Sunday is long run day for me. Gospel. It’s developed into my church and it’s where I go every Sunday morning without fail. Yet this morning when my alarm went off and I looked out the window at the dark grey sky and the rain pummelling down, I have to confess (because it’s Sunday) I wanted to go outside and run 18 miles like I wanted someone to burst in the door and poor icy water over my face.
There was most definitely a moment of hesitation and consideration of maybe just not running today. Deep down, I knew I would though because I can’t abide the thereafter of having not run on a day that I was supposed to run. That guilt is a serious mood killer. There’s also all of that unreleased energy whirling around my muscles, blood and other bits that was meant to be bet out of me by the run and if I don’t run, it just keeps building up and there’s nowhere for it to go and then there’s all that guilt AND then I start to get really cranky AND IT ALL BECOMES CRAZYTOWN. Phew. So I run. To get all that shit out.
So I ran my 18 miles. In storm force winds and constant rain that seemed to blow in my face, from the sides and sometimes it even appeared to be coming up from the ground. I was Forrest Gump in Vietnam. I was soaked. But that was all actually okay because deep down I am the kid who loves to go for a bike ride in the rain because it’s ridiculously liberating and exhilarating. Like this run: I was a badass hardcore runner and even though the many cars that passed me looked at me like I was batshit crazy and some were not happy at having to pass me out… I was solid. No, the crappy bit was that all of that wet and wind was making my headphones fall out of my ears and that, my friends, is a frickin buzz kill. But what can you do?
I got home and did my little stretching routine on the porch. As I stood there getting my stretch on, I pondered the following: I must be mad. And then I started to wonder about running generally – people who don’t run often say to me that I’m obsessed with running or too
boring rigid with my whole running routine, not in a bad way but more as a casual observance. I don’t mind this because I’m happy doing my own thing so what other people say or think is kind of irrelevant. But, as I stood there on my doorstep literally dripping wet this morning, I thought am I obsessed with running, so much so that I can’t miss a run or am I just organised about getting my runs done on days, and at times, when I know I have the time to get them in?
Training for marathon takes up a healthy chunk of your time and if you don’t plan it into your week and make time for it, it can end up taking over your days and monopolizing your weekends. So being organised and disciplined about doing runs when you had planned to them is a good thing. It leaves more time for other things, like friends, family, going out, work, etc. Time management. Word.
But at what point does organisation and time efficiency become obsessive compulsive? Is it a tad OCD of me not to be able to put off a run if the weather outside is brutal? I don’t have a definitive answer to this question right now as my brain is gone to mush in my post-long run energy slump (though you should know that I’m working on this right now with the aid of a Mars ice-cream bar and a pot of coffee…) Sorry if you thought you were getting one!
All I know is that whatever the day is doing outside, I always feel better for having gone for a run- long, short or otherwise. And if I happened to have an 18 mile long run scheduled for a Sunday morning and it so happens that the weather is doing all sorts of atrocious things outside, then I will get wet, my headphones will probably fall out every 7 seconds and I will be a better runner because of it all. We don’t get better as runners if we don’t have to deal with difficulty or adversity in training. You don’t learn how to cope with running in rain and wind by only ever running on sunny days. Just as you don’t learn how to run hills if you only ever run nice flat routes. Running training is always two-fold: what you train your body to do and what you train your head to do. That’s why I run in the rain. You need that badass mental toughness.
I run in the rain. I run in the winds. I run in the snow. I always do my long runs on Sundays. I may be touched with a shade of OCD and other people
definitely might think I’m nuts but here’s the thing. I’m a runner and I’m a badass and frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.