Thursday, March 14, 2013
Ain't Singin' The Winter Blues
I was in Chicago this past week at my Corporate Headquarters, and I'm always amazed at the amount of resistance expressed to physical fitness when I meet an out of shape co-worker I haven't seen in a while. It usually goes ... "Hey man ... so I heard you ran another marathon ... what's wrong with you?" This query, of course, while we take the elevator to the SECOND floor because of our bad knees ... after waddling back inside from the ice-cold winds we braved to suck down that last smoke ... all while enjoying our third trip through the breakfast bar??? (Um, there's usually nothing wrong with me dude ... that's the point) We are just bombarded by so much negativity when it comes to our physical fitness and running. Like a lone blossoming flower in the middle of your spring garden, all of the weeds try to strangle and snuff it out. It really takes a special person to hammer through the days when our bodies just don't wanna move in an uplifting direction on their own, all without adding the splash of the less than positive influence of others.
I've long been a believer that we really learn more about ourselves when our bodies are tired and uninterested in our scheduled training. High energy levels and fresh legs often mask our weaknesses and can, at times, give us a false sense of who we are as runners. Forcing ourselves to get out there and "do it anyway" on those "blah" days reinforces mental toughness and reminds us that our bodies can overcome, even when our will-power is lacking. Obviously I'm not talking about running while your injured ... that should always be taken seriously, and sometimes requires a break. But it seems that many times we take the easy way out and don't
"power through" when we get a little fatigued or afraid of the winter conditions. We're not feelin' it, so we just shut it down for a day or two ... or six. Funny thing is though, when we can't build to our typical speed or performance in an upcoming race, we have the audacity to question ourselves with, "Man, I have no idea why I didn't run better than that!" Really, no idea?
It's not easy, but I've just found that if I'll at least do something ... anything ... it will usually kick me in the butt, and I sometimes end up having one of my best workouts. Some mornings I can barely open my eyes, but if I just force myself to gradually start the movements, before long I feel better and I'm off and on my way! And let's face it, I'm no one's running hero and certainly nothing special, but you don't run 3,000 miles in back-to-back years without overcoming some of those days when you're just not "feelin' it". If we run long enough, we all eventually have to push back when our bodies resist. Learning how to handle these days can sometimes be the difference in less than your best, and a great race.
So hopefully as the cold drags on and on, and winter seems to just never end, you're finding in yourself that little something extra it takes to conquer the winter blues. If I can do it, you certainly can do it. It's always darkest before the dawn ... and winter's almost over ... we're almost home! Bring on spring!!! Hang in there and have a great weekend!
... be great today!