Well, last night's run might go down as coldest, nearest to frostbite run I have done in 20 some years of running. This will be one of those runs I tell stories about years from now in Seinfeld fashion "The wind was angry that day my friend...like an old man trying to return soup in a deli."I ran home from work the long way in order to get in a 2 hour run. Heading out of downtown on the Cedar Lake paths I was running right into the wind. At the time I thought, "This isn't so bad". I was cold and any exposed skin stung a little bit, but it didn't last long once I turned southwest toward the Lake of Isles area. I thought I had weathered the worst as the rest of this point-to-point run would have the northwest wind at my back or side. Ahem, wrong.
It is easy to forget how much protection buildings and trees and the like provide because I made the ill-advised decision of running down the east side of Lake Calhoun with the exposed lake to my right. That was bad. It got worse however as I rounded the south end of the lake and headed towards William Berry Dr. It burned so bad. I became more and more alarmed that I wasn't wearing enough for this barrage. It was stand-you-up strength wind and it was more bitter than anything I experienced in 10 years in Duluth, including the day George Hanson, Andy Hopkins and I proved our manhood by running 5 miles outside on a -50 day. That day we had the sense to run snowmobile trails. Today, I eventually resorted to an all out sprint to the stop light, all the while alternating shielding my face with my hands and running with my upperbody turned sideways.
It was the same story on Lake Harriet, but I was spared the southern end torture as I hopped on Minnehaha Pkwy to run home. The rest of the run was uneventful thankfully. I arrived home in one piece and my face only stung for the ten minutes or so once I was inside. A hot shower never felt so good.
On the upside, the lakes sure weren't crowded. In fact I didn't not see a single other runner, biker, or walker until I was almost to Lake Nokomis. I guess I'll try to remember the trade-off when I'm dodging baby-joggers in July.