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Winter realities Vancouver runners will never understand

Is it frostbite or am I just cold?

At this time of year, with winter in full frostbite mode, runners are bundling up with their best wool base layers and windproof goggles. It’s at this time when temperatures drop and the season has no end in sight. Still, the spring marathon isn’t going to run itself. Though it may be real nasty outside, runners still have to tally up adequate mileage and work on those paces. Of course, the winter months are also the time when folks from eastern and middle Canada look towards west coasters with envy. Those from Vancouver in particular are spoiled with mild temperatures that have many seriously contemplating moving there. Below, some experiences that are all too real for most Canadians that Vancouver runners just wouldn’t understand. 

RELATED: What to look for in winter running tights?

The first 20 minutes after returning home are all about thawing those thighs. 

You know that feeling when the blood flow starts to return. In the minutes after returning from the run, most Canadians are faced with red, blotchy legs that sting from the cold. The legs just have to stand up for the windchill if they’re going to be able to move fast when spring rolls around. 

Your buff just froze to your own face.

You’re a few kilometres in and there you have it: the buff has frozen stiff to your face. There is absolutely no chance of it thawing anytime soon either… 

Beards were meant to freeze.

As our recent story proved, beards are meant to freeze. A luscious beard in the summer is one thing, a frozen beard after a run is so much cooler. You’d be pressed to come up with a more badass look. 

Ice eyelashes = winter’s forced makeover.

Check ’em out here. These photos shared on social media by truly dedicated readers prove that ice mascara may be the biggest running trend this winter… 

Oh you want to run? Better get used to carving your own path through the snow.

Yes this is the reality for many a runner in Canada. With any luck, an early bird runner has completed your route already. We all know that feeling of trying to follow another runner’s footsteps through deep snow. And yes, it’s quite likely that you’ll be startled by the annoyingly cold feeling of snowflakes collecting around the ankles. 

You’re bound to have multiple frostbite scares this season. So be it.

Is this knife-like pain actually frostbite or am I just cold?

Yes, your toes are in fact frozen.

And it’s going to be incredibly painful when they start to come back to life once back indoors by that toasty fire. Your toes might be mad at you but your spring self will thank you when you clock speedy times and set your new 10K PB. In the meantime, layer up with those Merino wool socks and invest in a pair of winter running shoes. 

There’s debate as to whether it’s colder than the North Pole and you’re still running outside. 

Your friends: sitting on the couch eating chili and watching Netflix. You: Navigating your way through a snow storm and stubbornly finishing every single kilometre scheduled for the day. 

You actually know what it feels like to have cold lungs. 

Answer: Painful. While others are tasked with figuring out the coziest winter outfits, your biggest concern is to find a way to make the simple act of breathing more comfortable. 

Un-freezing your own face is part of your beauty routine for a night out. 

Other people getting ready for dinner: curling hair, picking out nice outfit, doing makeup. You: Heating face to make cheeks less red while considering using cover-up to disguise the windburn.