Monday, January 16, 2012

a hilly and chilly nine: winter running in montreal

Yesterday morning it was about -23 degrees Celsius. -30 with the wind chill. What was I doing? Running of course! The bad news was that it was cold and the wind made it feel really quite frosty. The good news was that I was armed with 2 running friends, I was bundled up, and at least it was sunny!
So looking a lot like this (after consulting this post to see what kind of layers I wore last winter when it was this cold)
an old picture- but pretty close to what i was wearing
 I set off to get some chilly miles in.

I tried to plan an 8 mile route (that's about 13km) because that was what we figured we wanted to run. But somehow we overshot a turn in the Old Town (which I guess is pretty easy to do with all the one way and small streets). I tried to plan a route with just a few hills. But somehow I forgot about one of them (and a big one). So what was supposed to be an 8 mile somewhat hilly run in the cold turned into a pretty challenging 9.2 miles (that's close to 15km) in the mostly sunny streets of Montreal.

The last hill (the one I forgot was so long) was the most challenging and I think we were all hurting by the halfway mark and pretty much everything was burning by the end- legs, lungs...it all hurt...but we did it. And I have to admit- I was pretty impressed I managed it considering my lack of long hills these days.

Something I had forgotten about with snowy running: my calf muscles take an extra beating. I end up running more on my toes in the snow. With the unstable footing, putting only half your foot down is easier and keeps you upright a little easier. All that extra work has left my poor calf muscles feeling pretty beat up- the footing has been terrible this week.

Thank goodness for compression socks.
yup- chilling in a hotel room in my compression socks
All in all- despite the frozen eyelashes, the frost forming on the sunglasses, the frozen solid scarf, and the frozen water bottles - it was a good run. Even if it did end up being a little long. (sorry ladies- my bad) I quite enjoyed my chilly and hilly nine!

What is your limit for cold when it comes to running?

7 comments:

Laura said...

You beat me for the colder temps.
Apparently our group says that we don't run if it goes below -35 with the windchill. I don't believe them though. :)
I am glad I sucked it up but I still hate winter.

Marlene said...

I don't know if I have a limit. Once day last year I ran when the actual temp was nearly -30. It doesn't really get colder than that!

We had the cold yesterday (but not quite that cold!) but no snow on the ground, fortunately. That does a number on my calves too.

Nice work!!!

Leigh said...

That is way too cold for me to run in! I would say -10C for me...I just hate being cold which is why I said no to a spring marathon!

runforwine.net said...

So inspiring! And ugh, going longer on runs when your not anticipating can be the pits. Especially when theirs and added hill.

Amber (Girl with the red hair) said...

It used to be -10 but with marathon training, no gym membership and my group heading out 3x a week regardless of weather that limit is about to be broken. Likely tomorrow night when it's supposed to be -22 with the windchill and I have run clinic! I need to get (or make) something to wear over my face though as I don't think I should have my face uncovered in those temps!

Yes my calves were DEFINITELY sore after running through some pretty deep snow yesterday morning!

Suz said...

It was a fantastic run....I slept like a baby last night. Go Team Awesome :)

Nicole @ "Haute Runner" said...

Is it bad of me to say that I am happy you are also experiencing a cold snap in the east?? :) I think my limit is more about how bad the roads are to drive to my group runs! If it is blizzarding out I am not venturing out in the car!! The coldest I have run in is -33C.