Yes, winter training is upon us. The season is over and next year’s season seems very far off. The days of summer are gone. The days when I head out for an early morning run and the sun has already risen; the days of standing on the dock and looking out across the lake at 5:30am and can't wait to swim across; the days of being able to bike until 9pm; yes all those days are over.
In winter training I get to roll out of bed every morning in the dark and know that it is cold outside! Oh how easy it would be to hit the snooze or to just turn off the alarm completely and stay in my nice warm comfy bed! But no, I have all this to look forward to …
Leaving my house at 5:45 am to drive to the pool in the cold and in the dark.
Spending long hours on a trainer pedaling away but never going anywhere.
Running on the ice and snow.
Winter running … that is whole separate topic in itself. Now, I love running in the first snow. It’s awesome. Making new tracks. Hitting the roads early in the morning when there are no cars out yet, just plow trucks. Unfortunately that only happens a few times all winter.
Mostly what you get is sidewalks covered in ice and snow and roads that get narrower and narrower with each storm. You run for an hour and you never feel like your muscles ever warm up. Surviving winter running in Maine is quite a task. I’ve taken many falls on the ice, had close encounters with many vehicles where I though I was going to have to dive into a snowbank, and come in from long runs frozen to bone! My option … taking it to the gym to run on what I like to call the dreadmill. I do believe the dreadmill has its time and place, but it’s just something I hate! But what has to be done has to be done and it’s a great place to do your speed workouts or hill repeats when the weather conditions just don’t suit. I remember training for the Hyannis Marathon in 2006 and it seemed like every time I needed to run long I would wake up to freezing rain and stiff winds. I somehow made it through one 17 and two 20 milers on the treadmill that winter. Yes, I said I ran 20 miles on a treadmill… twice … wow, maybe I am crazy! Actually, that is right up there with the day I decided to run 19 miles on the track because I thought it would help condition my mental toughness for my upcoming marathon. Yeah.
Anyway, my point is winter training is when I have to remind my self constantly why I’m doing this ... and that would be because I love it and it will be worth it in the spring!!