning!

Tuesday: “Long run” day was awful. It was brutal into the wind. I actually turned around to quit a half mile in, and realized that it wasn’t half as bad in the opposite direction. So, I kept going…I ran passed my parked vehicle, then turned back around into the wind…suffered for about 4 miles or so, and got relief in the other direction. I opted for more torture at the turn around again and did one more 2 miler into the wind before turning back. My Runmeter stopped because my iPhone got SO COLD, it shut down! I had to warm it back up so I could restart that and my podcast. At this point, I was dreading the decision to do the extra miles. But…alas, it was over before I knew it.

November 18 - Struggled today. 8°. Windchill -10°.

November 18 – Struggled today. 8°. Windchill -10°.

And here we are – midweek again. Since I’m a meteorologist, I can actually forecast the future. Sometimes I forget I have that power.

Trust me. There is more coming...

Trust me. There is more coming…

After two days of relative warmth this weekend, we plunge back into the frigidity of the Polar Vortex.



Good news? We’ll miss much of it since we’ll be in Kansas. Bad news? Kansas should be a veritable wind machine. I’m not sure where running will be worse.

Kansas wind.

Kansas wind.

Yep, winter is here. There is no denying it. Wish it weren’t so. For now, I’ll do what I can with what I’ve got, and look ahead to next year and the next running season. I still need to find that spring marathon and pray that I make it into Chicago in October.

I wish all of you American’s and those who celebrate it…a very happy Thanksgiving…and start to the holiday season. May your homes be filled with love, friends, and family.


Will you be running a Turkey Trot this year? Where and when and how far?

6 Responses to Polar Vortex 2014 – The Revenge

  1. Oooh battery operated gloves? Where, pray tell, did you find those?

    And yes, I’m running a Turkey Trot. I sure hope the weather improves…

  2. Ashleigh says:

    The day of my half marathon was easily the coldest day of the season and it definitely affected me during and after my run. My calves got quite tight which caused some awful foot pain. A few hours later, I could barely walk. I haven’t run since–waiting for that foot pain to go away while walking and then I’ll test a short run. Is this what compression socks are for? Maybe I should get some.
    I’ll be running on Thanksgiving day. A group of people comprised of various training teams I’ve been on meet up for a 10k trail run. Best part is running directly over pipes running over the James River, hence the name the “Pipeline Run.” Oh, and there’s an “Aztec” ruin that we have to climb that also adds to the fun. I’m hoping my foot will be 100% by then so I can enjoy the run.

  3. Jenn says:

    I just don’t even know what to say. It’s freaking cold here (30s in NEFL) and I am beside myself. The idea of heated gloves is nothing short of magical.

    I am doing a 6K Turkey Trot. We are hosting and will have house guests, and I’m running a half marathon the Sunday after Thanksgiving, so I don’t really have the time or energy for much more.

    Stay warm!

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