Tribune file photo
February 16, 2008
Andi Smith, 44, describes herself as a warm-weather runner, although she has a fondness for the winter months.
"There truly is nothing better than a nice, brisk morning run or an afternoon run. Those first few steps walking out the front door when it's cold and dark, you don't want to go. But then you get that crisp morning air, which is so much clearer and cleaner in the winter. It's lovely, just lovely."
Smith is a pediatric nurse practitioner at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children in Dallas. The marathon veteran will coach as many as 45 aspiring marathoners.
Often, she says, first-timers will start training during the summer and then panic as the temperature drops in the fall. She calms them down and shares tips that include:
Keep your hands warm: "If my hands are warm, I'm golden. If my hands are cold, I'm totally miserable." She recommends mittens on really cold days "because your fingers stay warmer when they're together."
Have layers to shed: "I have sleeveless shirts that I wear underneath a thicker long-sleeved shirt. Then I use one more layer to block the wind. I can wear regular tights or cold tights with fleecy lining if it's very cold."
Stretch: "During the summertime, I'm feeling pretty loose in five or 10 minutes, but in the winter it takes 15-20 minutes. Start your run slowly if you're training. If it's a race, do little 50-meter sprints back and forth several times before the gun goes off."
(Above: Jogger Perry Romanowski of Chicago juggles while on a 14-mile run along the lakefront.)