Monday, January 23, 2012

Our Foxholes

It was chilly 60 degrees for most of the weekend in the LA area. I got in a few runs in shorts and short sleeves. I did some street runs by a year-round farmer's market and even did some trail running in the Santa Monica Mountains.

It was freezing in New York and the Manhattan Half Marathon was run through sleet and snow that was so bad that it was officially a "non-competitive" race. I think I missed out.

My buddy Kai, also known as the Idiot Runner who also clearly took this picture*, went out for the run complete with a frozen beard. While I don't have a beard, I miss saying that I froze my ass off to run a somewhat ridiculous distance for normal people.

Last year I was out there with the best of them and I tell the story of the Manhattan Half often.

The high was 14 for that day. So before it hit that high and you include the wind chill you get a gun temperature of -7 or so. It was really cold. You can see the frozen sweat on my head in this picture.

We runners are insane. We love to say we did it. Last year saw some of the most extreme weather in New York City in recent memory. We had a ton of snow and record heat waves; I ran during the worst of both.

When running through Central Park on one of the hottest days of the summer (the high was well into the triple digits with nearly 100% humidity), a couple of guys ran past me and said, "why are we doing this? This is crazy" and "our wives must hate us for this" to which I replied, "we are crazy and our wives love the extra room in the bed." (Laughter ensued and the faster, thinner guys ran on as I tried not to expire.)

Leaving aside the accurate assumptions of a traditional family structure for a second, the three of us had a bond deeper than the usual head nod and two finger wave that runners in more pleasant climates give to one another when passing. We were like combat buddies. Foxhole companions in the literal heat of a figurative battle.

It was hot as hell at 6:30am and we were sweating bullets on our morning miles. An unspoken and spoke bond of the insane, of the runner.

We are crazy and I miss my winter crazy. So to all of you crazy bastards who got up, ran those two and change laps in Central Park this past weekend, I applaud and envy you.

*Sorry for not putting in the photo credit, I thought the self portrait and the link to your blog was self-explainatory.


ben said...

I was supposed to run it but opted to run the next day instead - was too nervous for injury. Wish I just went for it. But the truth is, i REALLY wish I was running in California weather!

Idiot Runner said...

Nice post. It may have looked fun... and actually, it was. Up until I stopped running, then it got pretty miserable pretty quick.

And I was joking about the photo credit. Goodness :)

dcc said...

Idiot - I know that! I was giving you a hard time. Because that too is fun.