February is the month of my birthday, Valentine’s Day and Groundhog Day, or the month I became a hamster…sort of…well, that’s how it felt.
I logged 133 miles this month however it was all inside on the treadmill (as much as 16 miles at a time). It was around this time last year that I joined the local Planet Fitness. I had been training outdoors in the cold weather and I would come in from my runs with sore feet (running shoes are designed to let heat out but not keep it in) and tingling fingers from the cold. I was about to buy a warm pair of gloves for about $40 when my Wife suggested I look at joining the gym for the winter. It was only $10 a month so I had nothing to lose. I said I would use it for the winter and probably drop the membership when the weather turned nice. It would be less than the cost of the gloves for when I needed to use it. Well winter turned into spring and then summer. The treadmill was a life saver when the temperatures were over 100 or it was raining on the days I needed to get my training runs in. However I mostly run outside when the temperatures and conditions permit.
I had my warm clothes laid out ready to go a few times but ended up putting them back. There were a couple of times I almost got outside this month. As I run running early in the morning I set my clothes out the night before so not to disturb everyone in the house. I follow the weather forecast and almost always err on the conservative forecasts. My Wife calls me a weather pessimist…I guess that must be the English in me. I only recently stopped carrying an umbrella everywhere in my laptop bag.
This morning was my last chance this month to run outdoors. I have a route in my neighborhood which I run and it also has some nice hills. Well, it wasn’t until I set foot outdoors that I realized the weather was warm enough to run outside but I wasn’t wearing a long sleeve T and I didn’t have time to head back in for a wardrobe change. They say it takes 28 days to have a habit stick. Well, today was the 28th day of the month and I guess I just got used to getting up and driving to the gym. Not that it’s a bad habit but still…
I umm’d and aah’d many times this month on whether to run indoors or out. I run very early in the mornings. I get up between 4.30-5.00 a.m. on weekdays so I can get a run in before work. At the weekends I am up between 5.00-6.00am to get the run in before the family activities start and also so that I can look after the boys when Shari wants to go out and run which leaves me as the one to run in the dark and colder temperatures. One recent Saturday night I was planning a 14 miler on the treadmill and someone sent me this funny post on Facebook. It seems to sum up my mood this month.
My big discovery this month was the podcast app on my iPhone. I don’t listen to music when I run outside and use it only on the treadmill. I had listened to the same songs again and again on my iPod Shuffle that I found myself constantly flipping forward to find a song I wanted to actually hear. If it hadn’t been for the ‘Mickey Miles Podcast‘ (great for the runDisney fans), NPR’s ‘Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me’ and Tom and Ray from NPR’s ‘Car Talk’, I would probably have lost my mind. Nothing like a good laugh out loud on a treadmill to relieve the mood (although it is not always easy to keep my balance).
Spring is around the corner. We move the clocks forward in a couple of weeks and the days are getting longer. No excuses. I’m heading outdoors. Just try and stop me.
I’m taking the lead from the famous groundhog ‘Punxsutawney Phil’. This year he came out of his burrow on Groundhog Day and didn’t see his shadow. According to folklore this means we are going to have an early spring. Not sure how reliable he is but I’m good with his prediction. 🙂
Oh, by the way, I did end up buying the gloves anyway…