The plan for today was to swim in the morning, and run 4 miles in the evening.
When the alarm on my phone went off at 5, I hit snooze. I can hit snooze 3 times (at five minute intervals) on my phone; the fourth time, the alarm shuts off. I had 15 minutes to decide what I was going to do. The apartment was chilly, and the bed was covered in layers of quilts. I had Dylan to my right, Penny snuggled in to my chest, and Dylan’s parents dog warming up my feet. I was in the worlds warmest and snuggest cocoon.
I hit snooze a second time. I didn’t close my eyes. I laid there, and thought about how sore I was from yesterday. My calves, my back. I knew swimming would make me feel better. But my cocoon…so warm, so snug.
I hit snooze a third time. I grabbed my phone; I was going to get up, even if it meant spending a few minutes checking email, Facebook, Pinterest, before I got out of bed.
The fourth and final alarm. Penny had already left; I rolled after, snuggled up to Dylan, and ask him if it was okay to skip swimming, I was planning on running today anyway. He said yes – but it’s really not fair to ask him like that – he’s never awake if he’s not getting up to workout with me.
When I left work today, the wind had a chill to it. It was supposed to have been 35 degrees – but it felt colder than that. Sure, it probably felt colder because I was wearing a skirt, but it was cold. When I got home, I had to walk further than I liked…and the wind bit at my legs. I wasn’t going to run today. It was too cold. I’ll work out tomorrow morning. I’ll go to the gym, maybe. I’ll run on the dreadmill.
I stood in my apartment, in the middle of my dining room, for a solid five minutes, convincing myself to not go running. Arguing with myself that I needed to go running. 15K race – 9 miles – I’ve never run that far. If I don’t train now, I won’t be able to do it.
I made myself go. I bundled myself up. I told myself it would protect me from the wind, even if I knew, deep down I was overdressed and would regret what I was wearing about a half mile in to my run. Under that wind breaker, and under those pants, were an Under Armour top and leggings. Those things are warm. I’ve run outside in colder temperatures without wind breaker materials in my UA top and bottom.
About a half mile in to my run, I regretted the wind breakers. I was warm – too warm. But about halfway around the lake, the wind hit me. And I was thankful for the wind breakers. Sure, that pink jacket isn’t fitted – so the wind blowing against it added another 100 pounds to my body (perhaps I exaggerate). But once I finished my loop around the lake, I broke through the wind and I finished my run at a quick pace, at just the right temperature. I thought for sure my run would be much, much slower than I normally go; but no – it was right on track.
The whole time I ran, I was miserable. I was cold, I was sore, my legs felt heavy from the bike yesterday, I just wanted to eat dinner. I just wanted to walk, I didn’t want to run. About a mile in to the run, I remember an article I read about quirky mantras you tell yourself as your running. What were my mantras to get through this run?
“You’re one of the few people out here running”
“Who gives a s*** how fast/slow you’re running?”
“You’ve earned that ice cream!”
“Thank God you put on your wind breakers!”
Finally, when I got home, and was searching for things to put in to this post, I found this article written by my good friend Ladia – 3 Ways to Happier Running. I needed it, to remind myself why I go out, and why I went out there today. So while today was about the distance, perhaps Wednesday will be about the time (and perhaps it will be warmer). And while I try to have a plan, whenever I run, bike, or swim, I know it’s a free for all once I’m out there. Planning a 4-miler? Might be a 5 miler, might be a 2 miler. 4,000 yards in the pool? More like 2,000.
Either way, regardless of how you get from Point A to Point B, one of the only ways I think you can be committed to training and exercising is to find your happy at the end of it all. And all joking aside, I find my happy by pushing myself, finding out what I can, trying to find out if there is a limit. I’ve accomplished things I never thought I would be able to – it might not have been pretty (for example, the Olympic distance triathlon last summer – but I did it, and I know I can do it better, faster, this year. The furthest I’ve ever run is 6 miles – so the new challenge is 9 miles. And that’s why I got out there and ran today.