Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Full Nipple Erectus

I don’t know why I live in Michigan. I don’t like the cold. I hate winter. “Rust” is not my favorite color. The Lions stink (see: Thanksgiving, any year). I drive cars, sure, but I could care less what manufacturer’s logo is emblazoned on it. I don’t wear mittens; I’m a glove man. And, though I respect the rich history of Motown Records, I never listened to its artists. I don’t hunt (for anything but the elusive spotted PR - which can be found in any state). And did I mention there is a historically bad economy going on here?

In short, Michigan blows like Kid Rock’s next attempt at country music.

I’ve done my fair share of complaining about the weather. It’s a time-honored Michigan tradition…especially this time of year. I use the 30 seconds that I step outside to put my Garmin on the front porch to acquire a satellite signal to determine what I should wear on the impending run. You just never know at any time what it’s going to be like.

Full nipple erectus probably means two shirts and wind pants. Partial nipple erectus means a long sleeve shirt, hat, gloves but with shorts. An unexpectedly warm breeze and sun probably means it’ll turn cloudy with strong frozen blasts of wind sometime around mile two. Mother Nature likes to tease.

This is the time of year when I expect a 10-15 second drop in pace for every run. Between the long pants and the crippling asthmatic wheeze brought on by the 30 degree (or below) weather, the first casualty of war winter is innocence pace.

On Sunday, I managed to step out for a quick 6 miler feeling fresh as a recently powdered and diapered baby’s bottom. It was in the high-30’s and cloudy with only a little chilly breeze. As I headed out, I thought with satisfaction that this was a great morning for a run. I felt wonderful. It was cool but pleasant. My stride was loose and relaxed. That feeling lasted for a whole 60 seconds.

As I approached the ¼ mile mark, the two internal balloons inside my chest cavity began to shrivel to the size of my patience for Rich Rodriguez. I started sucking in deep breaths to try to keep the burners firing. I didn’t feel fresh like a newly diapered baby anymore. I felt like a baby that had eaten too much squash and made a little leaky present around one of the improperly fitted elastic legbands. With nearly 6 miles to go, this was going to suck…as in cold air suck…as in feel like you are slowly suffocating every step of the way suck.

As I finished up and peeled the cold, sweaty clothes into a pile on the carpeted floor for the laundry fairy* to magically wash, a simple truth dawned on me like it must have to the general public when they realized that Carlos Mencia is not funny: I love to run. This trumps the weather conditions. I’ve gone out in near 100 degree temperatures. I’ve run in 5 degree temperatures with a negative wind chill and everything else in between. It doesn’t matter what the weather is doing because, for me, it just affects what I wear.

I’ll still be out there either way. I shouldn’t even waste my breathe complaining. I will complain - you should know me by now - but I shouldn’t bother.

Michigan’s constantly changing climate presents some challenges but it really doesn’t override the bottom line: I’m going to run.

So, maybe Michigan isn’t so bad after all. The Great Lakes are pretty neat. It is nice to hold up the backside of your hand and point to the spot about half way between your middle knuckle and wrist as your home for those unfamiliar with the state’s geography.** Fall is beautiful. Summers are moderate. The Red Wings are terrific each year. No one wears sweater vests. And Kid Rock and Eminem just released new albums.

And, most importantly, we are not Ohio. Now that would be a reason to complain.

Happy trails.

*Mrs. Nitmos?
**How many of you just pointed to your hand? Be honest.

20 comments:

Lisa said...

I'm running outside too. Mother Nature is a B!t@h this time of year!

Lauren said...

I pointed to my hand! LOL fun post :) and good for you for not letting the weather affect your training!

Elizabeth said...

I'm the opposite. I like to run in the cold. But I will take running outside in ANY weather over the treadmill.

Sun Runner said...

How many of you just pointed to your hand? Be honest.

I live in the squishy part near the base of my thumb.

Adam Culp (Crazy Floridian) said...

