Getting in a Few Miles

So the deal is this.  I would like to run the Vermont 50 in September.  That’s 50 miles.  I’ve done it before.  I wanted to do it this past fall.  That was not in the cards.  I have plenty of time to make it happen.  I’ll tell you, though, it isn’t easy to get the miles in during the winter.  It is cold, it is slippery, I have to wear lots of clothing, I get sweaty, the roads are narrower, I use more energy, yada yada yada.

My schedule needs to match well in the winter, too.  Getting up early is fine when the sun gets up early, but these days I need to be long home by the time the sun gets to rising.  I do love to run early, but when it is 1 degree, like this morning, and dark and breezy and slippery…  You see where I’m headed.

This is why people don’t do things like this, I realize.  It is easy to make excuses.  It is easy to make other things a priority.  It is the accumulation of runs that makes it attractive to me.  Any given run might be a drag, or it might be amazing, but piling them all up makes for some feel-good stuff.  So I need to make it happen.

It will take time, I know that.  I will do a couple more short weeks of twenty miles or so.  Then I need to start getting in some longer runs.  By the time spring comes, I will hopefully be in the position to take advantage of the warmer weather right away.  When I ran the marathon in Burlington every year, I was always amazed at how many people I would see running once it got warm out.  I would have the roads to myself, as I do now, until the fair weather runners came out.

Already I feel pretty good.  Today was 10 degrees but I felt fine.  I got in a few miles before I had to meet my daughter getting off the bus.  I will run again this weekend, both Saturday and Sunday if all goes well.  I won’t get in that many miles for the week, but enough for now.  Once I get into it, I look forward to the next run.  I am starting to feel that way now.  My run today was too short.  I can’t wait until I can take the time to run the eleven mile loop.

That will feel like I am getting in the miles.  Then maybe 50 miles will seem within reach.

Another Chilly Run

It seems they can’t be avoided, these cold forays with the running shoes.  I was busy today with all kinds of random crap–paying bills, trying to figure out how to refinance and being put off again (even by a second lender), taking a carful of junk to the dump, letting my children climb all over me.  So I got out to run at the end of the day.

I got to say goodnight to the sun, as it was setting.  I told it I looked forward to seeing it tomorrow.  It was 7 degrees when I left and 5 degrees when I got home.  The wind was light but I ran fast.  I heated up halfway through, enough so I was sweating, but it was chilly, especially with the breeze I created.  These chilly runs can’t be avoided this time of year, if I want to run at all.

When I got home I was sweating, as usual. I wore a wind jacket, and it got soaked through.  My gloves got frosted.  My hat had a rim of ice.  It was cold and I was pumping out water.  My body isn’t quite sure what to make of thermoregulation when the outside temperature is in the single digits but my core temperature is higher than normal.  It kind of freaks out.

The temperature is now zero, darkness having settled in for these many hours.  It will get much colder tonight.  I hope our blueberry bushes handle it well.  I was hoping to run again tomorrow.  I keep getting in these shorties–only four miles today.  I was hoping to do at least six tomorrow, but I may just do the same four again.

I like to get out there, but dang, I’m no popsicle, and I’d like to keep it that way.