10 reasons to keep running all winter long and things from last night.

The answer to the below question asked on the cover of the book that I just got in the mail—>  REALLY BAD.

Loved this part.. he nailed it:  “To become the best athlete you can be, you need to become really good at coping with the characteristic forms of discomfort and stress that the endurance sports experiences dishes out, beginning with perceived effort and extending to the many challenges that are secondary to it, such as fear of failure.  You must discover, practice, and perfect the coping skills that conquer these challenges most effectively.  My own term for a highly developed overall coping capacity in endurance sports is mental fitness.”

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It was a gorgeous night.  

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And Brooke almost passed out when she saw Christmas lights out already.

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We shared a sandwich and soup together at Zupas and clearly I am a great dinner date because I can get her laughing pretty hard.

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Brooke joined in on a zumba class.

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And she shot some hoops.

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And then we were both wasted by 8:13 pm.  I could have gone to bed at 7 last night and been happy.

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Check out my post on Women’s Running HERE… miles really do change us.  

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You’d think that we as runners would take the winters off.  Ya know, the freezing temps and ice should keep us inside waiting patiently for spring to hit so that we can get back to running but NO… we keep running through the cold and dark months.  If you need a little extra motivation to keep up with your running I thought I’d share the 10 reasons why I run through the winter.  

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1.  Because we GET to run so we like to take advantage of that blessing 12 months of the year.  

2.  I feel like most of the winter involves me rushing from house to the car/car to the house and so I don’t get a lot of fresh air.  Running gives me that fresh air and sunlight (when it is out) that our bodies naturally crave.  

3.  Because the fact that it is dark and cold outside puts a damper on my attitude about everything and running seems to lift my spirits right back up to normal… those endorphins.  Magical.  

4.  Because we are a heck of a lot tougher than quitting because those silly temperatures are not what we wish they would be.

5.  You don’t have to start all over again.  It’s always crazy to me how long it takes to build back up your fitness after taking time off and how quickly it goes when we take breaks.  Just keep up with it and that spring/summer running will be pretty great because you won’t have to start from zero all over again.

6.  You have to admit, those runs that happen on a fresh new blanket of snow are pretty fun.

7.  Because if you get some good winter running gear it actually isn’t that bad.  An awesome pair of running tights, a sweet jacket and gloves (with some hand warmers) can keep you nice and toasty even in the coldest of months.

8.  The holidays can be stressful and we all know that running is one of the best ways to deal with stress.

9.  People driving by seeing you running out in the cold think you are even more hardcore than ever.

10.  Because when it gets really bad out we are beyond lucky to have that little invention known as the treadmill so that we can still run and sneak in watching our favorite tv shows at the same time.  

Donut forget to check out my DONUT FORGET TO RUN shirts HERE!!!! 

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What keeps you running through the winter months??

Do you live in an area where the winter month temperatures are perfect for running?  (aka Arizona:)

Ever taken a zumba class?  Favorite group fitness class?

How have the miles changed you?

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83 comments

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Luckily it doesn’t get too cold here in NC, so winter running isn’t too terrible. There are local races in December January and February so that keeps me motivated!

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Running haschanged my life (especially running my first marathon last week!!) it’s shown my to dream big and that my body is capable of amazing things!

I can’t wait to start decorating for Christmas!! London is going to love the lights too! Santa arrives at the mall next week too! It’s my favourite holiday :)

I live in Canada so winters are cold!! I usually stick to the treadmill if it’s too cold or icy! I keep running to keep up with training (always have a goal!)

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What keeps me running through winter? Knowing how awful I’d feel if I didn’t run. Plus I’d go crazy in a week if I didn’t run…! ;)

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Winter’s actually my favorite season to run! I normally don’t love the cold but it’s amazing when I’m running for some reason. I also love the quiet and just getting outdoors when the days are short.

And miles have changed me in so many ways, and continue to, it’s incredible!

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I usually sign up for a spring race so that keeps me motivated to run thru the winter. I don’t mind the cold (unless its windy) and I don’t mind running on the treadmill, so winter doesn’t really bother me! I actually prefer the cold over heat!

