Monday, November 17, 2014

Discipline And Determination: Running Through Winter

As many of you know by now, I am a runner. I love running. I love how it makes me feel, how it keeps me in shape, how it strengthens my body and my mind. Who needs therapy when you have a good pair of running shoes?! If you know me well then you also know that I hate winter and the cold. Okay, so maybe hate is a strong word. Maybe it's not so much winter as it is the cold itself. This will be the 4th winter in a row I run in the cold temps and snow.

I don't own a treadmill and I don't have a gym membership. I love having my feet hit the pavement and I am not about to stop because of the cold. I have grown accustomed to cold weather running. Two years ago I said I would not run if it got below 20 degrees. Last year I ran when it was -5 degrees. When it came down to it the cold did not stop me. I would conquer it! I have learned how to dress appropriately for the weather. Once you master that, you don't get cold. I do hate layers and I prefer running in less. I have figured it out and can get away with thin but warm gear and am comfortable during my runs.

With the time change it also gets dark much earlier. Two out of four of my runs are in the late afternoon. This week not only did I run in the first snowflakes falling, I also ran in the darkness. Safety is important when it is dark. I wear a reflective vest, head lamp and use Knuckle Lights. (If you don't know what Knuckle Lights are you should check these out! Visibility is great when I use these. I had a man tell me this week that the lights looked pretty when I was running with them.)

It is harder for me to get into my runs when it is dark out. I still enjoy it yet I feel like I put so much energy focusing on staying safe that I don't get to loose myself in my runs as I usually do. I have talked about it before; running for me is spiritual as well as physical. When I am running at night I have to pay close attention to my surroundings. It is a constant focus on completing my run safely.

So here we are. Winter is almost here and now it is cold and dark. I have to discipline myself to get out there. I love running, but the elements of my run I don't always enjoy. I have to push myself. Determination fills me so I can get my ass out there on my running days no matter what the weather is. I have run in sun, rain and snow. I would rather run than regret not running. I don't ever come home wishing I had not gone for that run.

This year was an important running year for me. I hit some personal records, or as I like to think of it, "milestones". I completed two Half Marathons and to date have run 1,032.75 miles this year! I am out of training mode and have scaled back a little. After the new year I will most likely kick it into gear again as my goal is to do three to four Half Marathons next year, beginning with the first in April. It is important to me to set new goals. Even more important for me to reach them.

Run when you can, walk if you have to, crawl if you must; just never give up.” ~ Dean Karnazes

1 comment:

  1. SO IMPRESSIVE!!!!!!!!!!!! As you know I'm trying to make it through November! So far, so good! I was just telling my friend Meghan about knuckle lights! She had never heard of them!