“A guy who has run twenty Boston Marathons was once asked, ‘Don’t you feel like skipping a day when it’s raining?’ The old road warrior replied, ‘If you start skipping runs because the weather’s too lousy, pretty soon you start missing runs because the weather’s too nice!'”
-John Hanc, excerpted from 1,001 Pearls of Runners’ Wisdom
Well I don’t know about everywhere else in the US but this little corner of New Jersey is cold! This wind is no joke, for obvious reasons I have declared today as a rest day. Now don’t get me wrong, I’ll run in the cold weather but a girl needs a break now and then, and Fridays are my scheduled rest day anyway so score for me!!!!
When I began running I was a summer runner, I loved it. The heat, the sweat and sun beating down in you. I’ve gotten older and that’s no longer nearly as fun. In 2005 shortly after I completed boot camp I moved to Petaluma California for training. I ran intermittently, mainly because I received a warning that there were mountain lions on base. Um, no…no thank you. I will run in the snow, sleet, rain and blazing heat but mountain lions…..even now it’s a very definite NO.
Let’s talk about winter running though on this bitterly cold day. I’ll be honest prior to December 2013 my experience with cold weather running was minimal. Before living in New Jersey I was stationed in Key West Florida and North Carolina so not all that much cold weather. Plus I had drawn a line in the sand….nothing lower than 40 degrees. I look back on that and laugh, a lot. I have run in temps that with wind chill were in the negatives. And I survived. There are actually some benefits to running in the cold, for me at least. I can typically run longer and there is something refreshing and honestly invigorating about it. It’s all about proper layers, but I typically only wear a long sleeve shirt with a vest and a hat and some good gloves. On a really cold day I’ll add a neck warmer but that’s about it. My first true winter run I probably had too much on. I think three layers total. I was too excited to care, it was my first run in the snow! It was so much fun! If you haven’t run in the snow you should, I promise you will love it. It’s actually my favorite time to run. I’ve been known to forgo a rest day just for chance to run when it’s snowing. There is something about the stillness and the whiteness of everything that transports me to a different place.
Look at that face! I was so happy, I couldn’t stop telling people how much fun I had, of course 6 miles in the snow isn’t everyone’s idea of fun. We runners though, we are a unique group and are willing to subject ourselves to Mother Nature’s worst and best and come back for more. I can only speak for myself but even after an absolutely miserable run where I slipped and stumbled my way through whatever the mileage, the first thing I think about is my next run. Of course I’ve had people tell me I’m addicted to running, but is that really an addiction? I mean for me it’s my out, my time to get out of my head or actually to get in my head. When I run its my chance to think and work through all my issues. I can’t tell you at the end of the run what went through my head, I can just tell you I feel a sense of relief that isn’t solely from being done with my run.
So if you’re debating on running on this chilly day, don’t think about! JUST DO IT!!!! And please be safe and tell me about it when you’re done…..I’m already going through withdrawals from running!!!