I’m Not Cut Out For This – The Coldest Long Run

I’m heading up to New Hampshire this weekend so I decided to take advantage of my day off for President’s Day yesterday and get my long run in early. As I got ready to head out during the warmest part of the day it was 17 degrees with a real feel of 10. (Seriously – it is not supposed to get this cold in Virginia!)

This cold weather wimp was not excited, but knowing that temperature would be considered downright balmy in New Hampshire, I wasn’t putting it off. For those that run through winter weather like this all the time – I am impressed. As a runner I know I am in the minority, but I will take my 90-degree, 90 percent humidity DC summer runs over this any day.

I have always been one to wimp away from the extreme cold – don’t ask me how I survived my first 22 years in growing up in Syracuse, NY because I’m really not sure. I have done plenty of long runs on a treadmill including several 20 milers, but after a couple recent tough days on the treadmill, I was hesitant to go for 16 on one Monday.

I put on all the layers – a tank, Oiselle wool base layer, another long sleeve on top and my Oiselle Livinit jacket. I also had two pairs of socks on, a hat, neck gaiter and gloves. I was not messing around.

coldlongrun

I’m not cut out for this I thought as I waited impatiently for my watch to find the satellites. Who thought training for a spring marathon would be a good idea anyways?! I thought this again as my legs felt really slow and heavy just one mile in.

At about mile two I realized my brilliant plan to wear my hydration pack instead of carrying a handheld was not so brilliant. Two miles was all it took for the water in the tube to completely freeze making it impossible to get any out. See – I’m not cut out for this!

By mile eight the bargaining had already started. I could divert to the Rosslyn Metro, but no if I keep going it’s just a couple more miles until I could hop off the trail to the airport metro and get home that way, because no one is cut out for this cold. By mile 10 though, as I passed the airport, I finally lost count of how many other runners, walkers and bikers were out on the trail. I got to at least 50 so I couldn’t stop now. (Man, we are a crazy bunch!)

After passing the airport I told myself to go just a few more miles and I could hop off of Four Mile Run Trail and call an Uber to get home. At mile 12 as I was opening my backpack and trying to poor water out of it into my mouth, I couldn’t help but think again, what am I doing?! I’m just not cut out for this!

Can your eyeballs freeze? Serious question – because I think at this point in the run mine had. Everything was getting blurry and I was having a tough time blinking. (I think that it’s more likely that because I sweat so much even in this cold, my eyelashes were frozen – but still, it was a crazy experience that this fair-weather outdoor runner has not experienced before.)

During the final three miles I came up with every excuse in the book for why it would be OK if I just stopped running and got that Uber the rest of the way home. Then after what seemed like way too long (probably because I ran ridiculously slower than I had hoped) my watch beeped signifying the 16th mile.

Thank God! I was so incredibly happy to have this run over with. As I lay in the fetal position on my bedroom floor texting my husband that I had made it all 16 miles, I thought never again will I run in temps like this as I’m totally just not cut out for it.

Except that – maybe I am! I think one of the best things about being a runner is constantly pushing your limits and finding ways to do things you never thought you could.

Tell me about a time you did something you thought you weren’t cut out for!

 

 

Advertisements

Footprints: Monday Morning Recap

Last week was a great start at getting back on track. I put in 40 solid miles with a mix of speedy runs and one brutally cold long run! I’ll have a post later this week on my race schedule and updated goals for the spring.

Here is the day-by-day breakdown:

Monday: I put in just over 6 easy paced miles on the Mt. Vernon trail after work in some major wind gusts and chilly weather. There were a couple gusts that seriously felt like they stopped me in my tracks! P90X core routine.

Tuesday: I hit the gym after work for a full body strength workout followed by my P90X core workout.

Wednesday: I put in a 9 mile tempo run along the Mt. Vernon trail on a beautiful night. It felt so great not to have a winter hat on for a run! Quick core workout.

Thursday: As good as Wednesday’s run felt, today’s was awful. The temps were in the low teens with wind chill and the wind never let up. I was so cold by the end of my 14 miles – I don’t know that I’ve ever willed a run to be over so badly! My route took me over both the Memorial Bridge and the 14th Street bridge where it took all my energy to keep running forward and not get pushed sideways by the wind! It had to be amusing to onlookers! It was nice to have the long run out of the way early though!

Friday: Rest Day.

Saturday: My Mom was in town, so we hit the gym together. I put in a quick warm-up followed by five 1 mile repeats with a 2-minute recovery. I got it a quick upper body workout as well!

Sunday: Today was the highlight of my week. Temps reached 65 for my late afternoon 5 miler along the W&OD in shorts!! My excitement got the best of me on what should have been an easy run and after starting out at a 9 minute pace each mile got progressively faster finishing with a 7:20 one. Boy did it feel good though! P90X core routine.

febheatwave

Footprints: Monday Morning Recap

Week one of marathon training is in the books! I got off to a good start on my training plan over Thanksgiving week putting in 38 miles. I’m following the Hanson’s Program and week one called for all easy paced runs. Next week I’ll start working in some speed work.

Here’s the day-by-day breakdown:

Monday: 6 early morning miles around my old neighborhood that I grew up in. It was mid-50s giving me the unusual chance to run in Syracuse in November in shorts!

Tuesday: I got in another 6 miles around the old neighborhood before working from home for the day.

Wednesday: Rest day.

Thursday: After getting in to Geneva late Wednesday night to celebrate Thanksgiving at Ian’s sister’s place, I slept in a bit before hitting the gym at the hotel for another 6 miler.

GenevaHotelGym

Friday:  I figured I would brave the cold today and set off on the lake path just outside the hotel for a run. Temps were in the 20s, but factoring in the windchill it was low teen’s and the wind was whipping off the lake. I didn’t realize just how windy it was on my way out and absolutely froze on my way back as I turned into the wind, but still managed to get my 6 miles in – mostly because it was the only way to get back to my warm hotel room!

GenevaLakefront

Saturday: I was less brave on Saturday and headed back to the hotel gym, which had 2 nice new treadmills in it. I decided to move my longer run up a day and put in 8 miles.

Sunday: It was an early morning wake-up for 6 on the treadmill before we hopped in the car to head back to Syracuse to my parent’s house.

Merry Christmas!

Hope everyone who celebrates Christmas had a good one and that all are enjoying the holiday season! Ian and I have been enjoying a fun week up in Syracuse with my family – one of my favorite time’s of the year!

20131226-173913.jpg

We got a white Christmas which was great, but one of my not-so-favorite things about this time of year is the cold. Now I can handle running in the D.C. cold, but up here in Syracuse has been a whole different ball game. Being the first week of training for the Shamrock Half though, the elliptical in the warmth of my parent’s basement wasn’t an option. Instead I’ve hit the streets in temps from about 30 all the way down to under 10 degrees. Burr.

20131226-174043.jpg

Running into the wind with snow blowing into your face brings a whole new meaning to running in a headwind! While I don’t envy people who have to run through these conditions all winter, I have found that having the right gear makes a big difference. Layers is the most important thing. For my chilliest run I wore fleece-lined pants, calf sleeves and wool socks. On top I layered up with a sports bra tank, my Oiselle flyte tank, the flyte long sleeve and a new under armor long sleeve meant for ultra cold weather that Ian got me for Christmas.

20131226-174054.jpg

I topped it off with a hat, gloves and a neck gaiter I could pull over my nose and mouth during the first few minutes when the air felt too cold to breathe in. Keeping my head and hands warm is the biggest thing for me and makes running in the cold much more tolerable.

Another cold weather running tip that has really helped me is that you should dress for 20 degrees warmer than the temperature outside. Your body will quickly warm up and feel comfortable once you’re moving. On top of helping me know how to dress better for the cold, I use this as a mental trick to get out the door on the coldest days. If I can convince myself it’ll really feel 20 degrees warmer, then it doesn’t seem that bad.

Do you run outdoors during the cold? What are your tips and tricks for battling the weather?

Baby It’s Cold Outside

The D.C. winter has been pretty much nonexistent so far this year with the exception of a few cold days here and there. Today was my first real cold weather test, and somehow I managed to get my cold-weather wimp of a self out onto the 11 degree (sub-zero with wind chill) Minneapolis roads for a quick run. I’m still limited to 20 minutes, but this is one of my first outdoor runs so I used my excitement over that to motivate me to get out the door.

I bundled up in a whole lot of layers, and if my sunglasses hadn’t instantly fogged up there wouldn’t have been an inch of me exposed to the cold.

Good luck fighting the colder weather and Happy Running Everyone!

20121221-114536.jpg