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 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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