Score: Cold weather 1, Common Sense 0
I am a grown, semi intelligent man with what I hope is an above average level of common sense. I have a gym membership and am completely aware of how comfortable working out in that environment is. Yet somehow, when given the choice between a nice, cozy workout at my climate controlled torture chamber of choice or running outside at 7-a-freakin am with a temperature of 17 degrees (but a comfy 5 degrees with the windchill)… I chose to run outside.
I would love to say it was because of my wonderful running friends (and, it really was) but I couldn’t keep up with them and then I ended up just turning off onto a singletrack trail and running the rest of the distance on my own. So after the warm up mile it was like a solo run.
I would love to say that it was because I’m tough and there ain’t no weather gonna stop me.
Or maybe I could say that I’m training for a big race and… wait… I haven’t signed up for any races…
What was I thinking?
…I have no idea. I will file it in the “seemed like a good idea at the time” drawer.
But, honestly, I will almost always choose being outside to going to the gym. I have run right past my gym in a driving thunderstorm before and gotten strange looks from all the people running on the indoor track.
I believe that the gym is a tool. There are certain types of workouts that can only be done at a gym. In my case, swimming, lifting and certain stretches. The gym has the facilities and equipment to do these things. I don’t go to the gym to be seen. I rarely talk to anyone. I try to be all business and just get the workout done. My favorite part of the gym is the spin room because 90% of the day it is empty and I can do my thing and be done with it. I don’t like spinning and would rather be on my road or mountain bike, but if that can’t happen spin is the next best thing. So I tolerate it.
But give me a day off or a weekend day and I need longer distances than I can tolerate at a gym (those of you who can run treadmill marathons have my admiration… and my pity). I’m good for about 4 miles on the track (6 1/2 laps to a mile), about 30 seconds on a dreadmill or up to about an hour spinning or riding a stationary of some kind. The monotony is MIND NUMBING. I usually forget what I’m doing about half way through and just give up.
So there is my big push. I know I can get the distance I want and do an end to end workout without being distracted. That and I know that eventually I will actually SIGN UP for something. And that something could be in any weather so it’s better to have prior experience.
The run, itself, was… well, cold. But except for about a mile where I had to run into that windchilling breeze and thought my face was going to fall off, it was not bad. The singletrack in the middle made it more fun and broke it up quite well. Lots of hills and fun woods to run through. And since it was below freezing, the trail was nice and hard packed. No mud! I slowed down on the offroad stuff and sped up on the main trail and managed to get in about 8.5 miles. Tomorrow promises to be just as cold and I’m running all offroad at Rock Bridge so I had better get to washing the cold weather gear…!