Actually, it is already fucking here.
I know this because my toes are constantly cold, my nose is red and literally everyone in the northern hemisphere has a cough.
En route to the shower, in the 8 painfully cold minutes it takes me to remove all the layers of PJs I’m currently wearing to bed, I’ve been doing some thinking about how much I fecking hate the winter. And the heat in summer. Am I ever happy?
But at least in the summer you can cool off with a refreshing spritz from the garden hose or have water in the fridge ready to tank when you get home from a stiflingly toasty run.
In the winter, training just seems to involve being perilously close to developing pneumonia, the flu and the bubonic plague all at once. Ice hitting your face feels badass for about 4 seconds until your teeth start to hurt and you start and to look like Jack Nicholson at the end of The Shining. And how come puddles in winter just seem to find a way into my trainers? That’s not braw.
Sure, winter training makes you tough but it also has a tendency to make you violently snotty.
Another issue with winter training is tremendously inconvenient for us gals. And, ahem, that is why there needs to be more options for padded sports bras… (Panache do one, FYI and it is good. If a little uncomfy with your HR strap)
And. Is there anything more horrendously shocking and painfully cold than putting on your Garmin HR strap??? No. there isn’t. That is a fact.
So why do it? Why put myself through it if I hate it? (I don’t hate it). Why do anything that isn’t fun?
The first reason is mostly the very real fear that if I don’t keep working, my body will return to its natural state of “squish”. And the second is the practical issue of What Happens In January When I Start Training Proper? My body will have forgotten what running is and you can forget swimming. I’ll basically have just reverted to drowning.
Of course, I’ll try and look on the bright side a bit. What do I like about winter training?
Crisp, bright mornings are lovely if you can avoid the ice on paths and pavements. Running in freshly laid snow is also a treat. (If you know where the puddles are beneath it) There is no time toastier than just post hot shower when you’ve put your 18 layers back on and you are beneath a blanket by the fire. And you know you deserve this joy.
I’m also very lucky to live in the countryside in central Scotland. So, minutes from home, I can hike up hills for views like this:
Winter kit is also nice. Cosy long sleeved tops, buffs (i have been known to wear more than two at once), toasty socks & bobble hats. Layering is entirely key to survival in the winter.
But balance is also necessary. The temptation is to wear AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE to avoid the initial shock of the cold, however I’ve found getting out and doing my warm up outside makes life a little less brisk.
So now, as Scotland slips into almost constant darkness, it’s time to dust off my dayglo (JK, I never put it away) and get used to being constantly sniffly.
This is the one time of year when swimming pool changing rooms are WELCOMINGLY warm instead of feeling hotter than the surface of the sun. There’s a positive, at least.
Roll on Spring, but……
…..COME AT ME, WINTER.