It's funny how it can be 5 degrees outside, yet I didn't even notice. It isn't because I don't mind running in the cold... which I don't after a several mile warm-up. But rather the company and conversation was so fulfilling, that I honestly did not notice.
I didn't want to run so early today. Normally, I'm game. But I just wasn't up for it this morning (not good when you are training for a long-ass run). I wanted to come home, sit in the living room with John and catch up on yesterday and the plan out the rest of the week. I didn't see him but for 2 minutes yesterday and we had much to figure out as far as who needs to be where this week. I got caught up at home wasting time on the computer and didn't realize how late it was. Before I knew it, it was passed the time I would normally leave to go to TRX, which starts at 5:15. I frantically grabbed extra layers, puffy mittens, and an OJ Simpson ski mask like hood thing for the run that was to follow. I arrived right when it was starting, got a smart ass comment from Sarah (which I returned with an equally smart ass middle finger) and settled in. Midway through, I wasn't feeling right. I was weaker than usual and a bit queasy. With about 15 minutes left, as we were doing calf raises, I noticed some black spots and got a tad dizzy. Damn... I forgot to eat anything before I left. No Heed, no coconut milk... nothing. I said nothing, but walked over and grabbed a Gatorade (Sarah, I owe you a dollar :). I did the next few exercises with a little less intensity and seemed to perk back up after providing my body with the sugar it was demanding right then.
After class wrapped up and our cool down stretches were done, Sarah and I began our multi-layer pile-up for the coldest morning on record (they say in 4 years...). I said nothing about the dizzy spell, as she probably would have told me not run. But since I was there and ready, I wanted to go (half the dang battle is convincing yourself out the door sometimes). I'd let her deal with the fallout if I face planted on the sidewalk running down Harrison Ave. But I was certain a little sugar was all I needed. Turned out I was right. The run went well.
It's amazing how unimportant the actual running part is sometimes. Sure, we are all training and working toward something. And I often wonder if people who belong (in name only) to our FB running club page think "Don't these people get so tired of doing the same damn thing... year after year, training cycle after training cycle? Don't they just get sick to death of running mile after mile again and again... and OMG, if I see the word "STRIMPLE" posted one more time, I am leaving this crazy page and never coming back!"
The short answer is yes.
Yes because we cherish our weekend days off when we get to sleep in or be home when our kids wake up and not be sweaty and stinky. We cherish a Saturday night out when we aren't worried about how much wine we drink because we have to get up and run. We celebrate the fact that the long run is behind us when done on Saturday. Our spouses love when they aren't trying to get a mess of kids ready for church alone because their wife/husband is out running AGAIN (unless your kids are older or self sufficient, then it's just about the Saturday night wine... I know a few of those).
But the other short answer is no.
I read an article this morning that my sister posted on FB. It was wonderful and a much needed reminder of what we get to do and what we don't get to do. And so I'm reading it and thinking how very, very much it relates to so many sentiments about why we train, literally, year after year. And so I thought of a few of my own, based off of this author's ideas...
We don't get to choose how other people treat us, if they like us or not, or how they react to us for that matter
We don't get to choose if our kids are going to behave well or horribly from day to day
We don't get to choose if we get cancer, or worse, one of our kids does
We don't get to choose to keep our parents forever, though most of us would like to as there is childlike security in still having your mom and dad
We sometimes cannot keep the people we love the absolute most from the absolute worst kind of pain.
And writing all those things is scary and can put someone in a paralytic state of panic and worry. But then I think of all the things we can control and we can do...
We can choose to treat others with love and respect no matter how they treat us. We can also choose how we react to them.
We can also choose how we react to horribly behaving kids. No, not with alcohol, but with patience and love.
We can choose to pray for those with cancer and pray that God has His hand in their recovery and for their peace and strength during the battle
We can choose to cherish our parents for the time they are here, instead of living in dread for the day they are not
We can choose to be there for those that we love and support and pray them through their pain, whatever it may be. We can choose to trust God's plan for our lives.
All of these things are things I have learned through running with friends. All of these topics have been topics of discussion over the past several years from then friends I run with.... and we are all as different and varied as they come. These conversations sustain me, fulfill me and keep me training year after year.
Our little group has grown. Other small groups in our community have formed. And I think if you asked any person in these groups "What is the big deal about all this running?" They would tell you it has very little to do with actual running.
Thank you, Sarah, for a very fulfilling run this morning and for making me not even notice the temp!