What will keep you running?


It was just earlier in the week that I wrote tips for getting in more activity in Winter (read that post here). Well, there’s a dark side to that story. It’s no secret that Winter is not my favorite season. There was a reason I interviewed with companies in more temperate climates when I was a senior in college.

Fairytales and Fitness

Perseverance is the hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did.— Newt Gingrich

Running in the cold is my achilles hill. Now wait a minute, you’re probably thinking, aren’t you the same CRJ who says she’d always rather do a cold race than a hot race? Guilty as charged. But being cold, run after run after run, the time it takes me to warm back up after a cold run . . . it all just wears me down.

Sure I have the gears, the tools, and the habits to keep me running even in some pretty darn cold weather. What I don’t always have is the will. I just get so gosh darned tired of being cold.

I know, I know, I have not cornered the market on cold weather running. We can get pretty darn cold up here, but there’s always someplace that’s that much more ridiculously colder. And the runners who post the icy runfies to prove that if you want to, you can run in some pretty crappy weather. And I do!

Eventually, though, I just come to my breaking point. I just can’t bear to be cold any more. It’s not even so much being cold on the run, it’s how I feel after the run.

Yeah, it gets old. Really, really old.

So what’s a tired, cold runner to do?
There’s always the treadmill, obviously. And I admit I choose it on days that I know I could have run outside. Just because I’m so tired of being cold. I don’t love my treadmill, I don’t hate my treadmill, but I love that it’s an option in the comfort of my own home with a nice, big flat screen tv to watch.

The thing that really keeps me running, though, is training for a race. Many runners will go into races undertrained. My body objects to this, and so I do my very best to make sure I’m trained.

This training cycle was strange: I started out with a pretty achy, beat up body (but thankfully not truly injured). It was literally a slow start, with very slow paces. Ok, I thought, this one will be for fun. It’s my birthday trip and I’ve wanted to see Savannah forever.

Clearly my body needs some rest. So I’ll nix the speed work, run by feel, and try alternating 3 day weeks with 4 day weeks. Before I knew it, though, the aches had mostly disappeared and I was running normal paces again. I continued alternating 3 day weeks and 4 day weeks, but I added speed work back in, sometimes twice a week and sometimes just once a week.

Training mostly went well, but there are always those runs that are just crappy for whatever reason. Then we put Gizmo to sleep during the peak week of my training, and my heart wasn’t really in running, but I did it anyway.

I don’t really know what to expect from this race — but then again, we don’t ever know what to expect from a race. I know I’ve done my best, I’ve run through lots of crappy weather and a few nice days, and thankfully I never had to do a long run on the treadmill (which just might kill Old Faithful).

It also kept me out there running. I have no other big goal race on my schedule. There are some maybes, some wannas, but there is nothing I’m signed up for. I’ll still be out there running, because I don’t want to have to start from scratch when I do sign up for that next half.

What your Achilles’ Heel?

How do you overcome it?

Has it changed over the years?

You can have all the right gear, but if you don’t have the right motivation — for you — you’re going to struggle. And probably start, and stop, and start, etc. Find your motivation and nothing can stop you. — Chocolaterunsjudy

21 thoughts on “What will keep you running?

  1. I’m in a position now where I run because I have to run to keep me sane and OK, and therefore I do tend to get out there like clockwork, three times a week. I was just at the physio and I felt really quite faint when he didn’t tell me not to run. So I am easily motivated to go out and run, but not to try very hard, if that makes sense!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sounds like the trip to Savannah is just what you need. Running in the warm Georgia sunshine is gonna be great for you, plus a change of scenery is always nice. I agree with you – I hate being cold. I really am a warm weather runner. Hot and humid is my kind of weather! I know that’s crazy. I’ve been doing the elliptical, rather than the treadmill since it’s less pounding on my hip.

    Can’t wait to read about your Savannah race and trip. Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The change of scenery will definitely be welcome! The humidity . . . and it looks like it could be soggy . . . no matter what, I’m sure we’ll have a great time.

      I am not at all a warm weather runner! In fact, heat sucks the life out of me. Yet I truly hate being cold, too.

      Just call me Goldilocks.


  3. I totally get you on this, Judy. You know my thoughts on the treadmill LOL I can tolerate it, but it really is my last choice. There’s a reason I’ve never done spring marathons….I just don’t think I could handle repeated long runs inside, no matter how important my race was. Like you, though, I am growing restless with the extended cold spell we’ve had, and have had to do a lot of indoor runs in the past few weeks. That which doesn’t kill us…. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve luckily never done my long runs on the treadmill — except one 8 miler once a long time ago.

      Being cooped up inside can really be a downer. It definitely made things worse for me last week, but we saw some milder temps this week and the snow is all but gone. But the back & forth & all the melting means that there’s still a lot of ice around too, which is worse!


  4. I can totally understand how it feels to just not be able to get yourself out there. My Achilles’ heel is rain. l just hate being wet. The other day we got rained on and I wasn’t prepared – let’s just say the end results were appalling and I don’t know if my thighs will ever be the same 😦

    I struggle to run in extreme cold because of my Raynaud’s. Even with handwarmers in my gloves and double socks, I lose feeling feeling in my fingers and toes. The hands aren’t so bad, but when I can’t feel my toes, it leaves me unbalanced and awkward.

    Hopefully things warm up soon so that you can get back to your regular training without being so miserable.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am lucky that I don’t suffer with Raynaud’s. I can only imagine how hard it must be to run when you can’t feel your toes!

      I just have the hardest time warming up after I’ve gotten sweaty in the cold. I did a little researching a while back, didn’t really understand it, but the gist was that yes, people really do react quite differently to being cold!


    1. I actually have trouble motivating myself into the shower afterwards — I don’t know why. Usually I’m busy with other stuff or I still have some other working out to do so it seems silly to shower and get sweaty again.

      Enjoy that vacation! Remember, rest is a huge part of recovery!


  5. I would have to agree with you on motivation (or lack thereof). I don’t know what’s wrong with me but I just don’t feel like running lately. Maybe because of the weather or maybe I’m just burned out. I have some races that I’m considering and so I keep going. Because I know if I stop, it will be so hard to get back at it!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Work is my Achilles. It takes up too much time and it sucks the life out of me.

    But I sign for races. That helps. And I make sure I have friends to meet. That is the best.

    Enjoy your trip.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. What your Achilles’ Heel? Running in the ☔️ but the cold 🥶 is a very close 2nd.

    How do you overcome it? I run on the treadmill.

    Has it changed over the years? Those are the only 2 things that stop me.

    Liked by 1 person

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