My first winter run but it’s still weeks away

Face freezing run

Today’s run (street): 4.3 miles
Yesterday’s run (treadmill): 3.1 miles

Brrrr. There are still twelve days until winter, but this morning it felt like January. Even with moderate wind, the 30° temperature felt like 23°. Yesterday morning was a little milder, but still very cold. Due to that (and an early work schedule), I opted to run on the treadmill. I felt like I should get outside even though today’s conditions were even worse than yesterday’s.

My treadmill experience on Friday was actually pretty good. By wearing only running shorts and cranking the fan on my treadmill to maximum, I remained comfortable through most of the run. I set a challenging pace and put on a cable music channel in the hope that it would distract me from the usual tedium. And wouldn’t you know it, it did. Time didn’t stand still as I’d feared and I got to the end faster than expected.

I knew it would be chilly today so I took a little extra time to decide what to wear. Wool running socks, check. City Sport track pants, check. A Nike DriFit base layer, winter weight half zip, lined winter beanie and ASICS mitten gloves rounded out the gear. I added a thin buff that I could pull up to my chin when the wind hit straight on.

Even with that getup it still felt frigid when I stepped outside. Fortunately my Garmin acquired its signal immediately and I was on my way.  A half a mile in, I was still waiting to warm up. The cold wind amplified the low temperature and made my sunglasses feel frozen against my skin. I didn’t began to feel comfortable until I was halfway through the run.

It looks like tomorrow’s weather will be more of the same so I’ll do my best to protect my face from the freezing wind. I know there’s always the treadmill option, but I’ll tough it out as long as I can. If this January is anything like the last, I’ll be spending plenty of time running indoors.

After the treadmill, any outside run is good

Short and sweet

Today’s run (street): 3.2 miles
Yesterday’s run (treadmill): 30 minutes

I took a vacation day on Wednesday to take care of some stuff. I had a 7:30 AM appointment so I didn’t get a chance to do a workout in the morning. I did get on the treadmill in the late afternoon and had a very rough 30 minute run. I’m not an afternoon runner and the treadmill didn’t make the situation any better. Although the minutes felt maddeningly slow, somehow I managed through it.

It was great to break up the work week with a day off but Thursday was tough and I was thrilled to work from home today. After that difficult workout on Wednesday, I was concerned that today’s neighborhood run wouldn’t go very well. It was a chilly 43° outside and I wore shorts and a long sleeve running shirt. It took almost five minutes to acquire a GPS signal. I began to rethink my gear as I stood and waited.

As soon the Garmin showed ready, I took off. I didn’t notice a woman who was running by my house and I almost ran into her. Had she been running on the left (correct) side of the road, that would not have happened. I could tell I was in for a good run and pushed harder than usual as I ran up the first long road. I ended up crossing paths with that same woman about a mile later and this time I saw her coming.

I had a tight morning schedule and capped my run at a little more than three miles. That was enough. I ended up doing slightly better than average, probably due more to the cool weather than anything else. The Emerging Runner family will be doing a video call with Adventure Girl on Sunday and I may hit the trails tomorrow in honor of that. While she’s tagging peaks in Montana this weekend, I’ll settle for some of Stillwell’s much smaller hills.

Underdressed and overburdened

Warmer gear was out of reach

Today’s run (street): 3.4 miles

I could tell before I went out this morning that I’d have a difficult time, but that didn’t actually happen until I was on my last mile. It’s been a busy weekend and I (once again) got outside before our guests awoke. The temperature was 54° around 7:00 AM and I wanted to wear a long sleeved running shirt. Unfortunately, all my running gear was in a cabinet behind the guest room door.

Prior to the arrival of our visitors, I’d taken two sets of running clothes from the cabinet. With the relatively warm weather, I didn’t anticipate the need for warmer choices. I have many long sleeve race event shirts in my bedroom, but even with a temperature in the 50’s and 72% humidity, I didn’t want to wear cotton. I decided to tough it out and go with short sleeves and shorts.

Stepping outside, I was reminded of the feeling I get the morning of a fall race. The temperature felt chilly, the way it often does when we line up for the start, under-layered to help manage the increasing heat later in the race. I was tempted to push hard to build some heat, but I wasn’t feeling energetic enough to do that. Last night’s high carb dinner failed to translate into a hoped-for glycogen payoff.

It didn’t take long to get used to the cool air and I ran comfortably through the neighborhood until about the 2.5 mile mark. At that point I encountered a woman who was running north slightly ahead of my direction and I tried to stay on pace with her. After a few minutes I realized that she had an eight cylinder engine working at max capacity and I was a steam engine that was almost out of steam.

I managed to recover enough to resume my pace, but I was ready to return home short of my originally targeted distance. In a way, I lucked out by running with lighter clothing than I thought I’d need. The persistent chill likely energized me through this run.

I’m getting a little tired of under performing on my runs. I realize that I have to put some hard work into my training to get to prior performance levels. I can’t face intervals, fartleks and hard tempos these days. I’m hoping that the increasingly cooler weather will motivate me to do those things.

10 degree running is still better than the treadmill

Today’s run (street): 4.6 miles

It was important to me to get outside for my run this morning. The weather had kept me indoors since last Sunday, including yesterday’s treadmill session. I always feel a little cheated when I miss the opportunity to run outdoors on a weekend day. I switched on News 12 while I got my running gear organized and the temperature at the bottom of the screen showed 10°. I grabbed a few extra layers and got ready to go outside.

Despite the cold, the skies were sunny and that made it extra frustrating when it took over five minutes for my Garmin to acquire a signal. The roads were much clearer than yesterday and, once on the street, I settled into a comfortable pace. The first half mile is a gentle uphill slope and I was dealing with headwinds for most of that section. The chilly wind made my eyes water and it was uncomfortable where my glasses touched my face.

Once I made a change in direction, the sun (minus wind) made it more tolerable. I didn’t push too hard because my layers were keeping me comfortable. I targeted four miles for my run and set a route that would get me to that distance. Around the forty minute mark I saw that my performance was tracking below target, so I stepped it up a little. 

After yesterday’s hard effort I didn’t care all that much about running fast today, but I was still a little disappointed with my time. Despite the high treadmill frequency this week, I managed to cover my distance goals, including nine miles this weekend. The weather is supposed to get warmer next week so I’m hoping to get out at least once in the morning. The elliptical should be arriving soon, so I’ll finally have a cross-training option for my morning workouts.