I haven’t blogged much about running the past couple of weeks, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been running. I had a successful 7-mile long run this weekend, as well as a few shorter 3-mile runs. Everything has been going well, and I’ve been staying pretty close to my training schedule.
Today, I went out for my mid-week 4-mile run. When I finished, I noticed that my foot stung, as though it had a blister. How could I have hurt my foot so early in my training? Last year, I managed to go through 32 weeks of training and an entire marathon without a single blister on my feet, so this was a most unusual feeling.
I got my answer when I went to take off my shoes: I had forgotten to change to my synthetic running socks from the cotton socks I had been wearing earlier in the day. Back before I had been converted to the Way of the Synthetic Sock, I had worn cotton socks for all of my workouts. I would get the occasional blister, but it usually wasn’t much to worry about because I would never run for more than an hour at a time, and rarely for multiple days in a row. I couldn’t imagine getting multiple blisters while having to run 40 miles a week, though!
Anyway, the moral of the story is that friends don’t let friends wear cotton socks while running. Besides being better for your feet by preventing blisters and chafing, they also promote the life of your running shoes by not letting them get disintegrated by your sweaty feet. Synthetic running socks usually cost between $7-$12 a pair, but they’re worth every penny if you want to save your feet from unnecessary agony.
The recent unseasonable mild weather in Chicago, and the current unseasonable weather on the East Coast, is NOT evidence of global warming! You cannot take a single weather abnormality and attribute it to climate change. Same with Hurricane Katrina, same with any single weather event. To make such a gigantic leap in logic makes you sound ignorant.
The same goes to the (even bigger) idiots who say things like, “Wow, it sure is cold out! Global warming is bullshit!” let me say it again, you cannot take a single weather abnormality and attribute it to climate change.
The melting of the polar ice caps is evidence of global warming. The fact that 2007 was the second warmest year on record, right behind 2005, is evidence of global warming. A mild spell in Chicago in the winter, one that isn’t even unprecedented (60 degree temperatures have occured in 1949, 1950, 1967, 1975, 1989, and 2005, to name just a few years) is not.
I don’t know, maybe I should just be happy that the warm spell is making people believe that global warming exists so that people will actually do something about it. But as a scientist, these claims by otherwise very intelligent people are driving me up the wall.
When figuring out what to wear for an outdoor run, the common wisdom is to dress as though the temperature were 20 degrees (Fahrenheit) higher than the actual outside temperature. When I set out to run this morning, it was 60 degrees outside. Even though I was in Chicago and it was technically the dead of winter, I had to pretend it was 80 degrees out. I went running in only shorts and a (synthetic) T-shirt, when less than a week ago I had to bundle up like I was about to go mountain-climbing in the Himalayas!
It was a fairly comfortable run of six miles, which was great considering I had not run anything more than four miles since the marathon. It was somewhat difficult for the first three miles, though. I panicked just a little bit: “Jeez, Amanda, I know you’re a bit out of shape, but just three months ago you (sort of) ran a marathon! And it was thirty degrees warmer then!” I said to myself. I wondered if maybe it was because I wasn’t acclimated to run in temperatures as warm as 60 degrees, but I knew that was bogus because I had run on a treadmill not long ago. My answer came to me at the halfway point, when I turned around and was no longer running straight into a 20 mile-an-hour headwind. It’s always nice when the answer is simple like that!
Sadly, I will probably not see this wonderful, mild weather again for a couple of months. Although it’s not that uncommon for there to be a short period in January or February when the temperatures shoot up to the 50s or 60s, it is pretty uncommon for it to happen several times in a season. Tomorrow temperatures will slowly fall back to seasonable levels. Oh well, it was nice while it lasted.
I chose a bad day to stay inside and be a lump on the couch.
Today in Chicago, the high temperature reached an astonishing 60 degrees Fahrenheit, shattering the previous record of 54 degrees for this day, set all the way back in 1907. When I finally did venture outside in the evening, I found myself sweating underneath my winter coat. Probably because it was still 58 degrees outside.
Many party-poopers would be quick to mention that this is yet another sign of Global Warming, and that taking joy in this abnormally warm day amounts to celebrating the demise of our planet at the hands of human beings. Really, though, it is irresponsible to relate the weather of one single day in one single place to a global phenomenon, just as people who say, “It’s cold outside today! Al Gore is a fucking idiot!” are also concluding irrationally. After all, 2007 was the second warmest year on record, and yet I don’t remember sweltering this summer any more than normal.
So, rather than feeling guilty about celebrating the abnormally warm weather, I plan to spend time outside tomorrow, which is also supposed to be quite warm. I will have to bring my umbrella on my adventures, however, because the weather forecast also calls for lots of rain.