Thursday, January 27, 2011

Week three of my marathon journey: snow, rain, ice, snain...it's all good

Well, we are into week three of training. And it is definitely winter now. There's been snow. There's been rain. There's been ice. And it's been cold. But if you dress smart (ie for warmth rather than fashion...my tush learned that the hard way last Sunday when I wore my Lulu Lemon jacket in -17 weather rather than my sensible running jacket -- you know the ones with the bum flap that all the runners wear, looking like a bunch of rainbow-coloured lemmings) it's actually not too bad. Running in the winter is a great way to stay active through the cold months and to get some fresh air (and in my case, it's a good way to start shedding some of those 12 pounds of Christmas :) ). And the motivating factor is that once you're out there, the colder it is, the more you want to run just to get warm.

The danger with running in winter is those little patches of black ice that hide under the thinnest layer of snow. But winter runners know that you quickly learn to jump over puddles rather than run through them, or do a little shuffle-step-hop at the point where the sidewalk meets road. Running in winter definitely takes some creative movement, alertness and humour. Cause if you can't laugh at yourself when you look like a bundled up snow bunny (or as Halifax Broad puts it more eloquently than I ever could, "a lesbian broomball champion from Parry Sound") hopping about in zig-zagging fashion through Halifax's snow-ridden streets (meanwhile hoping no one you know sees you...but you know they have and just aren't telling you because they don't want to embarrass you), when can you?

In addition to getting up close and personal (my frozen tush being a case in point) with winter running again, this was also week two of my marathon clinic at the Running Room. Our group this time around is a nice mix of seasoned veterans who have run eight marathons, and newbies who've never run the distance before.
Figuring out what pace group you should be in can be a little agonizing. Not only does it have a lot to do with who you're running with (though really I've never met a runner I didn't enjoy running with), your pace group leader sets the tone for the group too. I once had a group leader who would bark/yell at us if we went too fast. It was ruining what for me should have been an enjoyable experience, so I pushed myself up to the faster group, even though I struggled to keep up with them. Your pace group choice basically dictates how painful or enjoyable your runs are going to be, and whether you're going to kill yourself trying to keep up with a group that's pushing you just a tad too fast, or get frustrated with a group that you feel is slowing you down. I'm still waffling - 4hr, or 4:05 group? I'll let you know what I decide.

Coming soon...I'll be launching my new running blog, with interviews with local runners, reviews of routes and races, tips and tricks, recipes and product reviews. Stay tuned!

~ Ceebie

1 comment:

Andy Donovan said...

I agree CBT - it is sometimes a challenge to get the "butt out the door" and in my case I am sometimes cursing what the heck I'm doing this for - until I realize I only have 400 metres or so to go in the run.

Keep it up - great inspiration for us especially when we need a little bit more to get off the couch and brave Jack Frost at his worst. :) Cheers, Andy