Monday, December 13, 2010

Cold Weather Running

Perfect Running Weather

Call me crazy, but when I see a forecast like the one above, what I think is "yipee, awesome running ahead".

Living in Los Angeles the last four years has been tough on my running... because it's always hot! I know, I know, I'm a big whiner for living in one of the sunniest, least humid places in the country. Really, though, my body seriously dislikes running in hot weather; and hot for me is anything over 70 deg.

Having grown up in WI, gone to school in NY and lived several years in MA, I am well used to the running in the cold. No matter how cold it is, you can always put on enough clothes so that you'll be toasty warm while running. There's something so wonderful about running through snow-covered scenery, feeling great and breathing cold air. I've done long runs in zero degree weather (not counting wind chill). Heck, I did a marathon in MA, in February, where it was 15 deg at the start (shout out to Hyannis Marathon!).

Due to a family wedding, and desire to get some help with the little miss baby, I'm visiting my folks in WI for three weeks. Last week (my first week here) yielded some wonderful, snow-filled runs. As evidence of my body's preference for cold weather, all the runs hovered at around a 9 min/mile pace - great improvement on my easy pace as of late. I even extended several of them a mile or more because I was enjoying myself so much I didn't want to go inside. Things are looking good for this week and next also.

In honor of cold weather running, The Boring Runner is hosting a Freeze Your Thorns Off virtual 5k on Jan 8th. Whether or not you'll have cold weather to do it in (I'll be back in CA by then) participate in the spirit of all that is great with winter running =)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Where'd My Half Go?

DH and I enjoying the first Pasadena Half Marathon
Well, I enjoyed it, he survived it =) 

Darn it, they're moving the Pasadena Marathon/Half to fall 2011.

2011 is the 3rd year for the Pasadena Marathon. This event has been great fun for us in the past. With a start/finish line only 1/2 mile from our front door, it just couldn't get any easier! This was the first, and only, half marathon my husband has consented to run with me. Each year we sleep late, have a leisurely breakfast and saunter right up to the start line, moments before the race starts.

Originally, the first year in 2008, this was to be a November marathon. The city geared up; streets were closed, water stations assembled and finish line food spread out. Then, 4 am race morning, the event was canceled on account of poor air quality from local wildfires. Bummer, bummer, bummer. Everyone who had trained and tapered was left in the lurch.

The city rebounded with a make-up date in February 2009. Bonus, a 'spring' (late winter?) marathon! This was wonderful, since the LA area running calendar, like most other places, is jam-packed in the fall. For 2010 Pasadena kept the February date, and it was great: perfect weather and well-run to boot!

The race committee just announced that they're trying to move it back to November for 2011. What a shame! Aside from the fact that the fall is packed, I was looking forward to this Pasadena half as my first 'comeback' race. I had my training plan all laid out to hit that starting line in decent (but not PR) condition.

My back-up option is the Surf City Marathon/Half in Huntington Beach two weeks earlier. I ran, and enjoyed, the full marathon there in 2009. It was a failed BQ attempt - but still a PR. Perhaps I can hustle up and try to 'redeem' myself at the half there this time around.