I only had 30 minutes to run (outside) today. 30 minutes exactly. I was in a little bit of a grumpy mood about it, as it was the first day where the snow was decently melted in my neighborhood, the sun was shining, the wind was minimal and everything was pointing towards a nice outdoor run.
Of course, within minutes of being outside, the grumpiness was gone. Sunshine (even if it’s 27 degrees) plus outside running will do that to me. I decided I might as well get in as many miles as I could in 30 minutes. So after the first 1.5 miles at 8 min pace, I did pickups for the rest of my run. I got over 4 miles in, which was great considering the slow beginning and few icy patches where I had to go slow. So, grumpy Jen crisis averted.
Speaking of crisis averted… I’ve been running on snow and ice every day since December 27th and I haven’t had a fall yet! This says nothing for the future, as I know I could slip the second I walk out my door, but this is very impressive. Especially considering I’ve been running on sheets of ice in my neighborhood the past 6 days. What’s my secret? Lots of REALLY SLOW RUNNING! I’m ok with that. Because honestly, I love winter running and enjoy running in snow. I don’t exactly love running on ice, but I get through it. I think I like running in snow because:
- I go slow. Snowy running forces a change of pace. There’s no “fast running” in the snow so it’s one time of year I’m on a guaranteed break. I think my body needs the break each year. It’s just a time to build miles and enjoy the beauty around me. If I had a big race coming in February or March, things might be different, but I usually don’t race any goal races until May.
- Spring racing is even more fun. I know eventually all the snow/ice will melt, and we will be blessed with warmer weather and near-perfect racing conditions. It feels even sweeter after running in the elements.
- I feel tough. Every time I run in crazy winds, snow, ice, etc, I tell myself how tough I am. The more times I tell myself how amazingly tough I am, the more I believe it and it translates to my racing.
- I’m used to it. I’ve been running in snow for 18 years.
- I have some good shoes for it. I’m currently running in the Saucony Peregrine on the worst snowy days and I love them. They really grip the snow/ice better than any other shoe I’ve tried. Thanks little bro for getting these for me! (I also have Yaktrax but rarely use them because if I hit a patch of paved road they bother my feet.)
- It’s gorgeous. Snow is just plain beautiful. Snowy runs makes me appreciate nature and the world we live in.
- Warm body, frozen cheeks. Snow can’t come without freezing temperatures. I LOVE bundling up for winter runs and feeling super toasty everywhere except my cheeks. Maybe no one else can relate to this feeling, but it’s my favorite. I adore the feeling of frosty cheeks coupled with a warm body. That feeling is followed by stepping inside my warm house as my cheeks melt. ahhh…
Snowy running isn’t for everyone. But I sure do enjoy it! I’ve realized a few things on my snowy runs lately.
- We make a lot of snowmen, but mine are highly inferior to the ones around town. Seriously, there are some elaborate snow creations around here. We keep it pretty basic.
- Most people think I’m crazy for being out in this weather so it doesn’t matter how ridiculous I look. Why not add a face mask?
- When I run outside, even in the bad weather, I’m running for the love of running. I’m enjoying myself. I’m happy that I’m outside. Every single time I’ve debated treadmill vs. outside, I’m so thankful I chose outside within minutes of starting the outside run. When I’m on the treadmill, I’m running just to get the run done. Almost no joy. I have a little joy because getting some running in makes me happier than none, but treadmill runs are my least enjoyable ones.
- And finally, Nuun bottles are very helpful when trying to write words in the snow. Just fill one up with water, add maybe 10 drops of food coloring, and you are golden.