Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Winter Running Annoyances

I've been a good little marathon preparer and still gone out in the bitter cold, snow and ice to get my runs in. I've bundled up in multiple layers and attempted to brave the roads. My gadgets, however, didn't get the memo.

1) I bought the Nike Amp+ a couple of months ago to supplement my Nike+/Ipod Nano obsession. I have not been impressed. After only a few months, the buttons aren't working consistently and I suspect that it wasn't made to work in low temperatures.

2) My Nike+ has completely wrong times for mileage and speed. In the snow, it said I was running 6:30-7:30 minute miles, even though I was running a consistent 8-8:30 pace. So, more than once Lance Armstrong told me that I had my fastest mile yet. Check your facts, Lance!

3) However, today and a couple of times recently, the Nike+ has dramatically under counted my pace and said that I was running fewer miles at a slower pace. Today, I ran 3.5 out and turned around. How many miles when I got back? 6.5 total at a 9:30 pace. I did at least 7 at closer to an 8:15 pace.

4) Unrelated to gadgets, I'm having a bit of a feud with drivers. They don't seem to remember that I have the right to the road as much as they do. I'm hardly running out in the road, but I do need to run off of any kinds of ice. I've had a couple choice words for drivers that of course they wouldn't hear because they're talking on their cell phones and blaring music.

5) Now I'm not all complaints today. Thanks to one blogger (who I forget), I've been frequenting the Runner's World module that suggests clothing to wear depending on weather. Take a look. Though it tends to suggest too many layers in some cases, it gives a decent estimate.

Progress - 12/18/07 (Richmond, IN)

I'm 580 miles into the trip and I just crossed into Indiana. I'm passing through Richmond, which, apparently, is quite the town. The Wright Brothers were from Richmond, as was a Nobel Prize winner and the singer Baby Huey (yes, THAT Baby Huey). There's actually quite a list of famous Richmondites (or is it Richmonders?).

Anyway, I'm continuing on Rt. 70 on my way towards Indianapolis. At that point, I'll start to head southwest on my trek towards LA.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

What I've learned from winter running

New Hampshire had anywhere from 6 inches to 75 feet of snow yesterday, depending on which weather report you listen to. I think it was closer to 6 inches. I decided to go for a run in the afternoon after class. I learned a few things during my winter run:

1) The YakTrax Pro thing is absolutely awesome. I didn't feel any slips and ran very well on the packed snow and little bit of ice.
2) When you put those on the bottom of your shoes and inadvertently hit the inside of your leg as you're running, it hurts.... A LOT.
3) I've grown to really dislike people who don't shovel their sidewalks. That requires me to run on the road which is not great since the roads aren't fully cleared and the drivers don't all know how to drive on the snow.
4) My Nike+ is not at all accurate in the snow, but at least for yesterday, it worked to my advantage. I ran 6 miles but the Nike+ had me at 7.2 miles. With as tired as I was after the run, it sure felt like I ran more. I was probably taking more steps for the same distance, but I am a bit annoyed that it wasn't more accurate.
5) That leads me to the next note. I was really tired after that. In fact, I was quite tired only 3 miles in, unlike the rest of my runs over the last year. Trying to keep your footing is very taxing.

I guess the most important I learned is that days like yesterday make me feel like a runner--a real runner. Most regular runners will skips these days because it's too cold or snowy or rainy or whatever. Today I really felt that running had become part of who I was. I wanted to get out in the snow and do a long run. I wanted it to be a part of me.

Plus, I must admit, I absolutely love the looks that I get from people in cars and shoveling their driveways. The "why are you running?" perplexed looks are priceless and reinforce why this is so much fun.