Wednesday, January 29, 2014

10 Reasons Why I Love the Damn Snow, Cold and Wind

Much of the U.S. is frozen right now, including Colorado. I am trying to have a  good attitude about peaking with my marathon training in the middle of January when the conditions suck balls. I have become very grateful for the freezing temperatures and horrid running conditions, and here’s why.

1. Torture devices like Yak Traks make my shoes look even cooler

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2. Great photo ops for Heidi

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3. When I run out of ice cream I can just go outside, grab a handful of the white stuff and whip up my own treat

4. I can worry even more about my 16 year old newly licensed son driving

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5. I have saved $567 in sunscreen this winter since the only exposed skin is my face.

6. No need for blush because my face is always 95 shades redder than normal

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7. The cold produces more mucus (FYI: this is because the nose tries its best to warm up the cold air you breathe before sending it to the lungs. Tiny blood vessels inside your nostrils open wider, helping to warm up that air. But that extra blood flow leads to more mucus production. Don’t say I never taught you anything). Therefore, I have perfected the art of the snot rocket and plan on doing a tutorial on it and making a ton of money.

8. I can use up that huge box of hand warmers I got at Costco

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9. No need to put ice in my water bottles

10. When cold, Shot Bloks, Sports Beans and GU Chomps get so hard they give my jaw much needed exercise

In all seriousness, I have run so much in this crap that it has really tested me mentally and physically. Snow running is incredibly challenging and uses different muscle groups because you are working to stabilize yourself. I swear that every step in snow requires twice the exertion of every step without snow. Resistance training at its best!

I had no idea how much stronger it was making me to run in the wind and snow until I got on the treadmill yesterday to do intervals. What was tough for me only a few short weeks ago, now feels almost easy. So, thank you mother f&cking snow, wind, ice and single digits.

I am a believer in not letting the cold and snow keep me inside. Unless it is icy, there is no need to head inside or to skip a workout. C’mon you pussies. Get out there. If I can, you can. For 10 tips on running in the cold, go HERE.

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What’s the weather like where you are today? Here it was sunny with a high of 30. Not too bad, but more snow tomorrow.

Do you head indoors when it’s cold or do you tough it out? You know my answer.

Favorite piece of winter weather running gear? For really cold days, my favorite piece of gear is this jacket from Target. I wear it when it’s under 20 degrees.

SUAR

52 comments:

  1. You're a badass! It was 80 here yesterday and 50 today. Florida winter. Each run has become a full-body workout and endurance test teaching my border collie not to pull. He pulls anyway... at least for two miles.

    Keep it up!

    Jd

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  2. Here in Chicago, we've been hit with negative temps, and it's been AWFUL. Today felt like a heat wave, and it was only 12. Ugh. I'm also training for a marathon, but I don't peak until the beginning of March... sooo another month to go.

    I just think of the alternative - I could be in 100% humidity and have a permanent sunburn on my face.

    Also, I'm going to Key West next week, so that is my reward :)

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  3. I *always* prefer running outside, but this winter has been rather ridiculous here in Minnesota (yes, it's colder during winter here than in Alaska, on average, google it if you don't believe me). I also agree that running in snow can result in strength - keep it up. I enjoy your blog, especially the refreshing honesty!
    - Douglas ( http://notesonarunninglife.blogspot.com/ )

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  4. It snowed in NC. It was pretty for 5 mins. After being sick this weekend and missing my 10 mile run and my normal Monday night run for the recovery from "the bug", I was looking forward to running tonight. HELL to the NO! Black ice! NC doesn't know how to deal with snow.
    I have no dreadmill, or a gym (Not that you can drive anywhere).
    So I'm drinking wine.
    I want spikes for my shoes….

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  5. In upstate New York we remain under 10 degrees... but its the windchill that's getting crazy.... on Tuesday it was -20 with the wind chill... I only got out .75 and turned back...it took me all day to thaw out! If you have any tips on your water not freezing let me know... on my 9 last week I had no water.. all four water bottles froze! Your blog is great!

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  6. I am just up the road from you, but I missed the sun by the time I got home. And then I just about busted my ass on my street today because people don't shovel their sidewalks. It's Colorado people!!! Sometimes it takes more than a day to melt, so shovel!!!!!

