Bootstrap News

December 2023

PaceSetters Christmas Dinner Party

Our annual Christmas Party is great way to connect with other PaceSetters members and to pick up some free race entries, gifts and good memories.

When: Saturday December 9, 2023 @ 5:30 pm

Where: Harley Davidson, 5322 Clairemont Dr, Appleton

Cost: $22 single or $42 couple (this includes tax and tip)

Please register by Tuesday December 5!

Meal will be catered by Mader's Catering. Dinner options will be

Parmesan Chicken Dinneror

Moroccan Chickpea Stew (Vegetarian / Vegan)

And will include

Salad | Potato | Vegetable | Bread | Desert | Free Beer or Wine

This event is held across the street from the Harley-Davidson building.

Running in Wisconsin Winters

There is something special about running outdoors in the winter. Going out for an early morning run after a fresh new snowfall, the landscape looks beautiful and the streets are quiet except for the gentle sounds of the snowpack under your shoes. Similar to running on a sandy beach, you'll find you use lots of little stabilizing muscles that you wouldn't normally use. You'll also be forced to pick your feet up leading to stronger leg muscles. This is great for us and so much more enjoyable than the boredom of running around in circles on an indoor gym track or listening to the sounds of a treadmill.

Of course, it can be treacherous some days during the winter. For many years, this kept me inside during winter months. I was once very opposed to running outside in the cold but am happy I learned how to safely navigate outdoors on most winter days and eventually learned how to embrace these glorious days. Here are a few tips I've picked up.

1. Understand the weather conditions. Watch the weather forecast the night before a planned morning run, and double check that again in the morning. It may look ok when you first go out, but if there was a light freezing drizzle in your area, or temperatures are colder and windier than you realized you might want to postpone your run or make indoor plans. There are so many variables when running outdoors in WI during the winter. The upper atmosphere can be warmer such that precipitation can be rain when temps are in the 20's, and yet it can come down as snow when it's close to 40. It can be raining but if the ground is cold, that can turn to slippery black ice on contact.

2. Start your run easily. Take shorter strides with lighter steps, landing more flat footed rather than landing on your heels or pushing off too much with your toes, and keep your arms a bit further apart to give yourself a wider base and better balance and stability. Alignment becomes more critical, wanting to get your foot landing right under your body. So go out cautiously, expecting the worst. And be alert to changing conditions; if the temps drop and the winds increase, things can suddenly turn much worse. I find my confidence increases after I test conditions for the first mile or so. After you experience running in different conditions, that practice will help make you a safer runner.

3. If it is or has recently precipitated, pay special notice to the vehicles on the streets. They may be unable to stop fast, see as well, or be able to maneuver around you, so give traffic close attention. If you like to listen to music while running, consider leaving your ear buds at home to minimize that distraction. Also consider running in a group because it will make you more visible and you can watch out for each other. These vehicles are all bigger than you, so you will always lose when meeting one of them.

4. If the plows have not come through your neighborhood streets, look ahead down the street to determine your best path. Depending on the snow depth and whether it is icy you may determine it's better to run in the ruts of tire tracks. Many times it can be better footing running on fresh snow than on the tracks or a shoveled walk. Carefully try each and determine which option is working better for you that day. If you are running through heavier accumulated snow be careful around sewer grates and be alert for obstacles like potholes, tree limbs, leaf piles and rocks. Sometimes these hazards can get buried so just pull back a bit if you are unsure of the path you are on. With a deeper snowfall your run may become more of a hike, but that's ok, it's still great exercise. I generally try to avoid streets/sidewalks/trails with packed down and frozen footprints along them, which can be very slippery and uneven. A fresh new snowfall is often easier to navigate safely.

5. Run on streets or paths familiar to you. The less surprises the better. If you run down an unfamiliar path, you may not be familiar with obstacles like curbs, sidewalk bump outs or sewer grates. If you are accustomed to running in the street, consider running on sidewalks. Know in advance which sides of the road melt quicker and which refreeze. Around our neighborhood certain patches are perpetually in shade, so running on the other side of the road can mean avoiding the need to slip and slide past someone's house.

