It appears as though winter finally got the memo. It’s supposed to be here by now. And today it arrived. According to the weather forecast, it’s only making a quick stop before allowing the sun to warm us up again, at least for a little while, but boy oh boy if we aren’t feeling the chill. And not loving it. It took me the better part of an hour to get up the nerve to go out grocery shopping this morning knowing that it was 26 degrees out. (Oh the joys of bundling up! Especially when you’ve got a couple of resistant little boys to bundle, too.) Right now it is 19 degrees and falling. Kind of makes me never want to go outside again. At least until the temperature starts with a 3. At least. And is two digits. That too.
But the thing is, I still like to run. And I know that I can do it, and enjoy it, even when the temperature drops into the teens. I’ve done it before. I know that once I get out there, my body warms up, the sun is shining, and it’s kind of awesome to be breathing such cold air even while I’m working up a sweat.
But, remember how it took me the better part of an hour to get up the nerve to go out in 26 degree weather? That’s a good chunk of running time I just wasted, dithering about how cold I would be for a couple of minutes while I got warmed up. So here is where I find comfort: I can still maintain a good portion of my fitness during the cold months even if I just go for short runs. All I have to do is run faster. A 30 minute fartlek workout will keep me in better shape than a 60 minute relaxed run. And if I know I only have to be out there for 30 minutes, I’m more likely to get out. If it turns into a 45 minute run once I’m out the door, so much the better. But until I get out, I’m just going to tell myself I don’t have to run far as long as I run fast.