The polar vortex and running

I'll be the first to admit that I am far from being the only runner frustrated with the weather right now. The "polar vortex" is getting on my last nerve and I know I'm not alone in this sentiment. It's left me cranky enough that I didn't feel like writing about running for a week or so here. Blech.

Tempo Tuesdays
Tempo Tuesdays

Treadmill running during the polar vortex
Polar vortex treadmill running is getting on my last nerve!

I'm running, on the treadmill, but running. I'm still trying to stick to my Illinois Marathon training plan. I'm also trying to be realistic. My main goal with the Illinois Marathon was a PR (who doesn't ever have that goal), but the PR needs to follow a happy and well-done training cycle. I don't have to run a Spring marathon, I'm not a professional runner, there is no reason I must run one other than for my own personal reasons. Right now I'm trying to figure out if I will be short-changing myself on this training cycle with the polar vortex ruining the joy of running. I don't know the answer right now *sigh*.

I want my next marathon to be joyful. I run because I actually enjoy running. It gives me a stress release, it is a feel-good, and it keeps me fit and healthy. When running becomes a burden, that is when I scale back and re-group. I don't want running to ever become something I dread. I don't want to go to bed at night dreading the next day's run.

Running 14+ miles on the treadmill is dreadful. I don't know who enjoys it. And right now I'm looking at another marathon training cycle with double-digit runs on the beast of a machine. I know so many momma runners must be on it and there are times I have no choice either due to weather or childcare. I totally get why we use the treadmill and I am a fan of using it from time to time. But having 2 months trapped on it during this training cycle is going to be worse than usual.

We'll see how I feel in another week or two. I've decided that if it looks like we're all stuck indoors for another month, I'll scale back the Illinois Marathon to a Half (assuming they let me) and shoot for a Fall marathon. Dang it!

Forgive me, the polar vortex has made a crabby runner out of me at the moment.

Breathe deep. Look at kitties to calm the nerves.

Johnny found a new sitting spot
Johnny found a new sitting spot



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  1. It gets better, we are all chaffing at the bit to actually get some quality runs in outside without having to bundle up to ridiculous levels. Notice I said quality, most of my runs outside have not reached that level - they are more survival than something to write home about.

    I have made my peace with the treadmill and 11-12 miles is about my limit, at that point it becomes a self-defeating prospect. However, I do love the treadmill for running and doing speed work, the people around me might not be crazy about the old fart sweating, farting, burping and breathing heavily, all the while pounding on the treadmill mercilessly. It is working though and while I don't count the pace the same as I do outside I do feel I am getting a bit faster than I was a few months ago.

    You are right though, we abuse our bodies because we want to (yes we are sick), not because we are pros and have the option to change our goals, training and race whenever the hell we feel like it. After all we are not getting appearance money, we are giving them our money to be there - big difference :-)

    Enjoy and keep running fun - the warmth will be here soon.

    1. You are right, I need to keep reminding myself it will get warmer :) I've been keeping that phrase "quality run" in my thoughts lately too. Even if I do get out, the runs won't be quality any time soon until all of the ice melts. Hopefully this awful cold front will die down soon.

  2. I'd only enjoy running 14+ miles on the treadmill if the weather outside was really, really awful! Yes, joyful marathons are always good!

    1. I'm so envious of your weather right now! :)