I LOVE Christmas lights, so I probably would have passed out if I saw those lights too!

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Usually the weather keeps me running during the winter months….but clearly winter isn’t coming to Florida this year!

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Cute pic of Brooke at Zumba! I actually went to a class yesterday..first time in almost a year! I think I need to make it part of my routine again because it was so fun!

I love running in the snow and being outside in the winter! It feels like such a special, magical place even if I’m cursing it most of the time. But you get that one moment of calm and see all the beauty around you, and it makes up for that :)

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Winter is my favorite running weather because I live in Florida! Ha…if I lived in a cold-weather place I think I’d say the opposite.

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I live in Central Pennsylvania and our winters are FRIGID! It is really just a matter of convincing myself to get out of the door. I always come back from winter runs more refreshed and thinking, “I actually really like running in the cold!”

No I don’t take Zumba…sista has no rhythm…haha

Miles have changed me after the birth of my daughter last year. It is me time. Time to reflect and appreciate my life.

Have a great Tuesday!

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As long as there isn’t ice on the ground, I love running in the winter! Although, if it’s too cold, my phone freezes up and won’t work which means I run without music which isn’t fun but it only happens during those few really frigid weeks of winter…I took zumba a few times when I belonged to Lifetime – so fun when I would go with my friends.

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I’ll admit, running during the winter isn’t my favorite, but now that I have the right wear it isn’t so bad! Having a group to run with during the darker months helps me a lot too and when there is snow and ice on the ground there’s an added element of adventure! Those usually end up being my favorite!

Last year on a “snow day” when my office was closed and the streets were too bad to drive, I ran to a coffee shop 4 miles away and it was amazing. I ran in the middle of a street that’s usually really busy and practically had the entire shop to myself!

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I wish we would get some winter weather down here because I would LOVE an excuse to go on a running related shopping spree. I always get jealous of all of the pretty long sleeve tech tees everyone else wears! #RunnerProblems :D

Brooke looks like a natural in Zumba class! I don’t even want to know what I would look like in a dance fitness class. I can barely clap along to a beat!

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Getting fresh air and getting mentally tougher help me through those winter runs. Thankfully, it doesn’t get too awful for long in Texas!

I saw some Christmas lights on my run this morning and had the same reaction as Brooke. I love them!! :)

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It’s hard to say how running has changed me because I started running for junior high track, so it’s kind of been a life-long relationship for me. But I know that it made my high school years a lot easier. I was really self-conscious and had poor self-esteem in high school, and running gave me a much-needed reason to have confidence in myself.

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I have to post and say that the hills of northern Alabama are pretty fantastic for winter running! We get a looooong fall where it stays in the 50s, and then a pretty mild rainy winter with only a few days below freezing.

Now, summer on the other hand…

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I love running in the snow!! One of my favorite runs every year is that first day it snows since it is so pretty to run through. I could do without the icy days, but I do enjoy getting outside when I know I will spend the rest of the days indoors.

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I live in Florida so we are coming up on our best running months! I’ve never taken Zumba (too scared!!) but my favorite group x class is BODYPUMP :)

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I couldn’t agree more about winter running.
I’m probably going to be scaling back though to allow injuries to heal but I can’t wait for some sub zero temp runs and fresh fallen snow runs too. :)

Every mile makes me more comfortable in my own skin.

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You can’t train for Boston when you take the winter off :)

Boston winters –> The very worst. I basically did all my running on the treadmill last winter, with the exception of my long runs. With all the snow we got, the roads were beyond treacherous.

I haven’t taken a zumba class, but I really want to! It looks SO fun. Right now my favorite fitness class is BodyPump.

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I run during the winter, but indoors because I’m worried about slipping and falling outside or getting whacked by a car. I tried zumba once and LOVED it, but it was so much harder than I thought it would be! My heart rate was off the charts!

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During the winter months, I do a hybrid of cross country skiing and running to ratchet up my V02 max. What keeps me running is the goals I set for spring!

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I take my run indoors. It gets cold here in Michigan!

