Saturday, February 27, 2010

Choosing to Run

Temp: 32 with a feels like of 25, overcast
Wind: Just a little
Precip./Humidity: None/Moderately high
Terrain: Flat
Distance: 4 miles

Do you ever catch yourself arguing with...yourself. I'm sure there's some science behind this but here's my thoughts on how it relates to the daily question: to exercise or to sit on the couch?
Reasoning human beings see the pros and cons, the dangers and benefits, of each situation as we're about to get into it. Sometimes it has to be a snap determination because we're in a crisis, but usually we're able to assess a couple of options and then chose one.
Because we do this every day, all day, we generally trust the part of our brain that says "Don't do that!" But sometimes, especially when it comes to doing something good for us like quitting smoking or starting to exercise, the thing that we hear saying "Don't do that" isn't our rational brain, it's our will - the part of us that wants stuff, satisfaction, pleasure, comfort.
The last two days, I've been battling my will. It's very snowy here, and cold enough that I just want to stay inside and eat comfort food. My will is giving me reasons that sound good - it's too wet to run, the yoga studio is probably closed due to weather, etc. - for staying inside. But, my rational brain is quietly providing solutions. I had to want to hear them to notice, but I guess that's what years of training has gotten me; I'm not the fittest or the fastest but I see solutions to reasons why I shouldn't exercise.
So, yesterday, I called the yoga studio. Open. I did a class. It was hard, but I felt better.
On the way home, I noticed that the sidewalks on my block had been shoveled well. This morning, I went onto www.mapmyrun.com and figured out that once around my block is .3 miles. 10 times around is 3 miles. Add a little more and I could get in 4 miles without risking slipping on ice or soaking my shoes in slush. My will wanted to stay home and watch Project Runway on Hulu. My brain said "You have a choice." Which brings me to:

What I Wore: CW-X compression tights; Nike tank; Asics wick-away long-sleeve top; Nike heavy-weight running jacket; knit hat and gloves; thick socks and old running shoes.

Did It Work: Yes. Except I was also wearing cotton briefs that, once they got a little sweaty, were kind of cold. So, for half the run, my bum was chilly.

Solution: The other day I tried running in Lululemon Techni briefs. They didn't hold onto the sweat, so I stayed dry enough to not have cold bum cheeks.

Happy running!