I do not like to deviate from my training plan. I am just that anal.
Yesterday it got bitterly cold and snowed a lot. I had a 15 mile run planned for today, early. I knew it was supposed to be cold and snowy. I hate the treadmill enough (especially thoughts of spending several hours on it), that the cold and snow somehow seemed like a better alternative.
I knew I had to take my own advice and shut up and run. I mean, what was the worst that could happen? Frost bite? Freeze to death? End up in a ditch?
Usually when I dread runs they are never as bad as I expect. Very rarely are they worse than I expect. Today’s run, however, was much, much worse than expected. To be honest (and I never say this), there was nothing about it that was fun except for being done (that was a little rhyme).
Joie, Ken and I started out at zero degrees a.m. (7:30).
7:35 a.m we saw two bald eagles in a tree.
7:40 a.m. we discovered how tough it was to run in several inches of snow.
7:42 a.. we saw a coyote
7:45 a.m. 1st mile took us 10 freaking minutes.
7:50 a.m. my stomach hurt. Foreshadow.
7:55 a.m. it started snowing. Again.
8:00 a.m. we stopped for a drink. Ken’s Camelback hose was frozen (does “that’s what she said” work here?). Joie’s little bottles were frozen (no that is not a euphemism). My big bottle was icy, but still mostly liquid.
8:05 a.m. stomach hurt worse. Found a ditch. Ugh. It did not look like a snow angel.
8:35 a.m. we finally hit 6 miles. Joie mentions only 9 more to go (nice pep talk) and Ken asks if we can maybe cut it short? No is the answer. He asks for a divorce.
8:40 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. ran 9 more miles. Miserable and freezing. Legs stiff. Snot frozen on nose. 6 degrees now. Balmy.
My conclusion about this run? Much harder mentally than physically. I never had any highs. Just lows. I spent every single minute dreaming of three things: a warm bath, a huge cup of coffee and a seat in front of the fire.
What do you tell yourself when the going gets tough and ever morsel of your body wants to quit? Here’s what I do:
- Visualize being finished, sitting on a heated car seat and feeling accomplished. If that doesn’t work, I…
- Stay present. One foot in front of the other. One mile, step, block at a time. Then I..
- Tell myself I am strong and that runs like this make me stronger. If all else fails, I…
- Cry and complain, but keep going
You know I looked like death warmed over (no picture, my phone died we were out there so long) because I went into Starbucks and a man approached me and asked if I wanted his coat because I looked so cold and beat up. I decided to go home and take an ice bath. Kidding.
The rest of the day was spent mostly here.
The moral of the story is: just because it’s challenging and hard and you don’t want to do it does not mean you should not do it. It just means that you are going to have to muster up some strength and motivation from deep down. You have it, I have it, we all have it if we are willing to find it.
What’s the worst run you’ve had lately? I just told you! Stop asking.
Have you ever had to cut a long run short? Why? I have only once because of pain. Turns out I had a hamstring tear, so good idea on my part.
PS: Had to share this with you. We went to a new restaurant last night called CyclHops. It’s a combination restaurant/bar and bike shop. Perfection. My favorite thing was this bike with a flask on the back. Very Colorado. Next thing you know there will be a bong on the back.