April 2019 Newsletter

Welcome to the April 2019 edition of the Upper Valley Running Club newsletter! Keep your submissions coming — email newsletter@uppervalleyrunningclub.org and check out our submission guidelines here.

Happy running!

Table of Contents

  1. Letter from a Board Member by Dorcas DenHartog
  2. Announcing: Couch to 5k Program
  3. Shamrock Shuffle 2019 – By The Numbers by Tim Smith
  4. Eastern States 20 Miler, March 24th, 2019 – Race Report by Jim Burnett
  5. Runner Profile: Dorcas DenHartog by Mary Peters
  6. The “First” 303 Races: 1977-2018 by Leah Todd, Slides by Mike Gonnerman
  7. Ask the Coaches
  8. Survey Says


Letter from a UVRC Board Member: A Swiss Travelogue and Comeuppance

by Dorcas DenHartog

Last summer I treated myself to a Run The Alps trip, a glorious, fully-supported run/hike trip in the Bernese Oberland of Switzerland. Each day was a story in itself, but this one particular day challenged my pride.
Early in the guided portion of my trip, our group had just run from Kleine Schiedegg, beneath the shadows of the Jungfrau, the Monch, and the Eiger, to Manlichen.

Manlichen overlooks Wengen and is the top of the Lauberhorn, the famous and longest (4.4km) downhill race on the international alpine ski circuit. I was leaning over a railing, looking down down down to the valley below, when our guide, Emily, approached us. The mountainside was wrapped with avalanche barriers that stuck out of the mountainside, indicating just how steep and dangerous the slope was in the winter.
I pointed to a trail that zigzagged up through the barriers from the valley below.

“I want to run up that”, was my immediate response.
“Make it up in under 75 min and you’ll get a free ride down in the tram,” said our guide, Emily Gerard.
“Really?!” I felt my heart leap at the challenge.
The trail turned out to be the top of the Chamois Test, a DIY vertical trail time trial from Wengen to Manlichen.
So, after a fabulous guided trip, I stayed in Switzerland another week to continue exploring the mountains and trails on my own. And to see how I might stand up to the Chamois Test. I returned to Wengen and explored the beginning of the route, from the base of the tram station, along with the paths and roads through the town that then connected to the trails that led up the mountain.

Steeling myself against disappointment, I promised that this would just be a fun-fast, run-hike up a beautiful trail. Then I punched my Chamois Test card at the Bahn (the base of the tram) and ran out and up towards the trails.
Initial splits (so much for the fun factor) did not look promising for this advertised 6km trail. But this was just me doing my best, I reminded myself. I punched the card at the midway point, a pole with a little sign about the Chamois Trail, with an orienteering-type paper punch dangling from a string. This confirms that runners have indeed run up the trail and not just taken the tram up.

I continued on my way, mentally juggling enjoyment, politeness as I passed families hiking up, and glances up to see where the top might be, and then down at my watch.

Then there it was! The top appeared more quickly than I expected. So much for precision – this trail was under 6k. Psyched, I crested the top and looked right and then left – which way was the upper station? The obvious path had ended and it was on lightly trodden grass. Left – there was the station. I ran in, remembering from the Dirt magazine article that even in Switzerland it was ok to push to the head of the ticket line to get your Test Card punched. (Ah, to live in a country where sweaty runners are given a free pass to the front of the line!) Luckily, there was no line, and I jogged up to the window.
No one was there.
The note on the card punch said “Don’t Touch!!!!!”
“Allo?!” I called, trying to be polite but loud enough to be heard. No one came to the counter.
I tried the time stamp machine on the counter myself. Nothing happened.
“Hello?!?” This time I banged on the window in desperation, all the while eying the one working clock on the wall. Still, no one appeared.
I was aware of how silly I was being, desperate to get my ticket stamped in under 75 minutes. I took a photo of the clock on the wall, and the empty ticket counter, and my Suunto watch.

