The Return of the Black Ninja

I have running apparel for the cold weather, and I have featured my all-black running gear many years ago in this blog. But for the past few years I chose not to run much outside during the winter, especially if the temperature is below freezing, and instead went mostly inside the gym during winter months.

However with this COVID pandemic, I am still avoiding going to the gym where people not too distant from each other are panting, and yes, it is impossible to keep a mask on when you’re exercising and breathing hard. But I don’t want to stop exercising altogether during the winter as I need to stay healthy. So I think I will be running outside even through this winter.

Thus, the Black Ninja has returned.

taking a pose in our front yard
got to go
off and running

(*my wife took the photos of my craziness)

Cool Running of the Black Ninja

Running is a simple sports. You don’t need a lot of equipment or gears. Just a good pair of running shoes and the endless road ahead of you. Well, not quite. Not if it is cold.

There is winter running apparel available in sports stores, that are light and yet warm. However, even with these gears, once the temperature is in single digits (Fahrenheit), or worse if it’s below zero, they don’t feel warm enough at all. And I am not recommending running with a parka on.

Of course one can run indoors in a gym. Although, running in a treadmill is so unnatural for me. It is really boring. If it is just a mile, well, I can bear it. More than that, I just feel like I’m running and not going anywhere at all. For that is exactly what it is!

There are also indoor running tracks, which fortunately the gym where I am a member has. One lap is 0.1 mile. Actually, this is where I usually run in the winter. Again, after running more than a mile or so, it feels dull and repetitive. It is like running in circles. Then again, because that is exactly what it is!

I still prefer to run outside. Feel the wind in my face. Breathe the crisp cold air. Enjoy the beautiful winterscapes. Run and really go somewhere, and not just in circles. As long as I don’t freeze to death.

Last Sunday morning, our temperature wandered above the freezing point. 33 degrees Fahrenheit (0.5 Celsius) to be exact. I know it was still cold but I decided it was a good day to run outside.

My wife said that I was crazy. I admit, maybe  just a little bit. She even took pictures of my craziness.

heading out our walkway

I donned my cold weather running gear, complete with thermals, gloves and balaclava headgear, which I just call my Ninja mask. There  was snow on the ground but the road was plowed and cleared. No problems, so I thought.

Ninja runner. Where’s my sword?

When I stepped outside, it was foggy and even gently drizzling, but it was not too cold at all. However, I have not gone far when I noticed that something is not quite right. It was very slippery!

With the temperature right about the freezing point, the fine rain freezes when it hits the ground forming a very thin coat of glazed ice on the road surface. They usually call this “black ice,” as it is unnoticeable until you step on it or drive on it, thus making it very dangerous. If there is Black Ninja, there is also black ice. I was not prepared for ice running or should I say ice skating.

I had no choice but to turn back and return home disappointed. I may be a little crazy, but not crazy enough to risk myself slipping or falling and breaking a leg.

returning back already on our driveway without even breaking a sweat

I wondered, if there is winter tires for cars, maybe there is winter running shoes with ice and snow traction. As I googled it up, I found out that there really are. I must have one of those.

Or maybe I can even have Ninja spikes shoes so I can tramp black ice and can also scale walls and trees. Who said I’m crazy? Huh? Are you talking to me?