Ugh. I'm just not a fan of Winter.
Granted, I can tolerate it, and I do try to get most of my runs done outside.
I also try to make it outside everyday for a walk if the conditions aren't too frigid. But Winter definitely is my least-favorite season because it's so tricky and temperamental, especially in terms of running.
First of all, the temps (and weather conditions) are ever-changing. It's usually gonna be cold, at least that's one constant, but exactly how uncomfortable that cold will feel is always a guessing game. Even when the air temps are frigid, they won't feel too bad once you get moving. If it's a lucky rare day with no wind, that's a total jackpot! Then there are the days when the temps plummet below the freezing range...even adding an extra layer won't do the trick if the wind is having a blowing tantrum.
Did I say wind? Oh yes, the wind! Let me tell you... in the Midwest, the wind can be the main deal-breaker. In the summer, a gentle breeze is often welcome, but not so in the winter. I still haven't figured out if I prefer a constant wind or intermittent gusts. Truth be told, I'd prefer no wind (which does happen on occasion, but not too often). Most of us have been advised to run into the wind for the first part of a run, then you'll have the wind at your back for the remainder (assuming you have a turn-around on your route). Unfortunately, it's not always possible to avoid the wind, no matter which direction you're facing when you head out or come back.
I mentioned the inconsistent weather and changing temps. For myself, it seems like I'm in a constant flux of (1) acclimating to (current) cold conditions, (2) enjoying a brief (but welcome) warm-up, then (3) having to re-acclimate all over again. Throw in some wind (because it's usually a factor, by default), and it really is a guessing game in terms of layering up before heading out. What I choose to wear is not only contingent on the actual temps, but also the windchill, how far of a distance is on the plan, as well as which route will be utilized (Out in the open? On the streets, sheltered from some of the wind?). Just when I think I've gotten the metrics nailed, I'm often times humbled. And cold.
Let me add, though, that winter running isn't all bad.
It is quite tranquil being out there in the crisp air, hearing the snow crunch underfoot and seeing the glistening snow on a sunny day. Also, all of those early morning runs I do? Sometimes, if there's a clear sky, the snow is so bright (from reflecting the moonlight and stars) that it's almost as bright as day...even with no hint of sunshine happening for a couple hours.
That said, just because I can tolerate the cold of winter doesn't mean I have to love it. I still prefer the heat of summer. Hands down, without any argument, my body embraces shorts-and-tank-tops weather.
So, there you have it, my friends. A few reasons why Winter is not my favorite time of year, and how it tests my patience as a runner.
A couple related posts:
Winter Running: We Got This
Winter Running - Tips, Tricks & Safety
How about you? How do you feel about Winter...love it? hate it? love to hate it? or simply tolerate it? If you had to pick one season as your favorite, which would you choose?
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