Finally, a gentleman came to the window.
“The machine is right there,” he gestured.
“But it’s not working!” I pleaded and showed him. He seemed unconcerned.
“That’s ok, take it down to the bottom. You want to ride down in the tram?”
It was too beautiful a day – of course not. So I replied,
“No, thank you, it’s too nice; I want to keep running.”
Big mistake: no ticket, no proof I’d run up under 75minutes.
A little disappointed, I left and treated myself to ‘Kuchen und Kaffe’ in the cafe at the top.
Revived by the apple-plum torte and a latte, I ran down to a nearby pond and ducked under a rope for a swim. Run, eat, swim, run, eat. My ideal vacation day!

I took a selfie with the statue of a cow on a tire floating on a raft in the middle of the pond.

Then I ran back up and back down the way I’d come, down into the Lauterbrunnen valley back to Wengen.
Back at the lower Bahn/station I handed the ticket agent my ticket— it had no final stamp, no signature from the gentleman up top, and my phone had died, so I had no photo proof.

“Did he give you your prize?” Darn! I’d forgotten to ask. Even less proof that I’d done it.
“That’s OK. I’ll get you one,” she said. Rightly or wrongly, I felt her “the tourist is always right” tone. Darnit! I really did do it! Why did I need her validation? She came back with red and black Wengen-Manlichen bandanas.
“Which color would you like?”
“Black, bitte.”

Black. A good reminder for me to keep my pride in check. And remember the day my Finnish watch kept better time than a Swiss.

Walking back from Lobhornhutte, thunderstorms and the pitter patter of snow pellets were the soundtrack for today’s self-guided #runthealps adventure. Left foot decided to quit on me but I could not bring myself to take the train back. It was too wonderful to be outside.
Limping along, I happened upon this beside the trail.

Someone like me knows, when shit happens, there is always a reason to smile!

Announcing: Couch to 5k Program

Shamrock Shuffle 2019 – By The Numbers

by Tim Smith

Link to ShamrockPlots PDF

First, I think one of the most important numbers to come out of this year’s Shamrock Shuffle was 97! That is the number of UVRC runners to toe the line – or rather to stagger over the finish! Congrats to everyone!

As a club we had a number of stellar performances, but I am writing about team numbers and not individuals. So I hope other newsletter writers make up for my deficit.

Since this is a race, getting to the finish line in the least time seems like an important aspect, so I first plotted the finishing times of every runner (top plot). Let me describe this plot in detail, since the other plots are similar. The squarish “histogram” tells us the number of runners to cross the finish line in any one minute, so for example, in the 29th minute of the race, 54 people finished.

On this graph are also a green and red curve. The green curve are UVRC teammates, the red curve are members of other New Hampshire Grand Prix clubs. UVRC was about 10% of the whole field, so if I plotted it in the same way as the whole field it would be a a noisy line at the bottom. So I have first multiplied the green and red curves by 5, and then averaged adjacent minutes to smooth them.

And now the interesting stuff.

The whole field peaks between 30 to 35 minutes, whereas members of clubs peak at 22 minutes. So being a member of a club will shave off a third of your time! (Ok, I am playing loose with causality here). Actually what I find more curious is the fact that UVRC has a middle bump at 30 minutes and another peak at 50 which the other clubs don’t exhibit. This, to me, speaks to the broad range and inclusivity of our club. This is something I am proud of.

In the middle figure (age), the histogram shows the whole field (in groups of five year intervals), whereas the green and red curves are UVRC and other clubs, scaled by 5 and smoothed. UVRC has the same shape as the whole field, whereas the other clubs are peaked towards older runners! I am suspicious that this speaks to older runners being more inclined to travel. But that is just a hunch. I’ll be curious to see if this trend is true when we are on the road.

Also clubs don’t have a lot of youth members. There is a spike in the general field at 10-15 years old (high schoolers don’t race?), which isn’t in the club curves.

Finally I turn to “Age Graded Scores”.

