No – this isn’t a picture from this week … it is actually from a -10F morning last January! But yesterday as I was getting ready to head out for my run after Lisa left for work, I stepped outside and the wind was quite blustery … even though it was 41F outside! I had a couple of things to do online before I headed out, and I found myself dawdling a bit.
Why? Because I really wasn’t looking forward to dealing with the wind.
But once I got myself going (and my Garmin decided to lock on), I was fine. After all, it was really not that cold, and the wind wasn’t so bad for the majority of the run. I ended up running 9.5 miles on my hill run, which was the longest I’d run since last weekend’s half marathon. And by the time I was home I felt great and energized – and happy that it had only taken me 1:20 to do the run.
But after I showered I thought of something I tell the kids – when you take an hour to do a 10 minute task, don’t complain later about a lack of free time; instead think of how you can make better use of your time to give yourself more leisure time. But while I was happy with my running time, what I realized was that with my pre-run dawdling I really had spent two hours from when I SHOULD have left until I returned.
And it was the culmination of a not-very-efficient week – I was getting up at my regular time, but after the 19F chill of Monday I found myself dawdling each morning, slowly getting out the door. Sure I built up from 4.25 miles on Monday to 6.5 on Friday … but I got home 10 minutes later than I should have because I couldn’t get my butt out the door.
So this morning I had a pep talk with myself – one of my goals between now and the spring is to keep up my mileage, and even try to increase it … without adding time. There are two ways to do that: get faster and be more efficient. The first one is a general goal, and I know I have a load of work to do on that front. But being more efficient is actually much easier to do – I just need to get my butt out the door without hopping on the laptop after my morning routine is all done.
So today after Lisa left, I had a couple of money-related things to look at, which would take about 15 minutes. So between that, getting myself all prepped and my Garmin going, I wanted to be running by 11:15 – and according to my Garmin I started out right at 11:15. I ended up doing 11.5 miles today, for a great 21 mile weekend. I had been hoping to do 20 between the two days, so I was happy with my distance – and my pace.
As an aside, I had a slight interruption in my run. People talk about getting the ‘runner trots’, and based on my system I have never had that problem and doubt I even will … but unfortunately I DO have a bladder the size of a walnut! So I was about 8 miles into my run when I was coming close to our street … and knew I had to stop (this was not a ‘running in the woods’ day). Ugh – but I stopped and was on my way to finish the final 3 miles without issue.
The wind today was much stronger – as I rounded the bend coming off our street I hit it in my face … and knew we’d be together for the next three miles. But despite the chill I had no problems, and I feel like I have come to acceptance that the season is changing. I lost a winter running glove in Kentucky in March, so I need something heavier for when it gets really cold, but I have a plan – and it basically comes down to getting my butt out the door!
Once again it is a mental game – I actually LOVE running in fresh-fallen snow, the silence and serenity are absolute bliss to me. And extreme cold like the picture above … I love the challenge (except for my fingers getting cold). So I need to understand that it is a mental game – and that conquering THIS challenge is like any other task.
How do YOU feel about outdoor running during the winter?