As we attempt to shift from winter into spring here in Wisconsin, I’m beginning to think Mother Nature has a severe case of schizophrenia.
Over the last couple months, it seems every week we’ve had wild swings from warm, sunny conditions to frigid snowstorms. On several occasions in the last couple months, I’ve been able to run outside in shorts and a long-sleeve shirt. Just days afterwards, I’ve wondered how badly frostbitten my fingers and toes were after a run despite wearing two or three layers to keep them warm. I had to redesign the weekly training run for this Saturday because the Fox River Recreational Trail–which we ran on this week last year in 70-degree weather–is under several inches of fresh snow with more on the way.
The irony of trying to organize an outdoor event is that one of the most important elements–the weather–is completely out of your hands. I always tell my Operations Committee not to get too confident since “we only control 49% of the experience and Mother Nature decides the rest.” This statement is humbling but accurate and keeps our egos in check.
So our trainees will slog on this Spring through the snow and the slush and the rain and, eventually, clean roads and clear sunny skies. Enduring these trials is part of the “character building” process of becoming a distance runner once again each year. If you can survive these trials, you can survive anything…almost.