Winter Running

The biggest challenge about running in the winter is just getting yourself out the door. Even when you have the right clothing it’s really hard to convince yourself that you won’t be cold when you step out the door. In fact you WILL be cold at first and knowing that makes the first step extremely difficult. Even armed with the knowledge that the uncomfortable coldness will go away 10 minutes into the run doesn’t help. It’s just plain hard!

If you are like me and “wimp out” and hit the treadmill on the bitter cold and/or windy days you know that there’s still the hurdle of getting out the door (or on the treadmill rather). It can be hard to convince yourself that running in place for a couple of hours is going to be enjoyable. It might be hot in the gym. At my gym the TVs are so small that they are useless. Looking at the same thing for 2 hours is boring.

This winter I was doing pretty well at getting out the door. To boost my ego I even went out and ran in t he worst snow storm of the year. That day Mother Nature won. I made it only 2.6 miles before I gave up. It was dangerous to be out there especially with the snow blowing in my face such that I could not see the cars coming at me. I was proud to have made it out the door but disappointed in myself because I should have hit the treadmill that day and I knew it.

The point of this post is not to illustrate my awesomeness at getting past the urge to not run. My point is that running in the winter can be extremely enjoyable. It’s that enjoyment that gets me out the door or on the treadmill. I’ve had some incredible runs out in the cold. I’ve also had a number of incredible runs on the treadmill!

One of the best runs I’ve ever had was this winter on a treadmill. I planned to run 11 miles. When 11 miles came I decided I should run more because I felt so good. So I set my target at 13. When 13 came I had to do another 3. At that point I was already late but runs that good don’t come around every day so I ran another 3 miles. When I hit the 16 mile mark I still couldn’t tear myself away (yes, I had trouble tearing myself from a treadmill!) and threw in another half mile.

It’s runs like those ones that keep me running. Every run I hope to feel like I did that day. I’m a junky constantly seeking that runner’s high. The boredom of the treadmill and the stinging cold won’t stop me.

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