The madness of a looming marathon

There’s nothing like an impending marathon to get you going. Even when it’s chucking it down with snow…

I must have been the only person in the UK who was unaware it was supposed to snow on Thursday evening. Sure I’d heard about the “thundersnow storm” but I hadn’t really connected it with reality – I mean surely that’s just in Scotland, right? So when I packed my gym bag in the morning to take to work I merrily threw in my usual pair of shorts and didn’t think twice. I normally wear shorts, I normally warm up. Totally fine.

Then I got to work and everyone was talking about how at 4pm snow was going to start. Er, what? And lo and behold, as 4pm hit so did buckets of snow. But when you have a marathon very soon (February) and you’re hugely under-trained (longest run 6 miles at this point) and you need adequate spacing of runs to not re-niggle the injury you’re only just getting over…well, you have little choice but to put those tiny shorts on and get out there and run.

It was fully throwing it down as I headed out, to the point I couldn’t really see as I had to blink so much due to the big fluffy snowflakes hitting my eyes. And the floor was already coated in a a thick dusting of snow. So foot placing was precarious, as were corners. I was soaked and cold very quickly and this encouraged me to run a bit faster, but not too fast to risk falling over.

I got several odd looks from people sheltering under bus stops waiting for their bus and commuters in their cars. But I strangely quite enjoyed it. I felt like a warrior. My legs were freezing, which is never happens to me, but it wasn’t terrible. I was only going three miles so I knew it would be over soon.When I finished and walked the last bit to get to my office, a guy sheltering near the door stared at me incredulously and said, “you’re absolutely mental”. I pretty much agreed.
People left in the office laughed at me when I said it was a bit nippy out. My legs were so pink and I was drenched! It took pretty much my entire commute home (an hour’s journey) to warm up again. I stood in my shower on full blast and full heat basically searing off a layer of my skin to get warm again. But I’m glad I went out. It was a good run. I felt strong, my shin felt good and it’s all miles towards Tokyo (albeit only three but hey it’s all relative here for me!).

There’s nothing like a big goal or deadline to get you motivated and focused. And I’m being really sensible (I think!). I’m only running three times a week, and two of those runs are three miles. I might bump one of those up to four (ooh go crazy, eh!). And then I have a longer run at the weekend, and no consecutive running days. It seems to be working.

I go to Florida with friends in two weeks and I really have no idea how the running will go but I’m going to aim to do two big runs out there. I say “big” runs but we’re talking 13-16 miles, though it could all change. Basically I’m fully winging it. I hope to do the parkrun in Orlando again as well. The two friends I’m going with are the friends who have just got into running and parkrun. And incidentally they are the friends that laughed at me for doing the Orlando parkrun the last time we went. Ha! How the tables have turned now 😉

But I’m still feeling positive – if not maybe in denial? Either way it’s all good. At least when I’m running Tokyo I can look back fondly on this 3 mile snowy run and remember what I warrior I am 😉

Have you ever run in snow?

What’s the worst weather you’ve ever run in?

What do you wear during winter exercise?

11 Replies to “The madness of a looming marathon”

  1. Last time we did Leith Hill Half, it snowed (in March). And I got soaked to the skin on a couple of my long runs for Berlin (which was appalling preparation given how warm it was in Berlin!). N had an awful Reading Half in the rain, but got a PB… and Chocathon was getting a bit nasty toward the end (icy rain) this weekend just gone. We stopped before it got horrible.

    We’ve also had some lovely runs on Hampstead Heath in proper snow: N gave himself a long term injury making a snow angel. Silly boy.

    Winter – I layer. I’ve run in Switzerland in sub-zero temps with deep snow (and here with sub-zero temps, frankly). Two pairs of tights, long sleeves, t-shirt, possibly fleece, something to keep the wind out (the latest ‘you did not get into London’ top is brilliant). Hat. Gloves. Buff. For Chocathon I had one pair of tights and no fleece (and no buff, so I wore my woolly scarf). Layers vary according to temp. Long legs if it’s below 10 degrees, generally speaking. That sort of short shorts? Definitely a high summer thing for me!
    Jane recently posted…I found those 2lbs!My Profile

  2. Orlando at this time of year would be brilliant- I’v been in December before and that blast of winter sunshine is just amazing, plus it isn’t too hot (having also been in August where you don’t want to go outside because it’s too hot)- doing the parkrun there is great.
    Well done for your snow run- very hardcore! I went out mainly because I needed to wash my hair, and so I may as well get it sweaty first, otherwise it feels like a waste of shampoo.
    I don’t know how you wear shorts though (well, I know you run faster than me)- my legs get so cold even in tights. My body gets warm, so I can wear a t-shirt usually (unless it’s zero, then I will wear a jacket), but my skin gets so cold so I’d often wear a buff with a t-shirt to protect that skin. It’s hard though, as on longer runs if I am running slower I might need more layers, but it is hard to judge.
    Maria @ runningcupcake recently posted…Runs, snow, dodging tidal waves and wild animal sightingsMy Profile

    1. Yeah when we went last time it was January and I remember on the first day I wore shorts and was really cold! But for going round theme parks it’s kind of ideal like you said. We’re not going for the weather after all.
      AnnaTheApple recently posted…Fori Bars ReviewMy Profile

  3. My hands are up – I was also stupid enough to continue running in shorts this week! I love that some stranger called you mental outside your office! Haha!
    I hate the days when the rain is so bad that you can no longer see. I bet you were glad that you no longer wear contacts – the feeling of them being pushed around by the rain in your eyes is the worst.
    Mary recently posted…Running – 15 weeks post babyMy Profile

  4. You know I’m not a runner, but some of my favorite runs have been in the cold or rain! It kind of makes me feel invincible almost and like you said, a warrior. The last time I ran [outdoors] it was just above freezing weather out and I was wearing long leggings and a tank top – that’s it! I got lots of weird looks that day, though it could’ve been because I was sputtering and looking like I was going to fall over any minute 😉
    kat recently posted…Chocolate Zucchini Bundt Cake with Fudge FrostingMy Profile

  5. Haha sounds like a very interesting run! Apparently it will never snow where I am because I’m too near the Estuary! Well done for getting out in it though, I do like going out in adverse weather as it does make you feel a bit more badass than normal 😀 xx
    April recently posted…A very vegan Christmas! Part 2My Profile

    1. Ahh yeah I think with Southampton is rarely sticks because it’s so close to the sea but in Basingstoke it’s far enough out. You do feel like it’s a proper hard workout when it’s tough on all fronts.
      AnnaTheApple recently posted…Fori Bars ReviewMy Profile

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