Different criteria will qualify a particular long run as “epic” but the most common qualifiers are extreme weather conditions. These, in fact, are what I am using to qualify my first two Epic Runs. Epic Long Run #1 was a 12-mile nighttime run (or, in actuality, an 11.5 mile run, much to my chagrin) through ceaseless downpour. I ran from my apartment in Woodside, over the Queensborough Bridge, across Manhattan, and then one loop around Central Park. Travelling home on the subway, I made my own personal puddle on the floor and received some very pleasant looks from fellow passangers. Nothing like a nice wet rider to stare at!
Today’s Epic Long Run (#2) was a fine, frigid 19 ° F run along the same route, only with a return trip on the pavement, as opposed to on the subway. Just cold enough to burn the skin right off my face and freeze my fingertips to the point of excrutiating pain! Nike really should think about making gloves with specially-insulated fingertips. And why didn’t Apple make its iTouch glove-friendly?!
The Beginnings of a Winter Running List of From a “Beginner” Winter Runner:
- Run In The Sun. You need to utilize as many heat sources as possible, and as wintry as it may seem outside, your fingers really will thank you for that extra .001 ° of heat.
- Grease up. Most long-distance runners already know the value of Body Glide, but that’s because chafing happens all year. Slathering your face with Vaseline? That’s a wintertime-only practice. Thank you childhood sledding excursions for that little bit of innovation!
- Layer. Tightly. I used to be a proponent of looser, “easier to move in” clothing such as hoodless sweatshirts and cuffed sweatpants. However, since your core heats you up when you run, it makes sense to keep that heat as close as possible. Don’t add bulkier layers to stay warmer, just add “better” ones—and more of them.
Lastly, here is a map of today’s route. I had intended just to loop around the reservoir in Central Park, but then I was feeling pretty good at E92nd street, so I just decided to complete the full perimeter of Central Park. After all, next week is 16 miles in horribly HILLY Pittsburgh, so I need to lay all the groundwork I can. . . .