Cold-Weather Running Is Not For The Faint Of Heart

Header - Post - SubscribeThere’s a saying that goes, “Exercise in the morning before your brain knows what your body is doing.”  I think that was what was happening when I registered for two races for this month: Beauty and the Beach and the 5K portion of the Trenton Half.  My brain didn’t know what I was doing.

Beauty and the Beach:

Avris & Neha

Avris & Neha in the cold & rain

Avris, a lawyer colleague of mine from the Public Defender’s Office, invited me to think about the Beauty and the Beach Run.  It was a 5-mile walk/run that was held in Long Branch, New Jersey on November 1st.  I visited the website and decided to register.  I was excited because we were going to be a team, Lovely Legal Ladies.  Soon, we were up to five members with Neha, Gayle and Edna registering also.  My excitement dissipated when I saw the 10-day forecast that included November 1st.  I attempted to keep my enthusiasm as the days progressed, but when I learned that it would be cold (30’s) AND rainy, I decided not to participate.  Avris was kind enough to pick up the race packets for the team, so that we could at least have something to show for our registration fees.  Avris and Neha braved the elements and ran (or walked, not sure) and received the flip flop pendant. Good stuff. It’s a very nice “medal” but I didn’t have it in me.  Also, I did not want to risk getting sick and not being able to race the next Saturday.

I talked to Avris on Monday after the race and she gave me some important history of the race.  In 2013, it was bitterly cold during the race.  No bueno.  In 2012, Hurricane Sandy caused the race to be cancelled.  Really?  I’m doubtful about 2015.  I don’t see myself registering for this race next year.

Trenton Half:

The Trenton Half is a set of races that consists of a half marathon (13.1 miles), 10K, 5K and kids’ run.  It was held on Saturday, November 8th.  I skipped the Beauty and the Beach Run because wanted to stay healthy for this race.  I have wanted to participate in this race since November 2013.  At that time, I saw tons of pictures on social media of the race, especially of the 700-member Black Girls RUN! team.  I wanted to be a part of that experience.  My friend Donna from seminary ran this race in 2013 and had registered to run the 10K this year.  I registered for the 5K because I knew that with my current exercise schedule, I would not be able to train for a 10K.  Also, I ran my first 5K in May 2013 and have not run a race since then.  And, according to my Nike+ Running App, I have not even run more than 6.17 miles at any one time.  I’m not ready for a 10K.  Maybe next year.

The forecast for race day was sunny (yay!) but cold (booo).  When I left home at 6:00 a.m. for the race, the temperature was 30 degrees.  Below freezing is no bueno.  What was I thinking?  My husband and I are NOT morning people.  When I told him the time that we would have to leave, his facial expression was priceless.  When he learned of the expected temperature, more frowns.  But, he was a trooper.

The race was a lot of fun!  According to Nike+, my pace was 15’14”.  However, my official pace was 15’04”.  I started the race by running, but when I looked at my Polar RC3 GPS Sports Watch and saw that my heart rate was 165 (yikes!), I decided to walk the rest of way.  I don’t have time for any heart attacks.  That cold air was a shock to my lungs.  Pretty good pace for walking.

I took a ton of pics before the race with Donna, Aliah (aka The Get Fit Diva), Nellie (aka Brooklyn Active Mama) and Frann.  I made sure that I dressed warmly:  Coral Sizzle capris under black sweatpants; long-sleeve shirt, Black Girls RUN! shirt and pink fleece; scarf under my pink hat.  I was nice and toasty during the race and did not get overheated.  I had Vaseline on my face to protect it from the wind.  The Vaseline had another good benefit.  My face wasn’t sweaty after the race.  I actually looked presentable.


It.Is.Finished.  My First Medal!

Black Girls RUN! in full effect

Black Girls RUN! in full effect

The Trenton 5K was my last only race for 2014.  I don’t know if I’m built for cold-weather running.  What has your experience been with running in the cold?  Please share.  Feel free to leave a comment at the end of this post, on the Facebook fan page, Tweet me or use the form on the Contact page.  Be blessed. Remain encouraged.

Min. Crystal L. Cochren

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