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Thanks for a great post! Running in Boston can be tough (lasts winter we had over 100 inches of snow!), but I continue to run outside for many of the reasons you listed! Also, I’ve realized that compared to many other outdoor winter activities, running does keep me warm- so once you get going, the cold isn’t an issue. I’d rather run in cooler temps than hot weather actually! :)

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Winter running shouldn’t be bad here in Seattle, since we don’t get snow and ice and the temperatures stay mild. I used to take my winter running to the treadmill to avoid icy patches when I lived in the Midwest.

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Here in Florida everything is backwards. Our best running months are coming up! Fall is late for us this year- today it is going to be 90 degrees (sob.)

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I wish I lived in Florida! I wasn’t born to endure winters…

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This post is what I needed to see! I start training for a marathon in a few weeks and it’s already tough for me to get outside in the cold..and I live in Arizona, lol. But northern Arizona is a little different :P My favorite fitness class so far has been Body Pump..that was killer!

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I live in the UK, so winter isn’t that extreme at all. We might get a week of snow if we’re lucky/unlucky (delete as appropriate). The US is such a country of extremes; UK weather is dull, but very hospitable for running :)

That said, I am always nervous about injuring myself if it’s at all icy, and get really cold hands when I run – so I would love to know what winter running gear you/your readers recommend. I presume if it keeps you upright and stops your hands from falling off in real winter, it should do the trick here in London!!

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I have such a hard time getting out the door during the winter, but I love running in the cold/snow. It’s peaceful!

The miles have helped me push myself. I used to say I would never run a marathon, but that was mostly because I secretly thought I couldn’t do it. I ran my first full last month and it has shown me that I can do so much more than I thought I could if I set my mind to it.

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I definitely like feeling hardcore when I’m running in the winter and I think being out in the little sunshine we get makes a huge difference in my mood.

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I don’t mind bundling up like a snowman and running in the winter!! The hardest part is the dark and the fear of ice. The only time I can run in the daylight is on the weekends. But honestly, I would rather have the freezing cold and dodge some snow drifts than run in the 100% humidity in July ;)

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I hate running in the cold! I WISH i lived somewhere in the south where it was warm year round but I am no so lucky in Ohio. :(

That book sounds great!! I love motivational books like that, they really can give some serious inspiration!

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Zumba classes are a lot of fun! It’s cute that Brooke joined in! I do Zumba at home when my back can handle by using a game I have for the Wii.

I’ve never done much with outdoor sports from Oct-March-ish because I’ve never been able to get my lungs to handle it. It literally feels like they’re freezing from the inside out and I’m just going to explode.

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I run so I can eat all the Christmas cookies :)

Plus … I totally agree that it’s the best to be able to wake up whenever on the weekend and go for a long run cause you aren’t worried about the heat!

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I really want to read that book! I am also chasing a 3 hour marathon (in May so I have a lot of time to get there) and I want it like nothing else! I came across this post by Mark Manson I think you will like. The most imporant question in life isn’t “what do you want” but “what are you willing to struggle for”. I know I am willing to struggle to keep running!

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What keeps me running through the winter months and how the miles have changed me are one in the same: with every mile I am one step closer to the woman I want to be for myself, for my future family, and for God. The miles remind me of who I am and how I can move forward to become my true self. I can’t stop growing in the winter either!
Also, peppermint flavored anything= best winter running bribe I know.

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The treadmill saves me in the cold and dark months during the weekdays. But on the weekends it keeps me ready to go for a long run in crisp, cold weather and that is my favorite.

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I actually own a treadmill but use it more as a closet to hang my random clothes on! ;) If given the option I always choose to run outside. AR doesn’t get UT cold but it definitely has its wintery days. I have a few races lined up though to train for so I have to tough it out anyways! :)

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I have a really hard time running in anything under 55 degrees. I have onset asthma so cold makes things bad. I run on the treadmill most of the time in the winter.

I love kara’s pump class on Mondays at vasa. She’s awesome.

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I always try and remind myself most of my PRs come from Spring races and those races are trained in the winter. I don’t mind running on the treadmill because you can get a good pace, etc. Love this post Janae!

