Winter Warriors program ends tonight and it hasn’t gotten into the teens in temperatures for the duration of the program. This seems like a win, and it is. With the exception of one minor thing. Next week, I start a 12 week program mentoring people to run a half marathon. I was so moved by the help I got to run my half marathon, I had to pass on the good fortune. So I’m setting aside my training goals (but not my streaking) for 12 weeks to focus on the goals of other runners. This is going to be really fun, and really cold. I am no polar bear, but I’m somehow dedicating 12 weeks to at least one long outdoor run per week. We’ll be running outside during the most frigid months here in the Midwest. I voluntarily signed up to do it.
I’m looking at it as an opportunity. I am going to get other people to the finish line of a half marathon. We’re going to freeze together and it is going to be both ugly and awesome. Runners know that it isn’t often pretty. Our noses run, we sweat, get underpants wedged in our butts, belly aches and body aches that we can’t imagine where they came from, and we somehow manage to cheerfully greet each other on our training runs. So, runners are a bit crazy. We’re crazy in a good way, though.
I am excited to pass on some of the things I’ve learned in my past 2 years of running and many of the things I learned last year during training. As a group, we did stretching before and after our training runs. I learned important techniques in catching my breath and preventing stiffness during my run. Most people are unaware of how effective dropping your shoulders and leaning very slightly at the waist can be during a run. We have an advantage of working with a shoe and apparel store for our training. We get discount days and they have the things we need for fending off Jack Frost’s bite. Also, when you’re on a long run, a buddy can be just what you need to keep going when your mind is saying you’re done.
I think the only point that makes me nervous is that it is so bitterly cold in January and February. When I went on my run last night, the wind was blowing right in my face and it was chilly. I think that the benefits of getting out, running, and crushing 13.1 miles will be worth the time spent bundling up cursing the wind. I also think being part of bringing other people on the longest runs they’ve ever done will be an experience to relish.
Are you running outside? Have you brought your workout indoors? Do you have a winter running tip or trick?