Friday, January 29, 2010

The Boston Freeze

I am so pleased that everyone wants to hear about my running mishaps, so here goes...

I have run maybe 4 times since early December. But, last week I decided, ok, enough with the sloth and back on the track. I went to the gym twice and felt OK. I had a trip to Boston set for Thursday afternoon and Friday. I have been to Boston before, but have never run there. I have always wished I had the time to run along the Charles River, and be a part of it. Of course, I have only been there in picturesque fall, not the dead of winter, but I thought that was not a big deal -- I live and run in New York in the winter, so how much different can it be. I left Thursday afternoon, and actually worked from home Thursday morning and ran. It was sunny and cold (maybe 40 degrees), but fine once I warmed up. I also knew I had a window in my schedule for Friday afternoon to run, but what I really wanted to do in Boston was to run Saturday morning along the Charles river.

So, to prepare for that Saturday run, I packed my cold weather gear, tights, hat, gloves, layers of shirts, etc., and off to Boston. Friday was a beautiful sunny day, but I was inside at my hotel most of the day. My running "window" got increasingly tight, but I really wanted to go. I decided I had better just run in the hotel, because of the timing. I get out all my gear (new shoes included), get dressed -- and I have forgotten to pack socks! Airgh! Hmm, the wheels in my head spin. I have before in dress socks, and while it is OK it is less than ideal, particularly if I want a nice run along the river tomorrow. So, I am in Boston, the second greatest running city in America (after New York of course!), and no worries -- I will run to a running store to get some socks instead of hit the gym! I google it and -- the Bill Rodgers Running Store is the closest store, about a mile away. Awesome! I'll just run over to the store, get socks and come back and then run in the gym a couple miles more.

It is now about 4 pm, and I am going to have to really get going to get my run before my afternoon meeting. I am staying on the Waterfront in South Boston. I went outside -- in the gear I had set out to run in the gym, shorts and a tshirt (and dress socks to boot!) -- and waited for Garmin to pick up the satellite. Of course, that took like 10 minutes. And I was cold. Not a little cold, but like super duper cold. No worries I tell myself -- I have run in cold before (like yesterday), and I always warm up. If I go back upstairs and re-dress, I'll run out of time, Garmin will have to restart from beginning, no socks for tomorrow. And my cold weather gear will be dirty for the big run I had planned tomorrow. This errand is only like 2 miles in an urban center, how bad can it be?

As Garmin eventually picked up the signal, I realized something else: wind. And not a breeze eitehr, but maybe 20 mph off the bay. Brr. And -- Boston is further East and North of New York. So, the sun had also set. And the weather was 20 degrees colder than my run yesterday in New York. But I have to get the socks for my Saturday morning river run! See, it all makes sense!

Off I went to get the socks. I never warmed up. The trot to the running store was actually about 1.7 miles according to Garmin. When I got there, my hand was basically frozen in place and I couldn't completely un clench it. My nose was frozen too. And the running store didn't have the socks I wanted, but they had perfectly fine substitutes. And I had brought cash and not a credit card so I couldn't buy a cool shirt. The guy at the store suggested I use pair of socks #2 as a pair of gloves. Good thinking! So back to the hotel I ran, Garmin showing a measly 3.4 miles, with a terrible pace (lots of ice and people on the sidewalks too. And I forgot to stop the pace in the running store. And Garmin lost satellite coverage in the store and didn't pick up for a while on the return trip.)

I saw my hotel and almost sprinted home. I was freezing. The doorman old me the temperature was 17 degrees. I estimated the wind between 15 and 20 miles per hour -- particularly over the river bridges and open spaces, where it was stiffer. That is a wind chill right around 0. And I still had a work meeting in about 15 minutes. I took a hot shower and tried to thaw out. Note to self: always wear the cold weather gear when running in the cold. Or, pack running socks.

And the truly ironic thing was that I couldn't run Saturday morning either. So the entire sock trip was for naught! Oh well. Lesson learned.


  1. Total FAIL. I would have given up and cried. LOL! Thanks for sharing... I can not even imagine! Like Hades is hot but being hot doesn't HURT like being cold can.

  2. Despite all the signs telling you it wasn't going to work, you still persevered.

    Better luck next time!

  3. That is a real bummer, especially since you couldn't even run on Saturday! At least you got your run in Boston, next time you'll make it to the river.

  4. Wow, sounds brutal...

    I used to battle that Boston wind going to/from school, and being a southern boy I was always underdressed. I do not envy you that run one bit!


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