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I actually enjoy winter running because my pace is always faster:) I also like how I don’t have to wash my hair as often after workouts since you sweat less- ha! I do not like single digit temps or ice though!

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I’m going to have to check out that book. I could use some help in the mental game when things get tough!!
It gets cold and icy around here. I don’t mind running outside too much but I have to do it for endurance because my paces aren’t great in the snow or ice for sure!

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Winter running is no joke here in WI. The right gear and knowing when to take it inside is important! I agree with all your reasons so continuing to run through the winter.
The miles have changed me in so many amazing ways. I’ve learned I am capable of more than I give myself credit for and that taking care of and accepting my body for what it does not what it is, is SO freeing!

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I run outside all winter. I avoid the treadmill as much as possible!!!! I usually enjoy it in the beginning but by February I am pretty tired of it. I always tell myself it is not that bad. Usually once I get going it really isn’t as cold as I thought it would be.
It is important to have a few pieces of really nice winter running clothes…it makes all the difference!!!!
I live in MD so it gets cold, but before that I lived in IL and IA so I have always had cold winters :)…..not sure why. I am pretty sure I should be living in Hawaii or FL!!!

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I don’t mind running in the cold, the right gear makes a huge difference, but I do not like running in the dark! I think I’ll be sticking with the treadmill during the week since it doesn’t get light out until it’s too late for me to run before work and then gets dark before I leave work; but I definitely plan to run outside on the weekend this winter when I can go mid-day!

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I enjoy running in the winter to a POINT. If my hands get cold, then I get cranky! Ha! Even though it’s hard to get out the door it is so refreshing and wonderful once I am running!

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Hi Janae!

I was wondering does any portion of money made from the HRG T-shirts go to a charity?

Thanks
Denae

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Last year was so awful in Massachusetts and I used it as an excuse to NOT RUN A STEP! This year I am target three half marathons starting in January so NO EXCUSES. You are so right about how awful it is to start fresh again in Spring if you take all winter off. Took me so long. I’m just now starting to feel like a runner again (slight exaggeration).
I received my copy of that book yesterday! Can’t wait to start on the mental strength.

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NYC winters are generally not fun, I ran in 17 degree weather and snow last year. (It wasn’t Boston snow but it was a lot)! Knowing I was training for a marathon and I had people to run with helped. Especially on dark dreary mornings. When it was ice I stayed on the treadmill (including one long run).

I feel like I can do anything if I can run 18 miles. I think running has made me stronger mentally and physically and I was pretty tough to start out with. ;) It’s given me some great friendships as well as space to be alone and clear my head.

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I live in Phoenix so yes, we get to run outside in the winter. BUT technically our summers are so hot you could actually say we’re equal. Are you still teaching spin classes? I haven’t heard you talk about them in awhile.

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I live in Texas. Our summers are extremely hot. Our LOW is often the mid 80’s and that lasts for weeks on end. I drop back my miles a lot and fall marathons would mean doing the bulk of your training in extreme heat. Very difficult.
So yep, I look forward to winter running. We might get the occasional ice storm or freak snow flurry but winter running is far better for me then summer running in my neck of the woods.

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I took January off last year and completely regretted it when I started training for a half marathon. I love running and am going to try and push through it this winter!

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I live in Arizona, so the weather is just perfect right now for running at anytime of the day. But we still lose the light so it gets hard to go out before or after work when it is dark.
Favorite group fitness class = yoga, then spin. I tried step once and I couldn’t keep up and had no idea what the instructor was saying.

Miles constantly change me. They break me down and build me back up on each run.

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I was totally “meh” last winter with running, and paid for it when I trained for a half by basically just doing long runs on the weekends and that was it. Quad strain and rest when I didn’t actually want it – in the beginning of Spring! So this year, I’m on the hunt for a treadmill so I can keep up my early-morning runs through New England winter and keep up long runs on the weekends outside.

