Mucousicles-A-Plenty

In Wisconsin, there are days cold enough to freeze your snot only seconds after walking outside. Wiggle your nose and the mucousicles are torn from the side of your nostril, a sensation like pulling a nose hair. In order to avoid having to think too much about the ability of bodily fluids to freeze, it is best to do like everyone else: avoid being outdoors. Unless you are a runner.

Yesterday, I officially began training for the Madcity Marathon – it is 18 weeks away. The temperature outside “feels like” -1 according to weather.com. To add insult to injury, it was snowing. Still, I needed to start strong – set a symbolic precedent for the training ahead. I wore smart wool socks, two bottom layers, four top layers, a hat, a neck warmer, and gloves. The only skin exposed is the thin strip around my eyes.

During my run, my eyelashes freeze together more than once. I am sweating more than normal because of all the layers, but if the sweat touches air, it freezes. My damp fleece neck warmer has frozen into a solid shape. When I hit the play button on my mp3 player to change the song, I hear the tip of my glove, now frozen solid, audibly tap the plastic. At one point, my music stops without explanation, undoubtedly from the cold. But, I am running and I’m happy. Every time I pass another fool running by, I feel a rush of pride. I keep telling myself, if I can do this in this weather, the marathon will be a cinch.

Today, I am grateful for all things fleece and the miracle of climate control clothing.

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