Thursday, January 7, 2010

That Mean Old Mr. Weathers

This has been a brutal week in Northeast Ohio. Highs in the low 20s, lots of snow and a wicked wind. And the runners in Florida think it's cold. I would relish a "cold snap" that brought supra-freezing temperatures.

Motivation is hard to come by this time of year when your time to run is dark and frigid, and all the surfaces provide uneven, snowed-over footing. As with many things in life, starting is the hardest part.

Your mind's first instincts are to focus on all the negatives: the chore of putting on all the layers, the increased potential for injury, the cold, and yeah, sure, you'll warm up, but those first 10-15 minutes are chillier than a witch's tit; the sidewalks are covered in snow with treacherous footing, the streets are mostly clear, but then there's always the danger that cars won't see you no matter how reflective you are; the park has more even footing, but it's even darker than the roads; you know you're going to be slower with the difficult terrain, and that means more time in the cold, and what if you can't finish; then there's the chore of taking off all the layers afterward to stretch, the shoes are the worst because they're caked in snow, and you don't want ice clumps in your home; you have to hop around in socks and on tired legs to get off the shoes in the entryway without getting the dreaded wet sock, and it's even more complicated when you also wore YakTrax; and damn why is it so cold?

You must eschew this thinking.

Consider what is more important to you: shielding yourself from potential harm or fulfilling your goals? Failure or success?

Yes, there is a chance that part of the run will be unpleasant. But the thrill of returning home again after even a small achievement is a great reward.

The difficulty in starting is an illusion. Put the task before you and begin. One layer at a time, one step at a time until you finish. You can do this.


Razz said...

grumble grumble grumble.

There's a temperature breaking point. We've in that here.

Jen Feeny said...

Ya'll have totally got us beat for sure but this weather we're getting is beyond insane for Florida! I've lived here 10 years and never had a winter this cold!!!

X-Country2 said...

Once you get past the scalding skin, a hot shower post cold run is pretty fab.

Jess said...

There are some times when it's just to cold for me and I sadly retreat to the treadmill....or my sofa haha.

Ian said...

Actual, real advice? I want my money back.

Unknown said...

Amen, my brother. Pass the whiskey.

Jeri said...

Do you like yaktrax? Should I invest? I've been gym bound for almost a month (partially b/c I'm a wuss, partially b/c of snow/ice trails).

B. Kramer said...

@Jeri: I can't believe I haven't reviewed YakTrax. Check back next week. In short, yes, YakTrax are money well-spent.