Occasionally, It Pays to be Stubborn
By: Brad Deel
Stubbornness is one of those things that running frequently punishes. Knee hurting a bit? Bah, just run through it. Achilles feeling a bit tender? Don't worry about it. That attitude often introduces us to folks like the good Dr. Gilliland we see on the banner. (Disclaimer. I do not know Dr. Gilliland although I'm sure he's a nice fellow. He has a good smile anyway). Occasionally though, stubbornness is rewarded.
This past Sunday, January 29, was a picture perfect day for running. The temperature was about 42 degrees and there wasn't a cloud in the sky. Of course, pictures don't always tell the whole story because it was windy. Wow was it ever windy. I suppose if I had grown up in Chicago I might not consider 30-40 mph gusts "windy" but I grew up in the Kanawha Valley so it was windy to me.
My regular long run route is in Nitro. I have a 10 mile loop plotted and I started with the wind at my back. After a mile, I turned around for a leg of about 4 miles into the wind. HOLY COW!! It was like running with an elastic band holding me back. I knew within a couple of miles that I couldn't psychologically face running into that wind again but I didn't want to just bag the run entirely. I have a marathon scheduled for March 18 so I wanted to at least get in two hours.
Fortunately, I thought about a particular route I have run before but not in the past 6 months or so. It would be roughly perpendicular to the wind and I'd get in a nice hill workout with some serious climbs. So, I ran through the Lakeview subdivision toward the TriState Racetrack and Casino. The quads were on fire, the calves protested, and the heart rate skyrocketed. I felt great. I think I got in about four miles of hills with around 1,000 feet of elevation change.
I finished the run and got in 15.6 miles in just over 2 hours. So, I made my two hour minimum plus I torched my legs in a good way. Not a heck of a lot of things can make you feel better than finishing a run with your legs absolutely beat but feeling like you had a great run. I realized later that if I wasn't such a stubborn cuss, it would have been a lousy run. Instead, I did what I could to turn a crappy day into a good day and it turned out to be a great day. Good stuff.
See you out there.