Winter is kind of a dead spot for running - especially this time of year right before the holidays. I religiously scour the Playmakers calendar to find races, and in December there just aren't that many. From April to November you have your pick, but these lonely winter months you're hard pressed to find regular running events.
Not that running in the winter is that much of a joy. I really do enjoy it when the temperature is in the 20s and 30s. I love the sound of snow crunching under my shoes and seeing my breath. But here in Michigan we have January and February, months where you're surprised if it's above freezing. Weeks where the temperature doesn't rise above the teens. Those days are brutal for running. Once I get out there I love it, but it takes a special kind of motivation to step out in your running clothes on a 16 degree (or colder) day.
I find winter a little depressing, and I have to force myself to get out there and run. I don't even enjoy my surroundings when I'm running. My focus is on just finishing.
This year I'm trying to remain more positive and find a few 5k races to pull me through. I've got some really good warm running gear, and that makes all the difference. This weekend a friend and I are going to Paw Paw, Michigan for the Santa Run. Instead of a t-shirt we will be receiving a Santa suit to run in. I'm not entirely sure what it's going to be like running in a Santa costume, but I'm excited to find out.
Marathon training for the Green Bay Marathon will start in mid-January. I'm sure those days will be difficult, and I'll be complaining every single time I lace up my shoes. But at the end of those cold winter runs I'll feel like I've accomplished something. I'll also be looking for races in warmer locales during those months. There are a lot of warm towns left for me to explore.