Posted by: Ingrid | December 11, 2009

Winter Running: Not sure how “snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes” made the final cut

That’s what I was thinking about mile five of today’s seven mile run when it started snowing and the winds were gusting from the… southwest?  Maybe?  I noticed that my visibility was slowly disappearing due to the fact that the snowflakes were clinging to my lashes and then The Sound of Music soundtrack exploded in my head wouldn’t stop, wild geese, blue satin sashes, and all.  For the rest of my run.  Really Maria?  You couldn’t have thought of a more favorite thing than icy stuff right next to your eyes?  Really?

I feel that I need to say something about running in the snow since I have now done it twice; five miles yesterday and seven today.  This was our first week of real snow and it took precisely four days to bring me to my breaking point.  I ran outside on Sunday and it was cold.  Monday was an off day.  Tuesday was so cold and I didn’t know how to run on slush, so I did seven miles on the treadmill.  Wednesday I did three reluctant miles on the treadmill.  Thursday morning I got up, looked at the treadmill, looked at the snow and the temperature outside and burst into tears.  It’s not that I mind living in a place where it snows.  I can enjoy a good cup of coffee looking out at the snow settling in drifts on the ground as much as the next person.  It was the not getting outside to run that got to me.

A friend of mine who runs very kindly offered to watch Isaac so that I could go outside and try to do something in the winter wonderland of our neighborhood.  I was so grateful.  Despite the temperature being 12 degrees at noon with gusts of wind up to 27 mph I went out and ran five miles and absolutely loved it.  I actually think that running in the snow will be great when I get used to all the prep it takes and the wind dies down.

Running in the snow reminds me a little of what I imagine sand running would be like, which means that the universe owes me a pair of awesome looking legs at the end of winter.  I’ll tell everyone who asks that I got them running in the snow, which is why everyone is now moving to the Midwest, at least for the winter.  It really is quite the workout though!

I think the hardest part of it all is preparing to go outside.  Not just checking the weather and finding out that it’s 14 degrees but feels like 0, but how time consuming it is just to get dressed.  I encountered that problem when I got pregnant and had to add extra steps to my running prep.  I had to contend with that again as a nursing mom.  Now running as a nursing mom in freezing cold weather… well, with all the pumping and the layers and the yaktrax (basically snow tires for your running shoes – I love them so much!) and the scarves, hats, and gloves and more layers… it almost feels like a separate workout trying to remember everything and get it on in the right order.

Running is important enough to me that I’ll go through all the steps and I will run this winter.  It really is beautiful, the blanketed white of the ground and the crunch of footsteps over the ice and snow.  There is something serene and calm about running in the snow and it’s surprisingly easy to dress for as long as you layer and find the right gloves (which I have not found yet).  Plus if you pull your scarf over your nose and mouth you can lip sync to your music and no one can tell.  Bonus!

I think that I’ll be able to meet the winter challenge that Michigan presents, but I do miss just throwing on shorts and a t-shirt and going for a run.  I can’t wait to run at the beach in a week when we get back to California.

So the winter fun has started.  My initial impression is that snowflakes stuck to my eyelashes are a novelty but certainly not one of my favorite things.



  1. I’ve never posted before, but I’ve been reading your blog almost daily for over a year.
    As a runner who does roughly the same weekly mileage as you (with very similar times), who had similar feelings and thoughts during pregnancy, and whose daughter was born a week after Isaac, I consider your blog my favorite.
    I don’t write about running in my blog, since my husband hates that I run and/or go to the gym six days a week, so it’s nice to see someone who is going through similar experiences writing about them. Thank you for sharing your thoughts; your blog gives me a feeling of kinship.

    Let me know when you find those winter running gloves that keep your fingers from becoming numb in the cold. I’ve yet to find them, myself.

  2. And the laundry piles up even faster in winter running!

  3. I’ve been following your post for over a year and I love your love of running! I am a runner too, and appreciate the humour with which you write.

    This is the first time I’ve posted, but I just have to share the BEST running gloves with you! They are made by lululemon, a local Vancouver company (where I live). They are stretchy and snug, warm but not too hot, and they even have little runner pads on the tips of the index fingers so you can use you Ipod without taking your fingers out. What more does a girl need?! I’ve had a pair for over 3 years, and I just bought a new pair this year because they came out in purple.
    If there isn’t a store near you, I’m pretty sure you can order them online Good luck, I hope they keep your fingers toasty warm!

    • Thank you! It’s funny… I was thinking on my run today that someone should come up with gloves that can be used on an ipod. Those look great!

  4. oops! spell check.
    The gloves have little ruBBer pads on the index fingers!

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