Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Running in Iowa... More Than a Run. It's an Adventure!

This picture was taken during my first run in Iowa this week. It was 37 degrees when we started and snowing (the wet, heavy kind of flakes). Wind was present but not unbearable.

My husband and I set out together, but as usual, we went our own paces and met up again at the end of the run. We basically ran the same route. So I knew he was experiencing the same kind of conditions I was.

Neither of us saw another soul out in this weather. Only crazy people run in weather like this. (Ok, I saw one man on my way back in who was running with his dog. But as he passed me, we caught eyes and I could tell he was crazy. He had 'the look'.  His dog however, was quite sane and was just happy to be out).

 The course was an out and back. On my way back, I could feel the temperature dropping. The snowflakes were dryer but were falling more densely. Visibility was deteriorating and the trail was getting slick. I wasn't sure if I should speed up and try to get in faster or slow down so I wouldn't slip on the icy trail. My feet told me to slow down. But I was ready to get back in!

I thought how the people driving by in their cars must think me obsessed. I wished they'd just think of me as 'hard core'. :) I don't mind tough conditions running. Whenever you complete a course even when it's hard you gain mental strength. You build confidence by knowing you have finished something that would have caused others to quit. You also practice your on-course problem solving. You never know what odd surprises will come up during a race. So when you run training courses under unusual or unexpected conditions, you practice making on-the-fly adjustments and thinking of ways to keep going and finish any way. This is a good skill to have.

This year will be my first year running Alaska. I don't know the course or the weather. So I kept telling myself that this run is good practice. (No, I don't expect it to snow in Alaska. But if the weather is less than pleasant, I can take it)! :) And when my husband met me and ran me in the last quarter mile, I had a great feeling of accomplishment knowing I stuck it out. Oh yeah, and the endorphins were great too!