Winter Running

I know this will probably sound contradictory – I really love snow but I really hate being cold. I’ll go out in the cold when there is snow, but cold weather without snow is not my idea of a good-weather day. On those type of days I’m more inclined to hunker down with a hot cup of tea, a warm blanket, and either a good book or my knitting needles. That sounds really appealing to me. Running…not so much. Unfortunately here in my little corner of Indiana, we’ve been having plenty of cold and little-to-no-snow, which has translated into little-to-no running so far this winter. I want to run a half-marathon by then end of this year, so no running is not an option right now.

This is also my first winter running, and I don’t have access to a treadmill right now, so I’m trying to find creative ways to make sure I haul myself out the door. I know I’ll feel better, even with just a short run, I always do. But the thought of going out in the cold doesn’t appeal to me. Although, getting to run past this scenery is pretty sweet! And since it’s cold out, I don’t have to compete with anyone else for the view.

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I tried purchasing some new gear – winter leggings, a jacket, headband. Usually when I get new things, I want to try them out right away. I tried out my new winter gear once in early December. Key word there is once. It wasn’t terribly cold, but it was windy, and with my asthma I felt like I was inhaling shards of glass. I had one of my son’s fleece neck gaiters on to cover my mouth, but it wouldn’t stay in place. I don’t think it was the right tool for the job. With that one bad experience, I convinced myself to take a break from running, at least until after the holidays. I’m glad I did, but now that the holidays are over, finding the motivation to put my running shoes back on has been challenging.

We do have a dog. He is an athletic breed and needs daily walks. He also loves to run. I decided maybe when I took Chuck out for a walk, I would do so clad in my running gear. My logic being, I will look really ridiculous, not to mention I’ll be cold, if I’m just out for a leisurely walk with our dog, Chuck, clothed in layers of shiny spandex under running shorts. However, if I’m running with the dog, it makes much more sense to be dressed that way.  This tactic has actually been working so far. I take him for a short run/walk to warm-up, then drop him back home and go out for a little longer. Chuck is really enjoying these runs too. And having a furry running buddy is kind of nice.

Chuck

As for the days it’s too cold to take Chuck with me…..I’m not entirely sure I’m going to want to go out in that kind of weather. I’d probably stay home too and spend the time skipping rope, doing some strength training, and/or yoga instead….Oh, who am I kidding. I’ll be hunkered down under a warm blanket, with a hot cup of tea, and either a book or my knitting needles.

Now that I have a few winter runs under my belt, it’s not so bad. I’m learning to enjoy the cold. There is a sense of calm out there, especially on a trail run, that I don’t get in the warmer months. And we have some snow in the forecast, so hopefully I’ll be listening to snow crunching under my feet in the near future.

What gets you motivated to run in the cold weather?

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2 thoughts on “Winter Running

  1. Hi there! I just found your blog. We are runners too over at The Porto Bellas. We live in Montreal, Canada, so I know all about running in the cold winter months. But I like you, love running in the snow, but hate the cold. For me, my max is -12 C…. Anything colder than that, my fingers start to hurt too much and I’m really not enjoying myself. Motivation? I watch nike running commercials right before I start getting dressed, haha.

    Great blog!

    -JulieC

    • That’s about my limit as well. It gets windy here too, which doesn’t help with the windchill. I’ll have to try watching Nike commercials next time I have a hard time getting out the door. Thanks for stopping by!

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