I am sure for many of you the start of the winter running season begins when it snows or in December at the Winter Solstice. That makes perfect sense. For me, Winter running always kicks off with racing the local Chicago Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning.
It starts at 9am so there is plenty of time to sleep in and still get to the start. It is an 8K and plenty of miles (and Ks) to tackle before grazing those wonderful turkey day treats. But most of all, its a great way to socialize with the runners in the community and wish them a happy holiday. I consider the running community an extension of my family (the part that doesn't think I'm crazy for running!).
I look forward to this day almost as much as I look forward to the official start of the Spring running season (Shamrock Shuffle). On the surface, Winter running sounds just awful, but after a hot and humid Summer it sure is a treat to run in the cold temperatures. There is an honesty to running through Winter. The cold blustery days teach me exactly how strong or weak I am in my running phases and reminds me of the importance of mental strength.
There is also a solitude about running in the Winter. There are rarely other runners out there and in most cases its just me, the cool, crisp weather and the sound of my feet hitting the ground. It is a great way to defrag from the high intensity of the Summer season and run easy for a few months.
Like the change of seasons, our bodies need phases of training. It makes for an interesting and motivating year of running but it also allows our bodies to rest, train, perform at peak levels. So, as the leaves fall off the trees and I begin to set out my Winter apparel for the new season's workouts, I look forward to a fresh phase of running and one that will help me recover from the magnificent year I've had.
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