Is your refrigerator running?

February 21, 2010 at 10:45 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Do you remember that old joke?  You prank call someone (not that I EVER did that…at a slumber party…in 7th grade…moving on) and you ask them, “is your refrigerator running?” and when they answer, “yes” (because it’s working) you say, “well you better go catch it!”, laugh hysterically and then hang up.

I know, not the best of jokes, but appropriate for today’s blogging.

I set out yesterday to run 4 miles.  We’ve had some crazy winter weather around here and it’s forced me to re-arrange my days on the Hal Higdon Half Marathon training schedule .  I’m on week 5 currently and I had to switch cross training days for running days.  Yesterday, I hopped in the car with the high hopes the bike path was clear.  Our streets were finally clean from ice and snow, a girl can dream right?

This is what the bike path usually looks like:

About 17 miles long and the scene of the crime of the upcoming half marathon , this is such an idyllic place to run.  You can just hit the trail and get lost in your thoughts.  I love it.  However, I did NOT love it yesterday.

My jaw dropped when I saw the path was STILL coated in about 8 inches of snow (less where it has been tamped down by a steady course of dog walkers) and patches of snow.  I was tempted to turn back and run the neighborhood loop (which would have been 8yesEIGHT laps to make 4 miles) but I got stubborn and decided to rough it. Maybe this would be fun.

It was not fun.  It was like running in a refrigerator (this is the part where you marvel at my genius title now).  It was chilly on all sides, up, down, left, right, and it was like running on sand.  I haven’t run on sand before, but I’ve caught enough episodes of Baywatch on a Saturday of mindless tv flipping to know what sand running should seem like.  You plant your foot, wobble for stability, then wobbly spring forward off the foot you just planted for another wobble-filled stride.

Stubborness > Snow

I eeked out the four miles, passing one dog walker, one biker (who rides their bike through that kind of messy terrain?) and one individual who looked like he was not only physically, but mentally, in a winter wonderland.  I sped up when I passed him — it was the only time I attempted a wobbly speed up.  He creeped me out.

All that running in the chilly made me think about how far I’ve come in terms of winter running.  My friend, Kathy, even said to me yesterday, “so you’re really running in the snow and cold weather?” and the answer was an automatic “yes”.  This is by far the latest and largest snow fall we’ve had in my part of the country in a while, but this is also the first time I’ve trained for a half marathon and I feel the need to cling to my training guide like a toddler to its mother on the first day of daycare.  Do not let go, bad things will befall you. I don’t like running on the treadmill and don’t currently have a gym membership, so what are my options?  Run.  Run in the snow.

So, I present to you, my trick for running in the cold.  Here’s a hint.

Haha, look at the lady at the 0:44  mark.  She’s looking at that tub of Vaseline like, “oh my gosh, I get it, the keys to my new car are in this tub of Vaseline.  Y’all, the KEYS ARE IN THE VASELINE!!!!”

Um, no.  Have you learned nothing from daytime tv?  Tyra < Oprah.  Duh.

But Tyra is on to something, I think.  So, I present you my trick for running in the cold weather:

AQUAPHOR!  I usually use this for serious dry skin (I’m a sensitive skin kind of girl — see that little crack on my thumb — I blame winter weather!) but somewhere, someone posted that using it (or any petroleum jelly type product) for a little facial protection can really help with running in the colder weather.  *ahem* Aquaphor did not pay me to endorse their product, I simply had it laying around and this is what I used.*  Dab a little on your cheekbones, nose, chin and forehead (if it’s exposed) and VOILA!  A little comfort in the cold.  I think the ski-inclined population do this to prevent windburn, but seeing as how I have never strapped myself to two skinny pieces of wood and propelled myself downhill, I don’t know.

I think it’s important in the fitness/exercise/healthy living/I-just-need-to-get-through-this-winter-workout online community to pass on tips and tricks we find that work.  I know every little bit helps when I need some motivation or some help eliminating a potential stumbling block, so consider this my gift to you if you run in the refrigerator like I do.

If you don’t — I’m so jealous. 😛

And with that, I’m off!  We’ve got a six mile “long run” ahead of us.  It’s the longest I’ve ever run in my entire life, so I’m a little nervous, but jacked I finally may have an excuse to use some of those energy goos…:)  I’ve always wondered what they tasted like!

Don’t worry, I’m not going to do those six miles on the bike path.  I’m not THAT crazy! Later, I’ll let you know how it goes, what I think of energy goo and I’ll have a post on why I suffer from acute menuphobia…

What are you tips for dealing with less than ideal weather? Post your best ones in the comments section!


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  1. My friend Tiffany told me once that she trained for a half marathon during the frigid, difficult winter months and it actually helped her tremendously on race day. I guess all that extra energy required to run in the cold and discipline to get out and run in the freezing temps made her a stronger runner! So, her experience gives me motivation to keep going 🙂

  2. […] a nearby city to visit for the day and then I set out to make up Thursday’s 4 mile run.  I wrote about how it was like running in a refrigerator here. What I never got a chance to write about was what happened […]

  3. […] months and months of bone-chilling runs and layers and bundling and Aquafor-ing my face, I felt like a castaway emerging from the shipwreck of winter to this 60 degree weather. Is it […]

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