Posts Tagged ‘ice’

Running in Toronto

Posted: March 11, 2014 in Running, Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , ,

There's a running oval here somewhere...

There’s a running oval here somewhere…

After months of not being able to run and being stuck at home doing HIIT, the day has finally come! The skies have been cruel for the past months and it is established that this is the worst winter (and longest) in North America. As Spring season is nearing and clocks have been adjusted for Spring Forward, the weather finally rose above freezing point again this weekend. Snow and ice began melting and the sun shines brighter than ever. Today the weather measured a high of +8 degrees Celsius and low of -3. It’s been the “hottest” since I have landed in Toronto! I was able to try running just a couple of weeks ago when the weather rose to +5 degrees C, but I didn’t last long. Coming from a tropical country, I’m used to wearing comfy shorts while running and feeling the warm and fuzzy headwind. I was not acclimatized enough with the cold freezing weather that dried my throat. The altitude is another thing that I have to get used to. In any case, I gave it another shot today and it was good!
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Running around the neighbourhood.

“B” for Billy, or for ‘Burrows Blvd.’


 
I wasn’t aiming for any time or distance — I just wanted to move and run! Also, I’m still not familiar with the terrain and the possible routes I can take. I didn’t intend to “write” the first letter of my name with the route I took today – it just happened while I was trying to look for good running routes!

The last time I tried running, I felt how hard the pavements are near our house so today I tried different routes and pavements. Most parts of the sidewalk are still wet from the melting snow banks but it was good indication that there are no more black ice to keep away from.
I used the Endomondo app on my Blackberry to record my run and it’s slightly inaccurate, especially on that part where it looks like I ran on the snow field!
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What a nice day out! #FirstTime

What a nice day out! #FirstTime

It was a good winter run over all, based on Cool Runnings standard. Also, considering that there will be another snow storm tomorrow, I’m so glad I did run today. According to the news, “winter storm warnings are in effect across southern Ontario from Kingston to Cornwall, with up to 25 centimetres [of snow] predicted in some areas.”

Winter just won’t say goodbye.

Basketball, anyone?

Basketball, anyone?

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After 2 months and 10 days of migrating to the land affected by the recent Polar Vortex I was finally able to run! Coming from a tropical country, I see snow only from the movies before. Snow seemed to be just as pure as it is white – silent, gentle, and calming. No one ever told me about the wind chill that comes with it or the slippery black ice. A week after I arrived, there was a snowstorm that affected most parts of Toronto. Another week after that, an ice storm came that caused massive blackouts which lasted for weeks. What a welcome for me!

Today was different. For the past weeks the temperature has always been 2-digits below freezing, but for the next five days starting today, it will finally go up above zero! According to weather forecasts, it will snow for the next two days – snow during positive temperature is not good, so I decided to finally face the cold and try out running.

It's better to look up to the skies and see how it's a nice day to run, than look down at the snow on the ground!

It’s better to look up to the skies and see how it’s a nice day to run, than look down at the snow on the ground!

It wasn’t my best run but I learned that running in the cold (i.e., way below tropical temperatures) is not as difficult as long as you are warmly but comfortably clothed.

Here are some tips on running out in the cold:

  • Make sure you are clothed properly.
First, wear something that keeps your sweat from your skin (nylon/drifit) while keeping you warm. I wore arm warmers as well.

First, wear something that keeps your sweat from your skin (nylon/drifit) while keeping you warm. I wore arm warmers as well.

Wear a comfortable but sufficiently warm sweater.

Your second layer should be a comfortable but sufficiently warm sweater.

Lastly, wear  a warm light weight jacket to make sure you won't freeze after a few laps!

Lastly, wear a warm light weight jacket to make sure you won’t freeze after a few laps!

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Wear additional accessories such as gloves and ear muffs to keep other parts of your body from frostbite.

Wear additional accessories such as gloves and ear muffs to keep other parts of your body from frostbite.

You definitely would like to keep yourself warm by wearing appropriate clothing, but try not to wear too much that it hinders movement.

  • Wear appropriate shoes. Slipping and sliding on the ice while you run is a big concern. However, you wouldn’t want to run using your boots! Make sure that you’re wearing appropriate running shoes. Good news for me that my Asics did well today, I didn’t slip!

  • Try to map out your route¬†. Run on familiar places where you know the roads are properly shoveled and maintained. You can wear snow spikes for your shoes as well if you can’t stay away from icy roads.

    It seems like it was already plowed, but there's still lots of ice and salt on this sidewalk.

    It seems like it was already plowed, but there’s still lots of ¬†snow, ice and salt on this sidewalk.

My shoes and feet loved this clean roundabout!

My shoes and feet loved this clean roundabout!

Deep snow hides the pavement.

Deep snow hides the pavement.

Be careful of slush or ice.

Be careful of slush or ice.

  • Be aware of your surroundings. Watch out for falling snow or even icicles. Also, remember that some branches could easily fall because of the additional weight of the snow they have been carrying.
Big icicles!

Big icicles!

A large branch had already fallen off.

A large branch had already fallen off.

  • Last and most important of all, stay away from Spider Squirrels (or any wild animals)!

Running in the cold is not as difficult as long as you are careful enough and you are sufficiently warm when you run. Always avoid ice and stay aware of your environment. Warm up properly before you run. Another important thing is to remember to keep yourself hydrated! Even in the snow, a cold drink is still better absorbed by the body for hydration. But for now, I prefer a hot drink after my first snow run.

Hot coffee for my "recovery drink." Don't do this at home! :p

Hot coffee for my “recovery drink.” Don’t do this at home! :p

Keep warm and enjoy your run!

 

 

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