As her feet hit the unstable ground and the brisk air blows against her body, Liz Jackel zones out and faces the winter weather head on. "I get a lot of strange looks. I see a few neighbors everyday and they're always like, still again? and I'm like yeah."
Jackel runs at least one mile everyday. In 100 plus temps or subzero ... rain, snow, or ice ... day or night ... she makes time for it. "I had to catch a flight for San Francisco one time, so I ran at three o'clock in the morning before the flight. I just try to get it in when I can, regardless of the conditions," said Jackel.
Running in the rain or snow does not bother Jackel, it is the wind that works against her. Doctors say in the bitter temperature the wind is the biggest danger. "The skin exposure is a big thing," said sports medicine orthopedic surgeon Dr. Brad Bruner. "You feel warm except your face is really cold and you don't feel that cold because the muscles keep your body warm."
Dr. Bruner says the body of a committed runner like Jackel gets used to every season's weather extremes. "Now's not a good time to start if you haven't run in the cold. You adapt to it, you learn to do it, there are ways you deal with it," he said.
Dr. Bruner recommends a lot of stretching before and after any kind of exercise. But he says it is even more important if you are doing it outside in the cold.
During the winter, Jackel worries most about slick streets. "I only hope that if I fall and hurt myself that someone's there to help me, and if I fall and don't hurt myself that no one's there to see me."
But she refuses to let Mother Nature bring her down. With a 543 day streak going strong, Jackel says the state's wild weather will never break her stride. "I don't want it to just come to an end one day because I just decide not to run," she said. "I want to actually pick a day and have it be sort of like the finale."