Running in Winter: Riiiiiiiight.

January 21, 2010

If you’ve been stopping by regularly lately, you know I’ve been training for the More Magazine Half-Marathon (you can check out my blogs here). The training’s been going really well–I’ve gone from walking a 20-minute mile to running and walking a 14-minute mile in four and a half weeks, and I’ve lost three pounds’ worth of cookie weight! (If you’re doing this too, please don’t use my progress as the standard–or make me feel bad if you’re way ahead of me.)

My dirty little secret, though, is that I’ve been training indoors on a treadmill. I joined a little gym in my neighborhood that’s probably losing a lot of business to the huge, gorgeous gym that recently opened up nearby. The place looks like the gym on the Starship Enterprise, and it has a juice bar, a clothing shop, yoga classes, beautiful people… My gym has a bunch of dumbbells (the weights, not the staff) and a few treadmills. That’s all I wanted from them, and only for the cold winter months, so they gave me a deep discount.

Okay, so it’s January, and every morning when I bundle up in my parka and hat and thick gloves and head to the gym to run, I’m passed by at least three to five runners who are doing their thing on the street. Outside. In sweatsuits lighter than what I wear just to sit in my home office. (As I mentioned in my book, I’m too cheap to turn on the heat during the day.)

What gives? How can these people stand to run outside in cold weather? I know running makes you warm, but doesn’t stepping outside in freezing temperatures make you cry? Or is that just me? I admit I’m a total weather weenie, but this seems crazy.

I’m reading Kathrine Switzer‘s autobiography Marathon Woman, and in it she writes about training for the Boston Marathon by running through six inches of snow. She sounds like the classic Grandpa story about walking to school five miles in blizzards when he was a boy. I wonder if Nicole Kidman, J. Lo, and Gwen Stefani run through dirty slush when they train…

Do any of you run outside in cold weather? Am I totally kidding myself with this treadmill? Is it giving me a false sense of distance and speed, and am I going to be really embarrassed when this half-marathon rolls around in April and I’m gasping like a fish? Help…

Seriously? I'm supposed to run in this?

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2 thoughts on “Running in Winter: Riiiiiiiight.

  1. Hey Rosa!
    I’m with you on the treadmill thing (figuratively speaking, of course). I’ve only been outside for training runs twice, both times during unseasonably warm weather. Both times were great, but what a wake up call! It’s tough running when there isn’t a motorized belt moving underneath me… Duh. I’ve been living in a treadmill-fool’s paradise… 😉
    Hey, let me know how you do in the 5K, k? And thanks for writing! (PS: Patrick = total doll.)

  2. Treadmill. I live in Wisconsin, and there is no way that I will run outside in that or when we are nearing freezing temps. However, I will race in them. I have a 5K scheduled in February and did one in January.

    Have kept your book on my mind since hearing you on Cocktails with Patrick. I wish you the best of luck with your book, and your race.

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