Michelle Halsne just wanted to remember her 40th birthday.
She could have thrown a big party or taken a relaxing vacation.
Instead, she ran 100 miles in 106-degree heat through a mountain range nearly four times as high as Mount Pilchuck.
And she did it in one day.
Her husband even made a documentary that followed Halsne and her fellow runners through the Sierra Nevada mountains during the 100-mile ultrarace, the Western States Endurance Run.
The film is called “100 Miles to 40.”
Halsne, now 44, is getting ready for her next 100-mile race.
She runs every day, but now that it’s winter, she and other runners have to make some adjustments to the cold and wet weather.
Here’s how Halsne gets by.
Find a buddy
The most important thing any runner can do, Halsne said, is to find a friend or group of friends to run with.
“It’s very easy to not put your running shoes on; it’s easy to not get out in the dark and rain,” she said. “You need a buddy who will send you that text message saying, ‘Let’s get out there.’ “
Halsne found her group at Endurance Sports in Mukilteo. It’s a triathlon, cycling and running store where athletes can gather to work out.
“It’s a big motivator,” Halsne said.
Run 26 in Mill Creek is for runners. It’s a retail store with a network of people who share tips and support. They have group runs, too.
Halsne also connects with runners online. She logs her workouts on a fitness blog, www.sweat365.com.
“It keeps me running every day,” she said.
Have a backup plan
When the cold winter days seem overwhelming, “make friends with the treadmill,” Halsne said.
Use treadmills at local fitness clubs or find good deals on gently used machines at discount stores or on websites like Craigslist.
“And get your winter iPod playlist in order,” she said. “If you’re not rockin’ on the treadmill, it’s a drag.”
Gloves and running tights are essential in Halsne’s winter workout wardrobe. She has expensive gloves, but said she prefers to double up on $1 pairs from Value Village.
Arm sleeves, she said, are also handy in cold weather.
The sleeves keep her warm without adding bulk around her torso and she can roll them down when she gets too hot.
“You’re only cold for the first four minutes, then your body really starts to warm up,” Halsne said.
Another wintertime trick: Halsne slathers Vaseline on her hands and feet before she bundles up. It keeps the cold out and makes running in the rain more bearable, she said.
And on every run, she wears a waist belt to carry her iPhone, extra gloves, a light jacket, snacks and whatever else she might need.
Endurance Sports will host a screening of the documentary “100 Miles to 40” with Halsne at 7 p.m. Jan. 9.
It’s free, but reservations are encouraged. For more information, call 425-493-8444.
• Endurance Sports NW: 4201 Russell Road, Mukilteo; 425-493-8444; www.endurancesportsnw.com.
• Run 26: 15603 Main St., Mill Creek; 425-948-6495; www.run26.net.
5 tips to remember
1. Buddy: Find someone to encourage you to get out there when the weather is bad.
2. Treadmill: Invest in a treadmill for days when you really can’t get outside.
3. Gloves: Double up on inexpensive gloves for warm layers.
4. Sleeves: Wear arm sleeves for nonbulky warmth.
5. Tunes: Organize a playlist on your personal music player to keep you going.