6. Consider which shoes will work best for you. I generally continue to wear my same running shoes all year round. Some runners prefer to wear clip on spikes or trail shoes or boots, but they feel heavy and uncomfortable to me. I've seen runners use pullover spikes when it snows, but then the plows go through and most of the street becomes relatively dry and I hear their spikes ineffectively clicking away on the pavement. I do believe spikes can help with traction if it's been icing outside, but usually if it's that bad I stay indoors. Try different shoe options to see which gives you the best confidence in different weather conditions.

7. Give up on the notion of doing hard speed interval workouts and attempting to run at or near race pace. Ignore the pace you are running at and keep it safe. Instead focus on your perceived effort, which goes up in these conditions. A 12 minute mile outdoors in winter may take more effort than a 10 minute mile indoors, both physically and mentally. If you need to do a speed workout that day, take it indoors when our routes become snowy or icy.

8. Dress appropriately. Wear enough layers of clothes to protect your skin in the cold, without overdressing. Many people feel cold when they first step outside and then they put on too much clothing. It should feel cold for the first mile while your body is warming up. If you dress in layers you can shed a layer when you warm up. As opposed to summer running, this is a great option to have to help you regulate your body temperature. Consider wearing gloves, and/or a headband or hat. When it is precipitating, I like to wear a hat with a brim, like a baseball cap. I find I can tuck my head down a bit to keep the precipitation out of my face, especially when it is windy, and that makes a big difference.

9. Another word about gloves. I've heard runners talk about how cold and numbing their fingers feel in the cold. Many times this can be a blood circulation issue more than anything else. I used to clench my hands tightly into fists, and sometimes pull my fingertips in leaving my glove tips empty. What I discovered was that I was not pumping enough blood into those areas leaving my hands and fingers in a numbing state. When it's colder, I recommend swinging and pumping your arms vigorously, and flexing your fingers alternating them between fists and open hands and twisting your wrists. I thought my hands would stay warmer if clenched together in a fist but your warm blood will flow more freely out to those extreme body tips if you remember to regularly pump your arms and wiggle those fingers.

10. Similarly with socks and shoes. I used to wear 2 or 3 layers of socks and a heavier shoe. But if you choke off the circulation to your toes by wearing too many layers of constricting socks, with your shoes then not big enough to accommodate, your toes can feel numb. I have not experienced as many circulation issues with my feet because, unlike your arms and hands, your legs are regularly pumping and your toes are flexing and wiggling about.

11. Consider modifying your route. Rather than a single long out-and-back route, consider running a series of shorter loops close to home. This way if conditions deteriorate, or you're feeling uncomfortable you can more easily cut your run short.

12. When in doubt, play it safe. It will not be worth it if you push too hard in inclement conditions and have a fall, setting your running program back. Keep yourself upright and healthy.

If you have other input on this topic, we'd love to hear from you and will include your comments in a future newsletter, Let Us Know!

Appleton native Dan Schubert has qualified for the Olympic Trials!

Dan Schubert was the state cross country champion and 1-mile and 2-mile state track champion while at Appleton East High School. Upon graduation he ran for the University of Oklahoma. Then 2 years ago he won the Community First Fox Cities Half Marathon missing the course record by 10 seconds. Recently on Oct. 28th, he ran his first full marathon, the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon, taking 9th place overall, 2 mins behind the winner. His time of 2:17:42 qualified him for the US Olympic Trials, which are being held in Orlando on February 3, 2024. Prior to that marathon, he had cross trained, with his longest run being about 18 miles.

While Dan has moved to North Carolina, his mother Carol Schubert still resides in Appleton and is a longtime PaceSetters member.

If you wish to follow Dan's quest for the gold, here are US Olympic Trails event details: