Winter weather is here to stay – the weekend brought several inches of snow and the forecast is predicting a steady parade of freezing days to come. Perfect days for cuddling with my overheating laptop while drinking entire pots of coffee and wearing my *super stylish* sweatpants. Much less perfect for the running – I’m not a fan of the combination of numb feet, treacherous ice patches, and the necessity to fumble for my watch buttons through 1 or 2 layers of gloves.
However, I am remembering why I do occasionally absolutely love winter running:
1) You get to feel all hardcore and beastly. When people look at you in horror as you come in from the ice storm/blizzard/-10 degree windchill conditions, take it as a compliment. And then head to the nearest sink ASAP to scrub that giant glob of frozen snot/spit/sweat off your face.
2) Running at night? No problem! Snow is about 500% more reflective than asphalt. This means you can actually see where you’re going at 5 freaking pm when it’s somehow already pitch black out. Yay!
3) Running in snow is a killer workout. Have you ever tried running in 2 feet of snow? It’s probably the most efficient method ever for maxing out your heart rate. A nice side benefit is that you have a nice soft surface to collapse onto when your legs give out from exhaustion.
4) Hot chocolate >>>> gatorade.
5) Running tights. If it were socially appropriate to wear running tights all day, every day I would probably wear nothing else. Luckily running pants are a little more flattering/modest and equally comfy – just got these ones from Oiselle and they made my run yesterday in the blustery, cloudy pre-snow-storm conditions much more survivable.
6) Christmas lights! My junior year my most memorable run came during finals week. I was in the midst of a miserable cold and had spent all day avoiding the 8-miler on my schedule by studying for my calc III exam while gradually burying myself in a pitiful layer of used tissues. I finally emerged around dark, strapped on my YakTrax and headed out the door to get the dang run in. I was halfway down some neighborhood street when the lights began to flip on. Suddenly the entire street was lit with twinkling christmas lights. I spent the rest of my run cheerfully winding my way through the glow of the colored bulbs and completely forgot about my sniffly nose and looming math exam.
See, it’s not all bad! Now the challenge is just to remember all the lovely parts in the middle of the next appendage-freezing, shiver-filled run…