Sunday, June 26, 2016

Becoming a Fair Weather Runner

I used to love getting outside in terrible weather to run through the elements. Heavy rain and wind? Awesome. Snow and ice? Great. Heat and humidity? Sure. Tons of mud and water? Sweet! 100 miles instead of a 5K? Exactly.

Now that I'm older...and wiser...and have experienced almost all the "challenges" of running, I'm content to morph into a fair-weather runner. I've already run in Death Valley with 122F temperatures and no relief from the sun. I've achieved a sub 24-hour trail 100-mile finish. 300+ miles in one week? Done! Midnight 50-mile run in the middle of the winter darkness? Completed. Wandered the famous Barkley trails in Tennessee? Oh yeah. More than 100 ultra/marathons finished? Yep. Most crazy shit on my bucket list has been achieved. Sure, there are still goals out there, but none really motivate me in an extreme way. I'm definitely becoming a fair-weather runner content to do normal things in my daily running life.

I really enjoy a 10-mile run in 55F spring weather. Twenty-two miles in the Illinois summer heat and humidity...not so much. I know what I enjoy and I'm happy to embrace those simple pleasures. Sometimes that will mean skipping a run entirely, or hitting the treadmill, or starting earlier or later in the day to avoid extreme weather. That's OK. In fact, it's pretty cool. I do what I like to do. Simple. I may have to retire my buffalo nickname ("S&M") since I just don't enjoy punishing myself, and others, on a regular basis. Every once in a while I may need to push my limits, but not too often. Injury-free and pleasurable running is on the top of my list. I like running that makes me feel good. I suppose I'm becoming Mr. Obvious...or the hedonistic runner. It's all good.

See you on the trails...when it's sunny, dry, and cool. A slight breeze is OK too. Happy running. Enjoy the miles.

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