Thursday Things

1. Whose bright idea was it to train for a goal half marathon during the winter? Seriously, what was I thinking?

I assume I was thinking something along the lines of, “You run faster when it’s cold outside, so you should train for a race that will likely be cold.” I was also probably thinking something along the lines of, “This will keep me engaged and interested during the winter,” or, “You got your PR at this race in 2014, so it seems like as good of a race as any to try to PR again.”

Regardless, I definitely did not consider how difficult it would be to do all the training I wanted/planned to do when the sidewalks are anywhere between glazed with ice and buried under inches of snow. I mean, I can get my running done on a treadmill. I just wish I didn’t have to do so much of it on the treadmill. I think, when I put this training plan together, I had it in my mind that the only obstacle I’d face would be cold and darkness. I guess I forgot that it snows during the winter? The apparent impossibility of clearing sidewalks in my neighborhood is going to turn me into the sort of runner who longs for summer. Out of the six runs I’ve done in training thus far, a whopping two of them have even had the option of being outside. Gross.

I know things will get better as the cycle goes on, because presumably, it won’t stay in the single digits/teens forever. (Right?) But unless there’s a dramatic change in the forecast, I’m staring down a treadmill PDR next week, which, ugh. That certainly wasn’t a record I hoped to set as a result of this training. (Though hey, if I don’t PR my half, I guess I’ll have something else I can say I accomplished for the first time! Haha.)

All that being said, the last time I came within spitting distance of my half PR (F3 in 2016), I did most of my training on the treadmill, so perhaps I shouldn’t whine about this so much.

2. I had my annual physical on Tuesday, including the biometric screening I have to get done for work to avoid paying through the nose for my premium. That biometric screening requires a blood draw (boo), and that blood draw requires fasting ahead of time (boo x2).

I waited too long to schedule my physical this year, which meant I couldn’t get an appointment any earlier in the day than 11 a.m. As someone who is usually famished by the time I get around to breakfast at 8 a.m. or so, the idea of not eating until after my 11:00 appointment was concerning, especially since I usually have dinner at 7 p.m.

So, Tuesday morning, I did what any normal person would do: I set an alarm for 1:30 a.m., got up, and had a snack before my eight hour window closed. Ha. It felt weird getting up at 1:30 in the morning just to eat pretzels and almonds, and certainly didn’t do me any favors in the sleep department, but at least I wasn’t starving when I woke up!

I got (most of) my numbers back yesterday, and my cholesterol continues to be too high. My doctor recommended I “exercise regularly.” Guess the six days/week, including three two-a-days/week, doesn’t count as “regularly.” Or maybe it’s the brown rice, black beans, and fresh veggies I eat for lunch literally every week day that are the culprit? *rolls eyes forever*

I don’t have a family history of high cholesterol, so I will admit that it’s a bit out of left field for me to have mine, but I really, really don’t think that my lifestyle choices are to blame here. I’m not a vegetarian, but I eat as if I were one probably 80 percent of the time, and I’d guess that when I do eat meat, 95 percent of that is chicken. I’m not a “cheeseburger every week” sort of person. I’m more like a “cheeseburger every quarter” sort of person. So all of this “exercise more and eat red meat less” stuff is…unhelpful, to say the least.

3. We don’t control the heat in my apartment, and sometimes, I really like that! We don’t get charged for it, and it’s not up to any of us to decide how warm or cold it should be, so that eliminates the possibility of thermostat wars. Other times, though…


Yikes. If it were that warm during the summer, that would be enough for us to turn the air conditioning on. “Air conditioning” this time of year just means cracking the windows, but it really seems like that shouldn’t be necessary in, you know, January.

8 thoughts on “Thursday Things

  1. “Whose bright idea was it to train for a goal half marathon during the winter? Seriously, what was I thinking?”

    …OMG, are you me?? Replace half with full marathon and this is *literally* what’s been going through my head all week long. When I trained for the Pittsburgh full in 2016 I was somehow blessed with a mostly mild winter, and I got it in my thick head that because it worked out then, it would work out now! After a disastrous attempt at doing hill reps in the snow this week, I, too, have finally resigned myself to the treadmill. I’m going to Planet Fitness tomorrow for the first time in almost a year. I really don’t mind the ‘mill that much (although my rule is intervals only), it’s just that it’s logistically more difficult. If I go in the AM I have to get up even earlier than I usually wake up to go running, to factor in commute time; if I go in the evening it will be crowded AF and all the mills might be taken.

    Anyway, good luck, fellow winter sufferer. I’m right there with you. I posted a rant about this on IG the other day and one of my friends brought up a good point: before we know it, we’ll be back in shorts and wondering how the heck it’s possible we started this training cycle in snowy 10 degree weather! It will get better. It might not feel like that right now but it will!

    • Hahaha, I’m glad to hear I’m not the only going through this! I’m sure you guys have it just as bad as we do in the snow/temperature department. I’m going to have to do my long run on the treadmill tomorrow >.< There's just no way around it with the state of the sidewalks. I thought about maybe toughing it out where I did my 800s during the summer, but I checked it out today and the path is nothing but ice. Sigh. I'm gonna be so mentally tough by the end of all of this! Haha.

  2. I LOVE training throughout the winter, BUT I don’t have snow and ice to contend with. It definitely gets cold, but there is usually no precipitation with it. Not that it never ever happens, but it’s rare enough to not be an issue or put a real kink in my training. I can only think of a handful of times the winter weather has made an impact but I sympathize with you! That would definitely be tough to manage, logistically, not to mention the mental toll of so much treadmill running!

    • I normally love training in the winter, too! I guess maybe we’ve had more snow this year than usual? I also don’t normally start training so early (I usually start at the end of January, not the beginning…though I guess it is the end of January now!), so maybe that has something to do with it. Though even without the ice, I doubt I’d be going out next Wednesday – they’re predicting a high (HIGH!) of -3 right now. Oof.

  3. I feel you on so many levels. I told myself it’d be “better” to train over the winter than endure those sweltering hot summer runs and races. Ummm maybe not. I am also just back from a 9am fasted blood draw (roads were bruuutal). THAT was hard enough. 11am would royally suck! I have “borderline” cholesterol always, no matter how well I eat and workout. I’ve had stress tests, stress echos, etc and my heart/arteries are beautifully clear of plaque. IMO I think there are better markers for heart disease. Maybe triglycerides?? I’m no medical professional but I suspect there is too much focus on cholesterol. Just my 2 cents.

  4. Ugh, these weeks of winter running are brutal. And it’s hard to do focused training when there’s snow everywhere and it’s slippery! It’ll pay off though. And doing your intervals on the treadmill makes the pace much more controlled, which is awesome! Now, to figure out the boredom part 😉 (that is my problem, anyway!)

    Gah, I hate getting advice from docs to do things I am already doing. Such great listeners! I am sorry they don’t have any idea why your cholesterol is high, and that they seem so focused on it! 😦

    • Yes, definitely! I’m actually kind of worried about running outside now (once it gets warmer, of course), because I’m going to have to maintain my pace myself! Ha. I discovered that I can read on the treadmill if I bump the font size WAY up on Libby, which has been a gigantic help on the boredom front – thank goodness!

      I know. Like, doc, less than 24 hours ago when you asked if I exercise in the morning, afternoon, or evening, my answer was, “Yes.” Hahaha. Pretty sure I’ve got that piece of the equation figured out!

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