The Winter Running Blues

We had a long run of wonderful weather in the state I live in, but that time has unfortunately come to an end. As a result, I have to run on the “dread”mill. I have a love/hate relationship with that piece of machinery. There are some really great things about running on a treadmill.  For one, it’s convenient. The gym that I go to is very conveniently located near my house, so I can get there, run, and get back rather quickly, depending on what distance I run. In addition to this, I don’t have to worry about difficult (or icy) terrain, and the temperature is consistent. Finally (and probably the most fun part), I can pretend I’m in a race while listening to my tunes on my headphones, while the occasional runner that just happens to run next to me on the treadmill is there.

Not sure if any of you other runners have done this, but I make it a game that I’m “racing” the person next to me on the treadmill. If I’m feeling particularly nosy, I’ll “casually” glance over to see how fast they are going, and either try to run faster if it’s possible, run as fast, or just assume if they are running faster than me they must not be going as far! 😉 Either way, having another runner next to me on the treadmill definitely keeps me going!

Finally, in a busy city it’s generally safer after dark to run indoors if you’re running alone, so that is also when the treadmill becomes more attractive for me.

The downside to running indoors? Well, you don’t get to enjoy different scenery as you run different routes, or enjoy the different terrain (gravel, dirt, grass, asphalt), or that feeling of warmth on your face on a particularly “top 10” day when there is a nice breeze as you go down a hill with the sun shining. There is also the fun of running with a friend or group of friends outside, which is just not the same, even if you go with a friend to the gym and run next to them on the treadmill.

Which brings me to my current situation. I have a goal to hit 1017 kilometers by the end of 2017. It is a “challenge” that is part of my running app, “Mapmyrun”. In addition, I’m part of a Facebook group that talks a lot about running and trying to hit this goal (Youvstheyear). I have 913.38 kilometers complete as of tonight. I have 25 days left to complete these kilometers. This gives me a little over 4 kilometers to run a day in order to meet this goal. I am guilty of having skipped running tonight, because time just got away, and I had other responsibilities (big surprise, since I have three children), so tomorrow I will need to run more to make up for it (thank goodness for locker rooms at work and a gym membership nearby). I will get it done, even if I have a couple longer runs to do by the end of the month. Goals are good, but in the winter it is JUST SO HARD to stick to the running routine-especially as this past year I’ve done more outdoor running than I think I ever had before.

Speaking of goals…it is so common, especially in the winter time, to get unmotivated and just want to stay indoors and warm, curled up on the couch watching Netflix or some other TV show or movie. This is why it is so important to set goals. But it’s not enough to set goals in your mind, or write them down. This is the beauty of social media (or this blog for that matter). When I set goals and I TELL EVERYONE ABOUT THEM, I’m much more likely to meet them! In fact, every goal I have shared with people, I have met. This is not because I’m some super human or anything-it often helps motivate if you are held accountable. Obviously the people you are telling are not going to physically hold you accountable. However, I know if people are asking me how I’m doing, or cheering me on in my goals, either through one of my Facebook running groups (Youvstheyear, Runtheyear), or Instagram, or even the occasional Facebook post on my personal Facebook page, I’m more motivated to keep going. Also, as I’m sure most of my fellow runners would agree, running for a sweet medal is helpful! 🙂

So for those of you that wish to set goals in the winter time, but have a difficult time staying motivated, share your plans with your friends, family, and social media. It doesn’t have to be running related, either. But since I focus my attention on running, that is what I center my goals around most of the time. If you don’t like to run, but want to exercise, try biking, or swimming-if you have a gym membership at a place that has an indoor pool, this can still be done in the winter! All I know is when I exercise, I feel more energized, more calm and patient with my children, and just have an overall better sense of well being. You really should try it!

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