I started running about 7 weeks ago (after an 19 yr hiatus) and just finished my last "scheduled" race for the year (I ran 3 5k races, with the "payoff" race yesterday). I may try to run more races this year, but it just might not happen due to vacation, work schedule, weather, etc. I'm worried about two things in particular:
1. How do others (northerners in particular) deal with the colder weather and less daylight? Working 10 hour days, the fading daylight is already becoming an issue for running outside after work. I can and have been going to the gym which has a short track and treadmills. Still running outside on days off.
2. How do you keep motivated after you run last races for the year. For me, the races are the payoff for the hard work I'm putting in the rest of the time. Getting more fit to do better at the races is my primary motivation right now. I aspire to do much, much better and run faster than I do now, but it can be a long cold winter.
I have no intention of stopping or quitting, but I'm just wondering how others deal with this. Seems like I'm just getting started and things seem to be winding down. Advice is appreciated!
"Whether You Think You Can or Can't, You're Right"-- Henry Ford
Upcoming races:Super 5k 2/3/13
Select Recent Results: Brooksie Way Half Marathon - 1:49:09 (Half Marathon PR), Open Door Julie Run 5k - 22:16 (2nd place age group, PR)
Go over to the DoppelLaufer thread under General Running for motivation. The DoppelLaufer co-conspirators created a "Virtual 5k Challenge" that was open to all. About a dozen runners from all over the country participated. They are in the process of organizing a "virtual Turkey Trot / Jingle Bell 5k" challenge and a virtual half marathon challenge in the spring. If you want motivation, sign up for the virtual 1/2 marathon -- that should be your incentive to keep your training up through the winter.
With respect to darkness, I get up at 5 or 5:30 and run in the pitch black. Months ago, when first running in the pre-dawn hours, I wore a headlamp but now I run in the dark.
With respect to bad weather, I read of a female competitive marathon runner who does the majority of her training on a treadmill. I guess you get used to it.
With respect to cold weather, it's relative. When I lived in Boston I saw a guy running along the Charles River one winter afternoon. There was about a foot of snow on the ground, the temperature was somewhere between 15 and 25, and all this guy was wearing was a singlet, shorts, a watch cap and gloves. Crazy.