I one time explained to a twentysomething that Age Graded Scoring is something invented by old guys (like me) so we could justify competing with young blood. An Age Graded score is essentially your speed compared to the world’s best performance for your age and gender at that distance. So if you score a 70% you are running at 70% of the speed of the best for your situation. (Yes, there are a lot of nuances when it comes to defining the “best”). But it is a way of comparing the performance of people across a whole spectrum.

In the bottom figure I plot Age Graded Scores for every runner in the race. Again the green and red curves are UVRC and other clubs, scaled and smoothed. I find it interesting to note that UVRC’s curve is between the general field and the red club curve. This says that if you are in our club you are 20% faster than the general field, but not as fast as the other clubs. So how is it that we still beat the other clubs?

First, we scored more than any other club, but not more than the sum of all other clubs. We scored 223 pts, Gate City 142 and Greater Derry 121. Add in Greater Manchester, Six03, etc. and the other clubs totaled 281 points.

Also, two trends I’ve seen elsewhere. Either people who run year after year join clubs, or if you are in a club, you tend to continue running into your 50’s, 60’s 70’s, and beyond. Also runners who run well tend to have long careers. What this means is that runners who stay with it into their 50’s & 60’s tend to have higher Age Graded Scores. Whereas there may be fewer runners in the 60’s than in their 20’s, the 60’s field are dominated by clubs.

I am actually looking forward to drawing these same plots for away races. I expect that we will look more like the other clubs – but I hope I am wrong.

So what is the best strategies going forward?

  • A large field always helps.
  • Other clubs tended to be old. We would do well to compete against their weak points, ie. bring in the young runners.

So if you were looking for a reason to join us in Dover on April 7th, just do it – we need you.

Somebody also mentioned Breakfast!

Eastern States 20 Miler, March 24th, 2019 – Race Report

by Jim Burnett

“The View from the Shuttle Bus” – Hampton Beach

On a perfect for “going long” four UVRC Wooly Warriors carpooled to the New Hampshire seacoast for a training run to prep for the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon, 9 weeks out. First run in 1994 as a gut check for the Boston Marathon, the Eastern States 20 Miler can either become a gentle stroll along the beach or an epic wind-ripped trek through frostbite hell. This year the weather dice roll came up “sevens” – fair skies, gentle breeze and temps that crept into the low 50s, Jackpot!

Meticulously planned and organized by Don Allison, the event has added a half marathon – “Run to the Border” course option and now attracts fields of 1000+/- eager runners from places near and far. Don’s original concept was to race along the coast line through 3 states, starting in Kittery, ME and ending just south of the NH/MA border. Careful measurement and a few subtle course changes over the years has resulted in an official total race distance of 20.25 miles. Though there is a timing mat and clock at the 20-mile mark, whoa be the uninitiated who thinks the race stops there. No indeed. As Frank demonstrates above, those 400 meters are the Grinders Graveyard. Although, as Frank said when he saw the snapshot, he felt a lot worse than he looked. (Mike took the clandestine pic from the shuttle bus on his ride back to the gymnasium at Winnacunnet High School in Hampton, NH.)

“The Pre-Race Wait in the Gymnasium” – Mike, Jim, Nelson

During the race, Mike found himself in a pack of Greater Boston TC runners, the leader of which was calling out mile splits and expressing pleasure in the training group’s ability to stay within the 2+/- second margin of error. As if he had jumped into the opening scene of “Chariots of Fire” in which a phalanx of British Olympic track athletes run barefoot along the sandy beach of Edinborough, Scotland, Mike hung on as best he could – help! After the race Nelson, bemoaned disregarding his game plan to start slowly and finish strong. Instead of starting at 9 mpm and finishing at 8, he got it backwards – bah! My goal was to cruise at 10 mpm and bask in the sun and ocean air. Instead, the west wind engulfed me in a plume of musty smelling salt marsh exhalations and the 20-foot storm surge barriers obscured my view of the surf – buggers! Before the race, Frank had offered us sugar-coated ginger pieces, which he touted as a remedy for stomach issues. Nelson replied, “Never try anything new on race day – no thanks.” Mike was noncommittal and after 10 seconds of deliberation I succumbed to temptation and chewed and swallowed the crystal-coated pink-colored morsel – “Yum,” I added in gratitude.

