The past couple of days have been simply amazing here in Chicago. After the coldest January in 25 years, February has brought near record temperatures. Yesterday, February 10, it was in the 60’s.
You would think that this would mean being reinvigorated and enthusiastic about running outside. You’d be kinda right, but not altogether. My body’s seasonal clock is still set to winter, which means hitting the treadmill and cross-training. So, even though the sun comes out and the temperatures go up I’m not ready to unplug the machines and head outside.
I did go for a walk, outside. Somehow that made sense. The reason I went for the walk was just to enjoy the weather, to be outside, to feel the warmth, and enjoy the act of walking. I wasn’t thinking that it was helping my heart, or controlling my weight. It just felt good. THAT made sense to me.
What occurred to me is that this winter hibernation is, for me, exactly what it is for the earth. It is a time of renewal. It’s a time to rebuild, to rest, to prepare for the stresses that will come with the spring. What I’ve been defining as a lack of motivation my actually be a necessary condition for being a life long runner.
We accept that there are seasons in other sports. Football is over. Baseball hasn’t begun. There are seasons. As runners, though, we think that if we’re not running and training and preparing and logging miles 365 days a year we are somehow not really runners. My experience has been, this year for sure, is that I need the seasons.
I’m looking ahead to the spring season of my running. I’m looking forward to the events that are months away. I’m looking forward to getting outside on a regular basis, getting back on the streets, paths, and trails.
For now, though, I’m going to enjoy the winter season so that when the spring comes I’m ready.