Limits

OK… look…  I consider myself a pretty dedicated guy.  I mean, even with getting hurt and not running one, single race this ENTIRE YEAR, I have still managed to maintain 25-30 miles per week on a pretty routine schedule.  People look at me crazy when they ask what I’m training for and I say 2009…  But it’s true.  My first “race” of the year will actually be December 31, 2008 at 4pm (close enough to 2009 for me).

But let’s talk limits…  Thirty six degrees, rain, dark, and 20mph wind…  That would be a definite limit for me.

As much as I wanted to run this morning, looking at the combination of the Weather Channel and what I was seeing out my window, it just kind of hit me.  What good would this do?  The last two rainy, dark, cold  mornings have yielded twisted ankles.  I have nothing to prove.  Nothing to gain.  And most importantly, nothing to keep me from just waiting out the rain and running this afternoon.  The only thing I miss is the brief, shivering conversation with a couple of dozen die hards before they take off and leave me in the dark to run by myself and risk hypothermia, more twisted ankles, etc.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  I’m not complaining.  I love the opportunity to run with this group.  I love the fact that I am even HAVING this conversation with myself.  But I think my dad used a phrase that rings true with me right now.  He used to say “Live to fight another day”.  Sometimes you don’t have to be the hero.  Sometimes you have to look at the bigger picture and let safer judgement override all the gung-ho bravado that we citizen athletes like to thump our chests about.

In my opinion (as unconsidered as it is), today’s conditions bordered on dangerous.  And looking at the bigger picture, this afternoon the rain is supposed to move out and the temps should top out about 50.  I still get to run, I can see the trail and I don’t have to worry about hypothermia.  OK… so I don’t get a bead for perfect attendance this month.  At least I will be able to attend next month.  At this point, that is the most important thing to me.  So, see you on the trail this afternoon!

On another note, I think I have narrowed down my choices for swimming.  I’m not ready to pull the trigger yet, but I did get to talk with an experienced triathlete who really clarified some things for me regarding training tools and regimens.  I can’t stress enough how important this was for me to pick the brain of an experienced athlete who has been in the trenches.  She pointed out a lot of things I needed and quite a few things I didn’t need.  If you are even THINKING about doing this, find an experienced triathlete, buy them a coffee and ask your questions.  This group of athletes, above any others I have been around, are the most supportive and helpful people in sports.

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