New Challenge: Winter Training

Lately, in between getting back into training up for Shamrock Fest, I’ve also been dealing with a few rather annoying injuries. A few minor flare-ups in my knees with tendinitis, my left knee with the looser kneecap being worse than my right. And early Monday morning, I had the misfortune of pulling my left calf muscle whilst stretching in bed readying up for work.

Nonetheless, compared to July, this is nothing.

On the upswing, with the help of a few individuals who have gladly supplied me with some early Amazon e-certificates, I managed to purchase not one, but two pairs of running shoes, much, so much badly needed. Both are lightweight trainers that I will need to use Superfeet for. I tried shoes with built-in support for them, but for some reason I didn’t feel they worked quite as well as performance shoes with the orthotics built in them.

Another pair of Asics – the DS Trainer 15 in pink

…and a pair of Mizunos – namely the Wave Precision 11

This week, I recovered to run 12 miles so I’m feeling proud of myself, especially with the holidays closing in on us.
On the way home from work this week, Sergio and I prior to venting about personal issues, we’d also touched on training in the winter. This is my first winter training for spring races, and given how much the Amish Country Half had wrecked my lung capacity in 25 degree weather, I was somewhat paranoid with how to train without getting sick. Well not paranoid, but probably woefully uninformed.

Last year, Sergio had run the LA Marathon in March on vacation in 70-80 degree weather, and this year he will be taking a few days of vacation to run the ING Miami Half 30 January with a friend. The weather in Philadelphia, particularly by the Schuylkill River has been unbearable, particularly factoring in the wind chill. My boyfriend upon a brief run in the parkway with me had already nearly gotten sick because of it. Sergio had advised me to keep the shorter runs on the treadmill and then the longer runs during the days on the weekends – at the very worst, he’d be able to get 50% of his training outdoors. It appears that I will be trying the same strategy as well at least when at home in Philly.

Sergio’s schedule to my knowledge will be Miami and then another full – his 6th or 7th – in the NJ Marathon, in Long Branch, NJ. His family is from nearby, so he is able to easily run that race every year. Except that race is 1 May, so there will be a nice gap between Miami and Long Branch. I’d suggested to him to run another half in March, preferably the Sun Trust National Marathon/Half Marathon in DC (I would have suggested Shamrock, but the half is now sold out as of early this week) to keep his momentum up but because he is quite injury-prone, and even more so, than myself, he was quite hesistant. But he mentioned he’d do something to keep the momentum up after Miami. Although having just looked at the National Marathon site, that half is on pace to close 31 December, so he’d better make a decision on that one quickly!

I’m keeping my two halfs: 20 March Shamrock and 22 May Odyssey at home in Philly’s Fairmount Park. I don’t respond well with extreme humid temperatures on shorter runs, so to a lesser extent I’m a little worried about how I will pull off a 22 May race, which is why I’d start with a half there before attempting a full during that part of the year. My preferred temps? Well, temperate, moderate. Part of the reason I picked MCM is because in late October, DC is not too hot nor too cold.

As for me, I’m going to try the 50/50 strategy for now when I’m at home in Philadelphia. I’m spending a very significant amount of time in DC over the next few months for work, so being able to train outdoors on weekdays will be quite feasible since we start ungodly early and get back to our hotels just before sunset. In Philly, when we’re in the office, Sergio and I get out at 6pm and it’s already dark by then. So in Philly, I will be reduced to 50/50. In DC, I’m going to try and push myself to train a little more outdoors in the coming months and assuming no snow (and definitely not the blizzard that hit DC last year!!). Unfortunately, these past few months in the District, the weather has been awful, pouring rain in some cases.

Stock picture of Philadelphia's Kelly Drive in the cold.

Sergio has it tougher on his end though, his current case is in NYC, and there, he also gets out at 6pm at the earliest, but he does attempt to make it to Central Park if he can as he tells me he stays at or near Times Square when he travels. Otherwise, whether at home or on the road, he is forced to keep 50/50. Also, unlike myself, he is NOT a morning person at all and will rarely if ever train in the morning unless he’s training with TPRT on Saturdays, who generally force an 8am start to their longer runs.

In any case, I’ve invested in a bit of winter gear, now I just got to take in that cold air slowly and watch the weather forecast. And push myself. So far, the holidays have not been a deterrent.

Just gotta keep the motivation up, and it’s been working.

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