Okay so last week I was talking about how much that first outdoor run since the marathon stunk. It turns out that first really was the worst!
If you know me, you probably know that I am cold about 95% of all time and would rather live in 80+ degree temperatures year round, and come winter time in the midwest it is not unusual for me to wear multiple pairs of pants and spend as much time in front of a space heater as possible.
After the marathon I wasn’t quite sure what I would be doing with December being an ‘unstructured’ month as far as having workout plans go and how/if I would detach myself from the dreadmill to run outside in the cold.
It took a couple of weeks for me to get running cabin fever; there was no way I could spend another hour running inside, with people all around while staring at ESPN on TV and listening to Pitbull on my iPod. While it helps me maintain fitness, this is not the form of running I enjoy. I also hadn’t completed a ‘long run’ of any sort since the marathon and had a really bad itch to get one in.
This past Saturday the low was only going to be in the mid-twenties, with temperatures looking to hit above freezing by 11am so I decided that Saturday was going to be my day. One of my biggest issues with cold weather running is that I don’t have enough cold weather running gear (which will be changing very soon), because I know proper attire can make or break a running experience.
I must say that 8 miles never felt so good. It took the first two miles to even get warmed up, but it felt so good to be back on the trails where I completed nearly all of my long runs while training for the marathon. The trails that I run are beautiful in the summer and fall, and now I know they are still as gorgeous in the winter. Instead of lush greenery, I was welcomes with bare trees, the sound of frost crunching under my feet while crossing a wooden bridge, and descending a hill overlooking a field blanketed in the morning frost…it was simply wonderful.
This is my kind of running.
I only saw a couple of sets of fellow runners while on those 8 miles (and none of which were women…ladies we need to represent!) and when I finished I felt like myself again.
I’m looking forward to more winter runs, because one thing I have realized is that I feel most like myself when I’m running. Until then, I’ll be cuddled under 6 blankets in front of my space heater.