After Iceman, I usually feel down in the dumps. The bike racing season is over, and then if you needed a further kick in the teeth, it's super cold and it gets dark at 5pm. Yaaay. When you live in a frozen hellscape like Michigan, it's sort of a big deal to have something to look forward to during 6 months of darkness and cold. My XC skiing friends are stoked, but I can't really afford another hobby that involves carbon anything, so it's a bit of a scramble to find something to look forward to, keep myself active, and burn off my cookie-a-day addiction.
This year, I'm going to focus on being a joggist. Runner? Whatever they're called. People who run around in the snow and the cold and the dark - for fun. This past summer, I really got into running, and I'm excited to get back to it. There are a lot of benefits to waddling (my version of running) and it's a great change-up to cycling. Here's why I like running. Jogging. Waddling. Whatever it is I do in my Nikes.
1. It Doesn't Take Up Much Time
In peak cycling season, I need 90 minutes to get tired out, even if I'm really putting down the watts. Not so with running. Even when I'm in really good running shape, I can do a 45-minute run and be absolutely wiped out. I burn almost the same amount of calories running in half the time of cycling, so it's a good ROI (business jargon!) especially when the days are short.
2. It's Cheap
A pair of $60 shoes will last you 6 months. And that's it. No tune-ups, no flat tires, no carbon upgrades. If you really want to get competitive - and you should - most races are like $35 and go to charity. There's something really cool (and humbling) about trying something new, getting your butt kicked, and learning that these joggists (waddlers - is that what we're going with?) are extremely dedicated to what they do. As much or more so, one will realize, as us cyclists are about riding our bikes. Props, you runnists.
To keep you motivated (you can substitute "motivated" with "accountable" if you wish) you should sign up for a race. I recommend the Farmland 5K. It's a 5K run, and you can also do a 12-mile bike ride to boost your ego after getting whooped in the run by the 5th-grade girls track team from every elementary school in town.
3. It's Easy to Get Fast When You're So Slow to Start With
My first run this winter was 3.5 miles and I ran an average of 8:20 miles. When I was an obese 3rd grader, I think I could have beaten that pace. But what I love about running is that I'm so terrible when I start the season, I can quickly go from a complete laughing stock to almost decent in just a few weeks. In cycling, I have to wait for months to shave 30 seconds off my SOL time - the conditions have to be right, I have to weigh the right amount and get in the right group to make it happen, too. With running, I'll take a full minute off my average mile time and it'll take like 2 weeks to get there - I'm basically Forest Gump in less than a month!
If you live in TC and want to run, jog, or waddle with me, just send me an email. It might be slow. It might be ugly. But it's better than sitting on the couch.
And just remember. It's only a few months until it's bike time again.