It’s not often that I am defeated by the elements. I will run in almost any weather. It seems that the only weather that really gets me most of the time is severe heat WITH humidity. But this last week has really tested me against the opposite extreme of that weather and my whole “just put another layer on and go” mantra has fallen apart. This all culminated Thursday morning when I was faced with two things. First, the weather was ludicrous. Temperatures of negative 5, 20mph winds (gusts to 30), -25 windchills and blowing snow. Oh… and a 3 inch snowpack to run through. Second, I had the memory of the previous Tuesday run fresh in my mind. Temperatures again were in the negatives with slightly less wind. I was miserable, couldn’t breathe and my balaclava, which was SUPPOSED to protect me, actually FROZE to my face a couple of times. It was a miserable run.
Faced with these two considerations, for the first time that I can remember, I abandoned the run. I felt horrible about it (seriously) and did manage a brick workout later which was a combination of a stationary bike ride and a treadmill run. But of all the things that have prevented me from running in the past, this one felt like the biggest defeat.
Of course my running friends were all over me about it… deservedly so. And my darling wife was on the other side of the fence about it, hailing my discovery of an ounce of common sense like a scientific breakthrough… deservedly so.
What’s sad is, I still got a decent workout in, but was completely dissatisfied with it. I felt like I should be apologizing for a half hour bike ride and 3 sub seven minute miles (6:55!!!) on the treadmill. Call it sick or twisted if you want to, but this is serious to me.
I had a brief discussion with a friend this morning who said that she was frustrated that her friends didn’t want to exercise anymore. They felt they didn’t need to anymore because they were already married…? So why work out or look good?
…umm… Because it’s about being HEALTHY and doing something good for yourself? Maybe? See, I made a commitment to MYSELF three years ago to do something healthy and good for me every day. And I have, for the greater part, done just that. I asked my family to give me this time and they did so willingly and with MUCH encouragement. And they have been very supportive ever since. They understand. I need this for me, but it will benefit all of us.
My record of daily exercise has been so good, in fact, that I have been able to eliminate just about every excuse for NOT exercising. I have run and ridden in thunderstorms, winds, snow, ice and heat. I have swam in 50 degree water, 95 degree water, rain, darkness and mud. So giving in on a workout and using weather as an excuse doesn’t cut it for me, yet here I am. Faced with a run tomorrow morning that I probably won’t do because the temperatures are again forecast to be -5 or below. Even waiting until later when the temperatures “warm up” into the single digits forecast for highs is very unattractive. Yet, for some screwed up reason I want to go.
I know if I had better equipment and/or lived in an area where these temps were common, this wouldn’t be an issue. I guess it’s just a bit unusual. I only remember one day below zero last year and we all beat our chests and dared each other to be there and it was fun. This extended deep freeze is just wearing me down. It really stops being fun and that’s the only real reason I run anyway… Even if I’m sharing the misery with others…
The temperatures look to be moderating next week back to what I have come to expect from Mid Mo in the winter. It’s funny to say that I am looking forward to warmer temperatures… in the 30’s… but I am…:o) I guess I just have a lot of plans, like bike commuting, running to work, extending my mileages, etc. that require warmer temperatures. Patience has never been a strong suit with me…