Monday, February 6, 2012

Ending the Winter Hiatus

December was kind of full. Not only was work piling up, but I'm also involved in a chamber choir and various vocal ensembles. So with 12 concerts booked, including a short tour in Holland, I had to fight to keep the running in the calendar.

But hey! Why fight? There's a certain kind of satisfaction in relaxing for a while as well! If nothing else it can work as a sanity check: will I miss running as much as I think after a month of resting? If I don't miss it I may have forced the training on myself. And if I miss it, well, it's going to be damn sweet to get going again!

So instead of agonizing I took December as a natural winding down, and from Christmas I did a grand total of four, count 'em, four runs. And yes, I gained in weight. And yes, it felt brilliant!

(And for the sanity check? Yes, I missed running. A lot. )

Now, real winter have finally come to Sweden and the last weeks of January the temperatures plunged well below zero degrees C and the snow came to stay. Hm... Clearly I needed some kind of plan to get started again. I though and pondered and scratched my beard.

Here's what I came up with: My inaugural run in in 2012 would be in London as I would be there for a few days, and after that I would immediately buy a pair of winter running shoes, with studs. Think of it as a double whammy, get to run in London again and then get to be excited over a piece of new equipment. (Who, me? Nerd? Nooo...)

Weaving my way past pedestrians in Earls Court a Monday afternoon brought back memories. The delicate winter-blue sky, the perfect running temperature, the cabs and the pubs. Thinking about it I realized it was eleven years since I ran in London last. The sheer force of nostalgia powered me on the first two kilometers to Hyde Park.

Albert Memorial, Hyde Park

Hyde Park. It is a special place for anyone who have lived in London. Sure, we've got plenty more green areas in Stockholm, and sure, compared to the size of the city, it isn't that large or that spectacular. But for someone who has lived in London it is still magical. Padding across it a winter afternoon as it slowly got dark was magical and I found myself doing a bit some fartleks just for the sheer joy of it.

Inspired I promptly went to the local shop when I came home and bough myself a pair of Icebug Anima. Icebug's a Swedish company that started doing really minimal trail running shoes but are now mostly known in Sweden for their superior winter running shoes. The Animas is no exception: with nineteen carbide studs per shoe the grip is, in one word, awesome.

So here's me having discovered the joy of winter running: A few layers of merino wool and head lamp and Icebugs, on the trails in the snow on the ice, and loving every second of it! Granted, the eight millimeter drop is more than I've used to by now, but so far I've managed to keep my form, and the awesomeness of the grip they provide makes up for any awkwardness by a long shot.

Icebug Anima BUGrip

As far as I'm concerned the winter can stay a few months now: I having damn fun!

1 comment:

  1. I had never heard of Icebug before. An interesting company, I may have to investigate them some more I think.

    I lived in London during college and you are so right about Hyde Park.