fitness · running · winter

Winter running? This year I just can’t even

It was only a month ago that I posted “Bracing myself for winter running…again.” I was all gung ho, talking about how once I got into the swing of it, I was all “yay!” about winter running. You can dress for it. You feel hard core. It’s great for bonding with others who brave the outdoors. And so on.

But this year I just seem not to be able to do it. I mean, I did that one run back in December. And then I went to the Bahamas for three weeks. I spent the majority of my time going for leisurely walks on this beach:

Image description: white sandy beach with sloping green hill on the left, turquoise gentle surf on the right, and a rich blue sky.
Image description: white sandy beach with sloping green hill on the left, turquoise gentle surf on the right, and a rich blue sky.

Here I am strolling with my parents (“strolling” is the operative word here, nothing too exerting):

Image description: Rear shot of Tracy's parents walking hand in hand on a white sandy beach, her Dad on the left wearing light blue shorts, a blue t-shirt, a plaid back page and a white cap, and her Mum on the right, wearing beige shorts and a long black t-shirt and black sun visor. Both are holding their shoes. Tracy walks along side in a blue boy-cut swimsuit bottom, a tank top, a faded khaki ball cap and sunglasses, carrying a fabric shoulder bag. She's turning her head towards her parents, and smiling.
Image description: Rear shot of Tracy’s parents walking hand in hand on a white sandy beach, her Dad on the left wearing light blue shorts, a blue t-shirt, a plaid back page and a white cap, and her Mum on the right, wearing beige shorts and a long black t-shirt and black sun visor. Both are holding their shoes. Tracy walks along side in a blue boy-cut swimsuit bottom, a tank top, a faded khaki ball cap and sunglasses, carrying a fabric shoulder bag. She’s turning her head towards her parents, and smiling.

As you can see, it’s warm. And relaxing. And there’s no “bracing yourself” required for this. So after three weeks of that I came back to cold and snow. And I actually missed the worst of it, but still.

The first morning I did a short stint on the treadmill, just to get the juices flowing again. The next day, I had a run scheduled but I noticed that we were due for a brief thaw the day after. So I postponed it until the day of the thaw, and ventured out in the brief window between too cold and freezing rain. It wasn’t bad actually. If the whole winter was going to be like that I think I could handle it.

But alas, soon enough the thaw froze over and the ground just became treacherous. And then windy again. And cold. I couldn’t bring myself to run outside on Sunday morning, so instead I went again on the treadmill.

I went to the beach later in the day on Sunday with a friend to take some pictures, but this time it was a much different beach experience because Lake Erie was frozen solid. There was literally no visible surf. See:

Image description: Red lifeguard stand with the number 3 on it, with some rescue equipment on a snow-covered beach.
Image description: Red lifeguard stand with the number 3 on it, with some rescue equipment on a snow-covered beach.
Image description: Lake frozen in brown and white uneven crests in the foreground, then leveling off to a white expanse towards the horizon, and a blue sky with clouds.
Image description: Lake frozen in brown and white uneven crests in the foreground, then leveling off to a white expanse towards the horizon, and a blue sky with clouds.

Does it not look cold? I admire winter runners. I’ve been one myself in the past. But as long as it remains windy and icy and cold I just can’t fathom spending any length of time trying to run outdoors. Don’t get me wrong, I like being outside. Tonight I went for a walk in the snow and it was just beautiful. But this year, for running, not so much.

If you have any words for me that might help change my attitude about winter running this year, please send them my way! I want to be able to get out there again, but realistically, it looks as if I’m going to spend more time this winter on the treadmill more than I have in the past.

16 thoughts on “Winter running? This year I just can’t even

  1. Running clinics? You could teach learn to run! Or running with friends? Or more radically, back to swimming instead for the worst of winter?

    Like

    1. Now that I read these suggestions I’m not sure I actually want suggestions, lol! I find myself wanting to resist everything you have said even though they are reasonable (though I would never want to lead a running clinic. I lead enough thanks).

      Like

  2. This won’t help you get out now, but I’ve simply officially given up until February. I was missing too many runs and then hating myself for it and I just decided that the cycle was toxic, and I am on a running vacation until Valentine’s Day weekend, which I chose relatively arbitrarily – a date far enough in the future that it would actually take the pressure truly off and allow me to enjoy a break, but not so far that my body would have irrevocably lost fitness in a serious way.

    Like

    1. Yes, I think permission to be less committed for now is the key. I am finding the treadmill tolerable for 30 minutes and if I get that done I feel good. If I don’t, I’m not being hard on myself. You should blog about taking the pressure off by deciding to take a break. 🙂

      Like

  3. I don’t think the cold weather is the problem, the problem is the ice (perhaps also the extreme windchill). I have all the winter gear too which keeps me warm enough (though I do have limits–I don’t like going when it is colder than -10 or so). My worry this winter is that the roads and sidewalks are very slippery and it’s not worth risking an injury. I, too, can’t bear doing much more than 30 minutes on the treadmill. But that will have to be enough until the ground unfreezes a little and I can go out safely.

    So no encouragement here, just a little solidarity. I think you are being smart!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Unfortunately, I had to give up running – the head misses it but the body sure doesn’t. When I was running, the winter runs were always a challenge – mainly because of the icy surface conditions. One of our local hockey arenas has a beautiful two lane walking/running track with a great non-slip surface. It was a treat to go to the arena when it was too cold and icy outside – peel off the coat and boots and run in the lightweight gear. Track running is only slightly less boring than treadmill running but often there was a kids hockey game on so it was fun to keep an eye on the game. Also if the timing was right, one game would end and there would be a few minutes before the next game when the stands were empty. This was a great opportunity to run stairs. You can also do some great speed work on the track.
    Since I don’t run anymore, I felt the need to find something cardio to do. I have discovered indoor rowing and it’s awesome. Find a studio with water rowers. The rowing action is so smooth and the whoosh of the water makes it sound like you really are on the water.
    Don’t beat yourself up about not running. It’s okay to take a break. And remember, winter does pass and spring always comes.

    Like

  5. Meh, I’m not into winter running at all. I prefer to change it up with the seasons: break out the snowshoes, slow the pace, smell the… ice…, and enjoy the surroundings for a change. There is plenty of time to run in the sunshine, humidity, and heat to come!

    Like

  6. I’ve been a winter runner too for a very, very long time. This year, I decided to just be a weekend warrior when it comes to running. I only run on weekends…then at least it is in the daytime. I do some cross fit and Yoga and pilates during the week. Running only on the weekends gives me a few days to psyche myself up and then I get a break during the week.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. It’s colder than usual at the beach in NC this winter…and it’s chilling me in a way that I am not used to feeling. ….despite living most of my life in snow states. My running too has dropped off and if I didn’t have a race partner for a March 3rd race, I might also give up winter running this year!

    Like

  8. One more try! I’m such an advice giver. Stick to running indoors–track and treadmill–and then do other fun stuff outside better suited to snowy slippery conditions. I love ice skating and cross country skiing, for example. Play in the snow, run indoors!

    Like

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.