Well, folks, the temps have dropped and it is cold. I thought I was mentally prepared for cold weather running, but it seems to have taken me by surprise with how cold it suddenly feels. Plus, dressing for the weather has been complicated – will I warm up and hate all my layers? Will I be too cold and not want to keep running? What do I do with these gloves that I’ve shed mid-run?
I’m not a wimp – I’ve certainly had my share of 9 and 10 degree temperature running.
The kind of running where your face hurts, the tears in your eyes freeze, and your phone shuts down because it hates you for running in such cold weather.
So why does 20-something degrees feel so cold? Because I’m not acclimated yet, I guess. It just happened all of a sudden.
I’m not complaining or whining- I’m getting mentally prepared for a long winter of outdoor running. I’ve had a great attitude going into this winter – I can’t wait to brave the frozen tundra and get out there week in and week out for training outdoors. I have goals and I’m not about to let a little cold get in my way.
But it always happens mid-cold-run. The mind… playing tricks. I start calculating whether the treadmill would have been a better option. I start wondering if I’ll be able to brave it this year, all winter long.
But then on Friday, I ran 6 cold miles and at the end I got a view like this:
And all was right in the world. It just fuels the soul to run through the wooded path by the lake. It set my focus for the day. It energized me.. And it reminded me that outdoor running is worth it.
Yes, even in the cold.
Yes, even when I can’t feel my face.
I ran 8 miles on Sunday and it was even colder than my Friday run.
But it was awesome. I’m a part-time coach with the Winter Half Marathon training group this winter. I really enjoyed coaching last year, but wasn’t sure about the commitment this year. My schedule is crazy – I’m a single mom every other week, which makes it tough to meet a group for a run without hiring a babysitter. And I’m training for an Ironman so I have my own goals to take care of.
I was a popsicle at the end, and my hands never really un-numbed, but it was invigorating. I love running with the group, and last year it had a lot of positive benefits for my running in terms of my pacing, consistency, and speed.
So I’ll figure it out this winter – how to get outside, how to keep going, and how to stay warm.
Okay, maybe not how to stay warm, but how to survive the cold.
Check out my cold weather running tips for some inspiration to run as the temps go down!
How cold is your running weather right now? What’s the coldest you’ll run outside?