Rain, and Why I Train

14 03 2010

Today's Pictorial Workout Summary

Today was one of those days when you ask yourself, “Why do I do this?!” Why do I get up early, push my body to the point of exhaustion, punish the muscles, the heart, the lungs… just why. Today was one of those days you just want crawl back into bed and stay there all day.

The temperature was a cold 36 degrees, the wind was blowing 25mph with gusts up to 40mph and the rain was coming down hard. Today’s suffer fest included a one hour bike to pre-fatigue my legs then a 1:45 run to top finish off the workout (and me). We also lost an hour of sleep last night due to daylight savings. Yeah, I hate that. I don’t get enough sleep as it is and to lose another is just plain wrong.

I logged onto the computer and checked my email, Google Reader, Twitter, Facebook, anything to delay the inevitable. I saw a tri-friend, Ann Freeman, saying she was about to go out for a twenty miler. Now that is dedication. It’s like that line, “Somebody out there is training harder than you.”. So I jumped on the trainer for an easy one hour bike ride and hoped that there might be a lull in the weather. Not even close: when I finished biking, I looked outside and saw the wet misery, unchanged. I stared out into the yard and wondered ‘why’ again. Why am I about to do this?  I don’t actually want to go out in this. I could have stayed inside to be with my daughter, who just took her first steps, and, also, it happens to be nice and dry and warm.

But no, I’m not going to wimp out, I’m going to battle the weather and do the *$% run. So I went. I ran, and ran, and ran. I was soaked in a matter of seconds; I was cold before I was that far from our neighborhood. The worst of it was:

  • 40mph gusts in the face
  • getting even more soaked by the oncoming traffic
  • cold pain in the hands, feet and legs

Seriously, I couldn’t even feel the extremities. The best part of the run was the tailwind, which didn’t show up very often, and just being out in the elements, knowing that you are one of the few.

I completed the run, nothing to spectacular with my time, but knowing that I can do it is good enough for me. My feet, hands, and legs were red like a lobster, and beyond numbing cold. I couldn’t even get my wet clothes off by myself, I needed help from the wife.

Now I’m sitting here, bundled up in a blanket with my coffee in a warm house. I did it. I battled the elements.

Was it worth it? Some may say no and others may say I’m crazy, but at least now I know weather won’t stop me on my quest to become a better athlete. Is that why we do it? Why we train twelve plus hours a week? To improve our ability, dedication, stamina? To say that we can do it, then prove we can do it? It’s a long road to the finish line, with lots of ‘whys’ along the way.

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