Monday, January 10, 2011

And Snow It Begins.....

It's been 9 days since my incredible and inspiring New-Year's day run and though I am still pumped about running, I haven't gone as much as I had hoped. I went out a week ago Monday and ran 5.26 km  and then ran another 6.19 km on January 5th. Since then, no runs. Initially, my goal was to run every second day, but my enthusiasm has been dampened by the curtain of snow that is now covering the city. You see, I am not a Winter person in the sense that I absolutely hate feeling cold. So the idea of covering my body in layers (17 pieces of clothing to be exact), strapping on my shoes, and gleefully heading for a run in the middle of a cold, snow-stormy kind of day is not my idea of fun (the word "torture" is more acurate).

4 layers to keep me....warm....I hope....

Some people will say that a run in the cool of winter is invigorating and makes you feel alive. I'd rather hide under a mountain of blankets and hibernate! The only thing that could perhaps motivate me to go out in Winter is the presence of sunshine. When I see the sun shining on the snow, I might get inspired to go out and "enjoy" the outdoors (cursing for the first 15 minutes while my body adjusts to the shock of the wind slapping my face with "invigorating" energy). The truth is that I wasn't raised in a cold-climate so I was never forced to live with it. My memories of childhood in Winter do not involve spending whole afternoons skating outdoors or playing hockey, or even making snow forts with runny noses and red cheeks to show for it. The only snow I encountered was when my parents took us skiing in the Alps, and even then it wasn't really cold (I remember skiing in a t-shirt!). 

My challenge therefore is: How do I motivate myself to go out even when my entire body is screaming at me to not dare put a foot out in the cold, or else! The reality is that I can't avoid Winter and it's grand display of snow storms, freezing rain, and insane cold weather. The dummer reality is that I chose to live in this country so I'd better suck it up and adapt quick because Winters won't disappear (it's fairly predictable that for three months of the year, at least, it will be cold and the roads will be crap because covered in slush) and I can't afford (both physically and emotionally) not to run anymore.

I think the only way I can truly motivate myself is to shut up the princess voice that wants me to stay indoors warm and cozy, put on my layers and my running shoes, take the first step and run. I'll bet you I'll run a lot faster cause I'll be dying (literally) to get back to warmer temperatures. And on those days when it's really aweful outside and I'm worried about safety, then I can always workout indoors (no treadmills here, but I have a decent collection of home workout videos). I must also keep my goal of running consistently front and centre when I waver in my determination.

So bring it on Winter! Me, myself, my many layers of clothing, my shoes and their trusted ice-grips are looking forward to running with you.


  1. Em, I was raised in this Canadian climate and I was forced to go out in it regularly as a child. There is NO WAY I am going to go running in it unless the house is on fire. I have a treadmill and I will run inside.

    Love the post and I will follow along or maybe behind, running with you in spirit!

  2. My mantra when I am spending half an hour getting two screaming boys ready to go out for a walk for 30-60 minutes where they will likely complain, fall over and scream is "I'm not going to enjoy this but it is worth it". Sometimes I am happily surprised and the walk goes really well, other times it is as difficult as expected BUT the boys are more settled and relaxed for the rest of the day which makes the pain worth it.

    Try looking past the experience, get used to the idea that you won't enjoy it but acknowledge that the fitness is the payoff NOT the experience.

    So get running princess! Get it over and done with then warm up in front of the fire : )