Thursday, February 27, 2014

It's Winter. And We Run.

It's tough to train for the Boston marathon during the winter.  It's also tricky to stay consistent during my kids' winter break, which always falls right smack in the middle of the training cycle.  As I recently mentioned, vacation is supposed to be a time to check out from everyday life and hang with the family. True, my family doesn't really relax and our days are filled to the brim with activities, but it's still a break, so to speak.  At the same time, the pressure to stay on track with my marathon training, my own pressure, no doubt, is always looming in the background throughout this particular week.  Before we left, I decided to aim for getting three runs in; one longish one and two shorter ones; the goal being to keep my fitness, but also take a little hiatus from training to enjoy the vacation.  On Sunday night, after a couple fantastic days off, I decided I would drop the girls at the mountain on Monday and head back home to get my long run in.  When we woke up that morning, it was -14℉ outside.  For real.  I consider myself pretty tough, but there was no chance in hell I was running anywhere in that temp.  So, off to the mountain we went.  My sentiments... if you can't run in it, you might as well ski in it.  On Tuesday it was -1℉ when we woke up.  Ok, I thought, maybe I can handle that.  I mean, it is a whole lot warmer than yesterday.  So, I dropped the girls off and headed home to give it a shot.

When I pulled into the driveway, the temp was finally in the positive.  Two whole degrees above zero.  Yippee.  So, I geared up and mentally prepared myself for the coldest run I had ever tackled.  Truth, there's no way to prepare for this.  I just put my music on and turned up the volume to drown out the voices telling me I was totally nuts.  And off I went.  I didn't feel much at first, but I did eventually find a rhythm and about 2 hours later I was home.  I have never, ever been happier to be done with a run.  And, maybe never prouder.  Which, in the end, made it all the more worthwhile.  It's winter.  And we run.


1. Long underwear works as well, if not better than running tights in sub-zero temps.
2. Aquafor is a much better cold and wind deterrent than vaseline.
3. Don't sweat the pace.  When the road looks like this, there are no records to be set.

Super inviting, right?
4. Sunglasses or, better yet, ski goggles are highly recommended, regardless of whether the sun is out.  They help protect your face from wind, snow, and dirt and rocks that fly off the plows as they pass by.
5. Said snow plows usually can not see you and don't care if they do.  Move for them.
6. Music sounds incredible when there is no one on the road and no other distractions.
7. So does silence. (my iPod ran out of juice for the last few miles of my long run)
8. People who live in NH and deal with this weather all the time do not think it's the least bit weird to see a runner coming down the street in ski goggles.
9. Go the the bathroom 2, 3 maybe 4 times before you head out.  Squatting is not fun.
10. It's absolutely, 100% okay to brag about this run when you're done.  No one will get it.  And many might not care.  But you should do it anyway.  

*Note: This list is dedicated to Molly B. over in China, who gets a kick out of my Top 10 lists.  Rock on, Mol! ❤

Listen to this:
Gotta Get Thru This - Daniel Bedingfield**  

**The singer is talking about getting over her man, but as I was running, this song really applied to my own situation as all I wanted to do was GET THRU IT.  And I did, dammit.

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