Snowy Runs & Snowshoeing

Hello middle of the month already!!! Wow, can you believe we are at Jan 20th already?

Apparently today is Blue Monday, the most depressing day of the year and Sunday (Jan 19th) was quitters day according to an article on Strava! Most people quit their new fitness habit by the 19th of January…..who knew?

Last week brought us two snow storms (1 snow day for the kids) but not nearly as much as Newfoundland received. Despite the weather, I managed to get our for an evening run with my running buddy, Krystol. It’s been months since we last ran together and we took it slow because 1 – the roads were covered in snow and 2 – we talked a lot and can’t run fast and talk at the same time.

I jumped on my bike Thursday night as it was storming outside and I didn’t want to go running that. I managed to get in a solid 21.17km while watching a new to me show ” The Blacklist”. Friday night I had a soccer game.

Saturday had both of our girls playing basketball TOGETHER for the first time ever. Not going to lie, I may have teared up once while watching them…..proud mama here. It was our youngest’s first game and she did awesome. Birthday parties and errands took over the rest of our day.

Sunday, I thought it would be a great idea to go on a family snowshoe hike as we were getting more snow. It was a great idea but wasn’t the easiest or fun for all. We hike around 2.77km and stopped for hot chocolate along the way. The girls bush-wacked their way through the woods while my husband, Carmacks and I took the trail. Some shovelling and snow blowing the driveway and we were all done at that point.

Needless to say, we were all pretty exhausted going to bed last night. Not much running last week but a whole lot of fun (well, 98% of the time).

Anyone quit their new fitness habits?

Anyone else out playing in the snow with their kids?

Snowy Running

This time of year usually brings lots of snow to Nova Scotia, however it can be hit or miss depending on the temperatures. At the moment we have a few cm of snow on the ground, enough to make winter running a challenge.

Depending on the roads, I either run in just my sneakers or I throw on my yak tracks like I did this weekend. There are few people that put studs (or screws) on an older pair of sneakers and that works too. I’m thinking of putting some screws on a pair when I don’t want to wear my yak tracks but want some stability on the ice and snow.

We had a busy weekend of a basketball jamboree, library for the kids and cleaning the house for me, skating and then a Christmas sock exchange party for our kids.

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I’m not ready for Christmas and feeling completely unorganized but have a plan in place to get back on track before the holidays. It’s a different one this year as my husband who’s a paramedic works ALL Christmas 😦 It sucks big time but that’s life as we know it. We’re moving a few things around and Christmas will look a little different this year but we’re making the most of it.

Saturday afternoon while my parents were visiting and had the girls at the library, I snuck out for a 45 minute run. It was just what I needed. Yak tracks, Carmacks, snowy trails and me.

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It was bloody cold out! It was -5c (23f) but felt like -11c (12f) and though I was dressed warm it was still a cold run. Eventually, I got used the the temperatures as my body warmed up but this was my first COLD run of the winter. I basically wear the same things when I run but layer up my core as the temperature drops more.

Winter running is always slower running for me and I’m just find with that. Carmacks is loving life running with us. Between Friday running with my husband (7k) and 6k with me Saturday he sure is raking up the mileage!

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We’ve been working on turning around and running back towards the location we just came from and managed it pretty smoothly this time. It’s all a learning curve for us. It’s amazing how he can remember which way we have gone when having to decided between left (haw) and right (gee). I often didn’t even have to give him the commands (for lack of better word) to tell him which way to turn, he remember through scent I guess. He does not like stopping to pose for a photo!

How was your weekend?

Anyone else running in the snow?

What’s your best tip for snowy runs?

 

How to Run During Winter in Canada

Winter running has lots of challenges. What do you wear? How do you layer? What should you wear on your feet? How long should you run in the cold? Why do your lungs BURN?!?!

