I generally like to stay positive, especially when I know I could be influencing other peoples’ moods. And I will always love running and generally enjoy changes in seasons as it keeps the routine from getting stale. However, two months into winter I’m sort of over the new and exciting challenges that it brings to running. I need to blow off a little steam about things that are bugging me about running right now. Once it’s off my chest I’m sure I’ll feel better and be able to enjoy running in slushy negative temp conditions again. So here is a list of a few things I (don’t hate) but dislike about running in the winter:
1. My constant failure to get my layering perfect. When the days fluctuate between -5C to -25C within a twelve hour window, it’s really a crap-shoot whether you’ve dressed appropriately. Even if you are perfectly dressed for half of your run, chances are the same combo won’t work once the wind hits you from another direction. Just today I had the annoyingly unpleasant sensation of being too hot on my upper body while at least two of my toes were completely numb from cold.
2. Lack of sidewalk space. Most of us city runners have perfected the sidewalk dodge, and are pretty good at judging other pedestrians’ pace and patterns so we can zip between people, strollers and dogs without breaking stride. In winter though it’s a different story. On most sidewalks right now there is room for about one and a half people to pass with snowbanks lining the path on both sides. If absolutely everyone is looking up and follows courteous passing rules (one foot each in a snowbank while turning sideways) then it all can work. Mostly this doesn’t happen though. The other day I was running along the sidewalk and coming towards me were a mother and her young son. I committed to the side of the boy, thinking there would be more room, but then noticed his eyes were covered by his toque and scarf and his head was bent down to protect his face from the blasting wind. His mother and I both saw what was going to happen, but there was nothing to do. There was nowhere to go. Instead of diving into the nearest snowbank I simply stopped and braced myself for the full impact of him walking directly into me.
3. My poor skin. I know I’m going to sound vain here, but is there anything less attractive than dry, pale, weather-beaten skin? Especially when that skin is on your face? As I approach 40 I’m already concerned enough about every new wrinkle and line. I feel like the skin on my face suddenly just gave up all at once – like the elastic in a bathing suit which suddenly lets go. And yes, I blame winter.
Ok, I’ll stop there. Winter running can be glorious, gorgeous and fun. There is a lot to love about it, and mostly I do. There, see? I feel better already. Thanks for listening.