Early this winter when the daily highs were inching their way toward freezing, I asked my mom for advice on how to maintain the motivation to run outside during the winter. My mom is a life-long runner and lover of the outdoors who manages to run outside every winter despite her vehement hatred of said season. She’s knows about these things. Her advice was to get really cute winter running clothes and find running friends. I do not have much luck with running friends, due to my insistence on running at exactly the warmest hour of each day. That tends to be between two and three and the good people of the world are at work (although some of my favorites have been chatty Saturday walk-runs with my darling friend G of Somewhat Outdoorsy-ish). However, the clothes thing? That works! In my egocentricity, I imagine all my neighbors are watching me through their windows thinking, “Dang! Motivated and stylish? I want to be like her!” What a boost!
My measure of success is never how far or fast I run, but whether I go outside at all. Often the sidewalks are icy and I run quite slow. Sometimes it’s so cold out that I can only stand it for a mile before hightailing home. However, if I run outside at all, I feel like a badass who deserves to be rewarded with hot chocolate and a re-run of Law and Order. The payoff is mainly emotional (although it doesn’t hurt that I’m ready for swimming suit season! Booyah!). It makes me feel like winter won’t kill me.
This past week has been awfully snowy (constant snow shoveling), so I’ve been riding Chris’s stationary bike in the basement. Obviously, it’s physically good for me. I get some mental benefits from the podcasts coming through my headphones (like this crazy episode of On Point from a few days ago). Emotionally, though, it’s pretty meh. I’m getting stir-crazy!