Hi Friends! Happy Tuesday! Today I am liking up with Patty, Erika, and Marcia for Tuesday’s on The Run. This week’s topic is your running/racing window of comfort and what conditions/temps are ideal for you? I liked this topic because I actually think about this a lot. But, I wanted to break it down into two sections: running and racing. I think I look at these two things differently in terms of comfort.
When I’m running, I like to stay in my comfort zone. I run the same route every day because it’s comfortable to me. I can turn my music up and zone out. I don’t have to worry about anything. The route is easy, it’s right outside my door, and I know it by heart. The neighbors are friendly, and watch out for me, and I’m close enough to my house that if I need to run home for any reason I can. While this does make things very simple for me, it doesn’t challenge me in any way. The route is fairly flat, and it’s just easy!
I think the reason why I continue to do this every day is because the unknown scares me. The only other place that I can run in town alone is our local park. It is more challenging and would be a better workout. While I know this route just as well, there are so many what if’s that worry me. What if I’m too far from my car and I get sick or hurt? What if someone starts following me? It has happened before. What if?? The what if’s are what keep me in my comfort zone.
I get bored on the same route day after day after day. There isn’t anything new to see. So, when I have moved outside of my comfort zone, I always enjoy my runs more. I love new scenery and even figuring out a new route as I go is fun. This is why I love running with my dad. I can run routes that aren’t safe for me to run by myself. I do try to challenge myself to move outside of my comfort zone more and try new routes. It’s always more fun!
Now, on to my ideal conditions – The perfect conditions for a run would be overcast, around 70 degrees, and with a light breeze blowing! I know I’m pretty particular in what I like. But, I run so much better when it’s not hot and humid, and when it’s not freezing. When it’s humid it makes it so hard to breathe. I also hate running when the wind is blowing super hard. And when it’s so cold, my legs ache.
I am also not a morning runner. It takes me a while to wake up and for my body to wake up. I hate when the mornings are the only time I have to run. I have a hard time getting out of bed and getting going. This is not an ideal time for me to run! So, I try to avoid it as much as possible. But, again with getting out of my comfort zone – 9 times out of 10 when I get up early and run, it’s a great run! I always love that I have it done and can focus on other things for the rest of the day. Plus, usually the weather in the early mornings is exactly my ideal type!
This is how I look at running and racing conditions differently. When I have the time, especially with long runs, I try to plan it at the optimal time of day. I want all of the conditions to be perfect so that I have a good chance of having a great run! That perfect time of day is usually late in the evening.
While I can be very picky about when and where I run daily, I look at racing conditions completely different. I guess it’s because I can’t be picky about that. If I look at the weather forecast and it’s supposed to be raining or really cold or hot, I can choose to run another day or at a different time. But, I can’t do that for a race.
When it comes to racing, I’m always out of my comfort zone because I can’t choose the weather or temperature conditions. My ideal racing conditions would be about the same as my ideal running conditions. So, of course I would love for the race to have cool weather and not be humid. But, with Oklahoma weather you never know what you’re going to get until you get there…and it could change in the middle of the race as well! When I’m racing, I can’t be picky about what time of day I choose to run. All of the races that I have done except one have been early in the morning. When I’m racing I am always wide awake when my alarm goes off and I have so much adrenaline that I’m ready to go by the time I get to the starting line.
Another reason that racing is out of my comfort zone is because the majority of the time it’s a course that I haven’t run before. I would love to be able to run the course ahead of time and be able to time myself. But, that only happens if I run the races in my town, or if I repeat a race. I like to know what I’m running beforehand because usually when the race description says “rolling hills”, they aren’t rolling at all!
I ran a race a few weeks ago and the description said rolling hills. Then entire first half of the race was all uphill! They were not rolling at all!
Ideally, I think I’m pretty picky about what would be the best running and racing conditions for me. But, realistically, that rarely ever happens. I usually just plan my runs for the best times that I can fit them in. That usually ends up being in the afternoon during the hottest part of the day as soon as I get off work. On days that I am off work or when I’m doing a long run, I do try to look at the weather and schedule my runs accordingly. But other than that, I’m usually running any time of day that I can fit it in.
This to me is how running can always be a metaphor for life. While we’d like to be picky and choose how everything plays out, we can’t. Sometimes you just have to roll with it!
I hope you have a great Tuesday! What are your ideal running and racing conditions? Tell me in the comments!