I’m pretty thankful to have the time, energy, and fitness to run as much as I do. It also doesn’t hurt that I live in an area where it’s pretty feasible to run all year round. So, I rack up a lot of mostly trouble free miles. A lot, in this case means, more than 3,000 miles in the last 12 months.
I’m not superman by any means. I have cranky hips, knees, and ankles. Nothing debilitating. I’m pretty sure that’s kinda normal with most runners, especially those of my vintage. The cold does present a challenge though.
A few years back, I thought I was having a stroke or something weird, because out of the blue my fingers went pale and started to tingle. It was the middle of winter, but I was just sitting comfortably in my relatively warm house at the time. It was worrying enough that I went to urgent care. After a good going over and an MRI, a slight scare over lyme disease, they said it’s Raynaud’s phenomenon, basically extreme numbness in extremities.
The last year we lived in CNY, was one of the coldest February’s on record. Something like 18 days where the high was in the single digits or less. That wasn’t terrible, because it also generally doesn’t snow much when its that cold, so you don’t have much reason to be outside. When it was teens and up and there was lots of snow, is what I dreaded most. Turns out that vibration is also a Reynaud’s trigger, like when you’re using a rickety old snowblower. A couple of times, I eclipsed from numbness into pain and had to take a break.
For me, lately, the cut off temperature is about 50 degrees. Above that, I’m pretty ok without gloves. Below that, the timer is ticking; I get about an hour before my hands turn into dysfunctional claws. While I’m running, I’m fine outside of my hands just feeling a little tingly. When the run is over, untying my shoes and unlocking the door, are comically frustrating. Then, there’s some screaming in the shower as the feeling slowly works its way back into the fingers.
It’s been glove weather here in my neck of the woods for a couple of weeks now. I think the insulative properties of my current running gloves have just about evaporated at this point. They feel fine for the first half of the run, and then it’s like I’m not even wearing them after that. I guess it’s time to start the search for another pair of fancy wicking (and likely expensive) gloves again.