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Winter is the best time for running in Florida. Our summer months are like your winter months. I stay outside as long as I can and then I transition to the treadmill. Since it has still been hot, I watched You Tube music videos while running. This way I can easily and quickly click on the next one. The time went by so fast. Races here are usually scheduled during the cooler months but there are some in the summer. This year is a bit different, it is still hot in November. We have had over 5 days over 90 degrees in November, which broke the record. The last time we had even one 90 degree day in November was 1942 (this fact was from our weatherman. But, hopefully it will be cooling down soon. I always plan my races for the winter :) I love the cool air while running. Your book sounds amazing and your Doughnut shirts, so cute but not quite as cute as Brooke. :) New puppy is a lot of work. It is like having a new baby. They are so cute so it makes up for it :)

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I took my first Zumba class in September and had a lot of fun. Before I thought it was just for old ladies, but I’m now hooked. I usually go at least a couple times a month.

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I love running in the winter (I live in NYC but from MN) and have never minded the colder temps – it really is about dressing properly. I think my favorite part is that it’s less busy on those cold days. I remember last winter my friend and I went running on a really cold day in Central Park and there was maybe only 5 other people in the park with us. How often can one pretty much get the park to themselves?! Never! So I really appreciate times like that.

I am incredibly bad at zumba. Just not coordinated enough. I do really enjoy spin or yoga classes.

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Your 10 Reasons to Keep Running All Winter Long are very timely! I was just telling a friend on our run this morning that I want to keep my mileage up this winter! I live in Kansas and it can get SO stinkin’ cold (especially for this southern raised girl)! I was just looking at the “My Gear” tab on your blog and saw that you have the Brooks Utopia jacket linked as your favorite winter running jacket. Would you still say that’s your favorite and if so, what temperatures do you usually wear it in? (I’m needing to purchase some winter running gear.) Thanks!!

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I usually run during winter months because I eat toooooo much during the holidays.
Food keeps me going

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it doesnt really get cold enough here to snow or ice…its still cold but i can run outside and not want to murder someone from being so cold. although i totally feel hardcore when a car drives by when Im 8 miles in…only the dedicated keep on running!

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It doesn’t get too cold here in San Diego and I actually prefer to run during these months! It’s actually at a temperature where I don’t end up sweating before I reach 0.10 of a mile!

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I don’t mind running in the winter, especially with friends to make the cold/dark less daunting. If the snow is good though I’ll take skiing over running any day (xc, skate skiing, downhill). It’s a fun changeup but keeps me in shape. Then I’m hungry to start running again in the spring.

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I love that list! Especially #8! But honestly, living in Florida, you really welcome the “colder months”. ;)

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I signed up for my first half-marathon in January, that’s going to keep me running through this Texas Winter! I’ve never taken Zumba, but I’d love to. The miles have made me truly appreciate running and the feeling I get from it.

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Number 11 – Because the house has never felt so warm after you come back from a run in the cold… :) Yeah, we have decorations out in the shops and streets of Northern Ireland, my next door neighbour even have those Christmas candles in their windows already.. I’m using the winter months to really try and improve my shorter distances, so that when the Spring comes around I’ll be in good shape for half marathons :)

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I love your number 3. Miles really are magical. The winter training weather is perfect in St. George for a spring marathon, so that keeps me running. When it’s too dark or cold I run on the treadmill in the morning, and after teaching I can usually squeeze in a few more “sunny and sixties” miles.

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Amen to #8! Also, can we talk for a second about how running in the cold is awesome because you can’t tell you’re sweating even when you are?! I love how refreshing the cold is and how much faster I feel compared to running in heat and humidity.

Thank you for sharing how your miles have changed you. My miles have taught me the beauty and value in suffering, and they have brought much healing to my mind and spirit. Over the past year, I’ve grown more thankful for body’s ability to get stronger and perform better and better. Whenever I feel self-conscious about my body, I think about what it is capable of doing relative to what it could do even a few months ago. Running teaches you how to live, and that’s enough reason to keep it up through the dark winter days. :-)

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Living in Minot makes running year round difficult. I secretly feel super bad a#@ when I’m out and it’s – temps and still hard at it….nothing is better then running after a snow fall….or better yet, when it’s night, still snowing, and everything seems super quiet; my favorite time to run!

