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“You’ve Got To Be Kidding” – A timely blog by MM Trainer Dan Van Veen

It’s been a bummer of a running winter for many people this year, including me. A marathon I wanted to do for years, well, is no longer a possibility. Reason? The stinkin’ weather. : ) Of course, getting the “stinkin’” flu and a “stinkin’” calf injury also made matters worse, but EVEN with that, well, the past two weeks actually have been decent outside and I thought for a second just MAYBE . . .

But before I go on…, I have to laugh. “Decent” is such a relative term. Last year, “decent” would have been 35 degrees with a windchill in the 20s. THIS year, HA! Decent is anything with the wind chill above single digits. ANYWAY, so I have had two nice weeks of running and things are finally starting to get back to normal…or so it would seem.

Sat down to watch the weather last night…(mistake!). Talk about depressing! Lows back into the single digits by midweek next week and worst of all, Sunday we’re supposed to have an ice storm! So, an ice storm followed by increasingly frigid temperatures SPELLS sheets of ice on the roads all week long (around here, only the main drags and school routes are plowed and people rarely shovel/salt their sidewalks).

All I could say was, “You have got to be kidding…” It was just so depressing.

. . . And really, I can’t imagine the temperatures my northern friends and families are dealing with, though at least people shovel their walks up there!

So, as I was saying, the marathon I really wanted to do this year is now out of reach. Some of you may also have had plans for spring marathons that are looking REALLY iffy now. Can I make a suggestion or two? Either dump the marathon and pick another OR revise your goals for the marathon, but either way, don’t try to add miles in to make up miles lost. Just an injury waiting to happen.

Let’s discuss the options.

Dump the marathon. Okay, it wasn’t easy for me either, but I was already three weeks behind in my training and the ice storm is still on the horizon. Just had to let it go, which made me sick (figuratively speaking : ). But, even though it’s now lost to me, the same race will be held NEXT year, so maybe I can work it out then. : ) In the meantime, I’m looking for a replacement marathon about 3 months from now. : )

Revise your goals: Loads of people think that walking in a marathon somehow makes it not truly doing a marathon. Nope. In my opinion, run at least half the race and you’ve run a marathon…, typically because if you’re walking it’s because you’re in some pretty nasty pain (cramping, typically) and I know how that will color your world neon! Anyway, if you still want to do the marathon (basically cuz you already paid the entry fee : ), just revise what you want to do. First, plan on NOT running the entire way (save yourself from injury). Second, purposely change your race tactic to run/walk…for example, run three minutes and walk a minute. Third, focus on having fun, not setting a pace — for once, enjoy the crowds around you, the scenery, hydrate well throughout the race and stop and use the bathroom whenever you want…focus on just finishing with as little pain as possible and with as much fun as possible. Yes, be considerate of those running with a goal pace in mind, but since you’re really not ready to “compete” even against yourself in this event, have a blast instead. : )

So gang, until this “fun and exciting” weather pattern changes and the polar temps decides to head farther north, be flexible and keep running fun by rolling with the weather’s punches…though, honestly, I’m getting pretty tired of the weather yelling “Freeze Ray” every time I step out the door! (And yes, that was a reference to the movie, “Despicable Me.” : ) : )

Have an awesome run today!

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