Winter Running

Last October I thought it would be absolutely brilliant to sign up for the Gary Bjorklund Half Marathon up in Duluth Minnesota.

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Aerial lift bridge in Duluth Minnesota, photo curtesy of A Lake Superior Fishing Charter

Of course, now that winter has come full on fierce, full on Minnesota style with 8 inches of fresh snow dropped on us and I actually need to start practicing for this race I find myself realizing… I need to do winter running.

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Truth be told. I’ve been a HUGE baby in this. Up until last week I did not run outside once since the temps dropped and the flakes started flying back in the beginning December! The run went okay, but it was cold, and though I was well dressed…. I kind of [gasp] missed the treadmill.

I am such a fair weathered runner, which is why I’ve been mostly sticking to my plan of running on the treadmill, which has mostly paid off.

In fact – this past Sunday I ran 5 miles on the treadmill and it went wonderfully. There are a large set of treadmills at Life Time Fitness where you can choose your location be it, Southern or Northern New Zealand, Germany, California, or the Grand Canyon Basin and area.

Its a virtual experience which really kind of makes you believe you are running outdoors. Never once did I think I’d ever love running on a treadmill, but here I am, running 4 times per week on one!

In the past I’ve absolutely despised running on the treadmill. Just running 0.5 miles was like pure torture. I tried putting a magazine up, watching the TVs, or putting a towel over the display to keep my mind away from every tenth mile passing by, but since I’ve discovered the virtual run treadmills I’ve been absolutely hooked!

I’ve been following my plan which is :

January (1-2 Miles, four times per week)
February (3-4 Miles, on the weekend, with two miles mid-week)
March (5-6 Miles, on the weekend with two-three miles mid-week)
April (7-8 Miles, on the weekend with three-four miles mid-week)
May (8-9 Miles, on the weekend with three-four miles mid-week)
June 10-12 Miles, on the weekend, with four – five miles mid-week)

So I’m all ready ahead of schedule. Perhaps it was the excitement, or the fun of my virtual experience, or reaching my daily steps by 10am, but once I reached my three mile mark, I kind of just kept going. I was exploring Germany and loving it.

So – what are your tricks to running in the winter months? Do you like running outside, or on the treadmill? If you run outside – what are your ways to cope? If you run on the treadmill – how do you cope?

 

Minnesota – Week 13

Motivation

Its finally April, yet it does still look like late February up here in Minnesota, and its going to get worse before it gets better.

After I’ve realized I am NOT getting to the gym like I used to, I invested in a set of Kettlebells. I found a few videos I like online from Pinterest, and its been going alright. (Okay I’ll be honest.. I’ve used them three times.)

I’ve also just started “running” again which I’ll use that term loosely, because usually I am such a fair weather runner kind of girl. For the most part all of the conditions have to be just right, or this girl aint gettin’ on her running shoes! Sometimes I like to run in wild weather, but mostly I’m picky… and full of excuses. Really I’m an excuse factory.

After a long sabbatical from running completely I’m ready to start again. This time focusing on shorter distances, since I feel this is where my sweet spot really lies. My PR is a 23:00 5K and this year I want to beat it. (I said it, and now I’m scared. I want to take it back, that was 11 years ago….What if I fail?)  I have completely started over doing a couch to 5K program basically, because sadly that’s where I’m at. I think I could run for 3-4 miles straight, but it would be ugly, and my body would feel betrayed for days. So instead I’m taking it slow, and steady, and after I’ve been reconditioned I will really start training!

In addition to the 5Ks, I may possibly do a Sprint Triathlon or two since I absolutely love Tris… but nothing has been set in stone as of now,which is quite fine by me. In order to practice the swimming discipline that would involve going to the gym, and we’ve already covered that. I haven’t signed up for anything yet, and I like the lack of pressure that not being signed up for races brings.

In the past I would sign up for races and say to others that I sign up so, “I will run” and then feel overly pressured into training and agonize over missed runs, and eventually feel like a failure. So I’m not signing up for anything yet. I want to run because I like it, not because I have to for training.

When I need motivation, I usually turn to Pinterest to look at all of the inspirational quotes and pictures. Here are a few of my favorites:

So tell me… how do you stay motivated to lace up your running shoes and hit the pavement? Please drop a line below, and share a thought or two 🙂

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Here’s to lacing up!