Tips & Tricks for Winning at Winter Running

Happy Wednesday! I hope everyone’s shortened week is off to a good start so far!

Wellness Resource Wednesday | 2 Generations Running

Since I’m finally getting back into a regular blogging routine this week, I thought I would get back to my regular Wellness Resource Wednesday posts (sort of). As we head into January and the heart of the cold, nasty winter months, I thought I would share some of my winter running tips. Winter running is not my favorite by any means, but I think I’ve gotten to the point where I am not scared off by cold temps or crappy weather (as evidenced by Saturday’s run obviously). When I decided to sign up for a spring marathon, I knew I was setting myself up for some tough marathon training through a New England winter, so I figure I might as well embrace the situation as much as possible! Nevertheless, I’m still hoping praying for a mild winter.

Tips and Tricks for winning at Winter Running

1. Do a quick warm-up indoors. You’ll want to minimize the amount of standing around in the freezing cold you do before you get running. Try some jumping jacks, high knees, and a few walking lunges to get your blood flowing. I always feel extremely stiff at the start of a run in the cold, but a quick dynamic warm-up easily solves that problem for me.

6 Miles | 2 Generations Running2. Plug your GPS watch in for a minute or two just before you need to use it (even if it’s fully charged). How much do you hate standing around outside in the freezing cold waiting for your GPS watch to find satellites? It sucks.

Tips and Tricks for Winning at Winter Running | 2 Generations Running^You, standing around waiting for your GPS to find signal.

And it defeats the whole purpose of the nice, little dynamic warm-up you did (if you followed Tip #1!) When you plug your watch in, it automatically finds a satellite connection, and it’ll maintain that connection when you unplug it and immediately go to use it. I learned about this from listening to the No Meat Athlete podcast, and I’ve been following this tip religiously on all my runs lately and it works great!

3. Wear the right gear (and layer up!). I’m pretty sure this tip appears in every single article and blog post that’s ever been written about winter running, but hey, it’s true. For Christmas, I received the Women’s Under Armour ColdGear running leggings, and they are seriously fantastic. I’ve gone on some rainy, cold runs wearing these and my legs always stay warm and dry through the whole run.

Women's UA ColdGear Running Leggings | 2 Generations RunningThese are also on sale right now! I’ve also heard really great things about the Brooks women’s Seattle Tights, which are waterproof and windproof… but also $165, so if that’s out of your price range, the Under Armour pair are a good option.

4. Pay close attention to the weather/temperature forecasts. In particular, pay attention to patterns in your own preferences. For example, I find that if it’s 32 degrees out or warmer, I don’t need to wear gloves. My hands might be a little cold starting out, but I would rather experience that than getting too hot and having to carry them for the rest of a long run. If you go on a run and find yourself sweating through your base layer, long-sleeve top, and heavy running jacket, make a note of what the temperature was, and remember to adjust for next time. A great rule of thumb is to plan on it feeling 20 degrees warmer than it actually is while you’re running. So, if the temp is in the 50s, I would probably wear shorts and a t-shirt because I know it’s going to feel like 70s.

5. If it’s raining or snowing, put your electronics in a plastic baggy to prevent them from biting the dust. I’ve killed an iPod on a particularly rainy run before, and there’s nothing that makes a gross run even worse than when it ruins an expensive piece of electronics. Or else, you’ll wind up trying to “fix” it.

Tips & Tricks for Winning at Winter Running6. Don’t forget – everyone in their cars driving by is thinking you are the ultimate bada$$ out there in the snow and rain, getting in your run.

Tips and Tricks for Winter Running | 2 Generations RunningWhat are your tips for winter running? What’s the WORST weather you’ve ever experienced while on a run? Would you rather run in very cold temps or stay indoors and hit the treadmill?


Boston Christmas Tree Run

We made it to the end of another week!

Friday GIFAnyone else remember that song?

It’s the end of another good week for running for me, I’m happy to say! When I had gone to the fun run last Monday night hosted by the running club I’m thinking of joining, one of the girls I had chatted with told me about a $5 Christmas tree fun run in Boston, and had invited me to join her and her friends. $5 for a run, food, and some good ole’ holiday cheer?! I was totally in.