Yes, all those thoughts go through my mind when winter temperatures start gracing us in Nova Scotia. It usually only takes one run to (rudely) remind me of what piece of gear I was missing in order to make it a good run. I was recently asked what I wear on my runs to stay warm/safe. These are only my opinions, please share your tips in the comments.

Running in Winter in Eastern Canada

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Keep Your Feet Happy

We can have lots of snow in the winter but our conditions are always changing. If the roads are clear (sidewalks included), I usually just wear my normal running sneakers. However, don’t expect them to last after the winter months as the salt from the roads can take a toll on them.

I also have a pair of “gator” liners that you wear like socks. They keep your feet extremely warm and dry if you have to run through slush. I feel like I’m putting on a wet suit for my feet.

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Last year (or the year before), I invested in a really good pair of Yak Tracks for running on the snow and ice. Yes, sometimes we run on ice folks! You need some kind of traction under your sneakers for snow and ice, otherwise you’ll end up on your butt and/or injured. I’ve yet to try spikes in my sneakers but I plan to get a set to try out soon.

Warm Legs

It’s never fun running with cold legs. I wear anything from running tights to thermal running tights. If it is extremely cold, I wear a wicking base layer  (merino wool long underwear) under my thermal tights. My thighs get really cold in the winter and stay cold for hours after a run so I’ve got to layer up.

Keep Your Core Warm

I also have two options for my core. Right now (0c to -15c) I usually wear three layers. A thank top, a long sleeve base layer and then, a jacket. Any colder (think adding on windchill to those temps), I wear a long sleeved base layer, VEST for my core, then a jacket. I want to keep my core warm when I run.

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Neck Up

I wear anything from a Buff to ski/neck warmer that covers up to my nose. Honestly, if I have to cover my face that badly during a run, I’m really pushing it and I should just get on my treadmill. I also wear my sunglasses as I find the when the sun hits the snow it can be blinding.

I wear a running hat and reflective gear. I have a pair of running gloves that I wear however, on really cold days I double up and wear a pair of mittens over top.

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Some Tips & Tricks to a Good Winter Run

  • Pee before you run. Your body tries to keep your urine warm, therefore heat is being taking away from your extremities (hands, feet). An empty bladder means warmer extremities. This is a winter camping trick that I use all the time.
  • The first few km/miles of your run are going to be cold while you warm up. Keep running, it will get better. If it doesn’t, call it a day.
  • Dress in enough layers but not too many – this can be tricky.
  • Test out your run. Take your first kilometre close to home or where you park your car. That way, if you are still cold after 5-6 minutes, you can add on another layer.
  • Cut your run short if you have to. No shame.
  • Don’t worry about your pace, focus on just running.

So, here’s to lots of great winter runs, warm hands and feet and good km/miles in your running shoes!

What’s your best winter tip you have?

What’s your favourite piece of WINTER running gear?

What’s the coldest temps you’ll run in?

Quick conversions: +5C = 41F  /   0C = 32 F  /  -5C = 23F   / -10C =  32F   /   -15C =  5F

 

Treadmill Runs and Snowy Winter Runs

Though it’s not officially winter, we are now in winter running mode in Nova Scotia. We only have a little snow on the ground but the temps sure have dropped a lot recently. I was rudely reminded of how unprepared I was to run in these temps.

Living on the east coast of Canada, we can get a lot of snow. I love snow as it means I can ski (downhill and cross country), snowshoe and play outside with my kids.I don’t always love shoveling the snow and am thankful I have a snowblower.

Saturday

After a busy day with the girls, I jumped on the #merrymill after 8pm for a quick 5k as I missed a few days of runs and workouts. It was a struggle but I also challenged myself a little more on the speed so it’s my own fault. I was warm, watched “This Is Us” and tried to hold back the tears at the end, ran upstairs mid run for my water since I forgot it and didn’t have to layer up with clothing.

Bonus: Christmas lights on my treadmill, oh yeah!

