I wanted to run but, as is often the case, my will power teetered between wanting to get the run done and wanting to stay bundled up indoors rather than face the thirty degree weather.
It was Sunday afternoon, and Dave had a meeting to go to, so I could use that time to run or I could sit inside and read or write or nap or watch TV. I decided to run, mostly because I’d gone through the trouble of packing running clothes. Ordinarily, they wouldn’t take much space, but given the weather, I had to pack a pair of leggings, a pair of pants, a short-sleeved technical shirt, a long-sleeved technical shirt, a long-sleeved technical outer layer, a fleece pullover, ear covers, and gloves. And let’s not forget the running shoes. That’s a lot of stuff for one run, but I know my body well enough to know that two layers on bottom and four layers on top, with my hands and ears protected, would work for me in frigid cold weather. That’s pretty much what I wore on Whidbey Island when I ran in twenty degree weather. I hate packing stuff that I don’t wear, so I went running. And I enjoyed it.
I did the same roughly six-mile route that Dave and I did back in November when I visited. Before he left for his meeting, Dave drove the route to remind me of it – Stange to University Boulevard to 6th Street to Northwestern to 24th Street and back to Stange. It was just under six miles with some subtle inclines. I felt a bit of sleet and, in the last mile or so of the run, the wind really picked up, but I got it done.
It always feels good to get the run done. I’ve said before that I never, ever regret working out, but I often regret skipping a workout. Knowing that, why is it still so hard sometimes to get my butt out the door and to the trails or the gym or wherever is planned for my workout? Getting to the starting line, whether it’s a race or a workout, is often the hardest part. Even when I did the half marathon earlier this month, I was so tempted to skip the race altogether. When my alarm went off at 4:30 that morning, I was tempted to send the “I’m bailing” text to my friends, but I didn’t, and I’m so glad I didn’t. It ended up being a wonderful race.
It definitely helps to have people, like my running buddies, who will be disappointed if I don’t show up. It also helps to have people like Dave who encourage me to make the best use of my time. “You should run,” he said. And he was right. Still, I’d like to be more self-motivated. I still want that pop-out-of-bed mentality – the “I can’t believe I get to” life.
I didn’t have any trouble waking up on the mountain in Africa. Every day there was an “I can’t believe I get to” sort of day. I woke up each morning excited, despite some real fear, to face that day’s climb of Kilimanjaro. I didn’t have to coax myself out of my sleeping bag. It was a privilege to wake up and get dressed and set out with my group each day.
Maybe I need to remind myself that training is a privilege. I’m lucky to have a coach and a training program. I’m lucky to have my gym membership at Lifetime Fitness and access to Lady Bird Lake. I’m lucky to have Kerry and Jenny to run with in the mornings. Mostly, I’m lucky to have a healthy body that has been able to withstand everything I’ve thrown at it so far. I’m so very lucky. That may be the key.
Tomorrow morning, when my alarm goes off at 5:10 so that I can get dressed and down to the trails for a run by 5:50, I’m going to remind myself that I’m so very lucky. Because I am.