Despite having spent some years living in northern Maine, experiencing eight of the harshest winters I’ll likely ever experience again (hopefully), I have little tolerance for the cold. After just writing those words, I hear my Maine-native (Maniac) mother telling me to quit being a baby. As a kid, I’d play outside in the snow when the temperature was well below zero. Now, I don’t want to be outside when it’s 20.
I’ve lived here for more than twice the time I lived in Maine, so I’ve embraced the sweltering heat that southern Indiana can throw at us in the summer. I trained for my most recent marathon almost entirely outside through the dog days of summer. I just got used to carrying plenty of water and wearing sweat-absorbing or displacing material.
The other night I had a really nice dream about riding my bike with the group I used to ride with. We all met in a parking lot and hit the road. I felt like a million bucks! When I woke up and realized that I wouldn’t be riding with them any time soon, and that the weather isn’t all that nice, I got bummed. It made me miss all the organized rides I’ve participated in the last few years.
After a week off from running, I took it relatively easy last week. I got all my miles in, and ran a sluggish 13 miles on Saturday. After coming off several weeks of solid training that felt amazing, this week was a bit of a struggle. The cold and wind just weren’t doing it for me, and I had to convince myself every day to go outside. But I did it, and that’s what matters, right? It doesn’t have to feel good, I just have to get it done.
Saturday’s 13 miles is a pretty good example of this. Even as I was getting out of my car to go run an out-and-back on Evansville’s lovely Greenway path, I muttered to myself, “I really don’t want to do this.” But I did it. At around mile 11, I was really ready to be finished running. But I had to get back to my car…so I kept going.
There’s some pretty common advice that floats around on the running blogs: some of the most important miles you’ll cover are the ones that are hard, when you’re tired or having to push harder to get through it. I was telling myself this when I decided to do four sets of fartleks (see Training Details for info about fartleks). I finally finished my run with 13.01 miles. I typically go over the distance I’m scheduled for, but I was more than happy to finish up and drink my smoothie.
Now it’s a new week – and a new month! – and it’s freezing and windy outside. I think I’m back to my regularly scheduled runs, which will lead to a 16-miler this weekend. Woo hoo!
What are some of the ways you try to stay motivated when the weather isn’t in your favor?