This week I’m going to be so utterly British and talk about the weather.  Even more stereotypically, I warn you, I may be inclined to whinge about it a bit.  When snow first came to Ohio about 3 weeks ago I was all tough.  I think I even wrote the sentence – “Ain’t no weather messing with my running.”  Jackie looks sheepish as she confesses that this week, whilst all running got done, the weather properly messed with it.

Week 5 in review *apologies it gets “ranty”:

I started the week faintly grumpy about things as I didn’t feel the paths were safe enough to do my Monday solo 10 miler before sunrise.  Redemption came via doing it at 11am and thus culminating with my midday bus stop rendezvous with the little clown I gave birth to. (*seeing his little face coming off the bus, is pretty much a highlight of every day.  **wears off v. quickly).

We raced the bus!

We raced the bus!

Then, on Tuesday, very excitingly, as I hadn’t run with her for ages, I was due to do 4 miles tempo with my friend Crystal.  We chose a place we very consciously thought would be nice and safe for it, with a couple of other friends due there also for varying sessions.  Sometimes it’s just nice to know your buddies are out there.  THEN!!  after less than 1 mile of dodging ice, we noticed up ahead our friend Sally was back in her car!! NOOOOO!  that NEVER happens, this must be bad.  It turned out she had slid on ice and fallen, later sharing a photo with her face like Rocky and reports of a grit like substance in her mouth, suspected to be teeth!  At that point me and the winter weather properly fell out.

Before me and weather were no longer friends

Before me and weather were no longer friends – happy to report, Sally still has ALL her lovely teeth.

The week went on.  It included 2 sessions banished to treadie and a hot yoga session with the run beasts in the midst of the polar vortex.  Temperatures hit -18C with a “feels like” -26C that day.  More snow fell.  But… the future was looking bright.  There was a day ahead forecast at +53C!  Truth!  Hold my beer, Ohio.

HOT Yoga you say?

HOT Yoga you say?

Then comes Saturday.  I have to run 16 miles.  Again, it’s set up with some amazing company; my friend Kelly and the phenomenal Angie (* I still haven’t quite got to the bottom of how fast she is – I almost don’t want to ask as I think it might frighten me).  I start the run alone for 4 miles and I’m sorry for the cursing, but for those 4 miles I was PISSED OFF!  The paths were full of crunchy snow, the miserable kind that banks your ankles and yanks your tendons and pings your ligaments.  And for 35 minutes, there’s me, a crazed Brit in neon pink with a flashing disco visibility device on, running around a car park uttering bad words… to MYSELF!  Then unluckily for them, luckily for me I bumped into Crystal and Danielle, who graciously absorbed my rage, completely reversed my mood and sent me off to Kelly and Angie to complete my 16 miles, happily and contentedly.

OH.. so you're happy NOW!

OH.. so you’re happy NOW!

*Then, the sun came out and she lived happily ever after.

Look no gloves! Single layer!

Look no gloves! Single layer!

This coming week’s to do list (It’s only a TOTAL down week!  Whoooperama!):

  • Medium Long:  8 miles (easy pace)
  • Long: 12 miles
  • Other: 10 x 100m strides

Weekly total:  37 miles (how funny that this seems like an easy week)

My Weekly Inner Philosophical Debate:  Which Weather is best?

As I’ve ranted enough about weather really, I just wanted to include a short bit about weather generally; a question I guess… opinions gratefully received:  What do you prefer:  Training in freezing, dark conditions for a potentially warm spring marathon, or training in hot, humid sunshine for a potentially cool autumn/fall one?

I asked my coach’s view as that always guarantees wisdom (and has a lovely calming effect).  His view, and I paraphrase slightly was:  Jackie, if you are going to LIVE and RACE in a climate that does snow, rain, ice, sun, wind and sleet, then you’ve got to RUN in snow, rain, ice, sun, wind and sleet.  I think it roughly translated as:  Suck it up, Buttercup. (Always tough love from this guy).  And he went on to say, quite rightly, that race day weather can never be chosen.  Indeed, this year’s London Marathon was the hottest on record.  And I think it’s safe to say I’ve seen all weathers in one week in the crazy land of Ohio.

The one thing he advocates strongly, is a winter season of Cross Country.  Here in America, I’m not sure if this exists.  It’s definitely something my friend’s teenage sons do at school, but I’m not sure there’s a grown up version?  In the UK, my running club do a season of events through the winter, which, frankly to me seem terrifying.  Look – look at these fiends, in their vests, in the freezing cold, with all that muddy… countryside!

WhatsApp Image 2019-02-04 at 14.40.57

The idea is pure racing, no pace goals, just you, the countryside and a load of other nutters.  Apparently, it builds mental and physical strength and endurance ready to start training for the Spring marathons.  *Maybe one day (eyes look left and right nervously).

Anyway, in conclusion, I’ve moaned about weather, but hey, I still ran the 45 miles pretty much exactly to plan.  Haters gonna hate, runners gotta run – just no broken teeth PLEASE!