Much as I love a roaring fireplace and the seat heaters in my Volvo, I don't mind running in the cold. Like it, actually. Must be my Northeast upbringing.
Running in sub-freezing weather is nothing new. When I was a runner in high school, in Northport, Long Island, I ran in the snow, over icy roads, in howling winds. Many's the time I wore a ski mask to keep my face from getting frostbite, two pairs of socks, thermal underwear AND sweatpants. Not to mention a Hoodie under a ski jacket from time to time.
About a dozen times a year here on Florida's Space Coast, I have to drag out the cold-weather gear for a run. An old knit ski cap from the Gap. Thick gloves I bought from a sidewalk vendor in Manhattan. Fleece jacket. Long-sleeved T-shirt. Sunglasses if it's bright out. Hoodie optional depending on wind speeds.
Nothing beats running on a cold, clear brisk day with the sun shining in a bright blue sky.
I have to admit, though, those first few deep breaths of arctic air in my lungs felt like I was having a heart attack. But after the first half-mile, my body had acclimated -- my lungs were turning that frigid air into warm, moist breath and the heart was pumping oxygen enriched blood throughout my body.
I keep my torso, head and hands warm, but run with my legs exposed. I like the chill against my thighs. The cold is nature's painkiller and the air felt like ice packs wrapped around my quads and calfs.
Also, I don't really understand the expression, "Freezing my ass off." My ass was the least cold part of my body out there, I assume because of all the subcutaneous tissue and blood vessels in the derriere. It would take a really cold day to actually freeze one's ass off!
The best part of an invigorating run in the cold, of course, is getting back inside with a hot cup of Joe!
And now, Louis Jourdan and Ella Fitzgerald sing for us!