The Run

“Right, left. Right, left.”

“Click, clack. Click, clack.”

And so began “the run.”

I’d been outside long enough on Saturday morning to know it wasn’t warm. The weather was, in fact, crappy. I also wasn’t sure I wanted to spend my break from farm chores out on a cold, windy run.

I weighed my options.

I hadn’t woken early enough to hit the treadmill before coming to the farm, and it seemed silly to drive into town for a few measly miles on the treadmill.

Besides, I’m a Minnesota girl, born and raised. I can handle this.

And it’s true I have run in much colder temps than the 5 degrees of Saturday morning. Heck, I’ve even raced in them.

But that wind…

Here in Minnesota, we fear the north wind, the west wind, and the north-west wind. Those are the ones to worry about, the ones that bring the cold, nasty weather.

We build our barns and set up our calf hutches to avoid these winds. If you drive around a country neighborhood, everyone has a thick windbreak of trees on the north or west side or both.

But Saturday, the storm was coming from the southeast. But that didn’t seem to make a difference. It. was. frigid.

Apparently the gusts were only up to 25 mph. Forgive my skepticism, but I could hardly stand up straight against the wind while wearing 10 pounds of coveralls and boots and jacket.

I could skip the run, but I needed it. It would make me feel better. I hadn’t run Friday, and I knew the odds of squeezing anything in Sunday were slim. I needed this run.

I decided I would just bundle up, put my new “get-a-grips” on over shoes and go a few miles. As I said, I’ve run in worse.

The minute I hit the road, I bargained that I’d run 2 miles. Just a typical road that I’ve run countless times. Surely I can run 2 miles in my sleep, so an approaching blizzard shouldn’t stop me.

I pulled my gaiter further up over my nose and face, and my glasses instantly fogged. I’d worn them to the farm, and I’d forgotten how tough it can be to run in cold conditions with constantly frosted lenses.

“I know this road; I’ll be fine.”

As I plodded along and passed the first farm to our west, their 2 watchful dogs didn’t even run out to greet me. They always bark and charge toward me, but apparently the weather even kept them away. Smart dogs.

I wasn’t GPSing. I was singularly focused on getting past the tree that marked 1 mile.

“Where is that tree?!?” Had I missed it?

I could as easily have gone 1 mile or 3 or 5 for all I could tell. It wasn’t even snowing, but the wind was kicking up what little snow we had along with enough dirt and gravel to reduce my eyes to slits. At least the foggy glasses provided some eye protection!

Finally I reached the turn around, and the wind on the way back was worse. I thought I had taken the brunt of it on my way out, but apparently not. I think the swirling gusts were switching direction on me.

I wished for a third pair of pants, maybe even heated underwear. Is there such a thing?

My core was warm enough though, and I knew of course I would survive. I just wanted that stinging, biting wind to go away. I ran faster as I went, and I hoped my limbs were warmed up enough to handle the increased pace.

JR would have a hot pizza coming out of the oven when I got to the farm. And I charged along faster.

I passed the part of the road shoulder where I knew a giant hole was lurking. Luckily it was in clear enough view, and I swerved around it intact.

As I came within sight of the farm I was finally starting to really warm up. I had thoughts of maybe doing a few more miles. Then another huge gust froze me down to the core and banished the thought.

Half marathon training doesn’t officially start for another week, so 2 miles suffices.

On a positive note, I wasn’t even sweating when I got back inside.

After a quick lunch we headed back outside to make sure all our calves were prepared for the storm. At almost 10:00 last night we were finally satisfied all was in order.

In spite of my short run, I definitely got a full workout yesterday.

This morning at dawn, I snapped a photo of the aftermath. It might not look like too much, but those drifts of snow and dirt (snirt) sure wrecked havoc on us yesterday!


About Lisa

Hi, I'm Lisa. Dairy farmer's wife and Minnesotan to the core, I write about rural farm life, running down country roads, and the food, faith, and family that bind everything together. Follow along on my journey.
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10 Responses to The Run

  1. Brit says:

    Brrrr. I’m so impressed that you still went out for a run in those conditions. I bet I would have skipped it or at least driven into town to run indoors.

  2. Heidi Nicole says:

    Ick, wind! We’ve had some great weather here in Colorado but when that wind picks up it gets crazy! Today the wind was so bad you could see the dust clouds coming across any open space that allowed for it. I was more than a little happy that my schedule had no running on it today!

  3. sweatykid says:

    Oh boy, gotta love a good tale of winter weather running masochism! 5*F AND windy is a bit cold for my pansy butt, but I know what you mean about just needing to run sometimes. Good on you to tough this one out.

  4. shelby says:

    I remember running at 5* once…when I lived in Ohio. It was miserable. Props to you. 🙂

    Here’s hoping to warmer weather for your training kickoff!

  5. Dana says:

    geez….and here I thought running in 32 degrees w/10mph winds was torturous yesterday.
    You get a gold star for that dedication!!!!

  6. bearrunner says:

    It was cold here too, I did scurry to the treadmill just like a little mouse…


  7. Terzah says:

    I’m very impressed, Lisa. Wind is the worst. Congrats on getting your head-clearing run in. You’re a super writer. I really enjoy your posts.

  8. Heidi Nicole says:

    {Lisa…I’m having issues with my comments linking correctly so I’m using your blog as a tester…feel free to delete this comment as soon as you see it. I’m sorry, but apparently hates me!}

  9. Jess says:

    Ack, yuck. That wind sure can kill a beautiful five-degree day in no time flat. Good for you for being a fighter!

  10. Wow, that’s intense. I hate running when snow is blowing in my face. The cold, I could probably handle with enough layers but I hate not being able to see. Glad you got your 2 miles in though!

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