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5:45 a.m. The alarm screams at me to get my lazy butt out of bed, and as I look out the window at the once again snow and ice covered roads, I can’t help but wonder “whose bright idea was it to train for a 50 miler in the dead of a Vermont winter?”.
And then all too soon I remember: it was mine. Me. I was the one who thought “Hey, June 1st should be a lovely time of year for a 50 miler, so let’s sign up RIGHT NOW and ignore the fact that we will be training though the depths of treacherous New England winter weather.
I hate that I’m here making excuses. I hate that the icy roads have me terrified of either breaking my ankle, cracking my head on the sidewalk like the random dude at work the other day (true story), or driving my car straight into a snowbank on the way to the warm treadmills in the safe confines of the gym.
I’d like to think that last winter, Mother Nature took pity on me. I was an emotional and physical wreck, fresh off of a gnarly breakup, unsure of what my future held. I needed running like I needed air and water, and thankfully, I got more than enough of all three. It snowed a total of twice (I think), and I can recall multiple instances where a single layer of Under Armour cold gear was more than enough to keep me warm.
This year, however, no pity has been taken: the weather simply sucks. Well, of course, depending on who you ask. Around these parts, people actually like this snowy icy tundra, and are grumbling that it isn’t snowier (apparently, we need the tourists, and the tourists need snow).
Bottom line: I’m a horrible New Englander.
But I swear I’m trying.
Despite my hesitations to get outside as much as possible, we have been hitting the gym hard. Do what you can with what you can, right? I keep trying to remind myself that this ultra is simply a training race for my #1 goal: the Spartan Ultra Beast. That everyday I put in at the gym, every crazy lat pull down with ropes, every stupid variation of reverse planks and dips on a stability ball that Geoff makes me do (they suck…but they work), every mile on the treadmill, even if I’m shy of that day’s goal, is bringing me closer to my goal.
Yes, all hope is not lost…even if the road conditions kept me from this mornings run. There are 19 weeks left until this 50 miler, and even this morning as I told the alarm clock we weren’t going anywhere, I noticed it was just a little bit brighter at 5:45 am than it was yesterday. This too shall pass, and this too shall make me stronger (well, atleast my abs will be stronger).
So, let’s hear it winter warriors: how do you stay sane this time of year? At what point do you have to throw your hands in the air and let the winter weather win? What are your alternative go-to exercises, or are you like the mailman: no wind, sleet, snow, rain, or ice will keep you from your mileage?