MarathonMaiden's Blog

January 30, 2010

Cold Long Run. Finally New England Weather!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 15:57

Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. If I thought yesterday was bad here’s what I was up against this morning:

  • 0800: 7* feels like -7* (when I got up this morning)
  • 1000: 11* feels like -3* (a little before I left for the run)
  • 1400: 21* feels like 21* (about 45 minutes after I finished the run when I got back from the dining hall)

Yes I’m going to say it again: Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. Not exactly what I wanted to go out and run in.  Luckily, as you can tell by the numbers, it warmed up slightly and the wind died down over the course of the morning.  Very good because I can totally handle the cold but when that wind blows? Yes it makes me want to curl under my covers and not move.

Despite the cold I was actually a bit on the warm side during my run.  The sun was shining and the wind wasn’t that bad so my 3 layers on top were more than enough to keep me comfy.  I always have the hardest time figuring out how to layer best.  I know that you’re supposed to dress so that you’re comfy a few miles into the run because then your body is warm but try telling that to my brain which doesn’t want to be cold at all. So I tend to overdress a bit.  BUT once the clouds came and hid the sun in the later miles I was pretty glad that I was wearing those layers.  The only thing that got cold were my hands.  Like usual.  I was wearing 2 pairs of those thin gloves then my heavy duty mittens.  Luckily my hands didn’t go numb/white but only hurt/red. So the circulation was still there.  Woot.

So why am I talking so much about the weather? No I’m not complaining (this is what I would expect for New England at the end of January) but rather that the fact I still got out there and ran my first 20+ miler (actual distance was 20.5) of this cycle made me pretty proud. That and a few other things:

  • I don’t know what it is about long runs but my bladder hates me.  I think I should just start wearing depends or something.  Despite having emptied my bladder literally right before I leave my dorm I was struck with the urge to pee after about mile 5.  Usually I just chalk it up to mental stuff and am able to ignore it but this time? No way.  After about 12 miles I actually started changing my gait every once in a while because I thought I was going to pee myself at random intervals.  I knew that there was a Dunkin Donuts around mile 15 so I thought I could hold it.  Let’s just say that the woods have never looked more inviting.  Luckily I didn’t have to stoop that low as the local country club was just ahead (and quite a nice surprise as I had totally forgotten about it) and they were *really* nice to let me use their restroom.
  • So here’s where I complain about the cold. When I stopped to go my hands were soooo frozen that I couldn’t accurately stop my watch or re-put back on my gloves after using the restroom. So for the post-restroom stop the mitten on my left hand was all crooked and looked like I had a crooked / disjointed hand because the thumb part was about 180* from where it should have been. AND my hands were so cold that I couldn’t re-tuck in my shirt into my shorts so my belly occasionally got a draft of cold air.  Plus having my shirt & sweatshirt bounce around because they weren’t tucked in was really annoying.
  • Another thing that I forgot to think about in terms of hand dexterity was my granola bars.  I haven’t yet taken any fuel in during my training runs so far (and quite honestly haven’t needed it) but I figured I’d be a fool to tempt fate and packed along 2 chewy granola bars.  I probably should have cut open the tops of the packages because I couldn’t access them due to frozen hands! Not that I probably could have eaten them because when I got back to my room and tried they were frozen solid. So I didn’t end up eating anything on the run.  Surprisingly I never felt any ill effects of no during-run fuel at all but when I did stop running and ate an apple before heading to the dining hall I almost vomited because of low blood sugar.  Any suggestions for something that won’t freeze during my long runs? I am in love with my granola bars but it looks like they aren’t the smartest choice for New England winter.

Okay so even with the “complaints”: overall great run! I’m VERY happy with it. After two AMAZING long runs the past two weeks I needed a “back-to-reality” (oops there goes gravity) long run where the pace was relaxed and I just flowed with it. I was actually supposed to push the pace for three middle miles but I figured I pushed the pace enough last week with Lacey so that was totally not necessary today. Given that the middle miles were plagued by bladder issues I’m sure that I would have been able to even if I wanted. 😉

I also thought about adding an extra half mile to make it an even 21 miles buuuuuuuuut I don’t need to right now. It’s only week 12 (or week 5 if you’re counting up) so 21 is in no way necessary.  Neither was 20 technically — my range for the day was 17-20 — but I’ve been chomping at the bit to get a 20 under my belt so I jumped at the chance today.  My plan has lots of places to potentially put in 20 milers (5 weeks have a range that includes 20, including back-to-back weeks 10 & 9 [or weeks 7 & 8 if you count up]!) and I know I’m not going to physically be able to do them all.  So I get to pick and choose which is nice.

