Athletics Magazine

My Favorite Torture Device

By Brisdon @shutuprun

My Favorite Torture Device

Every year at about this time it gets cold, and every year people act surprised. Same with summertime when it gets hot. Why?? Why so shocked that winter is cold and summer is hot??

Just check out Facebook and you will see a million pictures of thermometers – as if it’s not enough to say it is –25 degrees, you have to PROVE it with a picture or else everyone will clearly think you are lying. I even took one because I like to fit in.


What the hell is a Vector Vest?

Call me crazy (I would prefer you call me bad ass) – I went out yesterday and today to run in sub zero temperatures. Why did I do this?

1. The challenge was there, taunting me

2. I hate the treadmill

3. I like to prove to myself I can do things

4. I wanted to see if I could get frostbite on this one slice of skin on my forehead

5. Two friends were going and I figured if they could do it, I could do it


I had to bring out these YakTrax torture devices to make sure I did not break a hip:



6.5 miles followed by coffee, warm bath. DONE.

By the way, if you need a kick in the pants to get out there, I wrote a post last year called “10 Tips to Shut Up and Run In the Cold.” Go read it.

This morning Heidi and I went out this morning for a few more CAS (cold as shit) miles. She makes for a great co-pilot (yes, Ken that is your truck I am driving. I cleaned up all the hair):


That bitch (I mean that in the most canine way possible) is a freak in the snow. She could not be happier (or more beautiful, I mean really! No wonder all the dogs on the trail want to hump her).



Then she spends the rest of the day recovering.


Every time we do something hard, or something uncomfortable and we don't die, it’s a rush. I like to think there are no barriers or boundaries to what we can do. I know that running in –7 degree weather is not like climbing Mt. Everest, but it is a feat and it makes me know that I don’t have to let the fear of being uncomfortable stop me from doing anything.

Let’s face it, running is very, very hard. My daughter told me the other day that she doesn’t like to run because it is difficult. I explained to her that it is hard for every body. She said, “It’s not hard for you – you run marathons!” WRONG. Running is hard for me every single stinking time I do it. That is part of why I love it and why I find it so cleansing (emotionally, physically and colonically < probably not a word).

My advice is to not be afraid of the struggle. Embrace it. Know it is making you stronger, whether it is one mile or 26.2. Do something that you are not sure you can do or want to do, and relish in the success of having done it. When you are tired or want to give up, remember that pushing oneself is hard for EVERYONE, not just you.


What are the coldest temps you will run in? Depends on the conditions – if it is sunny with no wind, I will go out in up to –10.

Do you run with your dog? Sometimes. What I’ve realized about Heidi is that she doesn’t do well running on a leash (steady running makes her really tired). So, I need to take her to trails where I can let her off leash because she likes to sprint, explore, roll around, take a dump, then wait. Doing this, she can go for a long time.


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