Week 6 started with the successful completion of a brisk 7 KM run. Actually, no, but it is how I wish I could have started the second part of this trilogy. Week 6 started on a Friday night. Protected from the pouring rain, I sat around the dining table of a nice restaurant, catching up with friends. Wine was poured and I felt so proud of myself for insisting I couldn’t have a single glass. I confidently explained that I had to run first thing the following morning. I was on top of my game, in complete control. Nothing could lure me away from breaking my regimen. I got home late that night, but sober, and as I poured myself a hot cup of peppermint tea, I set my alarm for 6:15 AM the next morning.
I awoke Saturday to the sound of the wind hitting every window in the house. I groggily got up to check the weather, a ritual every runner is used to. The trees were swaying, wind howling and my trusty weather app was calling for hail – in mid-April! I assured myself that the justification for going straight back to bed was for my own safety. I am not defeated; I told myself. I was being cautious. Erring on the side of caution was a slippery slope that weekend. The hail came down, the winds sped up, and come Sunday, the snow fell heavily throughout the day. Running did not happen, but neither did going to the gym or doing some at-home yoga. What did happen you’re asking? Sweat pants, slippers and lots of take away, ordered in as we waited out the storm. There may have also been ice cream.
By Monday morning, the worst of it was over. I went to the gym bright and early, feeling more than slightly sluggish. My workout pants were more snug than usual, but I went for my workout regardless. As I hopped through the slush of the melting snow on my way to the gym, I was once again invigorated by the fresh air. Over the past five weeks, despite the rocky start, I have managed to get back on track. I was able to complete my 7 KM run and in the past week, I even managed to make it to 8 KM. That last kilometre was a struggle though.
I’ve learned a couple of things over the past few weeks. The first is that the often unpredictable weather can greatly influence my fitness motivation. I am someone who craves the fresh air, and luckily, since that final storm of the winter season, the weather has been idyllic for outdoor training. For this, I am very grateful as it has brought me back on track, literally. The second is that I will sometimes associate defeat with food. I refused to believe I was defeated by the storm that weekend, but I think deep down I did feel that way. I drowned my discouragement in pepperoni pizza. But, that’s ok. With both learning experiences, I realize there needs to be balance with running or working towards any type of goal. I can be ok with ordering a pizza once in a while or having a glass of wine on my rest days. It doesn’t mean I will need to start back at the beginning or give up entirely. The journey is of greater importance than the destination.
I have exactly 4 weeks left until race day. Over the next few weeks I’m going to stay focused on my training, but also give myself permission to run a balanced path. To be continued.