Boston Christmas Tree RunThe run started from McGann’s Pub in Boston, only a short walk from my office. I headed over on Tuesday evening after work and quickly met up with my friend. There were a lot of very festive running outfits (think Christmas tree lights, ugly sweaters, full-on snowman costumes…) – I’ll have to work on that for next year since I was seriously lacking in festive running clothes.

After a little bit of a late start, we headed out on the run to stop at 4 different Christmas trees in Boston. First up on the list was a tree in the Beacon Hill neighborhood. This was a fun run and not a race, so everyone was chatting and relaxed while we ran and clearly feeling the holiday spirit! Sadly, this tree was actually not plugged in when we got there. Fail. Nevertheless, we gathered around and sang Frosty the Snowman, while the real Frosty danced around.

Boston Christmas Tree RunThen, it was off to Copley Square! We had better luck at this tree.Boston Christmas Tree RunWe also had some GORGEOUS views of the State House from here. Unfortunately, my pictures came out really blurry. After we sang some more carols (and I began to realize how few words I actually know of Christmas carols), it was off to the Boston Common.

Boston Christmas Tree RunHave I mentioned how absolutely beautiful and festive Boston is right now? It was such a blast running around, taking in all the lights and holiday decorations. I don’t usually see too much of Boston beyond my walk to the subway station everyday during my commute, so it was really cool to see the other parts of the city all lit up and decorated.

Boston Christmas Tree RunAfter more caroling (or humming, in my case), we ran over to the tree that’s on top of the Macy’s store in Downtown Crossing (top right picture). There were a lot more people in this area and they were super confused by our large merry group of runners at first, but then they got SO excited when we started singing carols (even if we were slightly out-of-tune). Last on our list of trees, was Fanuil Hall.

Boston Christmas Tree RunThis one was probably my favorite. It had blinking lights which made the tree really look like it was sparkling. From there, we headed back to the pub for some drinks and free food! Overall, it ended up being just over a 4 mile run with around a 10 minute pace. Perfect for a relaxed evening taking in the holiday sights. 🙂 And now I can’t believe Christmas is only 2 weeks away!!!! Ahh!

Do you have any fun holiday runs coming up? Do you know the words to Christmas carols (beyond the chorus – everybody knows those parts!!)?


The Last Blast of Winter Running… Maybe (I Hope)

Happy Monday folks!

I hope you all had a great weekend! My mom and I got some great runs in, so I’m going to give you the running edition of a weekend recap. 🙂

Saturday – 5 miles. The roads around here are still a little icy in spots, so some sections of this run were a little stop-and-go, but overall, not too bad.

Sunday – something between 8.3 and 8.5 miles. I use my Garmin GPS watch in addition to MapMyRun on my phone because I’m neurotic about recording my mileage on all devices. For some reason, my phone is always more generous with the miles than the GPS watch – has anyone else encountered that in their running?

My mom and I wanted to go a little further for this run to keep up with a weekly long run, even though we don’t have a half scheduled right now. It was supposed to be sunny and in the 40s, and I was excited about another warm run like on Wednesday. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. It was cloudy with the temp hovering in the 20s. Basically your typical winter weather in New England (what was that I said in my last post about Spring being here?).

We ran a different route from Saturday’s run. This one was a little less icy, but a lot hillier. I need to work on my mental toughness with hills. File that under running goals for warmer weather. 😉

Running hills | 2 Generations RunningMy mom and I were making great time and less than a mile from home when the flurries began. No big deal, I thought to myself, as we were almost done. We were running along a busy road with a narrow, snow-covered shoulder, and seeing a few cars coming, I took a few steps into a driveway to get over for them to pass, without really looking at the ground. BIG MISTAKE. Immediately, my feet were plunged into icy water as I stupidly ran through a huge puddle. My mom running behind me, saw my mistake and luckily avoided the water. Thank god, we were only two tenths of a mile or so from home! I booked it, eager to get back and take off my now-freezing sneakers. As we turned onto our street, the flurries picked up and turned into a mini snow squall. Ugh.

Unimpressed with winter running| 2 Generations RunningThat’s my sad, what-the-he**- is-happening face. Happy March y’all.

2 Generations RunningAfter, we came in and stretched while warming up a little. Then, the stretching turned into a new variation of yoga that I think will be very popular.

