Tuesday, 17 January 2012

The Dark of Winter

At 07:10 this morning I spied a fairly good chunk of the horizon transforming into a brilliant, light blue. As my bowl of porridge steamed up the window, I made a tiny squeal of delight as the days are finally getting noticeably longer and sooner than we know, we’ll be out before and after work in broad daylight doing as much riding/running/dancing in the street as our hearts desire.

Winter is a hard time for training, finding the motivation to haul yourself out of that lovely, warm bed and get out in the frosty darkness is tough and, even as a verifiable morning lover, my bed has still won the battle on a few occasions.

It’s not just the dark and the wet and the cold though: I would argue that winter kit faff is one of the biggest factors of training schedule non-conformance. Instead of chucking on your shorts and popping out for a cheery run in the sun, you have to carefully assess how many layers you’re going to require in order to avoid extreme cold burn to the nipples but not drastically overheat the minute you get to a hill. Getting ready to go out on your bike is even worse, it’s like packing to go on holiday when you don’t want to check in a bag; forget being bulky or uncomfortable, everything you could possibly need must be physically worn. By the time I’ve made clothing choices, prepared enough snacks to sustain myself for a chilly ride, packed a few extra layers and some different gloves “just in case” and spent half an hour stretching my neoprene shoe covers over my thick-socked, fleecy-legginged and generally massively expanded ankles, it’s almost time to get back home and start thinking about cooking up something hearty and hot for dinner!

I do complain but it isn’t all doom and gloom; when else in the year can you get away with being absolutely, completely and utterly filthy on a mountain bike or run through knee-deep mucky puddles?! A hilarious incident took place at the weekend out on a long run. We came across a huge, deep and very dirty puddle; I took a huge run up and my tiny legs just managed to clear it. Then I stood on the other side and held out my hand for my running buddy, Holly. She leapt over but as she landed, her front foot lost all traction and she very nearly face-planted. Fortunately I had managed to grab her hand and pulled her up but she had shot forward with such a force that a torpedo of cold-weather snot had rocketed out of her nose. We laughed so hard that we actually struggled to keep running. You wouldn’t get any of that in summer would you?!

So for now I’ll embrace the cold, enjoy the colourful, cool mornings painted by the winter sun and continue to indulge in very generous portions of warming soup.


  1. Laughed out loud at this! The 'what to wear' scenario is a nightmare!

  2. Reminded me of a certain video of you putting layers of t shirts, fleeces and jumpers on whilst trying to avoid toppling over Barney!! Wish you would upload that. Brill blog x