It’s Monday, so time for an exercise report. The good news is that I’m still a Winter Warrior. I’ve managed to get outside every day for at least three miles. It’s been cold some days, which stinks, and warm and rainy on others, which stinks in a different way (rain + brick sidewalk + newly above freezing weather = slick, slick surfaces). But other days have been mighty enjoyable, and I’ve appreciated having the incentive to get outside.
Last week we talked about dressing for winter running and how even though I wear the special wicking clothes and layer up, I’m still covered in sweat by the end of the run. This week I’m still stuck on clothing–but this time, I’d like to discuss what I’m wearing while I’m inadvertently running, which is a whole other clothing debacle.
I usually mean to do my run during the day when it’s sunny and ostensibly warmer, but there are days where I push it back enough that it turns into, “I’ll just do a longer walk when I go to meet the Boy at the train.” He takes the commuter rail to work, and the station is a nice walk from our place. Unless it’s really bad weather, I usually walk to meet him at the train, and we both get a little exercise.
To get in most, if not all, of my daily Winter Warrior mileage, I need to budget a good 45 minutes before the train arrives. However, I’m not so good at getting out the door on time, which means that about seven minutes into the walk, which is right about the point after I’ve deliberately gone a few blocks in the opposite direction from the train station, I usually realize I have to start running in order to get to the train on time. Now that I’m sitting here in my warm abode, I realize I could turn around and go in the right direction, but when I’m outdoors and have a route and a mileage goal set in my head, I get tunnel vision and start running in order to both reach my goal and get to the train on time.
New Englanders aren’t particularly well-known for their fashion sense. While that ruffles a few feathers among the actually stylish set, the people I generally see embrace their mousy hair, L.L. Bean clothing and sensible shoes. My own wardrobe isn’t much to speak of, but that’s because I work from home (no real dress code to speak of beyond, “By noon, the pajamas must be off, and real clothes must be on”), don’t go out to impressive places enough to have a wide variety of nicer clothes, and don’t have a huge closet or huge budget to shop often.
But I really see odd New England fashion sense at the gym. It is no longer strange to see a guy wearing a button-down shirt and topsiders while using the weight machines. There’s the cutest little old woman who walks on the treadmill wearing polyester pants. Last week, the Boy wore his black dress shoes to the gym and once there, realized he’d forgotten his sneakers. I told him to go back home and get the sneakers, but really, he could’ve worn the dress shoes with his running pants for his weightlifting workout and nobody would’ve batted an eye.
With that in mind, if I’d been able to talk to someone who saw me running down the street this week wearing jeans and a short parka, they probably wouldn’t have seen that as weird. Even if they knew that on one of those days, I was wearing a sweater underneath that parka, they probably would’ve said, “Good for you for layering. It’s cold outside.” And they’d probably follow it up with, “Don’t I normally see you running down the street carrying your purse? It’s about time you realized you can take your wallet out and put it in your pocket. Now you look a little less like someone who’s just robbed a place or is running from an attacker.”
Yep. That’s what happens if I procrastinate. And worse, I found that it wasn’t so hard to run in the unconventional clothing. I’d be curious to hear why it’s not the smartest choice, but for what I needed to do, it worked just fine. Eighteen days down, 63.16 miles logged so far. Let’s see what the rest of the month brings.