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  7. We live in southeastern VA....where 10 inches of snow= the city shuts down for days. If our main roads get plowed we are considered lucky. No trails nearby so I may be stuck on the dreadmill for my tempo run tomorrow. Last thing I need is to fall on my ass via the ice/snow before my 15 miler this weekend :) It'll be 60 on Saturday-welcome to Virginia weather!

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  8. Oh, Yaktrax, you silly jerks. THOUGH, while they are torture devices, they DO help keep my feet land in the proper way instead of rolling too much like they normally do. WEIRD.

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  9. It's freezing here and since we always have snow I am sick of it. I won't miss it one bit when we move later this year!!

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  10. 68 and drizzly here on Oahu today - high of 70, low of 63. No need to ever head indoors, I've run in the rain a lot this past year. No winter running gear required. A towel in the car is helpful because I am always drenched by the time I'm done running - either rain or sweat!

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  11. I'm in Iowa, so I get to run in pretty much the same conditions. And, I totally agree...snow running is way more badasss than 'mill running ;-)

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  12. 14 degrees when I ran this morning in New Hampshire. I've been trying to tough it outside but I've headed to the gym a couple of days because of ice one day and the brutal wind another. My favorite piece of gear is a Sporthill jacket. Keeps me warm without having too many layers. Spring is 50 days away!

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  13. I have never run in the sand, but while I am running in the snow I always think ,'god, this must be what running in the sand is like!'. My speed outside this winter has sucked - even when it isn't snowy on the ground - I am attributing it to the cold and fear of hitting an icy patch. I don't have yaktrax, but I have a similar traction aid thingy - I think the brand is Due North and they are basically spikes, but they are awesome! My coldest outdoor run so far was this past Sunday. Air temp was 15, but the wind made the 'feels like' temp 0. Funny, my lowest temp threshold for going outside used to be 25, but pretty much everyday since New Years we have been lucky to hit 20, and I can't do long runs on the treadmill, so I have lowered it to air temp of 10 (but only if the 'feels like' is no lower than zero) . . . for now!!

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  14. Oh my gosh this is GREAT! But i've definitely turned into a wuss. I totally bought a whole new wardrobe of winter running clothes and told myself that I was GOING to be hard core and run in everything this winter. The first 18 degree run on Xmas day left me sick and I haven't braved the winter running again! haha...Then I see the couple in Siberia that ran 10 miles in -20 degrees for #megsmiles, and I REALLY felt like a pansy!

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  15. I keep saying that those folks who think they are badass because they've done a tough mudder or another adventure type run got nothing on us winter runners! Snow...ice...cold...wind...mother nature has cooked up quite a challenge for us this year!

    I'm not going to lie..I'm trying to have a positive attitude but I'm really cranky!!

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  16. This is funny because I was making a list in my head the other morning while running in 11 degree weather in the dark of why it is actually awesome instead of sucking ass. Number 1 was not having to carry doggy poop bags ( sorry neghbors but it is dark!). Favorite piece of winter running gear is my athleta tights because they are talls (no exposed ankles) and keep my ass warm but not hot.

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  17. It was 50 and chilly here today but that's cold by our standards. Here in Florida, the only thing we salt is our margarita's! You definitely win the badass award.

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  18. This cracks me up! Seattle will be getting colder this weekend. Boo!!! Not having to add ice is a plus and giving your jaw some extra work is a plus too. JK! Burning some extra calories there! lol.

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  19. Here near Seattle I get panicked when it's under 40 or over 75. Usually it's not... Today was in the upper 40s but with heavier rain than usual. I went to the gym because I also took a class after my short run... I head indoors when it's under 30 or over 80, rains heavily (I can take the usual drizzle) or there's too much freezing/falling fog (specific Seattle phenomenon...). My favorite running gear when cold is an ear-covering headband. That is an absolute must... And I do 2-3 layers on top and wear long thicker tights and wool socks. But I've never ran when below 30, so...

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  20. 40deg C in Australia, tips on running in brutal dry heat please!! But really thanks for making me think cool thoughts while sweating like balls all day long,running or not....

