This November I stepped up my running in preparation for P.F. Chang's Rock-n-Roll Arizona Marathon. The weather has been fairly warm, which has resulted in morning runs that only required shorts and a t-shirt. However, this last week a serious cold front moved in complete with sub-freezing temps and snow. I was immediately transported back to the freezing morning runs I completed all last winter and have been approaching my workouts with, shall we say, determined trepidation.
This past Thursday I awoke to 18 degree temps and snow. I thought to myself, “Well, triathletes all over the northern latitudes are strapping on their shoes and heading out into the cold and snow so I’ve got no excuse.” The reward was immeasurable!
I drove down to the gym, pulled on the insulated tights, one long sleeve shirt, one short sleeve shirt, socks, shoes, headband, baseball cap and headed out to conduct my morning run. The run was 7.5 miles on a dirt trail along the Rio Grande at sunrise; my favorite run of the week.
On this particular morning, like I mentioned, it was snow covered and cold. There was not a single other person out nor had there been. The snow covered trail was completely fresh except for a few footprints from the rabbits and coyotes that live along the river. There were also Canadian geese, mallards, great blue herons, san hill cranes and a host of smaller birds in abundance. The giant old cotton woods were glistening in the sunrise and steam was rising off the river.
As far as my pace goes, it was pretty good but who cares…this was one of the best runs of my life! While the snow is already gone it is still cold and I am pretty much guaranteed to have the trail along the river all to myself during my early morning weekday runs.