Why do I do this?
That is what I was thinking today, as I willed myself outside while slivers of ice fell from the sky and splatted the ground at my feet.
I didn’t want to be here. I wanted to be inside my warm dry house. I wanted to be anywhere but shivering alone on the side of Pleasant Pond, looking down the empty road contemplating mile repeats in the sleet.
My hands were cold; the ice was hitting my face and landing in my ears.
I sighed. I pulled down my hat and pulled up my hood.
Might as well get warmed up. I started walking. Then I slowly started jogging, hiding my hands in my now drenched and semi-frozen rain jacket. The jacket is well worn and completely soaked through.
I started walking again. Who says you have to run the entirety of a warm up?
But when the sky isn’t sure if it wants to rain or snow, it is warmer when you run. So I started running again.
This isn’t so terrible. I am almost warm after about 20 minutes – in that I am actually kind of cold but might as well tell myself I am warm kind of way.
I guess I am ready for the mile repeats. I only have to do 2 for Pete’s sake. Suck it up.
I start out slow and build to a solid tempo pace, the icy sleet stinging my face as I run. As I pick up speed I begin to feel better about this run, like it was maybe worth it to leave the warmth of the house to head into the cold, wet outside. The first repeat complete, I run easily for a few minutes before starting the second repeat. This one went much like the first, except I think I am faster and feel more solid.
I almost wish for another one.
I run a cool down instead, sticking to the plan. I prepare for drills. As my body starts to cool down, the pull to just get into my truck and skip the drills is compelling. Ice, snow, and water are running in my eyes and mouth, and now down my back because I heated up on the repeats and took off my hood. Not the brightest move.
I am cool again, not shivering, but on the edge. Tell myself, I am almost done. I will myself to keep going. This is crazy, it hasn’t been an hour and I am wanting to quit? SUCK IT UP. I hop, skip, kick, and sprint through my drills, concentrating on doing them well, but really just wanting to get this over with.
Then I am done. I stand there for a minute, looking down the empty road. It strikes me that in the hour I have been here, not a single vehicle has gone by. The sleet has coated the trees in a thin coat of ice; the road is covered in a slick of slushy ice and snow. I listen for a minute to the wind whipping across the frozen pond, to the ice balls falling from the sky.
I start to shiver. I put my head down and walk back to my truck and head home to dryness and warmth.