Thursday, November 10, 2011


Last week, I made a proclamation. On Facebook, because that's where those things happen these days. I wrote (proclaimed!) that I was going to run the New Jersey Marathon next May.

In response, one of my friends commented, "That's dedication to train in the winter."

Oh, right. Winter.

Yeah, the marathon takes place on May 6th, meaning my training starts January 2nd. The coldest, snowiest months in upstate New York? Those would be January and February. In other words, I will, without a doubt, be running -- far -- in snowy, windy, frigid conditions.

That's dedication.

I'm not too worried -- a little worried, sure, but not too worried. Last January, with a 3 month old baby, I started training for an early April half marathon. Yes, I understand that training for a half marathon is not the same as training for a full. It is, after all, 13.1 miles to a marathon's 26.2. However, my point is that I trained through a tough winter while sacrificing my sleep for the 'round-the-clock breastfeeding needs of my son. It was all worth it.

So I know that I can do it. I have a treadmill for days when the weather is just too crummy. I have friends who are training for the marathon with me. I can do it.

And I'm a little excited about it, to tell the truth.

Bring it, winter!

And, watch out, New Jersey Marathon, because I'm coming at you full of dedication!

Have you trained for a big race during the winter? 
Do you have any tips you could share? Lessons learned?

~ Felice


Laura said...

I live in Canada so yep...I am a winter trainer. And last year I had NO access to a treadmill so every run happened be in the frostiest of weather to so much snow, our feet were soaked.
As brutal as it still makes for good stories with my run friends.
Have a great training cycle! Can't wait to continue to follow along.

Unknown said...

This was the course that I ran my half on in May! I trained all winter long and I don't have a treadmill, so.... You'll be fine.

You will LOVE the course, though! The people come out in DROVES to cheer you on!!! And it's almost all flat (or at least the first half is! LOL!) so you will do AWESOME!

Shellyrm ~ just a country runner said...

I run year round, inside outside whereever. I've put heating pads in jogging strollers. Two headlamps (one forward or backward) I've run 20+ miles on the treadmill. You do what you want to do so that you get the results you are aiming for.

Dedication? Humm? I think we are the one who simply live and not allow a little bit of effort or discomfort to get in the way of what we want out of life. I say training over winter why the heck not!!! Go get that marathon!!

Mary said...

It's is a great race! I have spectated a few times and might run the half this year

Scott & Phoebe said...

Last year was the first time I made a concerted effort to train through the winter. I had BQ'd and was in training for it. My advice from New Hampshire (similar weather as Albany-ish)is:

1. Fear no snow (as long as it's plowed)
2. Fear no cold (as long as you layer)

I bought some Varsity level Yak Trax which were a huge help and made some would-have-been impossible runs quite doable.

Also... IGNORE YOUR WATCH. Winter running is slow and is no indication of what your body can do. So, track your pace and times if you want to, but don't get wrapped up in them.

In the end I didn't run Boston (very important family conflict) and after making the decision, took about 2 weeks off in February to lick my wounds and feel sorry for myself. But, I chose a 1/2 marathon instead and resumed training.

This year I'm going to be uber-pregnant through the winter so it will be interesting to see how much running I can manage. I'm thinking snow shoes may be an alternate sweat-getter.



Jessica said...

I've never really planned a training regimen for any race I've done! I just sign up and then go out and run I guess, haha. Good luck training through the snow and cold wintery bliss!

Erik Ammon said...

Alright Felice! Awesome setting that goal. I have no doubt that you will get out there and kick some snow! Phoebe had some great advice as well. Despite the cold also make sure you stay hydrated on those longer runs!!! Enjoy every minute of it!!

Bridget said...

Yeah! We can do it!

Suzy said...

You'll be great in your marathon! I love that you are doing a spring one as well!

Lisa said...

I'll be training thru the winter with ya, sistah! I've got Boston to train for in April, and a whole winter to train (I'm in MA).

I don't love winter, but I do find that I get thru it a little easier when I train thru it.

And of course, there's very little winter weight gain too! Bonus!

Cindy said...

i admire winter hardcore! we live in victoria, british columbia so we don't get much snow...just a ton of rain. good luck with your training cycle!

Sassphalt Runner said...

I love reading your blog and I especially liked reading this post. It sounds as though we have similar concerns.

I live in the Albany area too and am training for my first marathon - RnR New Orleans on March 4th. I have been hemming and hawing over this decision for the better part of 6 months. Could I really run 26.2 miles? Could I train for it? In a northeastern winter? And then I thought to myself: Life is too short and you only get one chance so why NOT train for it? On blizzarding days I can hop on my bike trainer and do cardio indoors. On all the other days, I will just have to put my big girl winter pants on and suck it up!

I can't wait to hear about how your training goes. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

I ran through the winter last year training for 12k in March. Sure nothing compare to a Marathon and I live in the mountains of NC so not as cold. But I found that I shouldn't be afraid of the snow although it's quite a different workout.
Warming up inside the house helps, doing a few moving stretches (squats and others) help your body be warm enough to brave the cold.
Layer up, find good winter layers.
Gloves and a head band covering my head were a must, long sleeves and running pants mandatory.
Plan for a warm shower and warm food as you come back.

I'd stay away from busy roads in case of bad weather. In fact pick places where you know you have a large sidewalk or any kind of place where you can escape a car if they were to slide.

Have fun.

J said...

Training in January is tough but I know you can do it! Hopefully you wont have to change too many of your runs because of the weather. And the treadmill helps too!

Anonymous said...

Yal Trax for sure! Lifesavers!

I have no doubt this will be an awesome training for you- come May you will be so ready!

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