“The Grind at Mile 20+” – Frank

It’s always hard to figure out why races end up as they do. Maybe it was the ginger, it’s hard to say, but after 10 miles, having been swept up in the current, I was way ahead of schedule averaging 9:20 mpm instead of 10 – oops! Scolding myself, I carried on not knowing what lay ahead. I soaked up the sun and tried to relax. I shortened my stride. Then a woman in her mid-twenties slid past me. I recognized her bright pink tights and robin’s egg blue top. Her pony tail swished back and forth. Running along Rte 1A through Hampton Beach I caught back up to her and we ran side-by-side. Feeling renewed with the finish within reach, I picked up the pace and she slid in behind me…up over the drawbridge at mile 19 and into the headwind toward the border. She kicked past me in the last ¼ mile. My UVRC racing singlet boldly states my name “JIM” in vertical capital letters followed by “GRRRR”, my racing mantra. She came up to me as I crossed the finish line and asked her husband to take our picture together with me back-to and her pointing at the lettering on my singlet. “I’m training for my first marathon in May, hoping to run 4 hours,” she offered. I replied that I too was training for a spring marathon with a similar goal. “She’ll do fine,” I thought to myself as I walked toward the shuttle bus to get a ride back to the gymnasium.

Runner Profile: Dorcas DenHartog

by Mary Peters

Name: Dorcas DenHartog

Town: Hanover, NH

Where are you from originally and what brought you to this area?
I am originally from Hanover – I came back because this community has great training.

What do you do professionally?
I teach 7th-grade English at the Richmond Middle School.

How long have you been running?
I began running in high school, to get in shape for summer field hockey and lacrosse camps.

How long have you been running competitively?
Since 1983.

Why do you run?
Running connects my mind and body with the natural world.

Recent memorable moment while running?
1985 NCAA D3 cross country running championships, Atlanta, GA. At about 3k into the 5k course, Julia Kirtland, who had won the year before, tried to break me on an uphill. I had mentally rehearsed what to do if something like this happened. Accessing that imagery and self-talk, I hung with her and surged past her over the top of the hill. Using downhill running skills honed from running in the Adirondack mountains with the Middlebury nordic ski team, I used gravity for all its worth and finished first in 18:05.

Best athletic accomplishment and why?
Climbing a 5.11 sport climb in Rumney, NH. Because it took fast twitch muscles, power, and hyper-focused mental commitment – skills not really required in endurance running.

If you like to race, favorite race distance? Why?
Half marathons and trail races, because I can use my endurance, slow-twitch muscles.

Training partners?
My favorite training partners have been my dogs and my friend, Cheryl Carlson. She’s a far better conversationalist than the furry ones.

Cross training activities?
‘Never avoid a chance to get your hands dirty’ – dragging brush, cut and stack wood, move furniture from one house to another all by yourself; remove an old toilet – including the hour of sweat and puzzlement and running up and down the stairs to the toolbox to get the metric or the English sized wrenches and soft mallets to break 50year old rusty bolts, drag it down the stairs, put it in your truck, drive to dump, and throw it away all by yourself. It’s all good. Then I bike, hike, snowshoe, weight train, yoga.

Favorite post run treat?
Hot days – a cold grapefruit; cold days – chocolate milk or cocoa.

Who is your running “idol”?
Joan Benoit Samuelson –
Watching her on TV race the first-ever women’s Olympic marathon convinced me to run.

Are your reasons for running now the same or different than the reason you first started?
The same – including the fun of trying to do what other people think you can’t do and proving them wrong.

Why did you join UVRC?
For training friends and motivation.

