This morning, after having already taken Friday and Saturday as laze around days, my body had the nerve to beg me for another day of reprieve. Now I know that I deserve rest--I have put my body through a lot these days, but I know the difference between I need to rest days and I am just being lazy days. Luckily, this morning I had set it up so that a group of us was "suffering," I mean training together, and the likelihood of us all flaking was pretty small. What I found interesting is that we all felt the same way...we all wanted to be back in bed instead of bundled up in our winter gear ready to hit the roads. Even Gabby who loves her early morning weekend long runs was not her chipper self. Her first comment to us all was how she almost stayed home and she actually said that she wouldn't mind doing less than ten miles--she never wants to short our miles!
That's when I remembered that this time of year is tough for us all. Besides the weather, the dark, the being bundled up like sausages, we also have all the stresses of the holidays to contend with as well. We have holiday parties that compete with our sleep, extra holiday chores added to our already busy schedules, and there are only so many hours in the day to fit it all in.
I am not saying that we should skip our workouts, but I am saying that we need to be kind to ourselves. We must remember that there will be days we really do need a little extra sleep, and other days that we need to drag ourselves out of bed even though the warm bed calls to us like a mythical Siren.
My secret weapon to combat those wintertime blahs are my running buddies. Even though my group this morning started out telling ourselves we wanted to run shorter miles, we decided to just get out there and make the decision based on how we were feeling. Of course, once we got going we all decided to do the full 10 miles, but if we had stayed in bed, we would have missed the opportunity to remind ourselves about how much we enjoy running--even in the cold. And the sunrise we witnessed this morning made the whole run worth every step.
Another secret weapon to combat the wintertime blahs is to always have a race on the back burner. If I don't have anything to train for, then I can always make the excuse to slack. Yesterday I signed up to run the Frosty Fifty 50K in North Carolina, which means that I need to get some long miles in or I am going to be hurting come race day on January 2nd. Giving myself a real reason for getting up and out in the morning really provides me with that motivation I need when I am struggling with getting started.
I think that the most important thing to remember is that I am in this for the long haul. I might have highs and lows but this is a healthy lifestyle decision and I will not quit on myself. I will continue to move forward despite the wintertime blahs--I just have to be more diligent about continuing the strategies that work for me and that keep me on the road flabulous!