Month 1 of Run Every Day 2014

Winter runningPolar vortex. Chiberia. Worst winter ever.

These are not things you want to hear in the first month of a run streak. Chicago winters are notorious for forcing people to give up all their dreams, abandon hope, and move somewhere South – and this winter thus far has lived up to that reputation and then some.  But I did manage to get out and run at least a mile every day this month even while fighting some annoying cold symptoms the first 2 weeks, which at least gives me some confidence for the rest of the year.  January runningBy the numbers:

  • 31 days – 49.1 miles (avg distance 1.58, median 1.62) Not impressive mileage for lots of people, but coming off of a zero base and never run this frequently in my life, I’ll take it. By comparison, from 2011-2013, I ran 6 marathons but only had 3 months with more than 50 miles (3 marathon months).
  • I probably surpassed my former run streak record somewhere around January 4th or 5th, so I got that going for me…which is nice.
  • Average Temp: 19.6°F
  • Average Windchill: 7.7°F
  • Coldest Day: January 6, -17°F, -40° Windchill.  That was fun.
  • Days below zero: 2 (8 with Windchill below zero)
January 2014 Daily Running Temps and Windchill

January 2014 Daily Running Temps and Windchill

…so the story this month was definitely the weather, but I’m encouraged that I made it out every day (and while I could have run on a treadmill, I really wanted to avoid it if I could in the first month).  I even came away with a few positives:

  • Snow footprintsIt was almost always better outside than it looked from the window (well, except for the aforementioned -17° day, that looked and felt bad).  My takeaway – don’t listen to the news or anybody else scaring you into not venturing outside – you’ll probably be ok if you’re dressed for it (-40° windchill not withstanding).
  • There is a very peaceful rhythm to running on a thin layer of crusty snow.  I’ll miss that sound when the weather warms up.
  • Likewise for having the first tracks after a new snowfall.  There’s just something about being the first to run through fresh powder.  Having no tracks except for the occasional rabbit or coyote tracks has a way of really connecting you with nature.

The daily run is also starting to become a bit of a routine – which is good and what I had hoped for and needed. I’ve typically been getting out the door around lunchtime, primarily since it’s a bit warmer by then. Early morning runs would have been more of a challenge not just because of the lower temps but also more ice on the roads and trails at that time of the day.

1 month down, 11 to go!

 

Snow hurdles

Snow hurdles

 

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