I am a winter man. A big-muscle, hulking sexy-Frankensteinian winter-monster.
I am from the extreme North. Extreme.
I used to play and coach hockey.
I can still ice skate with the precision of people half my size.
I’ve skied in the Alps. I’ve lived outdoors in 20 below weather.
Theory: summer people are invigorated by heat and shut down by cold. Winter people are invigorated by cold and shut down by the horrible, hellish, disgusting, oppressive, satanic heat.
I wear some form of under armor thingies under my sweats. But I find the feel of it cringe-worthy. Everything else is 100% cotton.
I use the same running shoes but they should be new heading into the winter or you will have no grip and die horribly on trail runs. The most dangerous is running downhill in the winter as you my fall backwards and sustain the triple-malleolar fracture and I guarantee you that you will not walk away from it. So get a grip…literally.
I wear a synthetic hat and light synthetic gloves. I also wear a wool headband around my neck to protect my glands from the cold. Since I’ve worn neck protection I’ve never gotten sick from winter running.
Stretch lightly in bitter cold, especially the Achilles’ tendon or you can tear it before you start.
If it is cold with driving rain you should not run or you will risk pneumonia. 30s and raining is a deadly combination.
I spend at least an hour in the cold before I do a winter race so I can acclimatize. I drink water and usually a Carnation instant breakfast drink. The regular protein drinks either have shitty, sour, foul-tasting Guarana or they are too colon-busting thick. I never drink those non-milky energy drinks as they taste like rancid goat-urine. I don’t drink hideous, disgusting so-called smoothie drinks either.
When I run trails in the winter I am careful on the downhill. If I am going too fast I just keep going, otherwise trying to stop will result in the injury described above. So don’t run fast on a slippery downhill in the first place. Woodland steps and footbridges are also treacherous so maintain a steady pace.
Finally keep your feet dry or you will be in serious trouble if you are running for more than an hour.
Have a change of clothes and shoes after the race or you can get sick on a long ride home.
If you have asthma or some other medical condition that affects your health in the cold then do not run in the winter without the extreme advice of a licensed physician.
I made one winter mistake. I ran solo, deep into the magical woods. I stopped at an old hand-pump well for a drink of water, when I felt someone grab me from behind with an iron grip. It was the icy grip of the shitty Narcissistic pre-Electra complex stalker!
“Botendaddy, I have followed you for over an hour. Of course, because you are so slow, like a shitty slobbering Yeti, a disgusting adult-diaper wearing Bigfoot, a hairy abominable snowman, you fat, disgusting, sexy, lumbering sloth. I know how we can get warm in the snow. You know you want my perfect, flawless, low fat, body. I’m wealthy, all men want me, except you. How dare you reject me! When all I do is shower you with compliments!”
Fortunately we were running through an old ski resort. I grabbed an old piece of barrel wood and I started snow boarding down the hill. I was up to 70 miles an hour when I hit the moguls. I was flawless. She was right behind me on a board of her own, with feminine precision, like a psychotic female Franz Klammer. I made it to the top of the abandoned ski jump and I slammed through the gates. I executed a perfect jump like a flying Finnish Olympian then I hit the old downhill slalom with extreme Austrian muscularity. She was right behind me, shrieking an unknown language straight out of the horror of the fabulous Yog Sothoth!
“I love you Botendaddy! I want to have your baby! Make love to me now you hideous, sweaty slob! I want to be degraded. No woman has ever reached greater depths than wanting to be sullied and disgraced by your foul monstrosity! Make me feel dirty!”
She missed a flag and flew right off a cliff, crashing right through the roof of Wilhelm’s ski supply store. Serendipitously, she landed in a huge pile of for-sale BOGO earmuffs. She was entirely unscathed except for her boundless female rage.
She placed her fists to her ears with her thumbs pointed outwards and she screamed in an otherworldly voice: “Yog Waluigi! I conjure thee! Make the Botendaddy my eternal love slave! Deliver him to me.” She wept and urinated uncontrollably all over the earmuffs.
Once again I was safe…for now.
Peace be the Botendaddy.