Born to Run … in the cold!

Like most of the world, the weather in the Southeast U.S. has been especially cold over the past few weeks. This has been a true test of my new running habit.

Is it just a habit? Do I do it to stay in shape? Is it a chore to motivate myself to run 4-5 days a week? Basically, why do I run? That’s a question a lot of people close to me have probably been asking themselves for the past year.

Yes, I have only been “a runner” for slightly more than a year. Yet, I have run a couple half marathons, a handful of 5ks, a few 10ks and the NYC Marathon.  To me, it has become clear… I crave it.  I’m still trying to figure out exactly what “it” is though.

I do know this much, when it’s 17 degrees…

…and the ground looks like this in ATLANTA,

…at 6:45 am as I head out for a 15-mile run, it hits me… I’m insane!

In truth, I’m beginning to realize that  my new obsession with running is much more involved than simple exercise. I’m beginning to realize that I yearn for the solitude, the time alone with my thoughts, the buzz of a good controlled, rhythmic run. You know, the kind when the strides seem effortless and you feel like you can run for as long as you want. It’s not a chore, it’s a rush.

Plenty of people have told me that they just can’t get “into” running. I suspect they view it as a chore, more than anything. They feel it’s something that they “should” do or “have” to do in order to get/stay in shape. I have a much different view I guess. I embrace the feeling I get from a good run. It’s a mental high almost as much as it is a physical high.

My head is never as clear as it seems to be after a good run.

A few other random thoughts about running in cold weather: These glove/mittens are beyond awesome.

They might be the warmest gloves I have ever owned. The glove/mitten feature allows me to control the buttons on my iPhone, shuffle songs and drink out of my water bottles mush easier than normal gloves.

These are the gloves I normally wear. When the temps get into the teens, they are WAY too cold. Mittens seem to keep your hands much warmer, simply due to the body heat generated by your fingers.

On a completely unrelated note, I’ve almost finished reading “Born to Run” by Christopher McDougall. It’s a fascinating book, to say the least. I’m sure anybody who has read it, experienced the same sort of thing I am going through now… why do I wear these expensive running shoes? Are they the real reason behind my leg pain?

With that being said, I’ve decided that on my next few runs, I am going to go back to wearing an old pair of Nike Free shoes.

They are pretty darn close to wearing Vibram Five Fingers but with a little more cushion. Compared with my Asics Gel Nimbus 10s, they are a very minimal style shoe.

I’m very curious to see how my legs feel after my first run in them. Because such a  sudden, dramatic shoe change could cause other issues, I plan to take it nice and slow.


1 Comment

Filed under Marathon

One response to “Born to Run … in the cold!

  1. …you know, I sometimes wonder if running in specially fitted shoes to your foot is just a ploy to make a runner spend more money or if it actually works. I don’t know if I got shin splints from my asics or just poor form… sure my brooks have been amazing, but my form also got better. …question of the hour…

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