Running Cold

Sticking to my running regimen has always been a challenge. Work, foot problems, and less-than-perfect weather too often keep me inside. Retiring solved the time issue. Skechers ArchFit shoes fixed the foot problems. Weather is beyond my control, but my preferences have changed to expand the window of opportunity.

I can’t complain. The climate in Athens is just about perfect. Long, hot summers are too much for some, but a small price to pay for short, mild winters. Before this year, sunny skies and a temperature between 60 and 70 degrees were required for me to run.

Foot problems have been a bigger issue. Plantar fasciitis stops any running for months at a time. A case in the fall of 2020 kept me sidelined until a year ago when I bought my first pair of Skechers. At first, fear of more foot trouble kept me from running more than every other day. I started walking on days I didn’t run, walking for part of my run, and then, mostly to get home faster, running for part of my walks.

Before long, I was running almost daily with no pain. I ran 36 miles in May, 64 in June, and gradually increased my mileage every month before peaking in September with 100 miles. Before this year, colder weather ended my running routine. I vowed not to let that happen this year.

Why so determined? My weight. Getting below 200 pounds has been a goal for more than 20 years. Whenever I get close, something knocks me off my routine. I ain’t playin’ now. No more excuses. I bought cold-weather running togs and — believe it or not — even cut back on calories.

Figuring out how to dress on cool days took practice. Mistakes weren’t immediately apparent. My routes run along the top of a ridge where it gets breezy. Depending on the wind, I can handle temperatures in the upper 40s, but no colder. I can’t run bundled up like the little brother in A Christmas Story.

I ran more than 90 miles in both October and November, 20 miles in December and 66 miles in January. By then, I’d adjusted to cooler weather and ran 78 miles in February and 86 in March.

Lost pounds have a way of returning every winter. Not this year. My weight fell below 200 pounds in December and has since dropped to 193. Falling below my long-held goal weight makes resisting temptation and avoiding self-sabotage easier. I’ve worked too hard.

I feel great. Lab results from a January doctor visit were practically perfect. For the first time since learning about Body Mass Index (BMI), mine is in the healthy range.

Losing weight is great, but a mere side effect. Running makes me feel good and is good for me. The ability to run is a tremendous gift. Sooner or later — hopefully much later — I’ll have to quit. Until then, I intend to run whenever possible and will enjoy each and every mile.

As always, I’ll keep you posted. Thanks for stopping by!