I spent a good chunk of time this morning google-ing "How cold is too cold to run?" and, unfortunately, there was no definitive answer. There were a lot of chat groups discussing what average Joe runners thought the coldest safe temperature was but no reliable sources discussing actual numbers. Finally I found a relatively reliable source and it said us humans are pretty adapted and, as long as you take the right precautions before you head out the door, you can run when it's below zero. Of course, dressing in layers was the first step. But the problem with being outside when it is that cold is that any exposed skin is prone to frost bite or frost nip. That is no bueno. The article recommended putting a heavy-duty moisturizer on your skin followed with a petroleum-based product (I chose Aquaphor) to protect fragile skin from the whipping windchill.
After all that prep, I headed out the door and, I have to say... it wasn't too bad. Yes, it was cold. Yes, I felt like my nose hairs had ice crystals forming on them. But it was tolerable.... as long as I continued moving. I decided to shelve the long-ish run and go for just over 5 miles as there was no point killing myself when it was well below freezing. Good call on my part, I think.
(Frosty + greasy = hot.)
I'm working night shifts for the next few days (eek!!). I haven't done a night shift in over two months so this should be interesting!
Garmin stats: 5.5 miles/43 minutes. My layers made me feel slow... or MAYBE it was the -23 degree weather!!