Had to… Just HAD to.

Winter time training is a challenge.  It took me two years to get completely geared up just to RUN in the cold.  And that was just physically… mentally it’s just as hard!  Last year, yesterday, we got 20″ of snow at our house and that pretty much shot an entire month of outdoor training.  I spent more time on the sled hill than the treadmill and since I didn’t go to the pool much at that time, I got way behind.  This year is different for a lot of reasons.  First, the weather has been phenomenal.  Granted, not dry or cold enough to mountain bike much, but for running and riding on the trails, it’s been exceptional.

I feel like I’m 2 months ahead of last year already.  I have been in the pool three days a week pretty consistently for a month and a half.  My running is doing better than I thought and I just have to be patient.  As I lose weight, it will get better.  The bike is always a concern for me.  I never get enough miles on the bike.  But this year, between mountain biking and the spin bikes at the gym, I think I’m at least maintaining a base that I didn’t have last year.

As my friend Judi pointed out, I jinxed myself in talking about my weak ankles a few days ago.  I rolled my right ankle (on the smooth, flat trail, no less) on Thursday’s run and had to hop, hobble and cuss for a few minutes until it stopped hurting.  Most people would have been done at that point, but after a slow mile or two to shake it out, I ran my last 2.5 pretty close to the pace I wanted.  It’s a little sore today, but I could go out and run without a problem.

English: MKT trail in Columbia, MO

Image via Wikipedia

The problem with weather like we have been having is that I don’t want to miss it.  Even if I have already worked out for the day, I feel the urgency to get out and do something outside because we just don’t get many 60+ degree days in January/February!  For example, yesterday, even after my ankle twisting run, I walked out on my back deck and into a nice warm sun, no breeze and about 62 degrees.  My body was sore and I was tired, but I HAD to do something.  I ended up riding 20 miles on the MKT trail, simply because I could.  Yes, I was tired and I ran out of gas, but man it felt good to be riding outside in shorts and a short sleeved shirt on February 2nd…!  I just couldn’t let a day like that go.

Of course, I paid for it this morning.  My lack of fitness showed in the pool as I put in a very tired, lackluster 1400 yard swim (should have been 2000+).  My arms and legs were sore and my ankle hurt when I kicked.  My lungs and brain said “keep going” but my body said no.  Rest or get hurt, you make the call.  I know I’m pushing it a little because now all I want to do is sleep and eat.  I’m sluggish and my legs are sore.  Need to take it easy today.  It’s supposed to rain all day today and tomorrow and then maybe even snow, so the good times may be over for a while.  But that’s what I mean, you have to take your sunshine when you can get it!

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