I ran outside for the first time in weeks yesterday. It seemed like every time I tried to go out, something prevented me- freezing rain, 7 inches of new snow, icy roads, my own complacency- but not yesterday. It was cool and sunny with a bit of a breeze, and the roads were 95% ice-free. I couldn't ask for better on the last day of February.
The best part of my run was getting confirmation that I'm not totally out of shape. I run much slower on the treadmill than I do outside, and I was afraid that the first time out, I'd be slogging along at that same treadmill pace. My legs did feel a little weird when I first started, but I got in the groove and finished at an 8:50 ave pace. Not breaking any land-speed records, but that's a good pace for a general fitness run for me. I finished it off with 5x hill repeats running up the hill to our apartment complex.
Warming, rant: I don't disagree that doing all your running on the treadmill is not the way to succeed at road racing, but- coming from one very warm and one very dry climate- I never really understood how unpleasant and downright unsafe it could be to run outside during the winter here. For me it comes back to the fact that I want running to be enjoyable, and if I'm going to be miserable outside because it feels like it's -5 and there's ice all over the roads and sidewalks, I'm going to opt for the treadmill. Sure there are people out there toughing it out, but I've come to the conclusion that's not for me. And guess what?!? I biked, I strength trained, I ran intervals, and I did 329847 flights of stairs, and I'm not any slower than I was back in December. Take that, treadmill haters! Getting faster does not have to equal hating your running life for two plus months.
Okay, I feel better now.
But seriously, I do want to get outside more. Tomorrow will probably work because it's not supposed to get above freezing today. Unfortunately the weather forecast for the rest of the week has snow and rain on Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday. Plus the high during the day is above freezing while the overnight low is below freezing, which means really nasty ice on the sidewalks and roads. Can winter be over soon? Please.