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OKC Memorial Marathon: It's snowing! Plan accordingly

It’s snowing, which apparently is becoming a thing in Oklahoma.

I’m fine with this — except when it messes with my half-marathon training. I’ve said before that I don’t mind running in the cold. In fact, I prefer it. But snow and ice? I prefer to avoid that.

But this weekend, avoiding it seems impossible. And with lots of folks who have designs on running at the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon needing to get in long runs, what are we supposed to do about the snowy, slippery weather?

I asked that very thing to my running muse, Amy Downs. Even though she’s run lots of distance events now, she once was a novice like me.

So, what advice does she have?

She started with a bit of an admission.

“This week has been full of running road blocks for me,” she said. “Not only has the weather not cooperated, but I just moved into a new house. My last run was Saturday. An entire week has passed and I have not run at all. Yikes.

And we are supposed to increase to 9 miles on the long run this week. So, what do I do? The weather looks horrible. I don't have a treadmill. And personally, I would rather pluck my eyelashes out one by one before I ran on one of those torture devices anyway.”

I totally agree with that. More and more, I’ve heard treadmills referred to as dreadmills, and I couldn’t agree more. The idea of doing a long run on a treadmill makes me almost break out in hives. Blerg.

So …

“Option 1: Quit running. Sit on the couch and eat Cheetos. The puffy kind,” Amy said. “Option 2: Quit whining, princess. Dress for deep sea diving, and go run.

“Option 1 sounds pretty good right now, but I will hate myself later, so I am going to have to choose option 2. This means I will have to watch the weather very closely over the weekend and find a two-hour window of time where it is clear to run. I don't mind getting rained on while running unless it is cold.

“I have Yaktrax, which are these goofy metal covers that you put over your running shoe and it will allow you to run on top of snow/ice without falling. I know many runners that use these, and in fact, I think they look forward to running in the snow and ice with them. It makes them feel slightly better than the average population, so you get this great ego boost. Then, you can post pictures of the snow and ice while on your run so everyone that knows how awesome you are.”

I’ve mentioned that Amy is funny, right?!?

“Seriously, though, life does sometimes get in the way,” Amy said. “My running coach Mark Bravo always says to tell yourself you are still a runner even if you have to miss a few runs. Allow yourself some flexibility, but immediately make plans to get back on track and stay on track because skipping runs only sets you up for injury.

“Plus, it always feels like I am starting over again when I haven’t run in a week. My legs will feel thick and heavy like I am running through peanut butter.”

My suspicion is that running a half marathon won’t be easy. There will be times when I have to adapt and adjust. There will be times when I have to mentally get through something. There may even be times when the elements affect things. (Wind? Rain? Heat? Cold? In Oklahoma?!? Who could imagine that happening on race day?) All of this is just preparation for that.

This princess will quit whining. I’ll save the Cheetos for later.

Jenni Carlson

Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football... Read more ›

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