I’ve made lots of good choices this week. My friends and I shuffled our running days to adjust to the weather, so we still got three good days of running in despite below freezing temperatures and lots of rain. This morning, my friend Poppe and I went to yoga again, as hot yoga was about the only training I could muster in the cold and the rain. And I’ve eaten super well since I started a clean eating challenge on Monday. I love those choices, but my choices for the week aren’t done. I have an 18.6 mile race tomorrow, and the forecast is bleak. Do I run if the temperature is in the 30s and it’s raining? That’s the decision I have to make, and I’m thinking I need to make it now.
I’m struggling with the idea of getting up early and driving in the dark for an hour only to run for three hours in painfully cold and wet conditions. I can handle cold, but cold and rain together? That combination makes me a wuss. So what do I do? Do I skip the race and spare myself that misery? Or do I decide now that, as long as the roads are safe, to get myself there and put in my best effort, regardless of what the conditions are? I so want to choose option (a), but I know what’s required of me is option (b).
One of my favorite triathletes once said something about how we never gather around the water cooler talking about the 5K we did in perfect conditions. Tomorrow, the conditions will be less than ideal. It’ll be hard to drag myself out of a warm bed at 4:45 in the morning so that I can prepare myself for what is certain to be a difficult run, but I will do it.
I will do it because I want to follow through on the racing commitments I’ve made this year, including tomorrow’s race. I will do it because I want to reach my Ironman finish line in June of this year, and you never know what the conditions will be on race day. And I will do it because I never, ever regret making a workout; I only regret skipping them.
It’s going to be a hard morning, but I’ll get to see Kerry and Jenny and maybe Amy, if I’m lucky. I’ll get a long run in, which will help my confidence towards the Austin marathon and my Cowtown 30-miler. And when I’m done, I’ll come home and get cleaned up and know that I’ve put in my best effort under difficult circumstances. It’s not the easy choice, which is why I’m making it now.
It’ll be a tough 18.6 miles, but I will show up and give it my best. I’ll still say my prayers for a massive change in the weather, but I will also prepare myself for a cold and wet long run. That’s the choice I’m making right now because I know this race will be a mental challenge far more than a physical one. And I intend to be ready.