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  21. I don't let the cold get the better of me! I dress accordingly.
    I think your running shoes are cool all by themselves!

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  22. You make me feel like a total weenie! (in a good way!!) Here in So. Cal, where I bundle up like it's 50 below when it's like, 42. But... I'll do an assist on the "snot rocket" tutorial; I'm a master! Thanks Daddy for teaching me that one!!

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  23. 11 degrees right now which is balmy compared to -30 we had last week. I only do the treadmill for runs colder then -10 it messes up my metabolism to run in anything colder. I have been on it 3x this winter and hate every minute of it but I have Boston coming up so I must keep running. My favorite really cold winter gear is my Swix nordic jacke. A t-shirt & that jacket and I am good to go in the negative temps. My favorite shoe is the Hoka Mafate they are killer in the snow.

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  24. I've been trying to get out more, but not running: skiing, tried snowshoeing recently, this weekend going tubing - earn your turns climbing that hill.

    A high of 30 would be balmy near Chicago, but I'm actually enjoying the sub-zero temps!

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  25. Try 5 weeks of -25 to -35 degrees Fahrenheit with about 3 more weeks in sight. This is typical Canadian weather, and for the most part you either bundle up or get on the treadmill.

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  26. I'm in MN, land of sub zero temps. After two days in a row of school cancellations due to actual temps of -20 +/-, I saw a kid walking to the bus stop yesterday in a polo t-shirt. And today, with a snow storm at rush hour, on the highway I passed someone with their sun roof vented open and another person with their window down to broom off their windshield as they drove. In a nutshell, I am learning to love a treadmill this winter.

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  27. Great advice, will work also in Austria.
    The treadmill is a no-go for me, I'd rather run 15 times a 2km loop on snow and ice.
    This year's just fine, little snow, but often very cold, so I love my long underwear.
    LG
    Gabrielle

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  28. Hey I was reading your blog because I am an avid runner.. I love your stuff! I thought you may be interested in a new fitness line that is hitting the market at the end of Feb. A friend of mine is a sales representative for their company and she let me check out a sample. It's two women that are in the workout industry who developed fitness apparel based on a need. The clothing line is coming out at the end of Feb. and what they have created is a sweat proof pocket for your smart phone that sits on your side. I had the opportunity to try them and they are incredible, the material is fantastic.. I swear I looked two sizes smaller and they are so functional with the smart phone pocket on my hip. I could not even feel that it was there and it was compressed against my leg so it did not bounce. I am a business owner and I always need my phone on me but carrying it around is always problem. The company is called Fit Plus Wear, www.fitpluswear.com Functional Fitness Clothing with a PLUS! These pants are revolutionary and a must have for anyone that's active! I hope you check them out! Keep up the good work on your blog, loving all the information!

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    1. Very cool. Will check this out! I always love to hear about new companies getting started.

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  29. You rock. You inspire me to be tougher on every run I go on. I think of what you (and the other runner bloggers that I stalk/read) do. I love that you call us pussies and mean it. I live in MT and run outside if it's 0 or above. I don't run the distances you do, but I run. And I think of you when I want to quit/complain/whine. Just shut up and run. Go!

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  30. This winter has beaten the CRAP out of me. Between the piles of snow, the layers of ice and windchills hitting -35 deg C I have done more treadmill running than ever. And I hate every effing second of it. I ran 25km in the snow & gusting wind last weekend and my entire body hurt afterwards.

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  31. Ahhh, I hate you right now. I ran a negative temperatures half in Pueblo in December. That race has me beyond leery about a half I wanted to do this Sunday and am still going back and forth about running. But now you've called me a pussy and I take that as a challenge!!! Curse you, Beth :-)

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  32. Since I live in the frozen tundra of Minnesota, I'm with you on trying to have a good attitude about it and not let it keep me inside too much. I've been running primarily on the treadmill mostly because the running path in my town because a snowmobile trail (read: unplowed) in the winter months and there isn't enough light in the evening to worry about driving to areas with better running paths.

    Today we got 5" of new snow and temps are in the single digits. The sun just started peaking out, so it's gorgeous!

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  33. It's chilly here today and I'm so excited about it. Running in 61 degrees is way better than running in 75 degrees. woot woot!

