I wrote last December about needing to sign up for events and commit to training so that I wouldn't end up taking the winter off as I had done in the past. If I had known Indianapolis would have the 3rd snowiest (so far) winter on record and the extreme cold of the polar vortex, I might not have been so eager to keep at it. But now, with Spring finally close, I am glad I did. Besides the increase in speed, I feel stronger. I actually did come to appreciate the beauty of winter, & took some nice pics along the way. I didn't get cabin fever or the winter blues, nor did I gain any winter weight. I have several races coming up, and I'm ready for them. How did I do it? Three main things that helped me are:
- Blue Mile Spring Training I joined Team Blue Mile to train for the 500 Festival Mini Marathon in May. This is the nation's largest half marathon - 35,000 runners & walkers. Blue Mile running stores have training programs to help runners & walkers of all fitness levels prepare for any distance, and they designed a training program for the Mini that began in mid-January. So I was committed to showing up at 8am every Saturday morning no matter the weather to go out for a training run with them. Knowing other people were expecting me and knowing that I wouldn't be out there alone helped me get up & get going. And I'm really glad I did. We ran in snow, on ice, and through bitter cold winds. It was good training, and it wasn't nearly as bad as I imagined it would be. As many runners say: "It's only cold if you are standing still."
- Winter Miles Challenge Another runner blog I follow is Run With Jess. She ran a Winter Miles Challenge, and I committed to completing 10 miles a week every week from January 6 - March 2. Each week I met my goal & was entered into a prize drawing. I never won a prize, but I still won by staying active. It wasn't always easy, when snow & ice shut the city down so I couldn't get to the gym but I also couldn't run in the neighborhood with the trails covered. One week I only made my mileage goal by strapping on the pedometer & hitting the mall, but I made it.
- Chase Near Eastside Legacy Center I'm probably biased since I work for the John. H. Boner Community Center, which owns & operates the Legacy Center, but I think this is a great place to work out. I'd still rather be outside, but when weather & early sunsets in the winter don't allow for running outside, the Legacy Center is a great alternative. I used it only for the treadmills, but they have lots of cardio & weight equipment, as well as group exercise classes. If you live or work in downtown Indy or on the near eastside, I highly recommend you check them out.