I’m choosing to not exercise my running rights. It’s not that I’ve changed my philosophical belief that Running is Democratic, it’s just that I’m disenfranchised with my running options. While I really enjoy running, I dislike cold weather just as much. In fact, I’m starting to believe that I dislike cold weather more than I like running. Winter has offered me snow, strong winds, below freezing temperatures, icy roads, or a combination of all.
My first running option is the outside world. I’ve attempted to run outside, but each time I ventured to add miles to my running shoes, I’ve literally been pushed out the door by my husband like a cat who is being forced into a tub of water. Truth of the matter is, I don’t like running in the cold. I don’t like wearing multiple layers to stay warm to then take off layers because I’m too warm. I don’t like being extra cautious with each and every step I take for fear of slipping and injuring myself due to icy sidewalks. I don’t like running head on to 20 mph winds. I don’t like how my fingertips feel when it’s cold, or how my nose turns red and gets runny, except I can’t feel that it’s running because it’s completely numb. So I’m choosing not to run. And you know what, choosing not to run is part of my democratic running right.
My second running option is the dreaded torture mill. Each mile feels like the endless passing seconds on the wall of your last period class the day before Summer Break. If I can get at least a 5K on the treadmill, then I consider it a victory. I’ve tried various approaches to make the miles go faster – music, netflix, visualizations of everyone in the room naked. I don’t know if that last one has ever worked for anyone. Maybe it’s only for when you are giving speeches or presentations? So I’m also choosing not to run on the treadmill. And again, it’s part of my democratic running right.
I’m hoping Spring comes early, because I have an ambitious sub-2 half marathon come May. This means I’ll need to invest a considerable amount of time on strength training exercises – P90X, Insanity, Weight Training, Spinning Classes, Thighmaster.
Of course, choosing not to be an active participant in the world of running brings about feelings of guilt. How can I possibly not exercise my running right when so many others do not have the opportunity to do so? But I’ve come to accept that if I want to believe in the power of running, it’s important for me to enjoy it. Otherwise, running is no longer democratic. It becomes totalitarian.
How is your winter training coming along? Do you mind running in inclement weather? What do you do to stay fit when you are not running?