Living in South Florida, I know I'm not going to get much if any sympathy from my friends in northern climates, but damn, its cold outside. It was nice for the last couple of weeks. The weather has been cooler, but not cold. The day before New Year's Eve I did a long run starting at 5:30 AM in running shorts and a long sleeve Coolmax shirt. Here in South Florida we start all of our long runs an hour or two before sunrise to not die in the heat. Once the sun comes over the horizon, the temperatures start to rise quickly. It normally gets too toasty to run by about 10 AM. However, on December 30th, it was in the 60s, just right for a long run. So right, that I extended the run to a 21 miler.
I even did a couple of bike rides where the temperatures dropped into the mid 50s. That's what we consider winter down here. Temperatures that go into the low 60s and down to the mid 50s is what we usually consider winter. Temperatures that I consider ideal for running. That's why all of the Florida marathons (Palm Beaches, Disney, Maimi, A1a, Tampa) are in the winter months from December through February. The rest of the year, its really tricky to run the marathon distance in Florida. Too hot and humid with weather in the 80s to start and quickly
The last week has been unusual. We've been getting daytime temperatures in the mid 40s and temperatures down into the upper 30s at night. I read that they've been getting similar temperatures in New York City. However, the same temperatures down here always seem to feel colder than those similarly temperatures in normally colder climates. I don't know if its that the houses and buildings are not insulated as well for cold, weather its the humidity making it feel colder, or if we just don't dress the way northerners do. Probably all of the above.
Again, I know I'm not getting much sympathy from anyone living north of Orlando, but I feel like I'm getting cheated of out of some of the really good running days that I get in South Florida. The scarce resource just got more scarce. If I get up early , its just stupid to run before the sun gets up. Its below 40. If I wait for the sun to get up, its hard to get a longish run in before I need to get off to work. In the evening, its getting dark and cold before I get home. And I refuse to go on the F'n treadmill at this time of year. I'm forced onto the treadmill when its too hot out; I'm not doing it because of the cold.
So, I did a 10 miler on Tuesday an hour after sunrise and got into work late. I'm going to leave work early today to squeeze in another run. It's a good thing I'm self employed. I'm may not get home before dark, but I'll be warmed up by then. I have a second 20 mile run scheduled for this weekend in preparation for the Miami Marathon at the end of the month, but I can wait until the sun is up and the temperatures are out of the 40s.
It all make me think of my buddies Wayne and Mark in Anchorage, Alaska. They not only have much worse temperatures to deal with this time of year, but they've go really short periods of sunlight to try to work around. I imagine there are a few lunches that get missed in order to get a daylight run in. That, and being forced inside to their rubberized track and treadmills. I imagine my running friends in other northern cities face similar hurdles to their winter training.
So, I'll shut up now, put on another layer of running clothes and be happy that I've got above freezing conditions to run in. These cold temperatures only last about a week to 10 days down here anyway. So, if any of my northern friends are looking to get away to a warmer climate for training this winter, give me a call. Just don't plan to come down for the next week. You would be disappointed.
Let the name calling begin!