When it comes to running in the winter, the temperature never bothers me. I would MUCH rather run in the freezing cold as opposed to the blistering heat. I've done both, and I'm convinced that it's never too cold to run. HOWEVER, there are weather-related obstacles like icy streets and lower visibility that genuinely scare me. I thought about those 2 possibilities while gazing at the "snow" last night.
Thankfully, it cleared up this morning, but it was even more colder than yesterday. 33 degrees! Coldest run yet.
The first half of the battle of running in the cold is actually getting the urge to get out there. My urge is fueled by the fact that I'm going to be running a marathon, and that it will just get harder and harder to get out there as it gets colder. It's also fueled by Wait Wait Don't Tell Me, which I load on to my iPod to listen to during long runs. Today in particular, it was also fueled by the desire of running to Lady Gaga's new Fame Monster album. (I can't get enough of her. Her ferosh-ness has trumped my general distaste for electronic music. )
For whatever reason, I was really craving an apple before my run, which is not something I normally eat. ( I usually opt for yogurt with jam - I know, dairy before run, but it's just been working for me.) I ate the apple, and stepped out into the painfully cold wind. It was painful at first, but the apple allowed me to get a good pace going right away, and after about 10 minutes into the run, I was not cold any more. I was only reminded of the winter when my face hurt from the cold, or when my finger tips lost the sense of touch. ( I don't know how to fix this problem with my fingers. Every winter, my hands get red and chapped because of my tendency to expose it to extreme temperatures, but I HATE running with gloves on.... Hmmmmmmm...)
I went to Central Park again, surprise surprise. I'll think of another route one of these days, but I can't help it. I love repeating what works. Since I ran 16 miles last week, and since I still have about 14-15 weeks before marathon day, I decided to "take it easy" by scaling my mileage to 13 miles today. That just simply means that I run from my apartment and around the park and run all the way back. It's nice because I don't have to think very much about it.
The scaling back of mileage is also something I'm doing new this time around, compared to my last marathon training. Last marathon, I ran Tue Thu Sun, and cross trained Mon Wed Fri and Sat, especially being conscious of not running on Saturday, since it's the day before my long runs. However, after doing some research, I've started running 6-7 miles on Saturdays as well, and taking it easy on Friday. Apparently, training the body to run hard during the weekends will make me stronger. I've been afraid of injuries, but so far, my long runs have been slightly stronger after running about an hour the day before, sometimes at race pace. I ran 6 quick miles yesterday, and ran a steady 13 miles today. I think it's working so far, especially with the swimming I do on Mondays.
Anyhoo the 13 miles were great, starting with Lady Gaga, and then with This American Life, and then Wait Wait Don't Tell Me, and finishing with Lady Gaga again. I don't know if it was the apple, but I didn't need a Shot Block or a water break, and ran all the way through with no supplements. Might have been the gigantic bowl of hot rice I ate yesterday which warmed me after a day out in the snow (sleet).
The next couple of weeks will be about balancing holiday activities and my training schedule. I might have to run some of my long runs on Saturdays, or even Mondays, and some runs may be delayed... I have to be honest here, I am totally OCD about my running, and I hate when things interrupt my running schedule. In fact, I haven't gone out on Saturday nights for the last couple of weeks so that I will have a descent long run. Yes, this is not normal, and yes, I know that it's no big deal if I miss one run. And no, I am no Grinch, and I actually love the holiday season, and the activities that come with it. I'm especially excited to see my family in Los Angeles, and go on runs in Los Angeles again. ( Los Angeles is an AWESOME running city, by the way. )
Now that my fingers have regained feeling, and I'm properly showered and fed, I am off to Manhattan to get some holiday shopping done. I've done this a couple of times, and end up purchasing things for myself. This WILL NOT WILL NOT be the case today.
Sorry for the disorganization of this entry. Perhaps, I'll think of a new route to run soon, or perhaps carry my camera with me next time...? Esca-laters!