5 Reasons Real Runners Love a Good Polar Vortex

Friday 5This week much of the U.S. was busy getting their panties in a bunch over a little thing called the Polar Vortex. As far south as Atlanta, runners arose to below-zero air temperatures. While people sitting on the couch would think all runners flee for the treadmill in the face of such natural disasters, many of us just shrug on an extra layer.  Real runners run outside no matter what (because, haven’t you heard? “Miles run on the treadmill don’t count.”)

Indeed, here are the 5 reasons real runners love a good polar vortex.

Thanks to my friend Tony H for letting me steal his selfie.
Thanks to my friend Tony H for letting me steal his #RunnerSelfie.

1. It’s the opportunity they have waited for all year to post icicle-covered selfies to prove how badass they really are.

2. And if they did stoop to the treadmill it was only because they had some crazy fast workout on tap and the polar vortex gave them the opportunity to brag about it when they were explaining why they don’t have an icicle covered selfie to share on social media.

3. They finally have a reason to wear all their winter running gear. And when I say all their winter running gear, I mean all of it. At once.

4. They can regale their grandchildren with tales of their run that over the years will grow from 6 miles to 26 miles all up hill into the wind (back when windchill was still a thing) on solid ice.

5. Running when the air temperature is -13 makes the 20’s feel like Cabo!

Did you run outside in below-zero temperatures this week? Tell us all about it!  Better yet, tweet a photo to us @SaltyRunning with the hashtag #RunnerSelfie!

Salty Running boss and mother of 3 little ones with PRs of 3:10:15 (26.2), 1:25:59 (13.1) and 18:15 (5k). I love to write about running culture, mental training, and fitting in a serious running habit with the rest of a busy life.

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  1. I am just coming off an injury, so I can’t chance slipping or sliding the wrong way on the ice and snow. With that being said, I am only able to tackle 3 miles at a time on the dreadmill and it honestly wasn’t too bad. This winter is shaping up to be a tad rougher than last year, but last winter I remember only running on the treadmill one time and that was because I had Yasso 800’s on tap. If I was able to run outside this past week, I can’t say I would have been out there during the moments when it was -40 below wind chill, but I would have been out there when it was a below zero or hovering (without the frightening wind chill).

  2. Luckily (or not luckily?) I have been sick all week, and have only been outside 3 times for short (er) runs. It was terrible! I am usually not a baby when it comes to chilly temps, but it’s terrible when you’re sick!

  3. Love it. I was lucky enough to be in California early in the week, so I ran in nice, sunny 70 degree weather rather than the -50 temps we had here in Wisconsin. Then I got slammed with a head cold when I returned, so I haven’t run at all since (boo). I have to admit though that it does feel balmy today at 25 degrees after the last couple of days at -15. Stay warm and bad @ss, friends! 🙂

  4. -23 air temp, -45 windchill = too cold for this Minnesota runner. But friends did run in that (and posted epic face-sicles on Facebook). I’ll be back out there tomorrow, enjoying the tropical (!) 20 degrees ABOVE zero!

  5. I walked in it! Now when I walk, I look like a child: snow pants, winter coat, toque, wool mittens, scarf… the whole shebang. I also walk in the best winter boots EVER. I actually sweat buckets. ewww.

    I come home, and I have ice/snow clumps in my hair from my breath. kids love it.

  6. Aside from the one day when the wind chill was in the -40s and the regular temp -15, I kept running outside. Now that it’s in the 20s and 30s it actually feels ridiculously warm. I actually like winter running. It’s better on my body than super heat.

  7. I’m not new to running, but my thought when I first read this was, “Wait, there are RUNNERS who move indoors during bad weather??!” To me, bad weather is the most fun! If you only do something when it’s perfect conditions, then what’s the point? Those beautiful days no longer mean anything. It seems like such fun to go run when it’s pouring and feel the rain streaming through your hair and into your eyes while the city folk scurry about under umbrellas (Ok, I’ll admit a little to the “it makes me feel like a badass” statement). The other day, I went out for my planned 11 miler and it started out raining and 37, then dropped 10 degrees and began hailing, and then sleeted on me as I headed home. Somehow, the wind shifted right before my turnaround point, and I really WAS running into the wind both ways. I got back and thawed out in a shower, and all I could feel was pure accomplishment. I felt like super woman. I’m not very fast, but those days it’s easier for me to keep pushing myself. Those days are often the ones I remember most from a training season. It’s like, given a true adversary in the weather that day, I know more of what I’m made of and it feels like a better fight. The days when it’s beautiful I sometimes get bored. And remember when you were a kid and you would dash about in rainstorms jumping HARD in all the puddles and laughing maniacally? I still do that, I’m turning 27, and I seriously think that some people need to stop being such ADULTS about things and just go run in the bloody hailstorm because dammit, it’s FUN to say f-u to the weather and do what you were gonna do anyways!!

    Rant over. lol. 🙂