It’s no secret that I prefer running in cooler weather… I run better and my body just seems to function better. But running in cooler weather has some downfalls as well.
I have done a fair amount of running outdoors during the winter months… Not a ton but enough to know how to dress for it and how to take the precautions needed. And I am not talking about just the shorter days that force you to run in the dark more.
Running in the dark is not my preference. Although, it’s not as bad as I once thought. As much as I love the lakefront path there are just some sections that are pretty dark and I still have issues with running through those sections. Not so much because I don’t feel safe running there but it more difficult to see the path and therefore I could potentially not see a branch or hole or something along those lines until its too late. THAT just makes me feel a tad uncomfortable with my footing. Its not terrible but I just feel a lot more tense when I am in those sections. Plus, once we get into the really icy weather, I will get even more tense… Two words… Black Ice.
Because of these dark spots along the lakefront path, I tend to stick more to the park and just loop it if I need to. Also, the parking lot behind the zoo is about .80 miles (and gets plowed rather quickly)… so I have run that back and forth before. Even if we did have snow/ice recently, I can run out and see where all the icy patches are and so on the return trip, I know where I need to be more cautious. There are definitely advantages to my work schedule
My other secret… running along the high rises by Lake Shore Drive. It’s well lit, there are sometimes friendly doormen standing outside that give a nice a hello and, the best part, those sidewalks are ALWAYS completely shoveled and salted in the winter. Black ice is not an issue there.
Luckily all my winter running gear have pockets big enough for a small water bottle so I don’t have to worry about that in the winter… but I still hate running with water…
Then there is the issue of what to do when it rains or it is snowing…. I know there are plenty of people who will run outside no matter the weather. Major props to them but I am just not that person. As much as I hate the treadmill or the track… sometimes there is no other option.
In fact, this week the weather is not looking too good and I am starting to wonder if my little run to/from the gym will even work this week… so far its not looking like it. So I might be forced to the treadmill and/or track. The track is MUCH better than the treadmill in my opinion but not by much. The only thing I actually like the treadmill for is speed work… I am forced to keep pace.
So it looks like this week I will be spending a lot more time on the track… or the treadmill.