Fair Weather Runner

I read some great advice on a blog the other day about getting out of bed an off on your early run (and if I could only find the right blog and post I’d share the link! Hate it when I lose things!)

The two pieces of advice I held onto were:

  1. Have your running gear laid out so you don’t have to think about what to wear.
  2. Get up straight away. Do not give yourself even 10 more seconds or you will talk yourself out of it.

I prepared myself last night with every intention of doing my 3 x 1km 6 minute race pace laps at 6:00 this morning.

And when my eyes opened at 5:30am, I thought, “I could just nap until 6, and do it then.” But then I remembered that great advice, and I got up anyway.

I pulled on my workout clothes, which were lying right beside my bed, and got dressed.

I am pretty groggy first thing in the morning, so I actually got up earlier than I needed to so I could wake up. Going from dead-asleep to flat out run just doesn’t work for me. (I used to swim train early mornings and thought I was going to drown every single morning! But I digress…)

6am was my intended run-time. From 5:30 I started hydrating and did my dishes and wiped down my counter tops so my kitchen looked  as shiny as my lounge and dining room (I had such a productive weekend purging paper and cleaning!!)

But all the while I was doing dishes and looking out the window, I was trying to figure out how I was going to talk myself into going out into that mess of weather.

  • 14 degrees (feels like 12)
  • Winds at a steady 30kph, gusting to 44 (and doing it often!)
  • Cloudy
  • Crappy
  • Blah

This is pretty a-typical for this time of year. Consider that two days ago it was 40 degrees and so hot I couldn’t go outside either. A drop of nearly 25 degrees does make it feel pretty cold! I am inside my house, in a jumper (sweater) and curled up with a cup of tea against the chill.

I know there are those of you, especially in Canada, going, “I’d kill for it to feel like 12 degrees right now, you big baby!” and you are all totally right.

It’s not that cold. It never really is here.

It’s daylight at 5:30am still. (In fact, I think it’s daylight at 4:30, but I don’t wake up that early so I can’t be sure.)

I’m only looking at 30 minutes of exercise out there, then a nice hot shower.

So, what’s a girl to do?

This makes me really worried about handling the weather and the darkness through the winter months. I have such an issue with SAD that I am really going to need a strategy in place.

Here’s a few ideas I’m rolling around in my brain for managing my SAD symptoms:

  • diet management (good old omeaga-3s and vitamin Bs without fail, fish weekly, lots and lots of veg and fruit)
  • exposure to sunlight (try to organise a lunch-time outdoor run daily to get 30-60 minutes of sunlight exposure)
  • buy or hire a treadmill (although treadmill running is a poor substitute for road running, mileage is mileage)
  • focus on workouts after work (getting up early is a major challenge for me in the winter (in the summer I don’t even use an alarm clock, I am always awake early), and rather than fighting it, I will allow myself to get enough sleep and workout in the evenings, when I’m already awake)
  • focus on the goal (I got through the Blackwood Marathon training in the same time frame as I am looking at for this marathon, and I did get there with a lot of visual reminders posted around the house and mantras, affirmations, etc, to keep me motivated)

If anyone else out there suffers from SAD or the winter blahs, I’d love to hear how you keep yourself going and some strategies you use, or how you talk yourself into running in less than ideal conditions.

In the meantime, I think I will rename my blog The Fair Weather Runner.



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