After a longer than two year break from running (it’s a loooong story), I’m back – I started running again on January 1st. That’s right – I started running smack-dab in the middle of a very cold, very snowy Canadian winter.
And so it goes that, as I found myself out there trudging along in the snow, I began to question the sanity of choosing to start running in – of all months – January. You may be surprised that there is an upside to the choice. No, really, there is! I can think of five positives:
- Big Clothes: Hey, I’m about 40 pounds heavier than I was at the peak of training for my last marathon and, while I was a near-skeleton back then, I am nowhere near to resembling “slim in the waist” now. Winter running means winter clothing, and said winter clothing covers me in all the right places (basically, everywhere). I like that.
- It’s Dark (for much of the day): Same basic reason as in #1 – people can’t see me. I like that.
- Almost No One Else Is Running Outside: Yet another variation of #1 and #2 (you may be noticing a trend). That said, it’s not just that I don’t like the idea of showing how round I’ve become, it’s also about not showing the world how slow I’ve gotten (Mother of Mercy, have I ever gotten slow!) and the fact that there aren’t many people running outside to bear witness to all of that. Me and my out of shape, slow self have some solitude (you won’t find that in any gym). I like that.
- Snow Is Soft: If you’re a new or returning runner – especially if you’re carrying some extra weight – you’re probably not very light on your feet. Take it from me, a cushion of snow on the ground is a good thing – that cushion is going to feel a lot less punishing than running on the bare concrete or pavement you’d be running on if you started running in the summer.
- It’s Quiet… and Beautiful: The tranquility one can experience from running on a fresh blanket of snow is hard to explain. Winter running definitely has its charm. You just have to try it to know what I mean.
So, there ya have it – the upside to starting to run in the winter. Can you think of others? Leave me a comment and, please, get out there and enjoy the season with me!