Training: Why Did I Sign Up For a Winter Race?

I Hate Cold Weather Running

Not what I want to see in the morning.

Not what I want to see in the morning.

Before you give me a hard time about how much colder it is in your town than mine, and how I’m a total wuss about running in the cold, let me say this: I don’t care. When I’m whining about 50-degree temps at the start of the run, you’re welcome to give me a hard time. When it’s 29 degrees as I exit the car at the trailhead, and my car is giving me ice warnings, I feel perfectly justified.

And this, of course, is a large part of my problem with winter running. When it’s early on a Saturday morning — the one time that I have to fit in a long run — it’s entirely too cold to want to be bothered. It probably doesn’t help that this is the season where I seem to be perpetually battling a cold or illness brought home by my first grader (never sick, always a carrier) or my globetrotting husband.

Now, I thought that I’d get around this by scheduling myself for an early April half marathon in San Francisco. There are two flaws with this plan:

  1. It’s yet another race in hilly San Francisco (what was I thinking?)
  2. Having a big race on the calendar doesn’t make the weather suck less

Needless to say, I haven’t exactly been keeping up with my training plan. This has been a source of tremendous stress for me. I don’t like feeling like a slacker, so I’ve been dragging my butt out the door before dawn, feeling atrocious and hating every minute and every mile.

And then, last week, my friend came to town. I spent 24 hours in San Francisco being a tourist, which of course means tons of walking. By the time I’d finished my time trudging up and down the hills of the city — in the chilly rain for part of the time — my calves burned like I’d just run the trails.

Well now. This puts a whole new spin on things.

What if I don’t stress out about training, do as much as I enjoy doing, and trot along the couse in a run/walk fashion, enjoying the city like a tourist? After all, I swore that I wasn’t going to run¬†any¬†distance longer than a 10k this year.

This has been completely liberating.

Now, if I’m not going to push myself to run and follow a training plan, I need to find something else to fill my workout schedule. The other day, I found my kickboxing gloves in the trunk of my car. Evidently they’ve just been waiting for me to go back. Hmmm. It’s tempting, I have to admit. The class schedule conflicts a bit with school dropoff, but with strategic planning and impeccable timing, I just might be able to make it work.

How do you push yourself to train in the winter?

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One Response

  1. Greg O. says:

    Nothing like registering for a race to kick start your training. And then telling the world you’ve registered for a race.

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