Dog Yoga | 2 Generations RunningDog yoga. You watch, it’s going to catch on. 🙂 Speaking of yoga, my mom and I start our yoga class tonight! I’m excited but also slightly depressed because it means I’m going to miss the beginning of the finale of The Bachelor. Yoga better be worth it. I’ll be sure to let you all know how it goes!

Did you run this weekend? Any other supporters of the dog yoga movement out there?


Another Wintry Weekend

Happy Monday (and Presidents’ Day)!

I hope you all enjoyed the weekend! We spent another 2 hours shoveling out on Sunday after getting another foot or so of snow dumped on us. I feel like a bit of a broken record talking about all this snow, but it’s just incredible.

2 Generations Running. Winter Snow.As you can see, the snow is almost covering our light post in the front yard. And in the other picture, my parents are braving our roof to get the snow off. How’d they get back down? They jumped in the snow of course! I have a funny video of it on my Instagram if you’d like to see 🙂

Before the snow set in on Saturday afternoon, my mom and I decided to go for our own little Valentine’s Day 5k.

Brady. 2 Generations Running.Brady and running, 2 of my valentines this year!

It was a balmy 17 degrees so we bundled up in fleece running pants, layers of long-sleeved shirts topped with heavy sweatshirts. I had so many layers on, I could barely get my GPS watch to fit around my wrist. Don’t ya just love winter running? 

DW gif. D.W.’s expression sums up my feelings perfectly.

Once we got going, it felt good to be outdoors, despite the slushy streets and frigid temps. I was pleased my knee cooperated (for the most part). It’s definitely not 100%, but I think I still need to give myself a few weeks of stretching and strengthening exercises before I expect it to feel perfect.

We ended up running a little over a 5k, finishing up after 3 and a half miles. It was a relatively slow pace, but I’ll take it.

After all the digging out was finished, Sunday was spent relaxing, catching up on some blog reading, watching Game of Thrones episodes, and of course, watching The Bachelor in the evening. 🙂 Overall, a pretty solid weekend!

Did you do anything fun this weekend? Are you as sick of winter running as I am?


Why Winter Running Doesn’t Suck

Hello!

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I know I did. 🙂 It was so nice to spend the day relaxing and laughing with family and obviously enjoying a fantastic meal! I think the highlight for me this year was the acorn squash stuffed with graham crackers, brown sugar and cranberries that my aunt made. So good!!!

After eating all the wonderful food on Thursday and then leftovers on Friday, it was time for me to get back to running! My cold is all gone now, and I knew I had to get back out there. So, I bundled up and headed out for a nice little 4-miler in the 20 degree weather. So without further ado…

Reasons Why Cold Weather Running Doesn't Suck. Adventures of a Mother-Daughter Running Duo

1. It gives you an excuse to buy more running gear because #Layers

Adventures of a Mother-Daughter Running Duo

2. You can turn it into a fun game of “Run Around the Ice Puddles” (if you lose, you slip and fall down… This just adds to the excitement.)

Dog slipping on ice.

Hopefully you look that cute when you fall.

3. It hurts to breathe, but in a fun, ‘Look how awesome this is’-way

4. You look really hard-core because everyone driving by is thinking, “it’s 10 degrees out, WHY ARE THEY RUNNING?!” Honestly, it’s a fair question.

5. You get to enjoy the holiday cookies and treats mostly guilt-free (ok, this actually is a pretty nice advantage.)

6. When running up a snowy hill, you can pretend you’re reaching the summit of Mount Everest because honestly, that’s what it feels like.

Gets to the top. My Legs Hurt.

7. If you pass a snowman, you can imagine it magically coming to life and chanting your name. If snowmen cheering for you isn’t motivating, I don’t know what is.

Cheering Snowman.

8. When you finish your run and go inside, your house will feel like a furnace so you can turn down the heat and save on your bills. Get cold again? JUST GO FOR ANOTHER RUN!

And if all those reasons fail, and you are still hating the cold and wishing for summer, try this playlist that I put together and maybe it’ll help change your frame of mind!

Winter Running Playlist. Adventures of a Mother-Daughter Running Duo

 

Hope this helps. 🙂 Have a great weekend!