When the weather is nice, it doesn’t take much coaxing to get yourself out the door for a run. Any argument to the contrary has very little substance. Like, would you ever say to yourself, “Sunny and 65 again. Great. Just Great. How am I supposed to train in such perfect conditions? God and Tim Tebow are obviously conspiring against me.”
No. You wouldn’t. You would sound like a whiny tool.
But when you’ve just survived the blizzard of the century—a storm that warranted the closure of public schools in Montana—a little whining is absolutely acceptable. In fact, if you didn’t complain about the snow, you wouldn’t have much to add to the water cooler conversation at work.
As a runner, however, you have way more cause for complaint than the run-of-the-mill “I had to dig my car out of the driveway,” or “I got stuck in the middle of the roundabout on the way to the office.”
Although it is easy to fall victim to a “poor me” kind of attitude when the weather is less than ideal, this is exactly the sort of situation when us runners most need our skills in positive self-talk.
So, in the spirit of reckless optimism, here are a few examples of ways to correct yourself when negative thoughts about winter running threaten to poison your psyche.
What you’re thinking: Why doesn’t anyone shovel their freaking sidewalk? I’m going to end up spraining my ankle on one of these frozen foot-divots, and then I’m going to sue the person that lives here for thousands of dollars.
What you should be thinking: All of this slick, uneven terrain is doing wonders for my foot and ankle strength. Whoever lives here must be a big proponent of stability exercises.
What you’re thinking: My feet are numb and soaking wet. This sucks worse than anything that has ever sucked before.
What you should be thinking: All of the extra water weight in my shoes is giving me an added strength-building benefit. Once I’m running on dry land, I will feel lightning-quick and totally unstoppable.
What you’re thinking: Running in freezing rain shouldn’t be allowed. I feel like the wind is purposely stabbing each icy droplet directly into my cornea.
What you should be thinking: Free exfoliation! Think of how much I’d have to pay at the spa for this sort of facial treatment!
What you’re thinking: It’s time to buy an effing gym membership.
What you should be thinking: I’m glad I’m not hiding out on the treadmill like some loser pansy. I’m a huge badass for running in this crap.