I absolutely love summer running. Give me 90 degree running weather any day over 30 degree weather. I'm serious. Training in winter is absolute torture for me. I have only done 1 track workout, and haven't gotten in over 40 miles for a week yet.
The worst part about this training cycle is that my heart isn't in it. It hasn't been from the start. There are days when I just can't talk myself into getting out the door. Maybe I need a training buddy. When I lived in Vermont I almost always had a weekly run with a friend or two during the winter. I couldn't stay home. I had to go run. We had made plans and those plans got me out the door on Sunday mornings or cold nights. And I always had fun on them. Running with a friend was the only way I seem to tolerate winter.
On Thursday of this week I had a bad run. Mentally, it was the worse since college. I kept thinking of Jerry's (from Ben and Jerry) quote, "If it's not fun, why do it?" I was not having fun. In fact, it felt as bad as the day I quit track my sophomore year. I vowed not to go out the door unless I knew there was a chance I would enjoy the run. It was in the 20's, the wind was blowing, and I hated every moment.
The next night I went out. And it was 10 degrees warmer. And I enjoyed it slightly more. And right now it is 56 degrees. Today was so much better than Thursday all around. I love running, but only when I want to do it.
Total Weekly Mileage: 38 miles
Monday: 40 minutes circuit videos and 1.2 mile run
The morning started off gorgeous (goodbye gloves and mittens) but it was drastically colder when I got home. I stayed inside and did two videos: a dance video for a cardio warm up and then a 30 minute circuit training video. After that, I made my wobbly body go for a brief run.
Tuesday: Day off. It was 17 degrees, not including the windchill. You know the drill.
Wednesday: Day off. Too busy at work and didn't get home until 7:30.
Thursday: 7 miles at 7:18 pace
Started out fine. Even raced with a guy who left at the same time as me (I lost him at some point), but when I got to the 3 mile mark my mind gave up. I was done with running.
Friday: 7 miles at 7:43 pace
Warmer weather (30's) made it bearable. Took it slower and it felt like torture. I know I need to run slower on easy days. But get this - I actually fell! I tripped over my own feet because I was too slow in the beginning. GAH! I got super excited at one point because I could actually smell MUD! I didn't realize that I actually haven't smelled anything on a run in months thanks to the coldness. Bring on spring and the blossoms!
Saturday: 8 miles at 7:33 pace
Sun! Warmth! A happier run this time.
Sunday: 14.3 miles at 8:12 pace
Ran the same route I tried out a couple weekends back and was constantly reminded of all of the past springs when I was training for track or for Boston. Snow was on the ground but it was warm enough (56) to go in a t-shirt. I enjoyed this run much more than Thursday's, especially when I got to pockets of warm air.
Some random thoughts from today's run:
- I discovered that I really don't like seeing runners with ipods. I don't know why it bothers me so much. Something about them being tangled in the wires and having to carry something around with them. You might be able to guess that I don't own a portable music-playing device. Running is about freedom for me.
- People who have more spring in their step than movement forward make me tired to watch.
- I actually get a pain in my stomach when I see someone running to catch a city bus. I have to turn away when I know that they aren't going to get it. I hate to see the look of failure on their face, especially when they put in so much effort to run after it.
- Every time I run by a squirrel I am afraid it is going to run in the road and get hit by a car - all because of me. Thankfully, it hasn't happened yet (*knockonwood*).
- Every day I count how many Punch Buggies I see while running. I got up to 4 today, which is pretty low considering I ran 14 miles. Normally I come back and try to punch Tom but he argues that he has to be with me at the time in order for them to count.