Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Winter Running – The Running Streak Continues

Shame on me, I have not been blogging as much as I planned to. However, in better news I have run at least a mile every day since January 1, making today the 8th successful day of my running streak. For those of you following Track Runner on Twitter, you will be quite up to date with my running endeavors. For everybody else: Follow @TrackRunnerApp to cheer me on and hold me accountable. If I am not blogging here, I will post a tweet or Facebook message about my daily run so I can’t cheat!

I must say I am still getting used to the daily running routine. It seems to take up a lot of time planning, obsessing about weather stats (notice the subtle addition to our beta since I’ve been running in the freezing cold?), recovering, recovering some more, washing, dressing in layers, undressing the layers… you get the picture. Surprisingly, I have not had any injuries and not much pain after the rather excessive muscle ache of the first three days and I have a feeling I get into a rhythm as far as the running is concerned. The cold is a clear motivator not to be too slow or stagnant.

run1-6-2014diary1Another thing that really motivates me is to combine doing errands with running. I’ve “dashed” to the local CVS for some toothpaste and even visited “nearby” Newton Centre (a 9 km roundtrip) where I treated myself to some Starbucks coffee before returning in the darkness. Instead of using the cardio equipment at the gym, I run as a warm up (how ironic given therun1-6-2014diary4 current temps) and simply do lifting after some recovery.

I know many people run to clear their head or have time to think but somehow I have not yet reached a state where I can do that. Possibly because I have been mainly running on sidewalks and roads (parks etc. seem a bit too dangerous at the moment with frozen over puddles galore) and in the merciless cold, running feels more like a survival training than a quality “me-time.” I think that’s why I am very much into having a clear destination for a run, it feels better to have achieved something and be able to say: Hey, who needs a car. Look what I have accomplished on my own two feet. :)

Speaking of “achieving something” – of course I am testing Track Runner in extreme conditions and although it’s not always plain sailing, it helps a lot with development to run with and experience the app and the progress on a day to day basis. May of the newer additions were inspired by runs in the last 8 days. It is thanks to my Newton Centre trip in the dark that we have been experimenting with live tracking as a safety net. It was me typing in weather information by hand in a tedious back and forth between weather app and Track Runner that made us add weather data by default. But we have also received many requests and user feedback that helped us improve the app. Big cheers to our beta testers, who are eagerly playing with the new features to make them “release-worthy”!

run1-6-2014diary2run1-6-2014diary3I hope you enjoy reading about my winter running and drop in again soon when I write more about the gear that makes running in the cold bearable.

Until then, stay warm and happy.



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