Gonna close my eyes
Girl, and watch you go
Running through this life, darling,
Like a field of snow
--David Gray "The One I Love" (in my iPod playlist right now)
I have a half-marathon tomorrow morning down in Pueblo. The forecast for race time? 27 degrees, 70% chance of precipitation. "Precipitation" in this case="snow." And it goes on to add my very favorite: "windy." So let's just say I'm throwing out any PR hopes and just plan to do my best, whatever that might be in those conditions.
Since this seems like a good time to focus on the positive I'm going to echo a post I did back in July about summer running and give you.....
My Top 10 Reasons Winter Running is Good
- You're always eager to start just to get WARM.
- The "who's that crazy running lady out in sub-20-degree temperatures?" looks you get from people scraping their cars or getting their newspapers make you smile, even if you can't smile because your face is frozen.
- The ice bath actually feels balmy.
- You've earned that hot chocolate, baby. And you need it, too, to help with the hypothermia.
- I've heard (somewhere) that it's good for the immune system to spend time outside when it's cold.
- You avoid some summer running symptoms that aren't so attractive. In my case those summer running symptoms include a purple and white blotchy face and salt tracks.
- The stars (whether you run in the evening or the morning--both are dark) are beautiful, unadulterated by summer heat and humidity.
- Christmas lights! Cozy houses! Running outside in the winter makes your own cozy house that much more appealing, especially because you know you got your run done.
- You're primed for any other outdoor chores you have to do (including shoveling and helping your kids with a snowman).
- At least you're not on the treadmill!
I did have a wonderful one-hour run in the falling snow yesterday. I was on the road by 6:30 a.m. The streetlights gave the flakes a pink tint, some houses still had Christmas lights on and there wasn't any ice under the soft carpet on the sidewalks. I took it really slow at first, getting used to the terrain, but soon I was able to get into my usual easy run pace. At the end I did eight 20-second strides in a park near my house. The David Gray song I quote above came into my head.
My friend Kathy (who is doing this crazy half tomorrow, too) reminded me recently of that silly scene in Rocky IV where Rocky is training in Russia and runs up a craggy mountain. I didn't exactly feel like Rocky yesterday (couldn't even see the mountains), but the rest of the day was fantastic.
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