A good friend of mine who grew up in the Northeast reminded me time and again that even though the calendar tells us that after March 21 it is Spring it is more likely to be cold and uncomfortable than warm and happy till around May 1st. And every year I put it in my head that this is not going to be the case, that Spring is here, and that means warmer weather, less clothing and more time outside. And while these are true, it is a matter of degree and perspective that helps us through this time or makes for some frustrating days. Yes, for sure it is warmer than winter and for sure there is less snow on the ground (and yes it is a bit different if you live closer to the equator). But regardless of the weather, where you live, or how you should dress, the key point to make is do not let your “hope” for warmer weather make you a bad planner. It would be wise to pay close attention to what is happening around you and not what you think it should be.
To my knowledge, there is no better day of the year that personifies this conundrum than tomorrow – Boston Marathon Day. Over the 100+ years of the Boston Marathon the weather has ranged from the 30’s to the 90’s and It seems to be totally unpredictable (which is what we should expect in early Spring). From today’s weather report it looks like tomorrow’s (2013) race start should be around 50 degrees and the high would be 58 degrees (give or take a few degrees). Seems like good Spring running weather. Last year, when I ran the Boston Marathon, we had Summer in April – the start temp was around 75 degrees and finish time it was around 89 degrees. A few years prior to 2012, the temperature barely got above 40 degrees.
And so what does all of this tell you – I think I finally get it – Spring is a rather unstable time of the year for weather; Temperature and precipitation vary widely (day to day). And if you are to be successful in living through it, like you should be if you are into THPL, then you have to be a bit more aware of the outside conditions because they can fluctuate significantly from day to day. And if and when you hit some of these extremes then you need to be more aware of your need to prepare differently, compete differently and react differently. Last year at the marathon I did none of that and I paid for it dearly with a wicked case of dehydration. And yet in a similar but different circumstance this Spring I have again found myself unprepared and quite cold on the bike rides I have taken. You would think that after all of my outdoors and race experience that I would have this one locked in and on target. But alas, I like many of us, I fall victim to our preconceived notions of what we want and what we think and not what is. I dare say that it is hard to get to THPL if you do not have a level of sensitivity to changing conditions and an ability to react with soundness of mind when things are different. It is a critical element of THPL and you have to force yourself to take a moment to assess your situation, figure out what you need to do, act on it and then make sure to measure along the way. Discretion is absolutely better than valor in this situation.
So, nothing fancy here – and nothing costly, or particular to the situation. We just have to stay true to the mantra of THPL – start with Life, add in Learning and Fitness and make sure that each informs the other and that we stay “on message” especially when there are factors out of our control that might trump our best results because of a lackadaisical approach. Let’s not do this so that when Spring does come we are ready to change with it.
Day three (well sort of as it relates to the 4:17 song) - going in to tonight I was not so sure I would get there - no reason to doubt or believe - the only thing I could do was to give it my all. And that I did, Sally to 3:26 +30 seconds (felt like my shoulders were separating). Then the 4:17 song - was going well in the beginning, slowed up in the middle and pressed really hard at the end. I pushed up number 250 as the song ended. This means I got three days in a row whereby I bested the goal I set for myself months ago. No new challenges yet - I need to process this one.
Remember to set goals for yourself and have fun chasing them
Loving Life and waiting for that warm summer weather.