Winter running

This time of year makes me so happy! It’s cold and crisp outside, I get to snuggle up indoors in the warm guilt-free, and Christmas decorations are starting to appear in shop windows. (I wish they would leave it a little later for all the Christmas stuff, but I have to admit it’s looovely wandering around in the evening when it’s all dark, and seeing all of the pretty lights everywhere!)

Plus, all the coffee shops are serving their seasonal specials! Yay! The salted caramel mocha in Starbucks was a little disappointing (too sugary, and not a whole lot of flavour), but the Black Forest hot chocolate in Costa was the tastiest hot drink EVER!

costa

Today was perfect running weather. Freezing cold, dry, and lovely bright sunshine. As I had an 8-miler on the schedule, and hadn’t run more than 10k in MONTHS, I decided to head to the gym and run it on the treadmill instead. (Yeeeah, sucky idea).

The run itself went really well – I had a couple of slices of toast beforehand, and took a bottle of water with a citrus Zero tab, and felt pretty good. I’d have enjoyed it much more if I’d manned up and run outside, though – I can’t believe how hot and stuffy the gym is! It doesn’t seem to matter what temperature it is outside, what I wear, where in the gym I am .. It’s nuts!

I did get to walk home along the river though (and after being passed by 4 runners, I REEEALLY wished I’d made the most of the weather), and got to enjoy the beautiful scenery:

river

I’ll definitely be heading outside for next week’s long run!

In the meantime, I’ll be sticking to the treadmill for my shorter, mid-week runs, and my boyfriend is determined to get me on the weights machines in between! (Given how little upper body strength I have, this will be really helpful).

I’m excited to be increasing the distance! Next step, 10 miles! It’ll be awesome to get back into double digits. Tough, but VERY satisfying πŸ™‚

 

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Dark, cold, winter cycle commuting

Cycling in the winter is really tough!

I thought I wrapped up ok today. On the way home I was in 2 pairs of socks (one being knee-high, and folded over to add an extra layer), thick leggings, 4 layers on top, a hat, and a pair of gloves .. And I was STILL shivering! I wish I’d worn my glasses, just to keep the wind off, but it seemed a bit silly wearing sunglasses in the pitch black? How do people deal with the freezing cold wind problem!?

My new light arrived at the weekend, and I tried it out this evening. It was amazing! I could actually see where I was going! I tested it against the wall as I unlocked my bike:

light

It might not look like much there, but it was BRIGHT. Ignoring the main spot of light, it diffused out really nicely to a good couple of metres! I definitely felt a lot safer than with my last light, that’s for sure. This one also has a little notch on each side, meaning cars can see you from other angles! Win!

It’s quite different to my previous one. Whilst the front looks a lot smaller, it’s much more powerful. And the attachment is brilliant; it doesn’t move at all, even over the rough bits of road. It also feels (and looks) much more solid. It actually makes the old one look quite flimsy:

image2

Honestly, the main problem I have with cycling in the dark is the cars. I’ve noticed that they give me more space when overtaking, now that I have the lights, but I was constantly blinded by the main beams of oncoming cars! The only time they ever switched down to dipped beam was when a car appeared behind me! Dude, I may not be driving, but I definitely still need to see where I’m going .. Sheesh!

I was supposed to go out for a 4-miler when I got home. But I was SOOO cold, once I took off my gloves and hat and a few layers all I wanted to do was snuggle up in my big slouchy jumper with a mug of this:

hotchoc

.. And Downton Abbey. Speaking of – blimey, drama, much!?

I do feel like a bit of a wuss skipping a run because of the cold and the dark. But after cycling 7 miles and nearly freezing, a ‘cuddle in a cup’ seemed like a much better idea.

I’m hoping I’ll manage to force myself out of bed for my run tomorrow morning; I have Japanese class in the evening, so if I don’t, I’ll be slacking until Wednesday. Sigh.

I did cycle pretty fast today though! And kept it in a tough gear up the hills. My thighs aren’t exactly thanking me right now πŸ˜€ But a hot shower and nice long stretch and I’m sure they’ll be back to normal! (I’m ignoring my foam roller. I’m not feeling quite that tough just yet).

I hope everyone else’s training is going well! πŸ™‚