Calgary winters are long, dark, and sometimes brutally cold. The only two things that make up for them are a) summer days that aren’t usually too hot and daylight that lasts from 5 AM to 11 PM, and b) the fact that Calgary is a very sunny city, meaning even on a lot of those butt-freezing cold days, the sun is out, which makes a big difference.
This winter is going to be especially hard because I usually make it through the winters at least in part by being able to look forward to going down to Moscow for a few weeks over Christmas break.
That’s obviously not happening this year.
And another challenge for this year (apart from, y’know, trying not to get COVID): I got super into running over the summer, as you all likely know if you’ve been reading my blogs. While I feel like I could get used to running in the cold, once there’s snow and ice on the ground, I’m not so sure. The last thing I want to do is bite it on a patch of ice and screw up my leg (or something else) and be out of commission for any period of time.
I mean, I’ve got my treadmill, of course, but I don’t think I could run 14 miles on a treadmill. It’s a slightly different set of muscles and the furthest I’ve ever gone without stopping is about 8 miles.
Plus, running outside is SO MUCH MORE FUN.
So that’s going to suck once winter really sets in and doesn’t leave until like the middle of May.
I’m pretty sure I’ve got some sort of circulation problem in my hands. Either that or my cold tolerance is just pathetic. I don’t think that’s the case, though, as I can walk in -15 degree weather and be reasonably comfortable…
…except for my hands.
Like, in temperatures where I see a lot of other people either not wearing gloves or just wearing those thin little $2 gloves you can get at Walmart, I’ve got my thick winter gloves on and my fingers still feel like they’re on the verge of getting frostbite.
I don’t know if constantly exposing them to cold weather is making this worse, either. It’s to the point now that if I’m out for long enough in the cold, they ache like hell once I get back inside and get them warmed up (we’re talking aching for several hours here).
I’ve Googled “how to improve circulation” and of course the first result is “exercise!”
Fool, I do that for four hours a day, so that’s not going to help anything if it’s not already doing so. Do they make compression gloves? Maybe I should try compression gloves.
Yeah, it’s that cold here. -30 Celsius is -22 Fahrenheit for my ‘Murican bros.
Fun fact: I have always found “Celsius” way harder to spell than “Fahrenheit.”
to be able to walk outside and not fight hypothermia the whole way.
Seriously, if you ever hear me complain about any temperatures higher than -10 again, punch me in the face.
I’m so sick of this freaking weather, yo.
Save for like three days, this whole month has been full of dangerously cold temps. Ambient temps in the negative teens (Fahrenheit), wind chills in the -20s or -30s (or even -40s). It’s gross, it hurts, and I’m so tired of feeling like I’m going to die of hypothermia on my walks. Where the shit is the “mild winter” we were supposed to get?
A -22 windchill seems to be my absolute lower limit, or at least the limit at which even my stubbornness won’t let me go below. I’m pretty sure I’ve had legit hypothermia on a decent number of my walks. Some of the signs of it include shivering, shallow breathing, clumsiness, confusion, and there have been a few points on my 15-mile walks (usually after I’ve been walking into the wind for five miles) where I really start to get into this hazy, confused mental state and start to lose a bit of coordination as I’m walking. There’s also been a few times where I go into the public bathrooms at mile 7 and have to shiver uncontrollably for about 15 minutes before I finally warm up enough to continue. Fun times!
Beats four hours on a treadmill, though.
Guys, we were in the POSITIVE FAHRENHEITS today for like the first time in 20 years.*
It felt really good to be able to walk outside and not feel like I was going to die of hypothermia.
Seriously, I think this was the first actually enjoyable outside walk of this whole month. Does that mean spring is coming?!?!?!?!
What in the actual frozen hell, Calgary.
Yes, this was at 5 AM, but it really never got much warmer than this today, let me tell you.
It was NEGATIVE THIRTY-EIGHT DEGREES when I walked to Anytime Fitness a little bit after this. If I had been walking into the wind instead of it blowing at my back, I would have easily gotten frostbite. That’s a 30-ish minute walk.
This weather is gross, yo. The only thing about being forced to go to Anytime Fitness is the fact that I have finally found the courage to try running again, and it feels so freaking awesome.
Now I just have to try to not go from 5k to, you know, like 13k in a day. I’m going to try to stay in the 5k range for a little while just to be safe, then slowly increase it.
But you know that as soon as the weather gets better outside, I’ll abandon Anytime Fitness altogether and just go back to my 15-mile outdoor walks, meaning running might cease again.
‘Cause that’s how I roll.
There are few things quite like the sweet, sweet pain of losing all feeling in your toes, fingers, lips, and nose while you’re out walking for four hours in weather that’s way too cold. But hey, -15 feels tropical compared to that -30s nonsense we’ve had for the past few days, so I took leave of whatever modicum of common sense I have this morning and braved the cold for an outside walk.
It hurt. It hurt good.
(Except for those 10 minutes I spent shivering uncontrollably in the bathroom by the side of the path which subsequently and unexpectedly turned into a panic attack? That wasn’t very fun. But when I was done with that nonsense, the sun had come out, so the rest of the walk was fine.)
Edit: ha, my Garmin picked up the panic attack. Heart rate spike around 1 hour 40 minutes or so.
My cold weather endurance is garbage right now. The temperature on my walk this afternoon ranged from 14 to 3 and I felt so freaking cold.
I need to get back into winter mode. The negative Fahrenheits are coming, yo.
Edit: hahahaha, FEBRUARY 2019 IS COMING
That’s what I’m going to start calling my winter walks, because holy balls it’s been cold out there.
But you know what? You get used to it. When you spend 4+ hours out in nonsense temperatures (negative Fahrenheits) you do adapt.
Ha, I remember when I thought 1℉ was obscenely cold. Now that’s a completely tolerable and relatively warm walking temperature!
My limit seems to be -22℉. That’s when the frostbite starts. Though I guess I was only out in that for about 45 minutes, so I suspect that slightly warmer temperatures are just as bad if I’m out in them for longer.
I GUESS WE’LL HAVE TO FIND OUT!
(You should all know by now that I have zero common sense.)
Is it so cold again?
We’re 11 days away from spring and it’s -17 out there.
Canada, I am disappoint.
YEAH THIS LOOKS ENJOYABLE
And yes, that’s Fahrenheit, not Celsius.
Okay, weather, I get it. You want to be cold. But you’ve consistently been in the -20s with wind chill for the past week. A bit of warmth would be great.
And by “warmth” I mean “temperatures that don’t cause frostbite within 10 minutes.”