Running during the winter months are often my favorite runs, and I don’t ever feel this way until I return home from one. Winter in the traditional sense, is a time for things to slow down. Our bodies seem to take on a natural state of hibernation mode, and I always feel it. In the winter, I sleep later during the week, and on even on weekends, which makes it harder to get moving. Winter is a time I love to wake up and enjoy coffee (multiple cups) next to the fire in my pajamas and slippers. Why would I ever want to change out of my warm flannel pajamas and slippers to my running tights and gear? If it’s so hard to get out the door for a winter run, why do I love it so much? Let me share my list of favorites for winter running.
- SLEEP. I. LOVE. SLEEP. Winter running means I get to sleep later! I have a hard time running in extremely warm and hot weather, so in the late spring through early fall, I am up and out of the house for my daily run by 7:00 a.m. This includes setting an alarm on the weekends, which is always a difficult pill to swallow. Running in cold weather means I can leave at any time of day.
- TIME. During the winter, it’s not about time, it’s about getting outside to run. The elements which make it more difficult to run; ice, snow and breathing through cold temperatures, can make it harder, even for the most seasoned runners. Distance and time are never a concern for me as long as I am being safe. There are times I only go out for a mile or two on the frigid days, and on the sunny days where it’s above freezing, I will run longer. Icy days mean running (or scooting) on the grass next to the sidewalk (sorry neighbors) or I will run with my spikes. One thing I love is that I take time to enjoy my surroundings, especially after a magical Michigan snowfall.
- CLOTHING. When I was new to running, preparing for my first half-marathon with the Detroit Free Press Marathon in 2016, someone from the Playmakers team told me about the importance of keeping my core warm. Running with my winter vest is my favorite because I can leave with a hat and gloves and stash my accessories if I get too warm during the run. Layers are the way to go.
Today is January 9 and after four cups of piping hot coffee, a little bit of the news, some writing, and a load of laundry, I got dressed and headed out for my run. The sun was out and the temperature was 37 degrees. It was 11:27 a.m. when I finally left and returned home with five more miles under my belt, at 10:01 per mile. Ahhh…winter running.