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I moved to Minneapolis and then signed up for a spring marathon… eek! I don’t mind running in the cold but if there’s any chance of ice on the ground it makes me super nervous to run outside.

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I don’t normally like running outside in the winter especially when it’s snowing or there’s a chance for ice on the road. I mostly ran indoors last winter.

I like Barre. It works your whole body. I’ve tried Zumba and I didn’t really care for it.

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Running has saved me in so many ways and its too long of a story for a comment :). It gets COLD here. Last year we had a lot of days of negative temps and there were some days they warned against going outside!! It always feels good when I am done. And there are those perfect days, sun out and new snow. Beautiful.

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That book looks excellent, thanks kiddo! I ordered it!

I live in Canada and I run in the winter for the fresh air, the sunlight and to de-stress. The key is to dress properly…when it’s really cold out, it feels awesome to be out running in your own warm little cocoon :)

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Where I live, winter can last months upon months upon months….We’ve had snow in July!!! If you wait for perfect weather here, you’re never going to get outside. I actually really enjoy running in the winter – most people retreat indoors and my favorite trails belong to me! I can allow my dog off the leash and feel free to belt out the 80s pop without abandon.

I cannot imagine enjoying zumba – it’s just not my thing. I did just try hot yoga last night and it was HARD but I’m definitely going to keep going.

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That picture of you running in front of those naked trees is really cool! You should have it printed and framed!

This year, training for the Austin Marathon (2/14) will keep me running through the winter.

Although, when you say winter in Texas, it really doesn’t mean the same thing as winter for some of you ;)

I have taken zumba! It was fun, but my fave fitness classes are Spin or Body Pump.

The miles have made me believe in myself in a way I never thought possible! #cornybuttrue

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Do you have any advice for dealing with ice? I love to run in the cold but a lot of times I get derailed during the winter because I am afraid of falling. I live in Buffalo so roads/sidewalks get pretty bad at times.

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Unless it’s 20* or below I’m out running in the winter. I live in NC, which usually has mild winters. We have quite a few marathons starting in Feb that go through May, so taking off can’t happen if you want to do well.

I’ve never done Zumba, but I teach BodyPump and RPM (CX Worx soon) and I LOVE IT!!

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I can’t begin to think of your winter temperatures! I just did my third marathon 3.5 weeks ago and trained in Australia winter – so mild and am sure not what you consider cold :) And now after recovery and coming back into our summer running with 90% humidity and high temperatures! OMG!!!! Where is my pace gone!?! Hoping it is just marathon fatigue plus summer running! I’d take cold any day. But not too cold!

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I live in Michigan and I really love running in the snow :) super peaceful!

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I’ll just say “DITTO” to your article on how the miles have changed you. All those wasted hours thinking about weight, calories, etc. If I could take that part of my youth back, I’d shake my younger self and tell her exactly what you expressed so well… YOU WILL ONE DAY THINK OF YOURSELF AS STRONG. And it will have absolutely nothing to do with your weight.

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Here in Wisconsin I follow the “recess” rule for winter running. At our school, the kids have outside recess if it’s 18 degrees or above; if they can go out for recess, surely I can run outside! I also run on a well-traveled bike path which is generally much clearer than sidewalks of ice and snow. Good gear is crucial!

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I live in So Cal, so there is no real “winter running” here. The most is a rainy day. BUT, I am from Ohio originally and I know what real winters are like. I love winter and even if I lived in the snow, I would still go outside and run. Miles have changed me. Miles make me a better person – Mom, wife, friend. Miles teach me that I can do anything. Miles show me that nature is so incredible and how lucky are we that we get to run!!
I have to read that book!!!
I haven’t taken a Zumba class yet!!

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I love winter running. Despite the fact that I was born and raised in central TX and am not all that fond of cold weather in general. But I also love how still and peaceful it feels and with the right gear, I hardly notice the cold. Plus I despise running on a treadmill and will brave 15 degree weather just to be able to get in some miles.

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Haha that Brooks bear is so cute!

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