Ever run in a costume?
For CHaD half marathon I ran as Bat Woman.

Ever been injured? How did it happen?
Most recent injury: This past fall I was running with the high school xc running team on the trails in Chamberlain Park, in Lebanon, NH (a great little ‘pocket park’ on a hillside by the Connecticut River – if you need to do hill repeats when it’s hot.) I tripped on a log, fell, and sliced my left knee, requiring four stitches.

Hot or cold weather runner?
Cold, definitely!

Morning or evening runner?
Morning.

Favorite running book/film?
Book – Once a Runner, by Jack Parker
Film – Chariots of Fire

The “First” 303 Races: 1977-2018.

by Leah Todd

Behind Mike Gonnerman’s numbers, there are stories.

Race No. 290: The Marine Corps Marathon, run with his sons and son-in-law on the 40th anniversary of Mike’s first-ever race, which also happened to be a marathon.

Race. No. 172: Nevada. A national trail racing championship—out of character for this roadrunner. He later learned he was the only runner in his age group.

Race No. 107: The Hartford Marathon. He convinced Bruce Lehane, the longtime collegiate cross-country coach who died of ALS in 2017, to train him for this race. Lehane’s wife, Leslie, coached the track club where Mike’s wife, Betsy, was a member.

All these details—and more—live inside the massive spreadsheet database of Mike Gonnerman, 76, avid runner, Dartmouth grad and retired accountant, who has meticulously tracked every race he’s run since 1977. He and his wife, Betsy, 74, have been running and racing since before women’s running shoes and way before Strava.

303 races—so far.

That’s 25 marathons, 21 Turkey Trots, 18 Fourth of July races, 15 Mt. Washington road races, one broken fibula and five falls during one ill-fated trail race. All told, Mike has raced 2,305 miles—most of them since he turned 50. He built a slideshow to share the highlights, and it’s published in this month’s Upper Valley Running Club newsletter.

All it takes is a simple question—“Tell me a story about these numbers,” I asked him in his Hanover home last month—and the stories begin.

“Well, I’d probably start with the Marine Corps Marathon,” Mike said. It was his first marathon. He knew nothing about training or diet, he said, he just did it. He bonked hard at mile 21, walked the last few miles knowing his car was parked at the finish line, and committed to another race the next weekend when he struck up conversation with people waiting around him at the end.

Betsy is the faster one, Mike is quick to say. She ran her first marathon at age 58, and finished in 3:51.

“If it’s possible to make a spreadsheet out of it, he’ll make a spreadsheet out of it,” Betsy said. “Everything.”

But, of course, it’s not about the spreadsheets. Mike has lots of reasons to run.

“First, it’s fun,” he said. “You meet nice people. My wife does it. It’s easy to go up stairs.”

Running has become something like a religion for the Gonnerman family. Framed race photos line the family basement walls, looking down at rows of toys for grandkids. Mike still tracks his races, and remembers details from each one.

Mike digressed nostalgically at one point during our conversation, recalling a nuance of a race memory. He caught himself: “Oh, I’m sorry,” he said. “I started another story.”

“You’re not sorry,” Betsy said, laughing. “You love it!”

Both Betsy and Mike still run about 25 miles a week in the Upper Valley. (In case you’re wondering: Yes, they’re on Strava.) So next time you run into them, say hi, try to keep up with their pace for a few miles, and ask them to tell you a story.

MG’s First 303 Races: 1977 – 2018 by Mike Gonnerman

Ask the Coaches

Got a question for the coaches? Send it to newsletter@uppervalleyrunningclub.org and I’ll send it on!

Yufeng Guo asks:
Question: When scheduling out a week’s mileage, what are the advantages and disadvantages of doing very even mileage versus more “up and down”?
For example, for a 48 mile week, one could do mileage approximately 6-6-6-6-6-6-12 , or something more like 7-4-8-5-7-5-12

As a followup, which style do you feel is more suitable for things like mileage/base building, versus a recovery week, versus during the competitive season (hard/fast workouts/races)?

