2019 in Running: January

Januarys are always so full of hope and promise. They gotta be. It’s freaking cold out here in Edmonton and if you don’t have a little bit of hope all you got left is snow, dark, and holiday bills.

As this year fades into memory and simultaneously I attempt to spin up a year-of-training-hell blog to accompany some lofty new years goals, it seemed appropriate to reflect on my past year in sneakers. If I’m still writing here next year, maybe it’ll be a tradition. If not, well… context.

The month started well: a five klick run on New Years day as per usual. In an effort to persuade myself to avoid excessive food and bev on the last day of any given year, I tend to sign up for the annual resolution run. I’ll be repeating again in less than two weeks. It sets a tone for the year. Fast. Slow. Cold. Less cold. Bitterly freaking cold. Whatever combination usually leads into an optimistic month of running.

Not on repeat this year (at least it seems to be absent from my Strava feed) is the 40|80 Challenge. Lululemon incentivized a few of us to log a helluvalotta klicks over three weeks in January 2019 with a coupon reward to those who passed the milestone. I did. I bought myself a sporty hoodie. I’d buy another one if I got another coupon, but methinks the marketing department blew through its budget on last year’s challenge.

When the ice isn’t too bad we run the snowy trails or plod through the frozen neighbourhoods. For some reason it’s usually December and January when the major race planning begins in earnest. By the end of the month we’ve worn the indoor track a few fresh loops of boredom and are craving the long, hot days of summer. Or at least a little less ice.

Brr…

Sunday morning runs are glorious because they tend to be the only run day when we run in daylight. Not to mention the mindblowing contrast of freezing one’s ass off in the bitter January weather then slipping on a dry hoodie and settling in for a hot coffee with a big group of thawing friends.

And then just like that January was done.