Monday, February 3, 2014

Motivation Buzz Kill, Brought to you by Winter

I actually really love running in the winter. There's something about the absolute calm of the season. I love running in the dark, seeing puffs of my breath and appreciating the silence, because I can't even hear my own footsteps as they're muffled by the snow.  This winter, however, has stolen the calm winter running moments from me. This winter has been brutal.

Lansing, Michigan averages 51.1 inches of snow per year. In the month of January alone we accumulated 40 inches of snow, about ten inches more than normal.  Even for a die hard runner like me it's hard to get out there when sidewalks and roads have not been cleared. On the rare occasion I have been able to get outside, I dutifully note the houses in my neighborhood who haven't cleared their sidewalks for a few days so I can report them to the city. Yes, I'm that neighbor. And for the record if you can afford a tennis court in your ample front yard, you can afford to have someone clear your snow.

Running on the treadmill is a buzz kill. I know very few runners who enjoy toiling away in a smelly gym, the sound of the spinning belt on the treadmill becoming like a song you can't get out of your head.  When I'm running on the treadmill, it's the only time I listen to music while running. I find myself blasting those awesome 90s hard rock bands I used to work out to in high school and college, bands like Seven Mary Three and Rage Against the Machine.  I need the energy of songs like "Cumbersome" and "Bulls on Parade" to push through a workout on the treadmill. 

Sometimes I mix it up with a little 90s rap or R&B (I'm partial to Blackstreet's "No Diggity" and Warren G's "Regulate"), but even with the music it feels like work. The treadmill takes all of the joy out of running.

Despite my treadmill hatred, I've logged some miles on the treadmill the last few months. I also invested in a pair of IceTrekkers for my running shoes to give my shoes a lot more traction outside during this snowy winter. And if I'm being honest I feel kind of bad ass wearing them.  The problem with running outside in this snow is that it can be like running in quicksand. It's a hard workout, and it's tough to really get in some solid running.

And please don't get me started on the cold. I am not extremely comfortable running outside when it's less than ten degrees, and unfortunately that's been most of 2014 thus far. Last week it was 24 degrees, and it actually felt warm. The temps are in the high teens and low 20s the next week, so I'm hoping to get outside a few days.

Last weekend I was supposed to run a half marathon in Grand Rapids. We got about six inches of snow on Saturday, and the roads were not great. The idea of driving an hour at 6 am on questionable, snow covered roads did not sound fun. Saturday night I made an executive decision to not run the race. Instead I got a workout having dance parties with my dogs.

Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow on Sunday, and that is supposed to mean six more weeks of winter.  i'm itching for a solid run outside, preferably with temperatures at or above freezing. Instead, thanks to Phil, I'll have to charge the iPod and hit the treadmill. Regulators! Mount up!    


  1. Cumbersome; One of my ALL time favorite 90's songs. I think I over used that word the year that song came out!

    1. It's such a great one- and a great one to run to. :)