Mrs. Nitmos and I are bigots. Climate bigots. She hates the cold weather. I hate the wind. When you live in a temperature-challenged climate like Michigan, you learn to appreciate a warm string of days the way Cleveland enjoys a championship sports team. They both come around so rarely that you can hardly believe it when it occurs.
I can deal with the cold. I don’t like it but, for me, it just means another long sleeve race shirt to layer on. Mrs. Nitmos hates the cold. Hates it. She sneers invectives at the thermostat on a daily basis. I’ve found her outside on the patio threatening the thermometer with mercury drainage if it didn’t start rising dramatically. (The kids’ splash pool is right under it so it wouldn't go to waste.)
Nah, the cold isn’t a big deal. I can layer up and run. Zero degrees, 10 degrees, 20 degrees, whatever. That’s why they made winter running gear. Post-run with the sweat chillies, I just throw another broken, ex-racing greyhound in the fire to warm up by rubbing my hands over the crackling bones. -- OK now, before you judge, I feel I should explain. Understand that I’m all about solutions here on F.M.S. Some of you like to focus on problems. I’m sure you’ve heard about this issue. The greyhounds’ racing days are behind them. Used up. What to do with them? Mrs. Nitmos and I are cold. Pop! Light bulb goes off. Send away for some greyhounds! We are warm. I believe that’s called ‘killing two birds with one stone.’* If you don't like it, what are you doing about it? -- No, the cold weather isn’t my thing.
I hate WIND. Yesterday, while many of you were entertaining yourself with the bio of Rocko the thong artist, I escaped for another 7 mile lunch hour run. It was a Michigan-pleasant 30 degrees…until you turned into the wind. Then the icy, wind-aided, needles cut through my North Face jacket and long sleeve thermal sub layer. Penetrated my stretchy band toned exterior and roared through my torso and out the back like a soul-ripping poltergeist. I felt like I was running through a swimming pool as every step was labored and resistant. The wind brings my climate bigotry to the fore where it erupts in profane climate Tourette’s. “G** d*** wind!” “Motherf*cker!” “I hate the f*ckin’ wind!” All of these were shouted as the wind blasts battered me from the front. The cursing swept away to the tender ears and shocked faces in the three school zones I passed.
Starting February 1st, I’ll begin my official training plan for the Bayshore Marathon (though I haven’t created it yet). Half of the training will be done in less than optimal temperatures. All of it will be in less than optimal wind patterns. Around here, springtime is merely a cauldron of swirling winds that, no matter which direction you turn, seem to somehow STILL be head on.
This is a way of life in these parts. Deal with the cold. Deal with the wind. Often, deal with both. If you want to run, there’s no sense complaining. Just suck it up and do it.
Besides, you can always throw another greyhound on the fire when you get back. Heck, even two. Believe me, you can get more than one in. That’s why God made broomsticks after all.
*Or ‘two greyhounds with one poker’, whichever you prefer.
For those concerned, rest assured that no greyhounds were actually harmed during the creation of this post. It’s plenty warm in here and has been for the last half hour. I don’t support cruelty to animals. Never have. Never will. I have a dog of my own and she is terrific (if not slightly flammable.) Pets are to be loved and enjoyed. I encourage each of you to find your own methods to fuel your furnace and also help solve a critical crisis like greyhound abandonment. It was through trial and error that I discovered greyhound combustibility in the first place. (FYI: Hamsters are like dried leaves. No good.)
7 miles @ easy 7:00 pace. This weekend, plan for 11 miles. Maybe 12. We'll see.