The weather continues to be slightly warmer here, though it snowed for most of the day. Not wanting to miss another workout, I headed out for a 2.25 mile loop around my neighborhood. I am not normally a fan of the winter (in fact, I’m sure I’ll be cranky about it tomorrow when I’m walking around campus), but there is something so peaceful about running outside in the snow. Granted, the running is a little more challenging, but we take our time and are very careful to be aware of cars.
I’m learning a lot about winter running this year, and what I need to do to keep my workouts successful in any weather. One thing that helped today was…. I got those shoes I wanted! It was perfect timing, really. I ordered them from L.L. Bean a few weeks ago (I had a couple coupons), but they were back-ordered. Luckily, they arrived just as I was getting ready to go running, and I couldn’t resist wearing them! For the first time, I ran in snow without getting my feet wet. Awesome.
Well, I got out there for a quick (but cold) run. Despite every local forecaster’s prediction that the weather would start to warm up, it was still only about 15º F. I bundled up and, honestly, when the wind wasn’t blowing, it wasn’t TOO bad. Unfortunately, the wind was blowing about 75% of the time.
I was also really worried about Wendy getting too cold. She wore her coat, and I put a thin layer of vaseline on the edges of her ears. Apparently, that can help prevent frostbite, and it made me feel better to do anything I can to keep her comfortable. Even still, her feet definitely got cold, so we came home early. I washed her feet, covered her in a blanket, and she is sleeping soundly now. I think the short workout was as good for her as it was for me!
Either way, we covered a nice, quick 2.25 miles and, despite the cold, it felt great to get back out there. Now, to enjoy one of my last Saturdays before I get swamped with work again!
I missed my run today. It was extremely cold (below zero with the wind chill), and when my face started to hurt after a 5 minute walk across campus, I decided the risk of frostbite was too great. Plus, it turns out that dogs can get frostbite – especially dogs with long, floppy ears. I couldn’t take that risk with Wendy.
It is frustrating, though. This was the first run I have missed since NOVEMBER. I had quite a streak going! Plus, Wendy is very used to her every-other-day runs, and she gets a bit of cabin fever if she misses one. (Yes, I consider how these things affect my dog – but it also helps me get out the door when I’m not motivated. It’s hard to let her down!) Also, I’m really starting to feel the pressure of my goal race in April. I know I have plenty of time, and I’m not even a little bit worried about having to cover the distance. I’m worried about my speed. I need to get my pace faster… and not get injured. I’m trying not to stress about it, especially since everything I read says that winter running is about building a base (endurance), not speed. Still, I thought my pace would be faster by now. I improved pretty quickly after the NWM in October (by roughly 2 min/mile), but I walked most of that race. Now that I’m running more, it is concerning to me that my pace isn’t continuing to increase at that rate.
So, this is my plan (because I always have a plan):
- Relax! Stressing about it isn’t going to help.
- Finish my half-marathon training plan, as written. That means no speedwork. I’m on week 8, and should finish in early March (weather permitting).
- Remind myself that I have to be a bit more flexible with my running because it is winter, and I live in New England!
- Continue adding in cross-training whenever possible.
- Research ways to gradually improve speed. Implement them as appropriate, but plan to do a speed-focused plan for March and early-April.
- Tighten up my nutrition. Weight loss can only help with speed.
- Oh – and relax. I have to remember to relax. I have 95 days to figure this out.
Seriously, I think I need these shoes – badly – like, I might not stop obsessing over them until I can revel in their dry, cushion-y wonder while out on the wet, cold roads.
These are the Brooks Ghost GTX. They have all the benefits of a super-comfortable Brooks shoe, but with GORE-TEX in the liner. Apparently, they keep your feet warm and dry, which is pretty appealing. It also looks like they have great cushioning and a solid sole that will give good traction.
I am seriously considering picking these up. My current shoes are pretty worn out, and it is time for a new pair. Plus, there isn’t a better time of year to invest in this type of “bad weather” technology.
I’m doing some research though. I am normally 100% an Asics girl (wearing the Cumulus 14, currently, which I love), but I’m considering branching out. I think I need to know if the grass is, in fact, greener when running in other brands, but I am hesitant to make the switch since it hasn’t gone well in the past (I haven’t had great luck with Nike or Saucony running shoes). I tried on a pair of Brooks Ghost shoes (the store didn’t stock the GTX version), and I found them very comfortable.
Do you have any experience with these shoes? This brand? Am I a fool for even considering fixing something that isn’t broken?
By the way, Brooks has no idea that I exist, or that I am considering purchasing their shoes. I am just thinking “out loud” and looking for opinions. 🙂