I Did This Weekend All Wrong

What's missing from this "How to run correctly" is the need for good gloves when one is running in the winter.

I can’t help but think that I did this weekend completely wrong.

How might I come to the conclusion that I’ve done this weekend completely wrong? Well, let’s consider the evidence, presented chronologically:


Saturday was cold. Not terribly cold, or anywhere close to the coldest day of the year, but it was winter and as such, temperatures below zero were to be expected. I will say that yesterday was beautiful. It was crisp, and clear and to be honest, it seemed like the perfect day to go for a run. And up until just before reaching 11km I would have agreed with you completely.

You see, I hadn’t realized the wind chill was as bad as it was because I started my run with the wind at my back. However, when I turned around to make my 11-ish km trek back home I realized how under-dressed I was. Not so much in the leg or torso area of my body; legs, feet, torso, arms, and head were all well protected from the wind. But my hands – that’s another story all together. I was wearing my standard running gloves. While they work in reasonably cool temperatures (-2 to 10, say), they fail completely  when wind is involved. Add in the fact that I have a hell of a time on a regular day thermoregulating, I realized I was in for a world of suckbaggery as I made my way back home.

You know – home – which was about 11 km away. Eleven cold-as-hell kilometres away. Gah. Gah to the Gah.

Saturday's run - cut short because I'm clearly an idiot when it comes to dressing for the weather.

On the run home I was forced to stop numerous times. While I don’t normally care if I stop while running my longer runs, I was particularly annoyed on this occasion. This was for two reasons.

Reason the first: I had to stop because my hands were so cold. So cold, in fact, that I did anything and everything to warm them up. I’m sure I would have made quite the sight when I had to stuff my hands in my shorts to try to warm up. Word of advice – cold hands in the happy fun time pantal zone – not so happy or fun. Thankfully, no one was around when I resorted to this solution, so I was saved the embarrassment of having to explain what I was doing.

Reason the second: I was running a rather awesome pace for the first 10+ km. It wasn’t my fastest pace by far, but given stops for traffic, ice, snow, and mud, I felt it was going well.

Finally, I had to stop running at just over 17km. I was really that cold. My hands barely moved, my muscles were cold from having to stop too often, and even my iPhone wouldn’t respond to my fingers1. Thankfully, Moksha yoga was open and I sat in there for about 45 minutes trying to warm up.


Today was beautiful. In fact, it’s so beautiful, I can’t believe how cold I was yesterday. It’s as if Old Man Winter died without putting up a fight. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not upset at his passing as I am what you might call not the biggest fan of being cold (see previous comment on thermoregulation). Now, given the early burst of spring/summer like weather, guess where I’ve spent my day? If you guessed outside frolicking you’d be wrong. If you guessed that I spent the better part of my day in the office, you’d be bang on. And I did this, all the while with the sun shining in through my office window reminding me that it was gorgeous outside and I was inside working.

Oh Epic Fail badge - I totally deserve you.

Clearly I deserve the EPIC FAIL badge for this weekend.

I mean, if I had really wanted to do this weekend right, I should have worked on Saturday during the cold weather, and gone for my run today in the sunshiny awesome weather. Live and learn Gillis, live and learn2 .

Regardless, I’m not actually upset by this. I mean, despite the cold I still had a great run yesterday, and I got to spend time with some friends (both yesterday and today). Additionally, I’ve also managed to cross off a few things on my list, including finalizing a draft paper that I’ve just sent off to my coauthor for comments and revisions.

Of course, if given the choice, I’d definitely ask for a redo on this weekend – if only to take full advantage of the beautiful weather.

1 The iPhone, as far as I understand, does not respond to heat – so I’m not quite sure why this was the case. Regardless, typing was a chore – because my screen didn’t want to respond, and because my fingers were frozen.

2 And what have I learned, beyond the fact that I have this desire to punch Old Man Winter in the face? I’ve learned that I really need to pay better attention to the weather forecasts. Also, my happy fun time pantal zone is not a significant enough source of heat after I’ve been running for 10+km. At least, not significant enough to offset the drain that my frozen hands placed on the area3.

3 I honestly never thought I’d be writing about my happy fun time pantal zone on this blog. To those with delicate constitutions, I apologize. I’ll try to avoid this topic from now on.

6 Comments Add yours

  1. aqcentric says:

    I challenge you to use happy fun time pantal zone in at least one blog a week.

    And…….. go!

    1. dangillis says:

      Te he. I’ll see what I can do. But only because you asked.

  2. Rick says:

    Ha! Happy fun time pantal zone. Best expression ever. I agree with aqcentric.

    Live and learn Dr. Gills.

    1. dangillis says:

      Live and learn indeed.

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