    And you are a total badass for running in that weather. When I lived in Chicago, I ran on the treadmill.

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  34. This winter has sucked on the east coast - we moved to a new house in Aug and my husband is resisting my requests for help putting the treadmill together so I am doing all of my Boston training outside, ugh. Our morning "track" workout today was done in the high school parking lot AGAIN but hey, it was a balmy 7 above so it must be almost spring, right?! At least the sun is shining....

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  35. Personally, I love running in the cold - as long as the damn wind isn't blowing. I prefer 8 degrees to 30 degrees on a windy day.

    I'm a guy and for some reason my butt and man parts freeze if I don't bundle up like Ralphie from Christmas Story. When it's like 14 degrees a lot of people can get away w/ running tights, but I need another two layers (thermals and sweats) to go over them or I come home numb in unspeakable places. My favorite item has to be the North Face runnings tights.

    Weird part is my hands are crazy hot. I have some Asics liners that I wear and I usually lose them half way through a run - even when it's about 10 degrees outside.

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  36. It was a beautiful 1 degree F here in northern Minnesota! The temperature finally reached above zero today! I continue to run outside during the winter. My favorite winter running pieces are a neck gator (so I can actually breathe in the cold air) and Yak Trax.

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  37. I got 5 miles in Tuesday morning... -14° (before the wind chill!)
    I'm not missing a mile training for my first marathon!

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  38. Are you able to write a post that's not going to make me spit my coffee all over the screen? Geez. Gotta stop reading your blog during breakfast.

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  39. I toughed it out outside for YEARS until this polar vortex. It was -20 a couple mornings when I would have normally run outside. No thank you. I am crazy, but I am not unsafe about my craziness... and that would have been unsafe!

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  40. Thanks for the tip on that cute jacket from good ol' Target...and it's on sale! Now I just have to decide which color to get.
    New to your blog and loving it!

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  41. Gotta say I'm pretty excited for my long run today! It's actually 17F right now! I'm thinking it's almost shorts weather!!!!! ;)

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  42. No cold here, I've been running in shorts and a tank!

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  43. I'm fortunate to live in one of the map's yellow areas (So Cal), so I can't totally relate to this. But congrats for finding the silver lining in this darkly frozen cloud.

    And now I'm really sorry that I didn't name my own blog "The Art of the Snot Rocket."

    Because that would be awesome.

    Take care!
    Chris
    splitsandgiggles.blogspot.com

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  44. I definitely head indoors in colder weather. I am a newbie runner. But that's no excuse. Really I'm just a wimp. I am counting the days until Spring, because I honestly don't know how much longer I can stare at a boring red wall while I run. Going stir crazy! (And I am just in DC, not anywhere actually cold.)

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  45. You are seriously my hero. Rock star!

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  46. The SNOT ROCKET!!! Hahaha! I love it! I learned it a few years ago -from my husband- when we were MTB training. How could I live without that awesome piece of advice before?! ;)
    Down here in Buenos Aires is sticky hot (in the 90s F) and I hate it. I definitely choose the cold weather, although the coldest for me is around 32 F.
    BTW why is everyone on strikethrough...?

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  47. I'm glad there are others who enjoy winter running. I absolutely love it, I have yet to have issues with being too cold nor have I missed a run day. I don't have access to a hamster wheel but I wouldn't use one even if I did, I run so that I can be outside. Yaktrax are annoying on the trail, especially on my short run days running in a glacial park. Lots of granite abstracts under the snow to slip on. I have all but given up using mine two days after the snowfall. But then I'm in southern New England not Colorado

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  48. Weather has been brutal in Ohio, mostly cold haven't had huge amount of snow (although we are getting dumped on tonight). Coldest I ran was 2 degrees.
    A few things I will not run without in cold weather: Mountain Hardware tights (plus compression tights if less then 10 degrees), Brooks fingerless mittens, and an Asics water resistant jacket (bought back in 2006 when I started running, don't know what it is).

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  49. I do agree with all the ideas you have introduced to your post.
    They are very convincing and will definitely work.

    Still, the posts are very brief for novices.
    May you please prolong them a little from next time?
    Thanks for the post.

    Feel free to surf to my site ... grow taller 4 idiots

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