Monthly Archives: January 2014

It’s Come to This

I know a lot of you have it worse, but this morning in BaconLand it was 8 degrees with 15 mph winds out of the northwest. It was bad enough that there was a Weather Advisory on the internet last night, something about wind chills and exposed flesh, and it quickly whipped my anxiety into a lather. Admittedly, that isn’t terribly difficult to do, but it did seem pretty serious – there was a lot of red text. Also, I really wanted to run this morning.

On the menu for today was a long hill run (a hard run up a 3-mile hill). I have a pretty good hill right by the house and ordinarily would simply set the alarm for something that starts with a 4 and get it done. But… exposed flesh and wind chills (11 below, or whatever). The solution, of course, would have been to do it on the treadmill at lunch. Treadmills are perfect for long hill runs; they’re great at it. But… I kind of somehow managed to get myself wrangled into a sociable lunch with a coworker today. She even sent me an invite in Outlook. People are the worst.

So it had to be outside. In the past I’ve experimented with wearing clear sunglasses on windy mornings to protect my eyes, but if it’s really cold, like Weather Advisory cold, the lenses fog up immediately and then the fog freezes, leaving the lenses clouded with ice. I guess it’s better than nothing, but I’m not sure how.

I had no choice but to mope around last night, grumbling about frozen fog and exposed skin. I finally decided that I’d bite the bullet and just go out anyway, even though there was a decent chance that my eyeballs would freeze in their sockets. I imagined the cold gradually infecting my brain and guts and freezing my body from the inside out. I’d resigned myself to an agonizing crystalline death halfway up a 3-mile hill when Mrs. Bacon piped up, “You could wear ski goggles. Ski goggles won’t fog up.”

Ski goggles?? Ridiculous.

But then again, it would be dark. And ski goggles solve both the exposed skin and death by frozen eyeballs problems. Oh what the hell, how much craziness could ski goggles possibly add at this point? I’m in.

The alarm went off at 4 something this morning and I tiptoed down the stairs to suit up.

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I think we can all agree that Mrs. B hit this one out of the park. I might be biased, but I believe this is the coolest anyone has ever looked. I could wrestle a bear on the moon in this getup.

I couldn’t have been more comfortable as I began running up the street. I could feel the wind against my body but wasn’t cold at all. There wasn’t a square millimeter of exposed skin on my body, and my eyeballs and cheeks were perfectly toasty. I coasted down to the bottom of my hill and then turned around to charge back up.

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It was a challenging run. The entire climb was into the wind and it didn’t help that the air I was breathing behind my facemask was recirculated and oxygen-depleted. But I wasn’t cold at all. In fact, I could have probably worn a short sleeved base layer under my jacket; obviously my warm face top was making my arms hot.

I was right around a 7:40 pace the whole way up, which is as fast as I’ve ever run this route. It was the goggles, you guys. Well, the goggles on top of my inherent magnificence.

Epilogue, one hour post-run

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Little Bacon absolutely killed the game she was playing on Club Penguin here.  I solved the polar vortex.

Got My Swagger Back

For Christmas this year Mrs. B made me a running playlist on Spotify, which I finally had the opportunity to try last week when it was seven degrees and I had speedwork on the schedule. The logic being:

1. I only listen to music when I run on the treadmill, never outside
2. If it’s less than 20 degrees out, speedwork moves indoors to the treadmill – that’s the temperature under which my times suffer just enough to make me cranky and ruin the entire day

The details of the workout aren’t as important as the playlist, which is sassy and includes everything from Lil Wayne and Busta Rhymes to Britney and Beyonce. The real gem, however, is Swagga, by Excision and Datsik, which, if you’ve never heard it, sounds like Megatron having a root canal. It mechanizes your soul and incapacitates the glob of brain that would otherwise be consumed with the stress of seeing 10.0 in the mph display on the treadmill.

The first time it came on I accidently hooked the headphone cord with my elbow and dislodged my phone from the treadmill’s accessory cup, sending the phone tumbling to my feet and swaggering right off the belt. It shot into the elliptical behind me, making a sound like a fragile smartphone falling out of an airplane and colliding with an elliptical. Neither my phone nor the ellipticaller watching me run were harmed. I chalk that up to swagger magic.

Since my PR at Rehoboth, I really feel like I’m firing on all cylinders. Before my surgery when I would start to tire in a race, on the track or during a tempo, I would fade and there was nothing I could do about it. But in the last couple months I’ve found that I’ve got another gear – if I want to run faster, I just try harder. I guess that’s what healthy tendons do for you. Add to that a fistful of swagger, and you’ve got something to build on.

It was 23 degrees this morning so I was outside on the track for headlamp speedwork. The details of the workout aren’t as important as my attire which, I noticed as I got back into the light of the living, matched exquisitely.

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I hadn’t planned it at all; I just put on whatever was on top. But this is just the kind of thing that happens once you get your swagger back.

Mrs B. noticed as well, though she used “matchy matchy” instead of “exquisite” and added that the picture wasn’t nearly “matchy matchy” enough. Her correction:

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The point to all of this is: watch out Ocean Drive Marathon. (Can you believe that’s the point?)

Have a good weekend, guys.