In late November I wrote a blog entry about training through the winter. I’d never prepared for a big spring race and I wondered how I would cope with running in sub-freezing temperatures and snow for three months. But it was a bit warm the week I wrote that post, so I held off on publishing it. The next week was pretty warm, too, and the next. In fact, we went on to have one of the warmest winters on record. The post was never published.
It turned out to be probably the best winter I could have asked for as I trained for a marathon. Sure, there were days I had to brace myself for temperatures in the low 20s, venture into the freezing rain and even tromp through the leftovers of one or two minor snowfalls. But, overall, the weather in central Virginia this winter was a gift.
During the winter I wondered how I could possibly go back to running in the heat and humidity of summer after having trained in such perfect conditions. Maybe I would make the winter my “in-season” and then take it easy during the summer. The only downside is that there are about three races here in the winter and probably a hundred or more during the spring, summer and fall. And there’s the fact that not every winter will be this perfect.
But even though it was a warmer-than-usual winter, that doesn’t necessarily mean it was warm. So I was completely caught off-guard yesterday as I headed out for a 10-mile run (my second 10-miler in three days, by the way) and was greeted with 77 degrees and 50 percent humidity at 10:00 a.m. How off-guard was I? I wore a snug, short-sleeved shirt instead of going sleeveless, I neglected to bring a post-run beverage or a towel to protect my car from the copious amounts of sweat I didn’t expect I’d be producing, and I didn’t even think about wearing sunscreen – something I was religious about last year as I trained outside almost every day. I was still stuck in late-winter mode, and didn’t even check the forecast before I went out.
I guess I knew this amazing winter couldn’t last forever. It was great while it lasted, and now I get to look forward to lots of warm-weather running as I head outside almost every day to work on acclimating myself to the impending heat.Bike: 0/334.5 miles Run: 25.7/503.5 miles