Let it snow
Tips and motivation to get you out the door when winter weather wrecks your plans
There are two types of winter runners in cold weather climates. Those who curse snow as an obvious impediment to their training routines, and those who see it as an opportunity to ditch the plan in the nearest snowbank and have fun frolicking in fresh powder. Count me in both camps.
Last Friday’s forecast called for 3-6 inches of snow, which was a significant upgrade from the 1-3 we were expecting. By the time we woke up, however, there was already 6-8 inches on the ground and more was on the way.
With the kid home from school, the long run I was anticipating doing that morning wasn’t happening. Neither was the sub-6 mile time trial I had planned for Sunday. That was a major bummer because of all the work I had put into making the attempt.
As reality set in that I wasn’t going to be able to do the things I wanted to do, the first pangs of runner sadness began to settle over my psyche. So far as I know, there isn’t a clinical diagnosis for the feeling you get when you can’t run for reasons beyond your control, but it feels a bit like seasonal depression.
To pull myself out of that funk, I had to remind myself that I could still run, just not the way I wanted. I also had to face up to the reality that getting this much snow will be an obvious impediment to maintaining a regular training schedule, and will remain so until it melts. Given that it’s about 7 degrees as I write this, that ought to happen sometime next week, maybe.
In related news, this is why the treadmill was invented. Lacking neither the space nor the inclination to acquire one of those tortuous machines, I could stay inside and slip further into a horrible mood, or I could try to make the best of the situation. That meant ditching the plan and embracing the snow.
In between sledding, snowball fights, and shoveling – now that’s a solid winter workout – I managed to get out for short, medium, and long runs in a variety of wintry conditions. You can run in snow with a little bit of gear planning, a whole lot of tempered expectations, and a willingness to embrace whatever the weather gods have in store for you.