Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Thawed out

Yeah, that's a sprinkling of sweat, frozen over. That's something you don't see on most touques. And yes, I wash my running skullcaps with frequency.

Winter brings the usual toughening up of the runner's will. Even as I was about to wimp out on my Sunday long run, dreading running in temperatures of -20C and with more painful windchill, I knew that I would only regret not tackling the cold, head first (more on frozen faces some other time).

So as I aimed out west into the sun and against the wind, the best motivation? Other runners, at least a dozen, who had probably lost their battle against logic and treadmills. We had head masks and multiple layers, we had wind chapped lips and red faces (sunkissed or chilled) and we all traded a wave or a nod. Misery demands it.

It's all ho-hum now, surviving another winter and the night time runs. I actually had the thought today, as I was struggling to gain traction on the snowy waterfront paths, that winter running is actually not as hard a stroll on a humid sticky summer day. I'd rather sweat inside my Asics outer shell than from underneath my Saucony singlet. At least the air feels crisp.

Winter slows you, the weight of the extra layers and the lack of sunlight give you a little lack of motivation for speed. My approach to these first weeks of January is to run without a schedule. My game plan is to get four quality runs in during the work week, two of the runs in the 10 mile range, and then save a medium long run for the weekend. That would give me about 40 to 45 miles for the next while.

The prime motivation on these days is to get the miles in, and try not to freeze, like my iPod the other day that accumulated a layer of ice during my two-hour run. Funny being cold but warm at the same time. At least the Gatorade stays cold.


Marlene said...

As much as I hate the terrible footing, bulky layers and biting cold on my skin, it's still easier than those humid days of summer. (I might not have said that on Sunday)

Patrick said...

I agre, the humid days in the summer ar toughr than most winter runs.

EndorphinBuzz said...

Good stuff keeping going despite the weather. For some reason, I get a kick of water vapor accumulating on my eye lashes and forming tiny frozen bubbles.

Reluctant Runner said...

You really captured the ups and downs of winter running! What I hate is what it does to my pace and the muscles around my ankles, as I negotiate snow drifts and greasy pavement.

On the other hand, it makes me feel SO hard-core to be out there in minus 25C.

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