Recovery day. I ran just under four miles. Extremely cold weather awaits Tuesday through Friday. I’m running in Janathon, and most of the runners are from the U.K., so the temps that they’re enduring are not like the cold here in Pennsylvania. Over  there it’s 30s to 40s; over here it’s much colder. I just checked my forecast and it calls for lows, over the next five days, to be: 10, -6, 0, 5, -13. I ran last week in the polar vortex, an anomaly that lasted two days and contributed to the destruction of my children’s day care center. 

Now it looks like the “polar vortex” is just winter as usual. Last year it got down in the 10s, with ONE day in the single digits. i ran it. It was 7F. And that’s pretty darn cold. Last week, we had that as a high during the freak cold spell. The highs every day this week have been revised upwards to 20s, one day 34F, which is encouraging if you don’t run at night. Because day care is destroyed, I run at night.

So, I bought a length of tubing to help me breathe the polar air. I bite down on the one end to hold it in my mouth. I cut a hole halfway down its length to increase air flow while reducing suckage. 

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I’ll grip it with my teeth and wear it under a fleece parka. It travels down inside my outermost layer of clothing. If I keep running, I’ll generate enough heat to breathe through the tube. When I ran in 2F nastiness last week, every two miles I had to stop because I had to catch my breathe. My lungs were freezing and I couldn’t respirate. I love to respirate.It’s nice.

I cut a hole in it midway and cut the trailing edge in such a way that, even if the end of the tube gets sucked to my chest or belly, I can still draw air through the tone hole in the middle. I cut away a section of the trailing end so the tube wouldn’t get sucked directly against my body.The bites are little scores I cut with a pocketknife. The cuts are offset from the curve of the tube slightly, allowing for the tube to tend to right side of my chest. It will protrude outward from my clothing like the breastbone of a bird. 

I will not be able to maintain my lead with this freakish weather. I don’t know how long it’ll last. Running in weather that cold is extremely dangerous, so I’ll be relying on one of two techniques. This heat recycling probably means I won’t be getting much air, but it will have to do. If this doesn’t work, I’ll go to plan B, which I’ll write about if I use it. 

So, I ran 3.8 miles in my office attire en route from a mechanic to my house. I can do this.