Thursday, January 18, 2018

What's to love about winter?


Winter fitness is not for the faint of heart.

I say that as a 13-year veteran of winter running.

It's no secret that I much prefer the heat (and even the humidity) of summer. As an Iowa gal, though,  cold winters are my reality for several months every year. Although I do a fair amount of whining and complaining about the winter weather, I don't let it keep me inside (much). My glass is always half full, even in the midst of cold fingers and frozen toes, because every run is a blessing.


Here's a few things I love about running in the winter...

Layers, layers, and (often times) even more layers. A good thing about wearing numerous layers is that it will force you to rotate through more of your running wardrobe. Yes, you will sweat when it’s cold outside, and you very well may sweat through those multiple layers. Instead of wearing the same favorite pieces over and over, winter gives me a chance to dig a little deeper in my closet.

Be careful on those roads. If you’re fortunate to live in a cold climate locale, you will probably get to experience running on slippery, snow-covered streets! Lucky you! Learning to stay vertical (when your body wants to go horizontal) takes skill! It will strengthen not only your core, but also numerous other stabilizing muscles you didn’t know existed. Your warm weather friends will be jealous.

It's so beautiful! Seriously, have you ever seen the how the sunshine makes the snow sparkle like diamonds? Or have you ever left the first footprints on a fresh bed of snow? Have you experienced the true and total tranquility of a moonlit run on a chilly winter evening?

It's ever so tranquil. You have not experienced true and total tranquility until you’ve seen how bright it is when there’s nothing but the moon to light your way. It’s almost as radiant as daylight.

You'll be a badazz for the battle! Honestly, surviving a sub-ZERO run is exhausting, but also quite euphoric. Not many people are willing to attempt heading outside when the temps plummet, even some runners won't venture outside in the extreme weather. It's not a matter of bragging rights, but a conquest against Mother Nature...a test of one's strength and stamina. It's pretty powerful to have a strong passion and commitment to your sport and to not let anything stand in your way.

So, there you go. Winter is definitely not my favorite season, but I honestly think I'd miss it if it didn't make an annual appearance in my running routine. Besides, the cold weather strengthens me, physically and mentally.

How about you? Are you a softy when it comes to cold weather? What's the coldest temps you have endured for a run or a race?

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I'm linking this with Meranda and Lacey and Rachel for the Friday Five 2.0. 

42 comments:

  1. Usually I don't mind winter running, but this year it started to get to me pretty early on. Layering up just gets so annoying after awhile! I like running in fresh snow, but when it freezes over it just becomes a mess. I agree that I would probably miss winter if we didnt have it...mostly because I would get tired of the heat after awhile!

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    1. I am so over winter.....I'm at the tolerance level now and most of the love is gone LOL

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  2. Running in New Hampshire in the winter definitely made me feel badazzz! And I agree winter is pretty, but I think I like Hong Kong winter weather better, haha!

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  3. I prefer winter running over the heat of summer. But spring and fall are the finest of the seasons for running in my book.

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    1. I like certain aspects of all the seasons, but I honestly love summer the most (I know...I'm kind of on my own island with that one).

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  4. I agree with Marcia! The other thing I might add is that I do get all the paths to myself!

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    1. Having all the paths to yourself is a huge bonus!!

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  5. I do love the tranquility! but I'm not a fan in general! slush, snow, ice -BAH!! I have no idea what the coldest temps were that I've run in, nothing like what you guys have!!

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    1. Our temps are always cold in the winter, but they have been especially extreme this year...and without any breaks in the temps (until last week).

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  6. I run on my treadmill all winter. I hate the cold and no matter how much I layer up my toes and finger tips go numb and its so painful.

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    1. One thing I have learned is that we all have thresholds when it comes to the weather, the heat/cold, distances, speed...you name it. Running is an all-encompassing sport in terms of the support networking we enjoy, but it's very much highly individualized as well. Aren't we lucky ;-)

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  7. I do love the peace and tranquility of those snowy runs. It's the sub-freezing temperatures I hate!

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  8. I've never been a fan of winter. Since I had to run in all kinds of weather for sports, I take pleasure in being inside on cold days. I know I have to take race-day weather, whatever it is, but it's one time compared to every winter day.

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    1. I certainly don't like winter weather, but I have learned to just deal with it. It really makes me appreciate the other seasons a lot more LOL

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  9. You are very right, winters up north are not for the faint of heart!! But they do take a lot of heart and mind to get through! We train in most conditions, because in our mind, we have to be ready for any conditions for races, but this past few weeks have been rough!!

    The coldest temperature for a race, was RnR DC last year at a 27, with a windchill that gave a real feel of 17. It was a cold one for sure, but we managed it fine.

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    1. The cold weather really makes us tough enough for (virtually) any kind of race day conditions, right? ;-)

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  10. I like winter running because your right, I feel like a badazz and it gives me mental anchors for race days in the Spring

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    1. Spring weather is not as "snowy" as winter, but certainly is pretty unpredictable.

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  11. I never missed winter when I lived in TX. Not for a single second. Always hated it, but I do my best with it.

    I've run into the single digits. Not often, and I've never done sub zero. And have no wish to, frankly. I was on the treadmill more this year in the beginning of the year because I wasn't feeling well -- I knew I didn't need to get sweaty and get chilled. I'm getting out more now that I feel better, but I'll still use my treadmill, I'm sure.

    Sparkling snow is beautiful and peaceful. Yellow & dirty snow, not so much.

    Staying upright may work the core, but wiping out can break bones.

    Sorry, you're not convincing me!

    Don't get me wrong, I'd personally rather endure cold than hot & humid. If I still lived in TX, I bet I'd be on the treadmill even more!

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    1. ha ha...I'm not trying to brainwash anyone to move to a cold climate, but I have learned to just suck it up and go with it. I'd take the Texas heat any day over this stuff LOL

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  12. Ok true, you'll be a badass. And it's tranquil and quiet. But I'm such a summer girl. I really hate being cold. It's the worst feeling in the world for me.

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    1. You know how much I LOVE my summer heat, which is why the cold winters really make me feel like a badazz warrior!

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  13. You are right, Winter running can be beautiful and tranquil! I'm not a morning runner so I don't have to experience single digit runs. Kudos to you though. That is definitely Bad A**!

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    1. I have to remind myself about the beauty and tranquility when I'm cursing the sub-freezing temps LOL

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  14. I am uncharacteristically whimpy about being cold this winter! I think it's because the heater in my office was broken for a while. I need to suck it up and bundle up and get my badass badge. ;-)

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    1. Well, I have been pretty uncharacteristically wimpy ever since my running streak ended...so most of January!

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  15. I don't really miss it. LOL Occasionally, I do miss running while it's snowing. That can be such a peaceful experience, but I'm OK not dealing with the slippy-slidey. :)

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    1. Well, I'm kind of over it with winter now. I do appreciate the beauty, etc., but this winter has been brutally cold. I'm ready for full-on summer.

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  16. I like your glass-half-full attitude! When it comes to winter I usually don't mind the cold, but this year's been brutal at times and I admit I'm over it. I prefer spring and fall running.

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    1. Oh, I'm over it with winter, too! I wrote this post a bit of tongue-in-cheek to show that winter can be endured...but I'm ready for summer LOL

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  17. I'm originally from California but have been living on the east coast or up in the mountains for the last couple years, so I'm biased. I hate the cold! :'(! I do like watching snow fall from a window though, so there's that! :P

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    1. Our winters have been really cold in recent years...granted it's a given it's gonna be cold in Iowa, but it's been extreme, and this winter (thus far), we have not had much for brief warm-ups between cold spells....it's been non-stop COLD. Ugh.

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  18. Winter IS my favorite season...I know, I'm a weirdo. I actually consider not sweating one of the perks of winter running, but then I'm comfortable in far fewer layers than most people...even in Montana, which came as a surprise to me. Just as long as my hands are warm!

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  19. I have ventured out a couple of times for a snow run in my lifetime ..but not as of late. Yes, I'm a wimp and I'm resting an angry foot for my marathon. That's my story and I'm sticking to it! Lol

    Seriously though, you guys are serious badasses in my book ....it's just not for me!

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  20. I declare you the queen of conquering Mother Nature! Very impressive. I can do cold...but draw the line with icy roads (like this week! WTH?. Seeing snow makes me want to hit the slopes.

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  21. I wish I could be super excited about winter (this year)...it has been SO COLD and I don't like cold. Although it's so pretty in certain parts of the world...I just admire from afar. You make it look so much fun!

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  22. I give you huge props! I do not miss running in those cold temps one bit! I left Chicago 10 years ago to head south and I have not looked back. Texas winters (minus the last 2 weeks of random abnormally cold Houston weather) are much better for me to run in!

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  23. I usually love winter running, but this year I've been really struggling with it. I just can't motivate to put on all the layers when I have a wonderful treadmill right in my house...

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  24. The sun sparkling on snow is the best part of snowy winter weather, I do envy you that! You can have the really cold temperatures though. I was just in Pinedale, WY, and it was 7 F as I was driving down the highway which was covered in packed snow and ice, though luckily it was sanded so really it was fine. That was enough adventure for me though.

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  25. I don't mind running in the snow, but I draw the line at brutally cold temperatures, wind chill, and high winds. We've been experiencing all three of those a lot recently, which has led to a lot more treadmill running than I'd like.

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