Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Running in the Cold!

The start of the 2014 Color Run 5k held in Bangor, Maine this September.

I started running a few months ago. My goal was to be able to run my first 5k. There was a Color Run coming to Bangor in September, and it sounded like a lot of fun. I decided to use the Color Run as my motivation to do something that I have never attempted to really do before, distance running. If you were to see me running previous to July 2014, you would have assumed that I was being chased by something big. I DIDN'T. DO. RUNNING.
Using the Color Run for my motivation, I started by using a Couch 2 5k app on my iTouch, and though I never really got as fast as I had hoped, I was able to run a 5k come September without having to stop to walk. I have come to terms with the fact that I will never be a fast runner, but nothing I have ever done can match the way I feel about myself after I have finished running.
My goal was to continue to run throughout the fall and into the winter. I was doing well with this until late fall. Once it was time for Thanksgiving, final exams, and Christmas, I stopped finding time to run. The sun going down earlier also made it less safe for me to be on the roads, as the only time I could run was in the late afternoon after my husband came home from work to be with our children. There were a lot of reasons to not go out. It was too costly to buy a treadmill, and driving to the gym 25 minutes away coupled with a gym membership was also too much for us to spend. I was feeling a little defeated, I didn't want to backslide with the progress that I had made.
This week I decided to run around the parking lot of  our town office. I only live about a 5 minute walk from there. It was a bit tedious, but the area was lit, and off the road, so I was safe. It felt great to be running again. I couldn't keep the pace that I had a month earlier, but I pushed myself to go the same distance, and it felt wonderful. I had to bundle up a lot more than I had previously, with ear protection, mittens and a heavy coat, but it was so worth it. After the first 10 minutes I didn't feel the cold anymore. Most importantly, I was able to feel that sense of accomplishment and pride that I would get when I was running this summer and fall.
There are still times that I really don't want to run. What I have had to do is think of it as a positive reward for myself. I spend my days with small children and no break or interaction with other adults for 10 hours. Running gives me time to myself, time to think, and time to meditate. I am determined to keep up with running throughout the winter. There will be times that there is too much black ice, and when it is simply too cold, but whenever it is safe to be running, I will be there.
Running at night around our local town office.