My story-worthy runs are very rarely the picture perfect, everything-went-as-planned, no-misery-could-be-found events. Nope. Those runs are boring. Or at least I think they are — it’s been a very long time since I’ve had one of those runs! Instead my runs usually come with random bouts of drama, excitement or whining. Either I’m squishing a run into a tiny window of time or I’m getting lost in random Denver neighborhoods or it’s just too damn cold…there’s always something keeping any given run from being spot on perfect.

Except earlier this week. On Wednesday, to be exact. My work day consisted of 8 hours working remotely from the local coffee shop and as usual I left the house full of ambition. I’d bundled myself up in layers of running clothes when I ventured out into the -2 degree temperatures at 7am with a pair of running shoes in hand. I was going to work my morning away then run in the warmth of the afternoon sunshine. Ha. Foolish optimism.

zero regrets

When 4pm rolled around the temperatures had barely crawled above 0 degrees and the sun kept hiding behind the clouds. Sure, it looks pretty outside but it also looked freaking cold! Alas, my mental sanity started to fade so I knew I needed to escape work…even if it was just for the couch back home. I packed up, trudged to my car and sat there fighting an internal battle. To run or not to run. Eventually I ran…and by the end of the run I had spent a few miles tossing a number around in my head.


How many toes could I feel? Zero.

How many fingers could I feel? Zero.

How many cheeks could I feel? Zero.

Heck, how many appendages could I feel? Zero.

How many snot rockets did I blow? Zero.
[my nasal passages were to frozen to even produce snot!]

How many regrets did I have for making myself get out there?! ZERO.

It took me a heck of a lot more than zero minutes to talk myself into my run. It was a struggle to get back out of my car. My toes were frozen as soon as I laced up my Saucony’s — expert tip: do NOT leave your shoes in the 3 degree warmth of winter if you want to feel your toes at any point during your run, duh.

Even when I got out there it wasn’t quick and easy. I had to stop to tie my shoes three times. The paths were only partially cleared so it was like running in really cold sand. Even with two pairs of leggings on my thighs were painfully cold for the whole run. It wasn’t perfect. It wasn’t stunningly beautiful. It wasn’t overly peaceful. It just was. And that is all it needed to be…zero drama, zero icy disasters, zero car crashes, zero violent moose encounters, zero regrets.


Gretchen | Gretchruns · February 5, 2021 at 9:44 am

I would recommend those little hand warmers and feet warmers you can get in big packages for runs in the cold! They help me out SO much and make the run almost enjoyable! I also wear a pair of base layer pants with a pair of pants, and if it’s really cold a waterproof shell over that. Keeping your core also really helps, I like to wear a vest over 2 layers of tops, with a jacket on top. Don’t forget your neck- I have a sleeve that goes down my neck and can be pulled over your face too. All of these changes help me get out there, and once I start it’s not so bad 🙂

    Heidi Kumm · February 6, 2021 at 6:16 pm

    Hand warmers are a good idea! Thanks for the suggestions! I had two pairs of pants on at the time, I’m usually pretty good with the layers but the sun was setting and I swear the temperatures were dropping as I went. Even so, it wasn’t a miserable cold…if that even makes sense?

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