Wednesday, February 9, 2011

All Snow and No Sun Make Eric Go CRAZY!

Sure.  I've done my share of complaining about Minnesota winters.  But, I'm at the point now where I'm so anxious to get outside that I'm starting to get twitchy.

When winter first took over, way back in November, it was actually kind of nice.  It ruffled up my training schedule and gave me a change of pace that freshened things up a bit.  For cycling, it put me on the trainer for the first time since last March.  I started doing high-intensity interval sessions on DVD and felt like I was getting a better workout with a 1-2 hour indoor ride than many of my 3-4 hour outdoor rides.  Plus, I didn't have to clean all the crud off my bike when I was done.

On the running side, I got to do some cold weather runs.  Sometimes it was pleasant to enjoy a quiet run and just listen to the crunch-crunch-crunch of my feet hitting the snow.  There was also a twisted part of me that enjoyed the looks on drivers' faces when they saw me running in the below-freezing weather, or the "seriously dude, are you crazy?"  looks on my friends' faces when I told them I just went for a run through the tundra.  At the gym, the treadmill was new again.  It was nice to run while listening to music, or even better, while watching Jeopardy!

But, all this is starting to wear a little thin.  I'm tired of it taking 20 minutes to get dressed for a run.  I'm tired of frozen cheeks, chapped lips, runny noses and the ever-present risk of freeze-drying my bits 'n' pieces.  Trainer rides are getting old.  The view never changes.  I've done all of my Spinervals multiple times over.  I can't get Coach Troy's voice out of my head.  "Keep your tempo up?"  Really!?!  "On this next set, you're going to stand up?"  Bite me.

Granted, none of this has actually caused me to stop working out.  For some reason, I'm still motivated to train just as much now as I did at this time last year, and even more than last fall.  I've got goals, and still have plenty of room for improvement.  I had better do the work now, so I can be faster later.  I like the work.  I like that training every day is tough.  Sometimes tough feels good.  Lately though, it's just getting harder and harder to focus on the silver lining rather than the big, ugly cloud. 

Maybe it's the competition that I miss.  Through last year, there was an average of one race/event per month to focus on.  My next race is scheduled for the end of April.  That means there are still 2 1/2 months to go before I can scratch that competitive itch.  Maybe one of the local indoor tris is the answer; or maybe there's a 10K or 1/2 marathon that needs another entrant.  At the very least, it'll shuffle things up a bit.

Sorry about the rant.  I know this isn't the usual cheery post that usually grace this blog.  But, the nice thing about my blog is that it's MY BLOG.  So, where I go, it goes.  Now, I don't want to make it sound like life is all doom and gloom.  Cripes.  If the biggest thing I have to gripe about is a lack of workout motivation, then things must be going pretty well.  The next thing you know, I'll be complaining about how my aero helmet messes up my hair, how my running shoes don't match my socks, or how my clothes are giving me weird tan lines.  Though, on second thought, I do kinda like the weird tan lines.

Fret not.  I will be back soon with a more uplifting post.  Maybe it'll be food related.  Maybe it'll be funny.  Or, maybe it'll be something I haven't even considred yet.

I'll keep you guessing.

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