Black or White

I knew that today would pose a problem.  It was obvious when walking home from my brother’s house yesterday evening that the forecasters had not got it wrong.  The icing sugar dusting of snow we had seen in the afternoon was now a plush carpet of white.

My hopes that it would all be gone in the morning were not realised but at least my vague hope that it wouldn’t be worse had come true.  In fact it looked like, even at 9am, that it was already melting.

I was in a quandary.  Do I choose white or black?

I could take on my first ever run on the plush white winter carpet along with its risk of injury or I could play it safe and take on the magic black carpet of the boredom that is the gym’s treadmill?

The consensus on Twitter seemed to be suggesting a foray into the unknown but with just seven weeks of my 12 month challenge, and with one eye on an effort to claim a new 10k PB, I took the safe albeit mind-numbingly boring option of the treadmill.

It was my first treadmill effort in over 4 months, having found my outdoor sessions much more worthwhile and engaging.  I remembered to take a small towel with me to drape over the display so that I wouldn’t have the continuous reminder of just how far I’d gone, or rather just how far I hadn’t.

It was also the first time in ages that I ran with my music but abandoned the headphones after a few minutes as I found the musical rhythms were distracting my running rhythms.

The difficulty I have with treadmill sessions is being able to switch off and think about anything other than the treadmill.  I’ve tried audio books, podcasts, music and just trying to think of other things but my mind continues to return to the treadmill.

I knew it was going to be hard work so I wasn’t too disappointed that I didn’t manage my pre-snow target of 16km.  Looking at the positives, I got a run in when I could have just stayed tucked in my warm bed and I managed my longest ever treadmill session, covering eight safe kilometres.

As the snow continues to melt I feel a little disappointed that I didn’t go for a snow run but I just couldn’t risk my fitness for the next seven weeks.  My challenge is building towards its climax on 25 March and I didn’t want to jeopardise that.

So I guess the two things I’d like to throw out to the room would be:

1. If you go out in the snow do you do anything differently?  Do you wear different kit or shoes?  Do you run on grass rather than tarmac?  Do you go out slower than easy or do you just go for it and see what happens?

2. Do you get on with a treadmill?  What do you do to keep you mind occupied when you don’t have the outside world to concentrate on?

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4 thoughts on “Black or White”

  1. I ran in the snow, my first time. I wore ice grips on my trainers for a sense of security but my running partner didn’t and she was also fine. We took it very slow (average pace 11:30 min/mile). Enjoyed being outside and got a super hard leg workout. Covered 9 miles and feel good for it. Next time, you should go and go slow 🙂

  2. It was all about the snow for me today! Did it a few times last year in training without any real issues, but having raced yesterday it wad all about just getting out and enjoying it. I decided to go with trail shoes, and on the whole stuck to footpaths on my normal 3 mile route. the easiest stuff to run on was the really fresh stuff, as the compacted bits are quite sloppy and can be tough on the calves though. It all helps with the proprioception too 🙂 the key for me was that i just went out really really slowly for a gentle jog to enjoy the view and the novelty of snow

    1. same for me! After reading Chris’ tweet that he was going to sdo an esy 3 miles, I decided to put on my trail shoes and do the same. Am so glad I did! It was very slow run, but I loved it. As Chris did, I stuck to the powdery stuff that crackles under your feet, it was hard work wading through ankl deep snow, but good for the calves 🙂
      Clothes-wise it was actually warmer out today than yesterday, I opted for leggings, a t shirt, jacket, gloves and wooly hat
      Not sure what it would be like running once the nice fresh snow turns to frozen ice ??

  3. I went for the treadmill too, but instead of doing 6 miles as I would have done outside, I only managed 1! I really despise the treadmill and literally don’t know how anyone manages to stay on it longer than 10 minutes.

    Not sure how I could’ve run outside yesterday either though to be honest. I don’t own any trail shoes and as I live in the city centre, there wasn’t much ‘fresh’ snow about, it was all really slushy and already really slippery. I think my best bet would’ve been to travel to a park, but with the buses not running properly, I think the gym was probably my only option!

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