Feb. 17th, 2013

bricks_and_bones: (whining)
I've noticed something just lately among my running friends: if there has been one prevailing response to things outside our control, like the weather or injuries or other issues, the first response seems to be to blame ourselves and lose heart. Frustration and impatience, especially during times of injury, psychologically derail a runner.

In my case, I've recovered from the tendonitis, but now the trails are covered with snow. And not just ANY snow -- a special ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE TO RUN ON snow. The deep dump from last weekend's blizzard was, of course, pockmarked with snowshoe and cross-country ski tracks over the course of the week, not to mention deer tracks and horse tracks. And person tracks, of course. This tracked-up snow crusted and froze over and melted and crusted and froze over AGAIN creating what I can only describe as ankle-breaking conditions. Coupled with the fresh snow that is falling today and COVERING all those alarming ankle-breaking holes in the crust, well -- let's just say that it is making running INCREDIBLY difficult.

Or maybe that's just me: I did see a lot of people out today, mostly GACers, who didn't really seem to be having problems. I couldn't put speed on, though; attempts at speed were met with that painful sensation of the foot breaking through crust and the ankle rolling unnaturally sideways. A trail I commonly run on has a natural sideways cant anyway, and that, coupled with the ridges created by cross country skiers? It was looney tunes out there, and at one point I almost faceplanted.

I say this, though a couple of the notoriously rocky, rugged hills are actually EASIER to run with a good coating of snow on them!

I suppose I could put my snowshoes on and go for a hike, but April is around the corner and I need to put in some solid running time before Traprock. I don't need to go nuts, I just need to run -- but weather conditions have prevented that.

So today, as I suited up to run in the snowstorm -- ski goggles, balaclava/mask, hat, gloves, mittens, snowboarding pants over running tights, polypro shirt under sweatshirt under windbreaking outer jacket, alpaca wool socks, ice spikes -- I decided I had to be patient with it all. Patient with myself, not getting frustrated when I can't run with any kind of speed or step with any kind of surety; patience with the trails and the conditions; and, maybe, the knowledge that adverse conditions really make a better endurance athlete. YES I could be inside on a treadmill, but that isn't going to create any mental toughness. Boredom, maybe, but not mental toughness, and mental endurance -- PATIENCE -- is one of the most important qualities of a finisher. And since I've started this, I want to finish it, and I WILL finish it, but I want to get there mentally intact, so.

QUALIFIER: My reference to "mental toughness" is only to my OWN state of mind, no one else's. Some days the most badass thing to do is get on the treadmill, quite honestly. Everyone's badassery is his or her own. Getting out into the storm was how I had to exercise my patience today.


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Bricks and Bones

December 2013

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