Jim Burnett:

Answer: Periodization – The Joe Vigil Way, AKA “The Road to the Top”

Above is a snapshot of page 47, Chapter 3., entitled, “Periodization of Training” from Joe Vigil’s book, Road to the Top, Creative Designs, Inc. 1995. Take a close look. The answers to Yufeng’s question, and many more, are all there. If the concept of periodization is foreign to you, lean back a little bit and view the chart from a wide-angle, “big picture” perspective and disregard the little pieces of the puzzle. Perhaps you now see a mountain ridge with a spiky tree line below it. (Hint: the large letters, “N D J F…” stand for months off the year) To answer Yufeng’s first question about advantages and disadvantages of varying the distance you run on consecutive days, let the large letters stand for days of the week instead of months. The advantages of allowing ample recovery time between stress bouts (workouts) is well documented and the subject of Laura’s question last week, “What is the best way to recovery following a half marathon?” I vote for the up and down approach.

But, Joe Vigil’s chart also applies to scheduling mileage/base building, recovery weeks and seasonal competitive training across months and years even decades. The mountain ridge along the top of the chart is like the elevation profile of an ultra marathon trail run. Ultra marathoners will tell you that a long trail race is an undulating series of varying degrees of stress followed by replenishing periods of rest and recovery. Recovery can take to form of stopping, refueling and resting or walking or jogging downhill. In effect, the ultra marathon is a week of training squished into 24+/- hours.

My favorite part of Joe’s chart is the “bump” in the ridge line just before the “Key Contest of the Year”, represented by a star at base of the chart. The ramp up the “bump” is steep, steeper yet on the way down and, finally, tapers off over an extended period of time. Thinking back to my own memorable marathons of the past, this gradual taper was when I was either basking in the glory of my success or crying in my herbal tea. Either way it was also a time to start planning the Road to the Top of my next Star-race.

Briefly – Adams State University alum and longtime track and cross country coach, Joe Vigil coached three marathoners to Olympic medals in 2004, Stephano Baldini, Italy (gold), Meb Keflezighi, USA (sliver) and Deena Kastor, USA (bronze). His team Adams State team won the 1992 NCAA Division II National Cross Country Championship with a perfect score of 15 points. In cross country and track & field, Vigil’s teams won a total of 19 national championships. More on Coach Joe at. https://blogs.adams.edu/chpce/about/dr-coach-joe-i-vigil-bio

Jim Burnett is the president of the Upper Valley Running Club.

Carly Wynn:

I’m always inclined to say more variability is better! Training is, in essence, forcing your body to adapt. If you do the same thing everyday, there’s not only less to adapt to, but fewer resources to adapt with. You use your body in different ways for different workouts, and that allows some systems to recover while others are working. Additionally, there are psychological benefits to mixing up your runs. Even if every run is distance pace, varying distances will allow you to do different loops. It’s easier to stay motivated with a little variety.

Regardless of whether you are in a base building phase, race season, or recovery period, there should be variability. When intensity is high, the highest load workouts should shape the week. For example, schedule the week’s interval workouts and long run first so you can arrange them around each other and around other commitments. In easier training periods, it might not matter as much when each specific workout happens.

I am also a proponent of off days. At the very least there should be a day where the run is very short, or you cross train instead of running. In some cases, you could schedule a double: one day has two runs, so another day can be off. When building mileage, there may be a couple weeks where mileage is too high to feasibly take a day off. That’s fine for the short term, but that degree of mileage won’t last long in most training plans.

That said, for some folks fitting running into an otherwise very tight schedule, less variability may be the best option. If you know you have 40 minutes to run before work 5 days a week, don’t feel like you need to overhaul your life to fit a running plan. Consider mixing it up by substituting in a midweek cross training session and/or day off, and a long run or interval workout on the weekend.

