Saturday, January 22, 2011

What Would a Marathoner Do (WWMD)?

It's -2 in Cincinnati this morning, and I had every intention of going out to conquer it. 

Marathoners believe they can do anything.  It's why they make great employees, great spouses, great parents, inspiring individuals.  Nothing is impossible for a marathoner.  You've got a story about overcoming adversity?  I've been there, done that, and I can do it again backwards with my eyes closed.  So when I saw on the news last night that the temperature was going to be less than zero today, I thought, heh, no problem.  I ran 9 miles in 8 degrees a few years ago, and I had the icicles dangling from my hair to prove it.

Fortunately for me, I occasionally temper my conquer-the-world marathoner attitude with a few drops of common sense.  After a restless night of sleep, I woke up this morning and asked myself an important question: "How will I benefit from running in this cold today?"  I weighed the pros and cons:

PRO: Running in adverse temperatures will help me build confidence in my ability, and make longer runs in warmer weather seem more manageable.
CON: The snowfall from Thursday has turned to ice, and I could easily slip and fall.  Breaking my hip will certainly not help me get to my goal in May.
PRO: I need to start tackling some hills, and a treadmill, even using the virtual incline, can't simulate a real hill.
CON: Today's route covers one snow and ice-covered bridge and the rest of the route is flat.  A treadmill run won't take away from my training today.
PRO: Throughout sports history, athletes have braved the elements. Playing the game is about battling the weather, along with your opponent. (Remember the Ice Bowl?)
CON: A few weeks ago, an NFL game in Philadelphia was canceled because a snow storm was coming in. Clearly, athletes are getting smarter.
PRO: Running in this weather builds character.
CON: Screw that, it's c-c-c-old!

And, the final CON that tipped it for me was that I'd like to go to yoga after this morning's run, and I don't think after 6 miles in this weather I would be able to thaw out enough to manage a tree pose. So, it's settled... I'm headed down to the slightly cooler bottom floor of my heated condo to do 6 miles on the treadmill, then out to my garage and warm car to drive to the comfortable gym to hit the yoga class.

I';m content with my decision, but I can't help thinking.... have I just wimped out big-time, or am I using common sense? 


Jane said...

I think you made a good decision. The treadmill will give you the cardio you need, and you can still do the yoga. I always think that if I get an injury, it's possible that I won't be doing exercise of any type for quite a while.

Nancy said...

I braved it! 6 miles in the bike lane on Turkeyfoot. no ice. And I think I was with you on the 8 degree day...we ran from the store to Erlanger I think!

Gabrielle @ Weightless said...

Congrats Nancy! You are a badass. Yep- that's the day I was thinking of! Really cold that day, but we made it!