Monday, January 27, 2014

Don't Fret the Weather

I have this tendency to worry about things over which I have little or no control. The weather is a perfect example. Especially during the extreme seasons of cold and heat, I routinely check the next day's weather forecast to determine how I should dress (layer)for my training run. Last Saturday evening, I looked at the forecast and was rewarded with a prediction of single digits with wind rising into the mid 30's, with snow accumulations during the night. Well, that was more than enough to fuel my "worry genes." If I dressed for single digit temps I would surely be overheated as the temperature began to rise. Then too, I started to fret about the depth of the snow. I was going to be running a long run on a nearby Forest Service road that is not plowed. Typically a few brave souls have driven in or out and packed a track in the deep snow. Nevertheless, I worried about getting too deep into the "forest" at my turn around and becoming fatigued before finishing my workout. Long runs fatigue us anyway, but slogging through deep snow really saps the spring from our legs and creates the possibility for a serious bonk. I awakened Sunday morning and decided to delay the start of my run until mid morning. I nuked a bowl of oatmeal and garnished it with cinnamon and buckwheat honey; ate a banana and chased it with a cup of coffee and set of for whatever the morning had in store for me. The temperatures had begun climbing before I left home, so I layered lightly, knowing I would be cold for the first 2 or 3 miles. I arrived at my pullout and cranked up the GPS and set off at an easy pace. Thankfully there wasn't a lot of wind, and even though the snow was fairly deep, there were some truck tracks I was able to run in. I was a little chilled for a couple of miles, but then (as almost always happens)I began to warm up. I was actually comfortable and feeling good. I started to wonder, "Why do you always fret about the weather?" Turns out, I had a great run. Temps were good and the snow was pretty nicley packed, save for the final mile before my turnaround. I slogged through 2 miles of untrammeled snow, but then was back into the packed stuff. Legs felt no worse for the wear and I just really enjoyed the rest of the morning, watching the Shavers Fork of the Cheat River as it was freezing over, and just being into the solitude of a pretty nice winterscape. I guess the moral of this blog must be pretty obvious. Don't Fret the Weather! Easy for me to say, but I'm sure I'll find some weather forecast over which to worry. Tomorrow for example is predicted to have negative 25 to negative 35 wind chills. How will I dress. How far should I risk running in the extreme cold. And on and on...... Stay warm & dry Happy Trails, jim

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