Brass Monkeys and Short Legs: For the third time... - Couch to 5K

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Brass Monkeys and Short Legs


For the third time in the last week I have run in sub-zero, aka brass-monkey effect, weather.

It has been amazing. The countryside is breathtakingly beautiful with its frosty trees and frozen lakes. Every now and then a swan will elegantly glide past to say hello. Pure heaven. Also because I am usually the only person around. Today daughter Becky (Week 3) joined me while I had a bash at the Speed podcast. Short, sweet and reasonably painful I would say, but definitely do-able. Only thing is, on the 155 bpm, Laura's 1,2,3,4s don't drive me very far, I mean, I'm almost running on the spot, whereas on the 165 bpm I seem to bound away like a crazy horse. I am obviously doing something wrong, OR, it could be the fact that I'm only 5 foot 3 and therefore my little legs can't get me that far on Laura's "slower" beats. Who knows, whatever, I'm having fun!

11 Replies

Frozen lakes? Blimey i honestly didnt realise it got that cold in Italy.

I like running in the cold but it does affect my asthma unfortunately.


DeliaItalyGraduate in reply to BigEd

First of all, Northern Italy is oh so different from the South (and, of course, Sicily where it's summer/spring all year!), secondly, I truly believe that Global Warming has changed weather conditions quite a bit. Summers have become too hot -- so much so that I tend to take refuge in the UK -- and winters, which were once normally mild, now have this fortnight of freezing cold weather. In February, we were snowed in for 2 weeks! Right now it's 7 degrees but I see it's -1 in the SW of England! But I think Ilike running now in any weather ;-)

Oh i see. Forgive my ignorance of Italy, Ed.


Sounds lovely Delia - I have a similar view from the window of my lovely warm gym as I cross-train along... and the treadmill - ran my first 5 mins in 6 weeks on Sun! - is even better. From it I can look left to the window with the snowy woods, or diagonally right into the exercise area where lots of mostly fit young men are showing off on the machines... Going to the gym has its compensations :-)

But I can't wait to get back to my own woods and lake, tho' it's going to take a while. Quite glad it's winter really.

Keep on enjoying! :-)


Dearest Mitts, I really imagine that a gym is the only option in Switzerland right now! Wherever you are, you'll be about 200 km north of me and therefore several degrees colder I presume. Lakes are magic aren't they? Our lake is small, but even so, covered in thin ice and in the sunshine, the sight of it sends shivers down my spine.

Well done for mastering the treadmill -- or the dreadmill as I call it. I was considering buying one, but my experience in Harrod's put me off.

And I do hesitate before going out of the door considering the cold, but a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do :-)

fatmumslimGraduate in reply to DeliaItaly

Sounds like a lovely run Delia - I don't mind the cold, which is just as well living in the north of Scotland! I've been dying to get out over the last couple of days, but have been laid up with a combination of stomach bug, jury duty and daughters 16th birthday (why does everything happen at once?) hopefully will be back out tomorrow. Can't stand the treadmill - my brother has one in his garage which I have used but it is so monumentally boring I would rather risk the outdoors instead.

Will re-advertise the Christmas run in a couple of days to see if we can up the numbers.

Susan XX

DeliaItalyGraduate in reply to fatmumslim

Great, the Christams Run will be fab! Love delia xox


It sounds fab, Delia. I am slowly starting to run again after my shin splints BUT now I'm compromised by icy surfaces. It's absolutely perishing here in Yorkshire, hasn't been above freezing at all today, and when I went out for my last run (Friday, then we were all struck down with a rotten cold) I nearly turned back as it was so icy. It turned into an impromptu intervals session: run, run, run, slow right down, see what the path looks like, step over/around the black ice, run, run run, tiptoe through the next icy patch. Grrrr. And then in my determination to run mostly on non-concrete surfaces, for the sake of said shin splints, I ran up and down the riverside like a maniac and managed to trip over a boulder. Luckily a) I didn't hurt myself at all, and b) no-one saw the humiliating incident! But it was good to be out running again, even though the effort felt like week 1! Just being outside, on my own, choosing where to go, looking at the beautiful place I live in, was fantastic. You can't beat the feeling!

Happy running in the frozen landscape! :-)

DeliaItalyGraduate in reply to Soozz

Oh Yorkshire is soooooo beautiful. My flatmate at uni was from Wenslydale and in the seventies the place was a picture postcard. Maybe, hopefully, it still is.

I'm pleased to hear you are back outside and I understand about the ice. It's not as cold here, but we are sub-zero and it is very icy. Lots of runners have those funny things on their shoes, but like your goodself, I try and dance around the frozen bits. Laura says to look 10 steps ahead. I look down to try and avoid the ice .-D

Happy Running on the moors :-)


I'm loving running in this colder weather, ice aside. Know what you mean about matching Laura's beats, what I did was basically run slow then fast but no idea if I matched the 1,2,3,4s (I'm quite unco-ordinated & like you just a wee lass). Great to read you enjoyed it, must confess I'm slacking off a bit - just running at a sedate pace, I may try it again in the spring.

DeliaItalyGraduate in reply to notbad

Absolutely notbad I am totally uncoordinated and short legged. My hairdresser this afternoon explained (he's a real-real runner) that the Speed tape is supposed to stretch the muscles in our legs on the faster runs. Ultimately that will allow us to run further and also build up stamina. Don't shoot the messenger!