Carly Wynn is a personal coach at www.CarlyOutside.com, and can be reached at Carly@CarlyOutside.com.

Survey Says

In celebration of the vernal equinox (the end of winter and the start of spring) we asked what you are looking forward to most about running in warmer weather and what you are going to miss about winter running. It was clear from the results that UVRC members are excited about the warm weather ahead although there were some interesting benefits to cold weather running noted by our members.
Enjoy the results and look for next month’s survey!

What are you looking forward to most about running in warmer weather?

  • Fewer clothes and less gear required, along with all the wonderment of spring taking place around me.
  • Bare trails… Roots and rocks, hoorah!
  • No more hurting lungs from breathing cold air. the layers
  • Seeing the leaves, roots and rocks in the Boston Lot. Hearing running water.
  • Fewer clothes to put on, take off, and wash. Being able to run twice a day without it being frozen and/or dark. The sun is comingggggggg
  • Wearing less clothes! Sunlight, warmth, more people…
  • It’s so much easier for me to get motivated to go outside when it’s warm because I really don’t like being cold. I’d love to fast forward over the muddy roads though!
  • Running and enjoying it!
  • Shorts! Trails! Animals! Races! No frozen boogers! Not worrying I’m going to pull something every time I go faster!
  • Running outside and getting sun
  • Everything, but especially no layers
  • My asthma generally gets better when I’m not running in cold winter weather! Also, being able to spontaneously go on a run without bundling up so much.
  • No more icy sidewalks/roads
  • Shorts and t-shirt running.
  • Good footing and running without layers!
  • The many different scents you will smell along your course…. fresh blossoms, mud, flowers, etc.
  • I love that day when it’s rainy, and I don’t want to go for a run because I think I’ll be all cold and miserable, but it’s actually warm and the rain doesn’t bother me at all.
  • Longer days and an easier time getting motivated to get regular runs in.
  • No ice and snow More daylight Warmer temps
  • Listening to birds chirping.
  • Wearing shorts again, and the ability to get a little bit of a tan!

What will you miss most about winter running?

  • Nothing, Not a Thing, Absolutely Nothing, Nada, Ummm… (and a lot of similar responses, most with exclamation points)
  • No bugs, crisper breathing, less sweating, more quiet, variable conditions and often late morning is better than early morning (vs. warmer weather when earlier is better if heat bothers, like it does for me.
  • Crisp, cold. Not needing to carry much water. Smooth, yet soft running surface.
  • The quiet
  • Snowshoe grooming new-fallen snow on the trails in the Boston Lot, and then being able to run the superfast groomed (and eventually icy) trails (with nanospikes).
  • Slipping and falling on ice, bailing on workouts because of stomach issues due to the cold.
  • The excuse to not run when I’m feeling lazy!
  • Not worrying about ticks
  • I really like running up to higher elevations in Norwich and looking out on the snow-covered mountains and down to the frozen river.
  • Except for icy conditions, I really like winter running. I’ll miss being able to run and stay cool, at some point it’s going to be 80 and sunny and just hot. Fine for riding the bike, going to the pool, etc., etc., just makes running in the afternoons uncomfortable (so, long runs at 6am instead)
  • Rocky trails smoothed over by snow fall.
  • You know you’ll never come across a snake or a bear!
  • Not a whole lot, but there is something about the challenge of running in the cold that is oddly satisfying once you actually get bundled up and do so.
  • Brisk morning runs
  • Snow!
  • That extra-credit psychological feeling of, “Running in winter isn’t expected, so any little bit I do is icing on the cake.” Once the good weather hits, it goes away because I *should* be running more.

About this Newsletter

This newsletter is put out monthly by the Upper Valley Running Club, the premier (and only) running club in the Connecticut River Upper Valley Region. This month, the newsletter was edited by Amanda Kievet, with article collection by Geoff Dunbar. Any comments, questions, submissions, winter running tips, etc, send to newsletter@uppervalleyrunningclub.org.

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