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Sunday

I managed to get out for a longer run. I was really hoping to run over 10km but was limited on time as my husband had to go to work. It was bloody cold out but I felt like I had enough on: base later was a tank, then long sleeve smart wool shirt and my jacket; buff around my neck, thermal running pants, long socks, toque and gloves.

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The first few minutes I was freezing but I warmed up quickly and had the wind at my back. I knew this would come back to be unforgiving when I had to run against it on my way home. I ran out 4.5 km and turned around and felt completely done.

My stride was off due to the snow and ice underneath. I didn’t care about my pace but just wanted that distance. The wind was whipping through my running pants and my thighs were significantly cold – this is normal for me. However, I could have put another pair of pants underneath – lesson learned.

In the end, I managed 9k completed and was physically drained. I don’t want to come off as complaining about my run but it was a good challenge and I’m glad I completed what I did.

I love running outside but sure am thankful I have a treadmill to run on when my husband is away/working. Plus I love the advantage of staying warm in the winter when I run on the treadmill. However, there is nothing more satisfying then running in the cold temps, feeling the burn on your lungs and getting any distance completed. Okay, maybe there is…but I’ll take a treadmill run or run in the snow any day.

Snow Storm!

We are about to get a dumping of snow today: 15-20 cm of the white stuff so, I’m pretty sure I’ll be out doing the driveway at some point with my husband. Nothing says “date night” like shoveling your driveway, eh! Don’t be jealous! Check out my Instagram for snow storm updates!

Anyone have a snowy run? 

Favourite trick for keeping warm on longer runs?

Would you prefer to shovel the snow, use a snowblower or pay someone else to do it?

Hurrrrryyyyyy HARD and Run!

That’s what I felt like on my run today! I wasn’t necessarily in a hurry but it sure was HARD! I was running on packed snow, slush, patches of ice and more hard packed snow. Lesson learned – it’s friggin’ hard running on snow.

I packed my bags early in the morning with the intentions of working out at lunch. Running gear and indoor workout gear (T25 DVD)…I few options depending on how I felt. It was such a beautiful sunny day, yet slightly cold too but I chose to run outside. Crazy Canadian Girl 😉 The plan was 3 – 4 km depending on how I felt.

Feb 18 Run Kentville

This was the best conditions I encountered!

The Run: I decided to run in a completely different direction then I would normally and slowly remembered why I never ran that way before. Hills, hills and more hills….but I nailed them! I may have slowed down my pace a little but I still manage to climb each hill, hurrrrraying HARD. Yes, that’s a curling reference…I’m all over the Olympics, guys!!

I was almost finished my run and was running down a nice little hill when I came face-to-face with a little sidewalk snow plow! My hands went up in the air and I screamed at the guy! Not because he was going fast but because I was in such shock to come face-to-face with a snow plow on the side-walk at lunch time. I quickly jumped over the snow bank onto the road, let it pass and we both had a good laugh, then I jumped back over the snow bank and onto the sidewalk. Hurdles, anyone?

I was nearing my finish point and saw my Green Garmin click 4.50 km so I kept running until I hit 5k. I finished with one soaker, loads of mud/salt/dirt up the back of my body and completely spent! I can 5 k (3.1 miles) in 33 minutes – not bad for me considering the conditions of the sidewalks.

I got back to the office and felt great…well, except my poor old lady’s back. It started bothering me right away. Sure wish all my Phyiso appointments and exercises at home would pay off one of these days.

So, I hurrrrrrayed HARD today on my run and it felt great.

Now to rest by the fire and catch up on some blogs and the Olympics.

Ever come face-to-face with a snow pow while out on a run?

What’s the hardest ground conditions you’ve run in?

And of course….what Olympic competition are you waiting to see? Me, Women’s doubles bobsled – go Heather (We met her last year and got to hold her medal!!!), WOMEN’s and MEN’s hockey! 

Canadian Gold Medalist - Heather Moyse - Bobsledding.

GO CANADA GO!

GO CANADA GO!

GO CANADA GO!

Cheers, Piper.