Fantasy Trumps Freezing

It was cold all last week.  I ran almost every day.  I took two days to strength train, as I tend to worry about maintaining upper body strength.   I did the first pull-ups of my life last summer, and I want to be able to accomplish that regularly.   I’m afraid that if I skip strength training I won’t be able to make my goal of 8 pull-ups in a row, so I lifted weights with serious intensity this week.  Once, I worked out alone, with lots of great, loud, bouncy music to keep me motivated through the slow eccentric motions, and the second time I lifted while training my husband.  I really love training him, because he’s so motivated to learn exactly how each move is done, and because he’s so damn cute in his old blue sweatpants and p.j. top.  I got him to do push-ups with rotation!  They are super hard for me, but I can do 20 in a row.  I only asked him to do 8, and he tore right through them.  Go hubby!  (He’s on his bike right now— this man is committed to getting fit!)

Sue and I ran together this morning.  We thought that by going later, say 10 o’clock, the weather, particularly the temperature, would be a bit kinder to us.  When I called to change the time to 9:30, we both agreed that just a half hour could not make much difference.  When we left, it was 16 degrees.  She strode into my front hall and declared it was freezing out, and suggested we take a route other than the shore.   Both of us had slathered our faces in a thick pomade called Dermatone, and our cheeks glowed as we grinned at each other and took off.  As I followed her lead, I noticed we were headed along our regular route.  We had both also agreed that if we really felt too cold, we would just turn around and go back home.  We wouldn’t run out too far, just in case.  Right.  We rounded the corner to the first part of the shore route, chose the longer way to reach South Street, also a shore route, and both declared we were plenty warm so should continue the usual.

We ran 5.8 miles in 47 minutes, not bad considering the wind was against us for a fair amount of the time.  The hills were particularly challenging for me today— my legs, though not actually frozen, thanks to the fleece lined winter running tights I favor, still moved as though pressing through molasses or honey.  I think it might just be that blood does not flow as fast when it’s that cold outside. I pushed hard to reach each peak, and it felt like I had really accomplished something each time.  I was grateful to have Sue with me, keeping pace but not pushing.  Some days it’s just easier to run with a friend.  The half hour difference in the time we decided to run didn’t matter at all, as the temperature held steady at 16 degrees for the full length of our run.

I am still trying to figure out how I get myself out there on these freezing cold days.  It’s shocking, really.  I hate being cold more that anything else I can think of.   But I may have a bit of insight into my own psyche.   I have noticed lately that as each day wears on into late afternoon, I find myself fantasizing about my next run.  I see myself cruising down the street, legs and arms pumping, (there are never any little tweaks of pain, or little itches, or cars looming in on me in these reveries) going on and on effortlessly.  I can almost feel that feeling I love so much when I run, and immediately start thinking about the next day’s route, distance goals, speed goals, whatever I saw myself doing in my mind’s eye.  I am making my plan without planning, just holding the vision of how great the next day’s run will be.  So to make that little fantasy become reality, to get that feeling, to feel that good, I have to go.  It doesn’t matter how cold it is.  And as Sue said today, after the first five minutes, we warm up quickly.

Explore posts in the same categories: Run notes that run into life

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