Me: Yay, it’s good to be back in Calgary. Hello, Calgary!
The temperature, as it tanks over the next few days:
Seriously, though, what is this madness?
That first line of temps contains the “highs” and the second line contains the “feels like” temperatures. And yes, those are in Fahrenheit.
It’s supposed to warm up starting next weekend, but that’s exactly how last February was supposed to start. Instead, it was this madness all month.
I don’t know if I can do that again.
It’s FREAKING SNOWING RIGHT NOW and I am NOT READY FOR THIS WEATHER.
It’s supposed to get worse over the weekend, too, so that’s great.
So in the spirit of “I need to pretend to look on the bright side of things unless I want to shoot myself in the face,” let’s list all the pros of winter walking.
- I use my on-ear headphones as a way to keep my ears warm, which means I get to listen to music when I walk (I don’t walk to music in the summer).
- I have to wear a coat, which helps hide my ugly body from the world.
- I don’t have to wear sunscreen (and thus don’t have to hose off in the bathroom once I get to campus).
- There are fewer people out on the sidewalks/river path due to coldness/bad weather.
- You burn slightly more calories in the cold than you do in other temperatures.
…I think that’s it.
So yeah. Things are supposed to improve by the end of the coming week, but it’s hard to see beyond the FREAKING SEPTEMBER SNOWSTORM right now.
Haha, so we got caught in a flash hailstorm on our way back from watching the new Spider Man movie. Observe:
We had just passed a bus stop when the hail started, otherwise we would have had to run a bit to find cover. The hail doesn’t look super big in the video, but some of them were probably dime-sized, I’d say. It sounds so loud ‘cause it was hitting the glass roof of the bus shelter.
I was yelling at Nate ‘cause that was the only way he could hear me.
According to the forecast, today was supposed to involve brief periods of “trace amounts” of rain. Nate and I believed the forecast, so we went out for our usual weekend walk.
Nate and I are fools.
About two and a half miles in, “trace amounts of rain” turned into “lol, better run, idiots, the sky is gonna drown you” and we had to take shelter under an overpass for a little bit before braving the strong rain to get to The Core downtown. By then, we were super soaking wet (I could wring out my coat) but only like five miles into the walk, so after trying to dry off a little in the mall, we managed to get a few more miles in by walking through the open portions of the Plus 15.
We also Plus 15-ed it to The Running Room for me to get shoes, then gunned it home to try to beat even more rain.
Na na naaaaa na…
Hey, hey, hey…
What the fuck is this.
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.
So today’s fun adventure was “let’s see if we can get from campus to home before frostbite sets in!”
According to a “how long does it take to get frostbite?” calculator I found, an ambient temperature of -29℉ and a wind speed of 7 mph combine to give you 12 minutes of exposure before frostbite develops.
And it takes me about 14 minutes to get home from the closest indoor part of campus.
So, you know, fun.
The good thing about this winter: we’re getting Chinook after Chinook, which means it is substantially warmer than it was last winter. I think we were in the -20s around this time last year; we’ve been in the 20s/30s lately.
The bad thing about this winter: we’re getting Chinook after Chinook, which means I’ve been having pretty constant headaches.
But I don’t feel like I’m going to get frostbite every time I go out walking, so I’d say that’s worth it.
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
Oh wait, it’s October 2nd?
YOU COULD’VE FOOLED ME
(and this was taken this morning, before another eight or so inches of snow fell)
Edit: holy hell, it’s a snowy death trap out there.
Edit 2: apparently this is the snowiest October day since like 1957. Also, this September was the coldest September ever recorded in Calgary. I can believe it.
I still prefer this kind of weather to the rainy hell that was Vancouver, though.
Edit 3: hahaha:
Heeeey, so we’ve got freezing temperatures and snow in September because of course we do.
But here’s a pretty bench picture I took, so I guess it’s all okay.
So due to the OH GOD IT HURTS unseasonably cold weather we’ve been getting this month, I’ve had to transition (at least temporarily) to my winter walking clothes.
This made me realize that I’ve never told you what I wear on my walks based on the season.
I’m sure you don’t actually care, but I’mma talk about it anyway. Because this is my blog and I suck and thus this blog should suck accordingly.
- Short-sleeve shirt
- Pants (stretchy, breathable, has a butt pocket for iPod)
- (Plus underwear, bra, shoes)
- Same as summer, except add a light jacket
- Short-sleeve shirt
- Pants (thick, not breathable, fuzzy warm)
- Tights (extra protection from cold)
- Headphones (to protect my ears from the cold)
- Gloves (I dual-wield those cheap $2 gloves because I’m pathetic)
- Winter coat (I swear this thing is made of the same stuff that protects the space shuttle during re-entry. It’s such a good coat and it only cost like $5 because I got it at Goodwill)
- (Plus underwear, bra, shoes)
It’s fUCKING SEPTEMBER, WHAT IN THE HELL IS THIS WEATHER?
I am not mentally ready for snow. I’m just not. Winter ended in mid-April.
Summed up very nicely in one photo.
1: THE GODS ARE ANGRY
2: THE GODS ARE MILDLY ANNOYED
This photo also demonstrates how quickly the weather can shift between these four modes.
Me: “Walking is healthy because it helps relax you, helps get your heart rate up, and helps get you outside to absorb some of that sweet vitamin D.”
Me: *walking 15 miles outside anyway* “HHEEAALLTTHHYY…”
It’s hot, it’s smoky, and I feel like every time I go outside I lose like 10 minutes off my life expectancy due to said smoke, but I’m sure I’ll be missing this “weather” once it gets cold and horrible again in a few months.
I lived in Vancouver for two years. Vancouver is Rain City like 99% of the time.
But I have never dealt with as much rain as I did today on my walk.
Story time: so we all know by this point that it would basically take some sort of natural disaster to prevent me from walking (even a natural disaster, depending on what it is, might still be walk-through-able). So when I left this morning for my walk and it was raining a little bit, I didn’t think too much of it. I had my raincoat on and all my electronics in baggies in my backpack, so what was the worst that could happen, right?
Fast forward to about three and a half miles into my walk and the unpleasant but light drizzle of rain had transformed to “DROWN EVERYONE FROM ABOVE” levels of torrential downpour.
Usually when it does that here in Calgary, the torrential downpour is quite short-lived. Ten minute, max.
FOR THE REST OF MY WALK
That is, for the remaining TWELVE MILES.
Note that twelve miles takes me a bit less than three hours, so that’s a long time to be out in that kind of rain.
And my raincoat? It couldn’t handle that nonsense. Not only was it raining like a fire hydrant exploded in the sky, but it was also very gusty. So by the end of my walk, the inside of my jacket was just as wet as the outside.
How wet? Well, let’s just say I’ve been drier after getting out of the shower.
I was soaking wet. I got to campus and left a trail of water from where I entered the building to my office. I got to my office, got my change of clothes, and headed to the bathroom to change.
I could wring out my hair. I could wring out my pants. I could wring out my underwear. That’s how wet I was.
My backpack had about an inch and a half of water in the bottom of it. The double baggies surrounding the external hard drive that I carry everywhere (‘cause I’m weird and paranoid) barely did their job of keeping that thing dry.
So yeah. I spent the rest of the day freezing in my office. At least the rain had stopped by the time I left to go home.
Is this how we die?
Sung to the tune of Frère Jacques:
It is April, it is April
What is this? What is this?
Winter can go die now, winter can go die now
I am pissed, I am pissed
Ah yes, April. The dead of winter.
What the shit, Calgary?
Also, it’s supposed to get to like 50 degrees tomorrow, so guess what’s going to happen to all that snow? Time for sidewalk flooding!