The stats for today ended up being 20.5 miles in exactly 3:05:00.  Well maybe not exactly as my bathroom stopover + frozen hands didn’t lend to starting and stopping the watch precisely but I’ll still take it.  This averages out to 9:01 pace which is :01 over my “ideal” standard.  No biggie just an annoyance. I think I’ll live 😉

So wrapping this up because I want to try to get homework d read a good book & eat the last bowl of the box of honeybunches: cinnamon clusters (best bowl of the box is the last one. Hands down) here’s a giveaway from Liz.  Happy Saturday!


  1. I can’t believe you ran in that. I walked to CVS and was cold enough(and p-ed off they didn’t have my batteries, which made it feel 10 times colder)

    Comment by Evan Thomas — January 30, 2010 @ 16:28

  2. Nice 20.5 miler in the freezing temps. That takes determination!!

    Comment by ShutupandRun — January 30, 2010 @ 16:50

  3. Reading your blog is pretty much always there for me when I’m dragging my feet on a workout . . . like right now.

    The only thing I can think of that wouldn’t be bad in cold weather would be pretzels or crackers, but can you really tote those on a run? I don’t know much about the logistics. 😉


    Comment by EE — January 30, 2010 @ 16:53

  4. Nice work today! Last winter, my hands got so cold that I couldn’t use my key to open my apartment. LOL I am such a wimp!

    Have you thought about using pretzels? The salty goodness tastes awesome when you are towards the end of a long run.

    Comment by Matt — January 30, 2010 @ 17:00

  5. AWESOME run today! You are so brave/strong to make it through those temps. I would die for sure:)

    Comment by Rebecca — January 30, 2010 @ 17:35

  6. Sweet LR! How many 20+ runs are you trying to fit in before Boston?

    Comment by Nick — January 30, 2010 @ 19:15

    • I’m thinking about 3. I was toying with going for 4 but I don’t think there will be enough time for me to feel comfortable doing that and not over-doing it. I’ll likely need at least 2 weeks between ’em and that’s making the schedule really tight. I figure 18-19 miles are going to do the same thing physically, I just won’t get the mental boost of knowing I did 20. Hopefully that thought made sense on paper as it did in my head haha 🙂

      Comment by marathonmaiden — January 31, 2010 @ 21:43

  7. IMHO, this was the most impressive run you’ve had since I started reading your blog in September. 20.5 in those ridiculous temps shows unbelievable mental toughness. Not a surprise though. LOL on the bladder. It’s completely related to the temps. On the fueling issue, have you tried GU? It remains unfrozen since it’s a gel. Cheap too, box of 24 for $24 on Amazon.

    Comment by a marathoner — January 30, 2010 @ 19:21

  8. hehehe. ohhhh bathroom emergency stops!!!!!!!!!!!!!! thank goodness for the country club. so glad they let you in. i can totally see them not!!!!!!!!!!!!!! *phew*****

    congrats!!! pretty damn close to 21, but even as a 20miler (since you round down, heh) VERY strong and you are right where you need to be in your training!!! reading this is helping me suck it up to do 15 (hopefully) today 🙂

    idea: handwarmers? like those hot hand things? i have never used them but i think they exist…

    fuel ideas based on what you like: raisins + choc chips or choc covered raisins, shot bloks or fruit snacks, pre-cut your granola bars into small squares, pretzels or yogurt covered pretzels… pb+honey somehow, like on bread cut up?

    woo woo 20.5 miles!

    Comment by Lacey — January 31, 2010 @ 12:35

  9. Wow can’t believe you managed to go out in that, I’m such an absolute wimp in the cold! Good on ya!

    Thanks for the comment on my post, I actually went and looked up HP in German on Amazon but I can’t afford it right now but I am definately going to when I have a bit more spare cash 🙂 I’ll be sure to check out the Sue Grafton too when I’ve finished the Dark Tower books, I’m currently waiting for Mike who really wants us to read the end together… not sure how much longer I can wait haha I’m usually a cover to cover girl!

    Comment by Laura — January 31, 2010 @ 14:05

  10. wow!! I am such a wimp in the cold. I have running tights from New England that I wear in CA when it gets below 50*. Yes, talk about overdressing!

    you = bamf!

    Comment by runningfiance — January 31, 2010 @ 14:26

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