Jan. 11, 2022

More Miles Than Degrees

I have always enjoyed running in cold weather as long as the trails are not icy or covered with snow. There’s something magical about breathing in that cold air as I am running. One of my good friends and a running mentor has always said and I paraphrase- there can never be bad weather for running, only bad running gear. Here in Colorado, we run 365 days a year- be it sunny, rain or snow. So do not be scared of running in cold weather. Just make sure you have the right gear. There are lots of great resources available on the Net related to winter running gear.

More Miles Than Degrees is a digital badge introduced by my friend Kevin who had also started our running club. The badge is awarded when a runner runs more miles than what the outside temperature is. This blog is about how I earned that coveted badge.

It was a brutally cold morning on January 1, 2018. I had signed up for a 10K race called Rescue Run. It was a road race and for a good cause. I had ran that race before and the weather was always nippy but it was exceptionally cold that morning. It was close to 0F (-18C) and with wind chill it felt even colder. Moreover, the organizers had cautioned that part of the course could be icy as well. Covered from head to toes in layers and with shoe tractions on, I showed up at the start line along with a big group of runners ready to race in probably the most adverse weather I had ever ran.

As soon as I had started running, I realized that was going to be one of the hardest runs- forget about racing, could I even finish? The cold was cutting through the layers like icicles. My finger tips started hurting despite wearing thick gloves with hand warmers. The ears were getting numb despite being covered with balaclava. I could even feel the air inside my nostrils freezing up making it hard to breathe. And every step I took was a measured one making sure I did not slip on ice.

I do not remember how long it took me to finish the race. I did not even care. All I remembered was I ran to my car after crossing the finish line, turned on the heater and sat inside till my body started warming back up again. The next thing I saw on my phone was the More Miles Than Degrees badge from Kevin. I had earned it for running 6 miles in 0F temperature!!