Hello, autumn.

Last year I tried outdoor winter running for the first time. Despite doing a Google search of how I should dress, I still wound up coming home from my first run with a totally chapped face and frozen legs. But more importantly, I loved it.

I’ve been running on and off for years. My love for running started when I was about eight years old when I began doing the Super Run at the Manitoba Marathon. I slowly worked my way up to a few 10ks, and eventually two half marathons. My first half marathon was probably one of the hardest things I have ever experienced, ever. I was running in shoes from Zellers that I thought were just fine and developed ITBS in my knee as a result. Even on the last mile—Irv’s mile—I was ready to quit (I still swear it’s twice as long as they say.) Thankfully, my dad, who also runs, motivated me to push to the finish. He even let me beat him despite my holding him back the entire way. The sense of accomplishment I felt that day is why I still run.

I have always been a seasonal runner. I enjoy the cool breeze that accompanies spring and fall jogs. Summer for me is just too hot, and winter is too cold. Until now.

Everyone’s got a list. On my list is to one day run a full marathon. The thought of doing that at this very moment is terrifying because I’m hardly in my best shape. I have developed a pattern over the years. Every spring when the last snowflake melts, I hit the pavement and whip myself into shape for the summer. Given the lifespan of a Winnipeg winter, that usually gives me a starting point of about April. Come June, I decide whether or not I’m up for a race.

I love the Manitoba marathon because I grew up with it. My mother says she can’t remember a Father’s Day she wasn’t at the U of M at 7:00am cheering somebody on. But there is absolutely no way I will ever work my way up to a full marathon with 20 minute treadmill workouts and hiding inside until April.

That is one of the reasons this blog is special to me. But more importantly, I want to challenge myself and runners just like me to venture outside this year and fully experience “Winterpeg.”

I have incorporated this mission of mine into an Independent Professional Project at my school – Red River College. With support from my instructors, I am learning my way through winter running, blogging about it, and video logging what I learn with friends I meet along the way. Keep an eye out for weekly videos from people who know more about this than me.

I am excited to take on my current challenge of running the Hypothermic Half Marathon this February. I look forward to hearing about your journeys too, and I welcome any and all the tips you have on running in Winterpeg.

-Sara

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