Thursday, December 19, 2013

What to expect with winter running

I've been in super lazy mode since back from vacation and now with the holiday's coming up. Blogging has definitely taken the backseat and I apologize, but sometimes it's nice to step away from the computer.

I've realized how hard it is to keep up with technology and that sometimes, I just don't want to. I mean, think about it, your cell/smart phone is outdated after having it for 2 years. There have been about 4-5 operating systems that have come out since I bought my MacBook.

Our society is so reliant on technology that sometimes - although I do love Netflix - I have to take a break from it; not look at my computer screen for a while. Or if I do, it's to play a game.. on my own time. I signed up for Twitter about a month or two ago and have barely used it. I don't get the point of it. It's so much work! And there's so much information out there that it's overwhelming.

So instead, I went running out in the snow. I'm starting a "Toronto-winter-can-suck-my-lady-balls" movement. I'm rebelling against the -15 degree weather, the windchills, and the fact that the city doesn't like to clear all sidewalks/roads of snow, by still running.

Of course it has it's ups and downs. I tried running in my hometown which isn't far from here, but on that day, the -15 windchill really did kick my ass and after 10 minutes out on the snowy streets I had had enough.

Yesterday was a fairly good success. Here's my list of things you should know before running on the snow:

1) Do not get confused... you're not running THROUGH the snow like a kid on a snow-day in their winter boots and snow pants who's ecstatic. That kid doesn't need to go very far... I needed to run 6.5km. So I was running ON snow; Slippery packed snow that is.

2) Try to stay on a level surface and don't get off your trail. One minor sideways slope paired with a mis-step and you're falling over - guaranteed. The only positive thing is that you're likely to fall over into a snow bank which is great for breaking your fall.

3) Running on slippery snow is like running in a dream. You're putting in much more effort and not going as far. It can be super frustrating, but hang in there... remember how pretty the snow is, and leave extra time for your run.

4) Most people don't like running or hiking on snowy trails, so they'll be less people to get into your way. This is a bonus. However, watch out for cross-country skiiers. Tripping over one will leave you tangled and bruised.

5) Bundle up appropriately. Good idea: a few thin layers with long socks, running hat and mits/gloves. Long socks are the greatest thing in the world... next to actual leg warmers.

6) You know that feeling after you've jumped on a trampoline and then you try to jump on the regular ground and you feel so much heavier? Well, expect a similar but opposite feeling when you go from running on slippery snow to the pavement. It's like all of a sudden your feet have traction. Like you're running faster and with less effort! But don't be fooled; it doesn't last long and Toronto apparently doesn't like to have all of their sidewalks cleared of snow or salted.

7) Bring Kleenex.

8) Have a great playlist. It'll distract you from the cold.

9) Know when to give up to save yourself from frostbite. I might be a little crazy, but I'm not stupid. If it's truly too cold out, it's best to opt for an indoor workout and save your nose and fingers from going necrotic and falling off.

10) Don't try to switch songs on your phone/player while you're in motion. Taking your eyes off the trail/road will leave you vulnerable to the slippery and uneven ground; making it 80% more likely that you will slip and fall (The 80% is an estimate... that's what it felt like).

I'm going to keep going as long as possible into the winter. I know it's going to get worse here and there are days I really won't be able to go out. But running outside is still so much more superior to running on a treadmill. Get outside even if you don't run. Be that kid in snow-pants running through snow, making snow angels, having snowball fights. Go skiing or sledding! Don't let snow be the pain the ass that it is when it's covering your car and your driveway and causing accidents all over the highway. This weekend, get out and have some fun :)