Went for my first outdoor, early-morning, snow-covered run today. I’ve run outside in the winter — just not in the wee hours of the morning before the sun rises. It was a great run, though slower than I would have liked. But, it was refreshing and calming and a wonderful way to kick-start my Friday.
Last night before my training session with Trainer 2.0, I was running on the treadmill for a short warm-up. T2 happened to come up and run next to me. He noticed my stride and offered a few pointers on improving it for a better run. We then ran — which felt more like prancing — a bit back and forth in the very short entry-ish way of the gym before continuing on with our training session.
I decided to try out my new stride on my run today. So, I wasn’t going for time — I was going for form. Plus, since it was dark out and I was nervous about someone sneaking up on me, I skipped the iPod today and decided to run “naked” and focus a bit on my breathing, too. Form. Breathing. Two good things that would help me be a better runner.
So, I put on my grippers.
And layered up, complete with all the flashing lights and reflective gear I could find. Note to self: Get more reflective gear.
Can’t forget the toasty gloves for my chilly fingers.
And, of course, my pedometer. Well … kind of. I don’t use it as a pedometer because it’s broken. But, do you see that little red string? Pull it and it lets out a shrill whistle — just in case someone comes up from behind.
All layered, lit, suited up and I’m finally ready to head out at 5:30 to run through the neighborhood by my apartment — there’s a nice 2.75-mile loop. Just the perfect, quick run I needed this morning. Not too long, but long enough to get my heart beating.
And off we go. Started out at a nice, easy pace. But the sidewalks soon became very snowy — some people need to learn how to use a shovel, sheesh! I was focusing on my form for a while but decided it’d be a better idea to focus on not falling on my butt. So, I tried to relax my stride, loosen up my muscles and watch the ground in front of me.
As I watched the sparkly snow in the glow of my headlamp (if you don’t know the true peace and beauty of sparkly snow, you’re missin’ out) and dodged a few cars, I ran along, lost in thought. Even though there were a few cars here and there, I was essentially alone out there. And it was glorious. I wouldn’t trade that solitude for another half hour in bed at all. Besides, after the first five minutes, I was shedding layers — including my gloves and hat (which I traded for a ski band). I also ended up taking my running jacket off and tying it around my waist.
All in all, it was a good run. Not fast. But good. Calming. I worked on my stride a little. I listened to myself breathe — which I did not like. As much as I was missing my music (boy, was I!), I think I’ll run without it at least once a week. It’s kinda nice to hear my (clicky) feet hitting the sidewalk and listen to my warm breath go in and out. I ended up doing about 2.8 miles in just over 30 minutes. No personal record, that’s for sure. But I was out there enjoying Michigan’s winter. And I liked it.