We've started getting bits of wintery weather around here in southwest Virginia that have required some training and schedule adjustments this past week. For the first time in years, I ran on a treadmill this week due to slushy icy road conditions. Then I moved a long bike ride back two days to a day I thought was going to be decent for riding (it proved otherwise).
I'd always been proud of 'out-toughing' the southern Virginia weather with my long no-treadmill streak, but I began to realize it really only attested to my stubbornness. Unnecessary risks are just not worth it. When it became clear that an outside run wasn't happening, Coach Jim adjusted the workout for the treadmill and broke it up with pickups, hill intervals, and aerobic sections that kept me entertained. I programmed the workout into my Garmin with the GPS off and footpod on and got to work.
Post-treadmill sweaty self-pic.
I have to say I didn't hate it. I'd even go as far as to say it was fun, particularly the hill intervals and pickups. I cranked that thing up for 30s pickups and felt relaxed and strong! Now I'm kind of motivated to see what I can do on there...once in a while. Still nothing beats getting outside in nearly
any kind of weather....which is what I did on the bike yesterday.
I moved a 50 mile bike ride from the wintery weekend to a day that promised to be dry and over 40 degrees. Despite the forecast, it stayed in the 30's and I never saw the sun even attempt peek to through the thick cloud cover. The cold was air was painful on my face on the first descent and my hands were on a freeze/thaw cycle throughout my ride. It was the first time I ever saw my breath on a ride. Still, the roads were safe and clear, and it was worth it to ride outside - there are sights, sounds, and things I think about that can only happen on a bike.
I think I've tested my 'toughness' sufficiently over the years, now it's time to test my flexibility and smarts and be open to wintertime weather-related schedule and training adjustments. Maybe that is part of the athletic maturation process.
Still I am hoping for a mild or moderate winter. It's 107 days until the Boston Marathon and 126 days until my first triathlon of 2013. I have a lot of work to do!
Follow Cortney at www.CortTheSport.com