I kinda miss those cold runs when I lived in Ohio. (the heart of the country, and much better than Michigan which is practically Canada) But after I recover from the marathon this past weekend I will still enjoy running in 80 degrees here in Florida!

Adam said...

Bleh - I just had my own little ditty of a cold run this morning about (and posted the obligatory bitchy cold weather post this morning).

How do I get my own laundry fairy set up? Was that more paper work that was required at the wedding?

Ironman By Thirty said...

"we are not Ohio." - Amen to that!

I actually like running in the cold. It is a extra challenge. Nothing quite like running through the fresh powder of a recent snow fall.

So, bottom line, suck it up buttercup!

PS: I live about an inch from the wrist and an inch from the left side of the palm.

Kirstie said...

"And, most importantly, we are not Ohio. Now that would be a reason to complain." bwhahahahahahaha. I am from Ohio and I complain about it here all the time. ;)

I am from Ohio and our weather and economy sucks just as bad here as it does there in Michigan. I got my first really cold run on Saturday when the temps were 28 an it started snowing. Midwest winter is here!

Julie said...

Hi there,
Michigan and Minnesota are not that much different...both ice boxes in the winter:) I enjoy having the snow around the holidays but it bites that it stays until April some years! Hang in there and I will too:)

Have a great week!

aron said...

i loooove the cold but obviously my "cold" is not quite as cold as yours :) although i always want it to be colder! one of these years i will live in the snow just to say i have ;)

Anonymous said...

I can share this just between us runners...right (and my boyfriend, who was there when I made the call)? Don't tell my boss...

I called in late to work this morning because it was 48 degrees outside. In Michigan. In November.

Tomorrow it is going to be 35 if we're lucky. I HAD to run today, even though I'd just come back in from the gym (spinning...ugh..it was pouring down rain when I got up).

Michigan weather sucks. But arriving late to work after a good run--worth it every time.

Nick said...

I LOVE running in crappy weather. Snow, rain, downpours, wind, extream cold and hot, you name it and I love it!!!!

Hold your left arm all the way out and extend your hand......I am on the tendon of your thumb at the wrist!

Vava said...

All that and, lest we forget, you were...

"Born Free!!!"
"Boooooorrrrrnnnn Freeeeee!!!"
"I was Born Free!!!!"
"Born Free!!!"

and so on and so forth... I'm certain those are all the lyrics in Kid Rock's new "hit" single, and all I've heard is the commercial for his new "record" on our local all sports radio where he growls those lines over, and over, and over again...

Why in blazes is that man allowed to invade our collective aural space?!?!?!?! At least Leslie Nielsen, may he rest in peace, won't have to listen to that crap anymore...

Viper said...

Maybe if more people wore sweater vests in Michigan, the Wolverines would play better against Tressel's Buckeyes. We believe in the power of the vest. Cheers1

Robin said...

I really must check into this whole laundry fairy thing. It's pretty bad when you realize your running clothes pile is larger than your work clothes pile. I agree...crappy weather isn't a deterrent. I'm in Cleveland. If I waited for good weather, I would never get in a run!

The Merry said...

You know what's wrong with people living in Michigan? They make me look bad. Yes, it's deliberate; I'm convinced of it. I try to psyche myself into running in the rain, and they're out there getting body parts frozen off.

Charlotte said...

Man, first I was laughing (he said nipple... hee!) then I was nodding (Minnesota weather = Michigan weather pretty much) and now, curse you, I'm all inspired! I HATE running in the cold and you've made my want to do it. Argh.

Aka Alice said...

Full nipple erectus...that is priceless.

I've nursed two kids...I don't need cold weather to get to that state ...although the cold weather certainly doesn't hurt...

TMI?

Running Through Phoenix said...

If you are living on that part of the hand, then Phx is down where the baby shit is on the leg.

Al's CL Reviews said...

we are not Ohio.

That's reason enough to be thankful!