There is one thing you learn really quickly when you don’t have a lot of time to fit your runs in – you cannot wait for the weather to be “just right”. If it’s 80 degrees without a cloud in the sky…you’re going running. If it looks like rain…you’re still going running. If it is actually pouring raining…you’re still going running. Same goes for your pre/post run fueling and such. Not sure how a Lunchable for breakfast will fuel you’re long run? Let’s find out… [spoiler: it did a great job!]
The “perfect time” to go running is always “right now”. Every other motivational post on Instagram will tell you this but in real life, it takes a while to wrap your mind around the fact that not every run is going to be perfectly planned. But, once you get there, it’s a rather liberating feeling! Not prepared for the run? Then this is the perfect training run to get you mentally prepared for the race day that doesn’t go exactly as planned.
Now, I don’t go through life thinking “oh, I need to do XYZ for training and then ABC will make that MNOPQ part of race day better”. Heck no, I don’t have the patience for that. I joke about “training” and “training for life” a lot but the specifics of my training [or lack thereof] are not scrutinized on a daily basis…I’m far too lazy for that. Instead, I use the concept of “good for training” when I need to talk myself out the door or up another mountainside. That’s my excuse to get going or keep going but it’s not my overall excuse to be there.
The things I discover along the trails are the real reason I truly want to be out there, sweating or splashing or tripping. Things like hyperactive chipmunks and judgmental deer and bright wildflowers are always there to distract me once I get out of my own head.
Last week, before camping with co-workers at White Ranch I spent an hour running along the trails near the campsites. I had left the truly grouchy storm clouds behind in Boulder and spent my trail time dodging only a few rain drops. The skies were overcast, thunder rumbled in the distance and rain poured down on the city…but up on the trails of the foothills the world was calm. The storm was near enough to drop the temperatures and jack up the humidity but too far away to force it’s violence into the quiet.
This was one of my first true mountainous trail runs in quite a while and it felt good to be back out there – moving, sweating, swearing. The mountain views were lackluster thanks to the rain but I got my wildflower fix, for sure! I was surrounded by wildflowers, fluttering birds and staring squirrels for a full hour. It was perfect.
Sure, my heart rate was out of control [seriously, how did I lose so much trail fitness so fast!?], but my legs were happy. I arrived back at the trailhead just as Courtney + Keegan were packing up their bags for our little backpacking/camping endeavor. I may have been covered in humidity induced sweat but you’re supposed to acquire a weird stank when camping to deter bears, right?! #missionaccomplished