Eight Miles in Eight Degrees

Marathon training has officially begun. As has my concern that I might be insane for thinking this time of year would be fine for marathon training.

On Saturday, Diana and I attempted our first long(ish) training run. It was supposed to be ten miles.

The temperature clocked in below ten degrees.

And thanks to a recent mini flurry, the ground was also covered in an inch or two of ice, snow, and slush in most places.

I know what you’re thinking: Justine, why didn’t you just run on a treadmill?

Don’t think I didn’t consider it. But my tolerance for that hamster wheel tops out at about five, maybe six miles. Ten would have been brutal.

So despite the cold, Di and I loaded up in fleecy layers, gritted our teeth, and braved the elements.

We ran around Central Park, five miles out. The plan was to run the full five back, but after about six miles of hopping, slipping, and tip-toeing around ice encrusted sidewalks, our whole bodies were exhausted. (Plus our pace was nothing to write home about.)

Since we’ve both dealt with injuries in the past, we decided to call it quits at eight and pick up the extra miles during our shorter runs this week.

And, you know, my face was so frozen by the end that I could barely speak.

I’m planning to do my weekday runs at the gym (hopefully streaming some Netflix to distract myself), but I still have a 12-miler next Saturday to prep for. Any cold-weather tips from my runner friends? Maybe a really great jacket you love? I’ll take anything.

Only 12 more weeks to go!

7 thoughts on “Eight Miles in Eight Degrees

  1. You are a brave soul, training for your first full in a Northeast winter!! My “hamster wheel” is the Prospect Park loop. At only 3.35 miles, it can get pretty monotonous on longer runs so I try to venture elsewhere for those (the West Side Highway along the Hudson is my favorite place to run). However, this winter has been particularly brutal, so I’ve found myself in the park more often than not since that’s always guaranteed to be plowed, so it makes for better pacing. Somehow I managed 4 loops for 13.1 miles this weekend.

    A suggestion for your 12-miler next weekend: I’m running the Central Park 10-Miler on Sunday morning. Maybe you should consider signing up and running a 2-mile warm-up beforehand!

    • I am so impressed that you can soldier through more than one 3-mile lap — I get so bored in Astoria park!

      I have a cross-training class on Sunday morning, but I’ll keep an eye out for other races. Thanks for the tip πŸ™‚

  2. I did this to myself last year when I was training for a half in April. I have slipped on ice and snow one too many times to feel cool while cold weather running. Get a good thick pair of tights and then I used a lot of light layers. Tank, long sleeve, light fleece, and then something water proof. I have a Marmott windbreaker that I freaking LOVE and it traps in your heat nicely. I hate treadmills so I definitely support braving the elements. You have to pump yourself up for it but then you get the funny stories that come from wiping out in front of high school drivers. Woo hoo! Good luck girl πŸ™‚

  3. Just cover all skin that you like! Noses, ears, fingers. We are having negative degrees and frostbite is a problem!

  4. When I used to run, and lived in the mid west, I would run in below zero weather. But I wore a face mask and hat over that, and a scarf. Provided you don’t mind looking like a somewhat light weight albeit overdressed mugger, you can protect that beautiful face of yours!

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