The cold snap is here. They said it could be colder than during the 2018 “Beast from the East”, at least in some places. Down here it’s mostly colder-than-usual and unpleasant, but could be worse. It’s been snowing (shudder) in many other parts of Ireland and some place in county Roscommon had -7C (20-ish F) We have -1C today and the sun is shining.
The weather is the big thing to talk about here these days! And it’s comforting to hear people talk about this as abnormal. But to a Swede, it’s also quite amusing seeing the headlines about 69 cancelled flights at Dublin airport because of the cold weather, and tips about how to stay warm…. when it’s -3. Like, wait until you get -20! Hey, I know it’s because society here isn’t prepared for even -3 for more than a day or so, and that’s grand, but it’s still a bit amusing.
And of course I’m delighted to be in a country where having minus degrees isn’t the norm!
Cold weather isn’t for me
You might think that because I’m Swedish, therefore I’m used to cold weather. And of course I am. However… being used to it doesn’t mean you have to enjoy it. There are reasons why I moved away from Sweden, and one of them is the climate. We lived in Ireland in 2008-2009, and a few years after we moved back to Sweden, I started to really suffer in the winter, from the cold, the darkness, and the lack of colours outside. The winter was like a long pointless transition period you had to survive to get to spring and back to real life. I couldn’t even enjoy the autumn anymore because I dreaded the winter so much.
The winter there can stretch from November into early April, and it would mean I would be miserable half the rest of my life if I stayed. It was an intriguing (and depressing) thought, and I started thinking of “what if we moved back to Ireland”. Short winters, more daylight, usually no snow, green fields all year, daisies in January, daffodils in February, gorse in bloom during the winter.. etc.
My husband wasn’t convinced, but during a holiday here in 2017, he came to the decision himself that we should move back to West Cork. The climate is only one reason, then there’s the social life, the music, our friends, the community. We feel more at home here. Every time we came to West Cork on holiday it was like coming home.
Then in 2018 we sold our house, donated or sold a lot of stuff, packed up the rest, and in February 2019 we took the cat and some suitcases, flew over to Ireland and went to a rental house by the sea on the Seven Heads peninsula. Later we bought a house of our own.
Minus degrees are not the norm here, at least not in West Cork. If you’re unfamiliar with the area, it’s in the very south, along the southern coast, and we’re warmed up by the Gulf Stream. Even some tropical plants are happy enough here! Winters here are usually more like 4-10 degrees (40-50F) with rain, wind, and sometimes nasty Atlantic storms. Frost happens but not frequently, and down here where we live, snow is rare.
Running (and not) this week
My plan was to run Mondays and Thursdays.
Monday was a quite good day and milder than I expected even with only about 5C, so I went out and did 3.69 km walking/running intervals. I wore my usual leggings with two performance jackets and a windbreaker, and my beanie hat. And I did quite well – I could run more than I did last week, with no problem around the knees. I did longer intervals of running this time but still soft careful jogging, I’m not going to change that until I’ve been running regularly for a while and seen that my knees are still happy. If all is well I’ll continue to gradually increase the distances I run. My knees and legs can handle normal weightlifting now (and quite a bit of it), so I generally don’t worry much about the knees anymore! But since the knee problem was caused by running, not lifting, I still have reason to be careful.
The Thursday run didn’t happen this week. The temperature dropped to around zero, and after all those years in Sweden, I’m done with cold weather. If the temperature goes below 4C or so, then it’s indoors weather to me, except to get from place A to place B.
So on Thursday I stayed inside and did a few sets of lunges, squats, glute bridges and my usual rotator cuff exercise instead, and I’ve made a list of bodyweight strength and mobility exercises to do at home, so that’ll be my plan B over the winter.
And the forecast says 7 degrees on Friday. Perhaps I’ll go for a run on Saturday! 🙂
What’s the weather like where you are? Are you enjoying it?
Linking with Natalie’s Weekend Coffee Share.