Hello, world! Have I ever told you that deadlines steal your soul? And your blogging schedule? And sometimes your wallet, those dirty bastards? Anyway, moving on…
The Big Sur Marathon is 16 weeks away, which means I am long overdue to start training! However, I’m really stoked about it, and feeling empowered, so I went out for a run today in near-blizzard conditions.*
*In Reno, “near-blizzard conditions” means a couple snow flurries and a lot of confused drivers.
Seriously, check out this snow accumulation. And also, remind me to cut armholes in a trash bag the next time I want to wear fleece out on a snow run.
I actually started my running career as a sophomore in college during the one semester I spent in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Reno snowfall can’t hold a candle to the real blizzards you get in the Midwest, and I ran in the snow wearing cheap sweats from Meijer, where I always checked out with a real cashier because the self checkout lane seemed so lonely. Ah, college.
Anyway, there are actually a lot of reasons to enjoy running in the snow, as long as you have the shoes and agility to prevent faceplanting into a block of ice.
- It’s cold. When it’s hot out, you tire more quickly and run more slowly overall. Just remember to stay hydrated (you’re still sweating!), and that you can’t rely on public water fountains if they turn the water off during the winter.
- However, you’re not cold. I’m the typical low-metabolism girl who has to wear a parka to the office when everyone else seems fine. You’d think running in snow would be cold, but that’s the beauty of the human body. Within a few minutes you’ve become your own mobile space heater. Just remember to wear warm, wicking layers. You’re no polar bear; your ability to create your own heat has limits.
- Hot chocolate. Remember that study that promoted chocolate milk as a post recovery drink? Pop it in the microwave and you’ve got hot chocolate! Score!
- It’s pretty. There’s something magical about running in fresh snowfall. It’s beautiful and different and everything is muted and quiet by the fluffy powder.
- Hardcore athlete creds. Every time a car goes by, you know that your neighbors think you are totally hardcore. Or maybe they just think you’re crazy. Just pump up the volume on Eye of the Tiger and think of Rocky.
- You’ve honored your training plan. If, like me, your choice was “run in the snow” or “don’t run at all,” you can be totally proud of yourself for having made the healthier decision. That said, the snow here is almost always mild. Let common sense win, and don’t expose yourself to dangerous weather conditions. I might eschew ye olde dreadmill, but but it’s always a better option than not running. Actually, so is the elliptical, the stationary bike, the rowing machine, the step machine, or even Dance Dance Revolution.
What are your favorite conditions for outdoor exercise?
What kind of whether do you refuse to exercise in?