Monday, January 23, 2012

What the heck? Why not give it a try?

in the rain at Sugarloaf
Ok, so I'm a pretty cautious person when it comes to most things.  I also like to be comfortable; not that most people don't, but sometimes I feel like I might take it somewhat to the extreme :)  I'm a weather wimp.  I don't enjoy - ok, maybe I need to re-phrase that - I make every effort to avoid running in the rain or other precipitation, extreme cold or extreme heat, or when the roads aren't clear and dry.  That actually worked pretty well for me for a few years.  Most long run days or race days ended up being nice with reasonable weather, and for those that weren't, well, I just headed inside for some QT with the treadmill.  It worked out fine; well, that is, until last year.  For some reason, it seemed like 2011 was not a great year for racing conditions, at least for me:
sweating at the Old Port Half

  • Race the Runways Half - a couple of feet of snow fell the night prior, leaving crazy driving conditions on the way down and an at least partially icy course.
  • Sugarloaf Marathon - it rained pretty much the whole way (and was pretty cold) leading to an nice egg sized blister on the ball of my foot...
  • Old Port Half - OMG it was hot and sticky....bleah!
  • Maine Marathon Half - and I'd thought it rained hard at Sugarloaf!  Well, what we had at Sugarloaf paled in comparison to the torrential downpours we ran through here in Portland.
On our way to the Maine Marathon Half
Just so you know - it was just the weather that was less than desirable.  These races themselves all rocked with awesome support!  Either way, I certainly didn't have the best track record last year!  

Training for this year's Sugarloaf Marathon started this week and what do you know, a snow storm and some pretty frigid weather arrive too.  But this time, instead of wimping out, I decided (with a gentle nudge from Christine :) ) it might be time to give it a try... What the heck? What's the worst that could happen? I gave myself permission to bail out if it was miserable and set out. 

And, I'm happy to report that I'm so glad I did!  On Friday, I went for my first run on snow covered ground and it was fun! It was definitely a little harder than running on the dry road, and a little slippery in places but it wasn't too bad at all!  It actually felt like a better workout since the unstable surface required a little extra effort to stabilize with each step.  The new snow covering everything was ridiculously beautiful - something I would have missed if I'd been inside on the treadmill.  
a beautiful sub-zero morning!
With success on my first snowy run, I got really crazy and went for my first sub-zero run yesterday morning.  I started getting a little worried when I got into my car and the thermometer was reading -10F, but had friends waiting so it was too late to bail out.  It had warmed up to a balmy -7F by the time I reached our meeting spot, and off we went!  With a hat, scarf, mittens and plenty of layers, it actually wasn't that bad.  We went slowly today, which was good since my legs were a little cold and stiff, but finished our miles and had a great time, complete with ice-encrusted eyelashes!
look at those lashes!
So, you might be thinking, ok Amy, you really are a wimp.  And, to that I'll say, yes, you're right :)  But I hope that you'll also consider trying something that you might have been a little hesitant to do before... You might just be surprised and find out that you like it!  Comment and tell us what you are going to try this year!

ps. don't forget about FITT club checkin!

Previously on Mainely Running