What am I doing in Canada in January? I hate cold weather! I should have known it would be bitter cold and I would dread stepping outside in sub-zero temperatures. How could I forget that the last time I returned to Canada in the winter I stayed for two weeks and then bought a ticket to South America for three months to escape freezing cold temperatures? Even more puzzling to me is the fact that I have accepted a short-term job for 10 weeks. (Temporary insanity caused by cold weather.) Otherwise, I would embark on a trip to a warmer destination for a few months instead of complaining about our horrible winter weather.
It goes without saying that no matter how hard I try, it is impossible for me to venture outside for a run in the arctic conditions that we are experiencing in eastern Canada. This month has seen daytime highs of -15 to -20 with wind chills putting the real conditions closer to -25 to -30. This may sound like perfect conditions for outdoor rinks and cross-country ski trails but, cross-country skiing is proving to be a challenge on the frozen snow. In spite of my recent lessons, I still manage to take a stumble from time to time, which is a bit unnerving because I find it so cold when I land flat on an icy trail.
Thank goodness I purchased a treadmill in the fall after a few rainy days so I would have a back-up plan for bad weather days. I used it several times in November and December but now I am using it on a regular basis. In fact, I have not run outside in 2013!
For the most part, I have been doing a one hour workout on the treadmill every second day. I start with a ten minute warm-up, followed by 4 miles in 38-40 minutes, and then a ten minute cool-down. Any longer than an hour on the machine seems like it will never end, but I force myself to do a five-mile run at least once a week.
A couple of days ago, when it was too cold to do anything outside, I created a running calendar in Excel for 2013. I am using it to track my miles and pace on a weekly, monthly and yearly basis. It is quite easy to use and a great way to monitor my progress or lack of progress. I have included the spreadsheet if anyone wants to download it and use or adapt it.