Training for the Cleveland Half: In the Snow

I’ve decided to write about training for the Cleveland Half Marathon every two weeks. Go.

I started my training for the Cleveland Half Marathon on Monday, January 21. I haven’t died yet, so there’s that. Not that I was expecting to exactly. It’s not as if I woke up on January 21st never having run before and just ran all willy-nilly out into the wilderness. Though, really, it could be done. However, I’ve been running consistently since August. I felt up for the challenge.

The weather decided to up the challenge as well. On my Wednesday, January 23rd run, it was 17 degrees. I had a tempo run of 5 miles. I don’t mind running when temps are in the mid-20’s. In fact, I even get a bit warm/too warm in the mid-30’s. But 17? That’s a cold run, folks. No two ways about it. But I did it, even if my husband’s grandfather called me silly.

5 miles. 17 degrees. Still smiling? Oh yeah. #runjennarun #clevelandhalf #training
17 degrees! Still Smiling!

My first eight mile run was on Sunday the 27th. And I did it.

I really got nervous about the distance, being my longest run ever. I did heed the advice of fellow runners on twitter the week before and ran seven miles. So getting to eight that Sunday was a challenge still, but one I believed I could complete. To say that I felt proud of myself is an understatement. I didn’t even hurt badly the next day; slightly sore thighs and a general “tired” feeling.

This past week brought not only cold temperatures but a whole lot of snow. I was supposed to have a four mile speed work run on Wednesday, but it ended up being solely a four mile run. It was 17 degrees again and I was just happy to bed getting it done. Then the snow started to fall, giving me a chance to try out my Yaktrax Pro for the first time on one of my two mile runs. I learned that it is a slightly different leg workout, and at the end of two, I wasn’t really sure I could run much more than two miles in Yaktrax.

My long run was on Saturday — another eight miles as it’s the distance I’ll be at for another few weeks. It was snowing to beat all and they hadn’t plowed our neighborhood yet. I could have put it off another day, but we were supposed to just get more snow, and my husband had to work. It was a “do it now or don’t do it” moment. I chose to do it.

8mi in snow, unplowed roads and Yaktrax. I get my Real Runner title now, right? #runjennarun #clevelandhalf #training
Gettin’ my run on in the snow!

I ran eight miles in actively falling snow on unplowed roads while wearing Yaktrax. Yes, again, I was quite proud. I will say again that at the two mile point, I thought I was going to have to stop because of the way the Yaktrax were making my legs feel. Shortly thereafter, probably around 3.5 miles, my legs started to feel better (read: not burn!) and I fell into my groove. I certainly wasn’t fast, but I ran every last bit of those eight miles (and .09 more to get back to my driveway).

What I look like after 8.09 in the snow! I also got the mail.

I’ve learned a bit about myself the past two weeks of training.

  • 1. I like running in the cold. Maybe not 17 degrees cold, but the cold is good for me. As someone who is constantly too hot, that wind works as an auto-cooling agent. I’ll take it.

  • 2. When people say nice things to me when I’m running, I feel better. It was during my eight mile snow run that an older gentleman down the road yelled out that he used to run. I shared that I was training for the Cleveland Half and he said, “That’s great! You’re doing great! You keep it up!” Another older gentleman, shoveling snow, yelled out, “Love your determination!” Each time, I felt a surge of adrenaline. So if you see me running by, wave or yell something. Nice, that is.

  • 3. I like music. I shared my playlist today. You should check it out!

If I can just get get through the snow of tomorrow, it’s supposed to warm up into the upper 30’s and 40’s for a little bit. I will be honest and say that while the long runs are still challenging, the distances of four and five miles are getting increasingly easier. I am pleased with my progress thus far and am looking forward to the next few weeks!

Have you started training for a spring marathon or half marathon yet? Which one? How’s it going?

10 replies on “Training for the Cleveland Half: In the Snow”

I can’t believe you ran that distance in the snow!! Whoa!! So awesome.

I can’t run right now, but when I do, I have to have good music too. And a treadmill with no snow on it. Ha!

Part of me is jealous of your treadmill. Part of me thinks about how every time I tried the treadmill at the gym, I would last a mile and then GIVE UP BECAUSE OMG HATE HATE HATE. Then there’s a tiny sliver that wonders if it would be the same NOW as I love running so much MORE than then. I don’t know the answer.

Maybe that’s why I hate running so much? But I live at the top of a GIANT hill, so running outside is awful. The whole time I just think about having to get back to my house and up that hill.

I’m impressed! I’m scared to death of falling just walking Liam to school… we have way too much ice here. I’m hoping planning to run my first ever race, a 5 km in June. But I won’t be outside running until the weather here is better. Any suggestions for indoor activities to help me get in shape till then?

If you’re that scared of falling, I really suggest grabbing a pair of Yaktrax to slip on the bottom of your shoes/boots for the walk to school. They’re impressive!

I am so proud of you! I’m part wuss and part jealous. During the week, I run after the boys are in bed, so the dark and cold and bad weather have forced me inside. I hate the treadmill but I can’t imagine 17 degrees and snow!

I skipped my run last night (my plan gives you one run a week that’s ok to skip) because I had some outer knee pain. I thought that I might have hurt my knee on my Saturday run. I have to run 6 tonight so I thought that I would rest last night. Of course, before bed I banged my knee off of our foot board and realized THAT’S why my knee hurts. I keep banging it off the foot board. OH WELL. Missing a three mile run won’t kill me.

I totally SLAMMED my knee off an end table on Sunday. It was a “see stars” kind of moment. It hurt SO BAD. I thought for CERTAIN that I had just done something horrible and I couldn’t run anymore. I do have a wicked bruise, but no more pain. All of this because I was twisting into some weird position on the floor to take a pic of the boys. Oops?

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