The reality is, if you live in the Inland Northwest (or anywhere that has 4 seasons) AND you sign up for Ironman Coeur d’Alene, you are going to be doing some cold weather training. For some folks this means treadmill time. But for me it means bundling up and running outside. I’m like the postal worker of Ironman training when it comes to winter weather – Neither snow nor rain will keep me indoors if I can help it (so long as I can take a nice warm shower when it’s all over!). As one of our local running gurus always quips, there is no such thing as weather that’s too cold, just people who are too soft!
As you can imagine, this means running in snow. On icy roads. In the dark. And the cold. You would be correct in all of these. The other night was no exception and all of the above was true. Fresh snow. On top of old snow which had melted into ice. And it was dark but not the coldest run of the year. Naturally, running in the winter can be hazardous so hubby and I and the rest of the members of the local wintertime running group (organized by the local Fleet Feet) were cruising along much slower than normal due to the ice below the snow. Outdoor wintertime runs are no time for speedwork, you know. And sure enough, just 10 minutes out from the “finish line”, my spidey-senses detected extra super-duper iciness, so I started to slow to a walk. Yet practically the instant I decided to walk I found myself a-slip slidin’ away, landing squarely on my tush (with some impact absorbed by my wrist since I have somehow still not taught myself in all my years of snowboarding and falling NOT to put my hands down).
Luckily, in this case I merely sustained a bruise on my behind and a ‘tweaked’ wrist. Today we had 3 or 4 inches of fresh snow out and a high of 20 degrees and I went out again at lunchtime for a sanity break. (Ironically, everyone looked at me like I was insane…). The cold air is downright invigorating but there is an intense quiet and utter peacefulness that comes with winter running. This is why we run in the winter.
If you can bring yourself to brave the cold, here are a couple of articles that have great winter running safety tips, from dressing in layers to making sure you’re visible in the darkness to keeping your feet underneath you (and your butt off the ground). Take it all in and hopefully you can avoid a bruised badonkadonk like me: