Friday, December 2, 2011

Good Things About Winter Running

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
  1. You're always eager to start just to get WARM.
  2. 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.
  3. The ice bath actually feels balmy.
  4. You've earned that hot chocolate, baby. And you need it, too, to help with the hypothermia.
  5. I've heard (somewhere) that it's good for the immune system to spend time outside when it's cold.
  6. 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.
  7. The stars (whether you run in the evening or the morning--both are dark) are beautiful, unadulterated by summer heat and humidity.
  8. 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.
  9. You're primed for any other outdoor chores you have to do (including shoveling and helping your kids with a snowman).
  10. 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.

Have you entered my giveaway?


  1. "The ice bath actually feels balmy." HA!! Love it!

    I love to run when it's snowing. It makes everything seems so quiet.

  2. Good luck with your half!! I am actually a fan of cold weather running. As long as the ground isn't icy, I am happy happy. Although it does make getting into an ice bath a lot harder for me!!
    Have a fun race! :)

  3. I like your list and it was good for me to read b/c I am not a fan of winter. But running makes it all ok somehow, doesn't it?

    Good luck with the half--hope the wind is at your back!

  4. I don't know why I was worried about that 5K last weekend, it has nothing on me over this half tomorrow. Did I ever mention I love my treadmill? LOVE IT! Oh dear, I fear this is going to be a long, long day! I'm going to see if therey's a way to plant some toe warmers in my running shoes :). This is my biggest fear - frozen toes.

    You are such a good - and brave - girl! I didn't get out yesterday and today was a sheet of ice so I hit my treadmill. When you get to be 48, you'll understand my wimpiness.

    Looking forward to meeting you tomorrow. We'll get a picture of us in our parkas!

  5. Have a great time this weekend! I hope the weather warms up just a little for ya.

  6. I love. Love. Love. LOVE (did I mention I LOVE..) running in the winter!!!!! I love being able to run and run without feeling OVERHEATED! I love running and seeing people wave, and you know inside their heads they are thinking "What the hell...??" It makes me laugh every time!!! It's beautiful, it's quiet, I love it! GOOD JOB on running in the snow!

  7. Have a great race tomorrow! Hope the weather isn't as bad as expected. Love winter running but the hardest part is actually getting outside...once I do it is my favorite time of year :)

  8. You're going to have an awesome race tomorrow!! And when you're freezing your ass off at the start, remember how much more AWESOME it's going to feel at mile 4 when you're not sweating to death in the heat!!

  9. I love your list. :) Totally agree. Along with #1, I'd say you never walk for long on a winter run. It gets too cold to be wimpy about running. And along with #2, the looks on your co-workers' faces when you come in and said you ran in that crazy weather.

    Good luck, have fun, and enjoy that nice, cozy ice bath to warm you up afterwards. :)

  10. Hope the weather holds our for your race - have a great time whatever the day holds.
    I hate winter...but appreciate you trying to make me feel better about it. :)

  11. Great list and so true! I hate being so hot in the summer! I am loving winter running right now and can't seem to run enough. Good luck with the race!

  12. Good luck with the race today! Here we are under a rain storm, I hope you are luckyer with the weather.
    Nice list: 7 and 8 are my favorite .... and of course the n° 10!

  13. Maybe that's how I managed to force myself in to ice baths in March, but by April they made me sob like a small child! Between the two, I definitely prefer winter to summer running. Summer is gross and it's too hard to breathe.

  14. Oh that was great Terzah!! You know, me and winter are not friends so I am glad to have this new perspective!! I hope you are doing alright getting to Pueblo and running in the race. There is a TON of snow and it is going keep snowing. So stay safe and warm!!

  15. I love #2!!!

    Thanks for posting this. Our weather has been so unseasonally warm lately, that I'm finding I'm a big fat wuss thinking about the cold again :) I'll get used to it again (I always do), but this was helpful.

    I'm reading this late, so hope today's race went well!

  16. Wow...I'm really impressed that you and Jill were running in Pueblo today! And you...I have no works to express the awe I am in that you get out and run no matter what. I have the hardest time going out to run if it is snowy, cold and dark. I love the dark in the morning when it's quite. I can do the dark and the cold kind of...but throw in snow and possible ice and I'm out!

    Looking forward to race report!

  17. Dear Terzah,
    Please keep ALL of the snow in Colorado. The end.
    Jim Weatherly - Missouri native and dweller