"If you’ve raced with men on foot and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses? If you stumble in safe country, how will you manage in thickets by the Jordan?" (Jeremiah 12:5). Our journey is intended to be more than simply "stumbling" through the days while the world "wears us out.” We are made to experience the thrill of "running with horses” and to navigate life amongst the "thickets." The RWH blog focuses on both the spiritual race of which Jeremiah speaks, and the physical act of running that I absolutely love. In short, it's where "the miles meet the Message" to provide insight, perspective & encouragement that might enable you & I to successfully run either of the races set before us. May our course be purposeful and may we be passionate in our pursuit of the abundant life He desires for us.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Embrace Your Inner Eskimo

My preference for summer training is well documented.  If given the choice, I would always train through the hot and humid dog days of July and save the cold mornings for race day. In the last several years, that particular cycle has produced three PRs, as compared to no records when training in winter and racing in spring.  In short, bring on the heat.

That said, I have to admit that over the past few weeks, with early morning temperatures in the low 30's, my runs have been highly enjoyable.  The transition to pants, gloves and hat, has given me a change of pace that I've really needed.  With headlamp on high beam, the streets of Winston-Salem have been dark and quiet, yet surprisingly inspiring.

There is something about this time of seasonal transition that I do like. In fact, there are many 'somethings' that I like. The feeling of determination and toughness as the cold air strikes the face and "smoke" is exhaled with every breath. That moment at the end of the run, when you realize how hot and sweaty you are underneath, yet know it's still cold enough to have the frost form on the outside of the clothing. The experience of a run that is just a bit easier at these temperatures, and hydration, although still important, is much less necessary for mid-distance days.

If you haven't been getting out lately, I highly encourage you to go for it.  Strap on the light and hit the streets early one of these cold mornings.  I can't promise that you won't be counting down the days until June, but I do promise it will make you a more disciplined runner and more appreciative of winter running. And, if you are really lucky, you will catch a morning of snow falling. That, my friends, will not only make for a wonderful run, but have everyone calling you the mail carrier. Because regardless of weather, you deliver.

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