New Year’s resolutions are notoriously hard to keep. The gym crowd thinning by mid February has become a running joke (pun intended). I haven’t had many issues following my physical running resolutions in the past few years. But this year I added a goal that could be quite tough to reach. No complaining about the weather. If you know me, you know that complaining about the weather is one of my favorite pastimes. So, as my phone weather app literally says “frigid cold,” my initial reaction is to whine to anyone who will listen.
But what does whining accomplish? Nothing. Never, in my experience, has a complaint about the weather made me feel better while running.
Traditionally my complaints have been about how hot and humid it is outside. Growing up in Louisiana (and living only there, Texas, and southern California), heat affected my life much more than the cold. Heat that dehydrates for days after a single, moderate run.
But here in Ohio, I’m getting a true taste for winter weather and running the frigid cold, wind, and ice. Most of my runs in the past month have been with the real-feel below freezing. Like running in the heat, the cold is mentally challenging. Getting out the door is the struggle. I struggle with morning running already, and peeling my body out of bed just to add multiple layers of clothing to trudge through ice and snow makes it much tougher.
There is also something beautiful and calming about winter running. The crunch of snow under my feet, and the bright white horizon with just a few tracks through the snow.
I’ve done well so far this year. Over New Year’s Day, I was able to run past Niagara Falls. The rushing water and stunning ice-covered trees around the falls made the -12 temperatures bearable. For the first week of the year I ran through similar temperatures in Columbus with little trouble. I wasn’t temped to complain about the conditions.
Driving wind and rain in the morning (50 degrees) turned into an ice and snow storm in the afternoon. Of course I ran in the afternoon. The first few miles were fine, but then I turned around to run back into the strong headwind. My first impulse was to curse my resolution and start my complaints. The wind stood me up, and I struggled to stay upright at times with ice covering the running trail.
But I finished the run, and no matter how difficult, complaining wasn’t going to help.
I hate treadmills, and I’m determined to keep my current running streak alive. So, that means I have to run outside daily.
Running in Ohio through the winter will be cold. Frigid cold. There will be storms, and strong winds, and ice. Eventually I will have to run in hot weather with high humidity. These aren’t complaints; they are facts. All I can control is how I let the weather affect my attitude.
When I start to complain to one of you, and at some point I will probably, just remind me of my resolution.
Not complaining about the weather might be the toughest thing I’ve ever tried to do.
For now, I need to go run in the frigid cold (again, simply a fact, not a complaint).
No excuses. No complaints.