Thoughts about Running in Cold Weather in Michigan

Seriously, why run 16 miles when it was only 16 degrees? Well because it was on the training plan. I have a theory that many runners are recovering Catholics. Instead of going to church religiously, we go for a long run and if we don’t run we have something to feel guilty about. Plus you can do your penance at the same time.

This cold, Michigan morning offered many opportunities for penance. There was more ice inside my windbreaker then on the Huron. And, and I had a serious equipment malfunction! The forecast was pretty simple. It was going to suck, the potential for it to be wet and windy was high.  Keeping my hands warm has been an on-going issue this winter, but I had a plan and it required a trip to REI. Clearly a new pair of Black Diamond, wind-resistant gloves would fix the problem, right? No not right. Sadly, the decision to wear liners was not good. My hands were HOT.  Seriously, about 5 miles into the run my liners were soaked as were the Black Diamond, WIND-RESISTANT gloves. So not good, layering was a very bad idea.

“So how long does it take to run 16 miles?” It is a standard question I get or “How many miles is that Marathon?”  Well it takes me just under an hour to run 5 miles.  I run a mile in about 11 minutes so do the math.  And all marathons are 26.2 miles. (By the way it is really hard to do math after you’ve been running, try converting kilometers to miles after you’ve run 3.5 hours, not happening.)

I’m not a fast runner but I’m fun! I have great tunes on my IPod, take pictures, talk on the phone, pee in the weeds, share shot-blocks with other runners and I have an endless list of things to tell my running partner. My running partner did a quick stint at a seminary when he was a young lad so there is a confessional quality to my stories. He always has good advice and he often blesses me with a prayer when he can sense that I may lay down in the road or throw up.  It goes, “Head up, shoulders back, arms relaxed, knees bent! Remember to keep the imaginary string from your head to your toes straight. Wiggle your fingers, wiggle toes and engage your core!”

Have Fun and Run!

Brenda Sodt Foster - Indianapolis Marathon

Brenda Sodt Foster – Indianapolis Marathon


  1. Hi! I just moved to MI this fall from CA. I haven’t run for a few weeks because of the snow, and just found your blog (I know these posts are several years old). I love running, and completed the Detroit marathon in October:) I have a question for you, could you recommend any running trails or locations near me? I’m in Madison Heights which I believe is just about 45 minutes east of you.

    • Hi Gabby – You can find good running at Stony Creek Metropark which is about 30 minutes North of you. There is a great park called Kensington Metropark which is about 40 miles west of you. Island Lake State Park has great trails as well, and its just south of Kensington. Finally, there is Highland State Rec area to the Northwest about 40 minutes from you. There are some smaller parks near you, but we’ve not been to them, so can’t say how the running is. Enjoy!


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