I love the winter. I love the cold and the snow. But I gotta say ... I'm over it. First of all, I NEVER get sick. I just don't. I think it is from my many years of working in healthcare and building immunity by exposure. But this year it happened. First it started with the pukes; it pretty much tore its way through all of us at work. I recovered from that and then I started with a slight cough. I felt fine and figured it would just go away like it normally does. So a couple of weeks ago Joe and I went to a snowshoe race. I haven't run a snowshoe race in years and it was only 4 miles, so why not? Well, I coughed the whole ride to Rochester. I figured a good run in the cold would definitely help clear the crap out of my lungs. But HOLY HELL ... less than a mile in and I felt like I was running at altitude. I suffered through and finished but from that moment on, things just got worse on the cold front. I coughed and coughed and coughed. I could hear the death rattle in my lungs. But I felt fine and knew that it eventually would go away. And it finally did.
But the downside to that illness was that I quickly developed an intolerance to the cold. The cold made my skin hurt and breathing it brought on coughing fits. So once I finally got back to running (yes, I did take a few days off with this supposed illness) I was forced to hit the treadmill in the garage. And I just haven't been able to want to get back outside to run. Joe and I cross country skied one day and it was OK, but I just wasn't totally feeling the love of the winter like I normally would.
FINALLY today the sun was out. The sky was clear. The wind was blowing and it was 1.6 degrees outside. And I just wanted to get out in it. I was not going to spend one more day on the treadmill. I am finding the treadmill to be a nice training tool, but not something I want to do too often. And more than twice a week is too often for me. So Joe and I decided to get out today and try a little XC skiing. We are so lucky to have a seasonal road loop just a couple of miles from our house. In the winter it is not maintained at all for driving. BUT we are so lucky that it does get occasional maintenance from snowmobile club ... with a GROOMER! And at least once a year we are lucky enough to get to its smoothly groomed surface before the snowmobiles tear it up. And that day was today! We both donned our ski goggles and face masks and headed out. And it was amazing. The right gear makes all the difference. On this route there is a pretty long downhill and flying down it today with face mask and goggles, I didn't feel a bit of wind. BEST XC SKI DAY EVER!
Now I only wish I didn't have to go to work today ... I just want to get back out in it. Likely by my next day off the snowmobiles will have roughed the surface up. But it should still be ski-able. But even if it is not, I have at least re-found my love for the winter and am ready to get back out.