All over New England it's the time of year (a bit later than normal) that runners are starting to complain about the weather. It's dark, it's wet, it's cold, it's windy and slippery and a sudden onslaught of snow can put you on the the hamster wheel for a week at a time. This all went through my mind when I woke up this morning to the sound of my house shaking in the wind. And then I hit the snooze button....
This evening (when I finally got out to do my run), as I shivered during my the first few minutes of my run, I tried to think positively about Winter Running. After all, negative thoughts at the beginning of a run make for a really tiring and rather painful run. So the game of the day: What is GREAT about winter running:
Lots of pockets - all your safety gear, jackets, pants, you can keep all kinds of keys, fluids, food, maps, directions and whatever else on you while you run.
You can dress to stay warm - If it's 90 out, you can't dress cooler than you would if it was 60. But in the cold, there is really no limit to what you can pile on to stay warm. Sure you can't feel your face, but just speed up a bit, pull down your cap and you'll warm quickly.
Cooling Down - If you heat up to much, a quick unzipping of a layer, or pulling off of your gloves and in seconds your body starts to cool down.
Less Crowded Streets - If you run in a walking city like Somerville, you'll start to notice around this time of year that you do a lot less dodging and weaving as you run.
Warm Beverages - Hot tea after a run is appealing only so often during the year.
It Gets You Outside - Lets face it, when its dark an hour before you leave work for the day, its very tempting to go home, make some dinner and watch TV all evening. In the morning, the snooze button is just that much more tempting when the alarm goes off before the sun comes up. Breaking one of those habits with a run helps to fight that winter sluggishness.
Feeling Really Bad-Ass - The look on people's faces when its snowing/windy/freezing out as you run by sweating while they're bundled up in parkas and scarves is what this season is all about.
Happy Winter Running - and remember to stay safe out there.