Since the roads became treacherous the second week of December, I’ve been taking the bus instead of biking. I had a nice long biking season for 2009 — approximately April 1 through almost mid-December. I was only a couple weeks shy of my yearly goal of biking for at least 9 months. Well, there’s always 2010…
In the meantime, I am desperately trying to stave off winter weight gain. I was bad over the holidays: I can’t seem to control myself when faced with peanut butter balls, almond bark, and peanut brittle.
I decided that I needed to try running more often — I had been barely maintaining a minimum running schedule of short, easy jogs about once per week. Since I’m very busy, why not combine exercise and transportation and run home from work a couple nights a week? It only takes about 20-25 minutes longer than taking the bus (sometimes less). I run the same route that I bike, through the neighborhoods of south Minneapolis. It’s a little over 4 miles, total.
I’ve run it a few times now, and it’s slowly growing on me. Here I am after arriving safely home tonight. It was a balmy 21 degrees F when I left work, so I wore a headband instead of a winter hat. Note the frost covering the headband (it was black when I left work).
The only bad part about running in Minnesota in the winter is the footing. It is absolutely awful. Name the crappy road/sidewalk condition, and I run on it: slush, glare ice, packed snow, rough ice, rough ice with packed snow on top, huge piles of snow blocking the sidewalk, you name it.
Last week I wiped out, and even though I was unhurt, decided that I needed to invest in a pair of these:
We bought Adam’s dad a pair of YakTrax a few years ago for ice fishing, and he liked them. So, I bought myself a pair and put them on my running shoes. It was a marked improvement. I’m not going to say it was as good as running on dry pavement, but it was definitely less scary than my runs of the last few weeks.
And the weather finally warmed up! My first few runs were in negative windchills, and that aspect was challenging. I really had to bundle up. Thank goodness my house is south of downtown, so the winter wind is at my back the whole way.
I’ve found that I really dislike carrying a backpack while running — maybe I’m just not in good enough shape. Whatever the reason, I’ve usually just been leaving my stuff at work and running only with my cellphone and keys. Then I take it all home on the bus the next day.
The best part: I save a $2.50 bus fare every time I run! That could add up, over time…