I woke up on a Saturday morning and checked the weather on my phone. On the weather app it said, “Conditions for Running: Ideal”.
I normally like to run between three and six miles but on Saturdays I sometimes try to go farther. I had not run my favorite nine mile loop yet this spring so I was excited when I saw it the conditions were ideal.
First of all, the reason I was able to run that distance was because I had run previously in not-so-ideal conditions. One of my areas that I need to improve is that I usually do not run over the winter. I could give you several reasons why but they are mostly excuses about not having enough time or not being a fan of the cold.
Once March rolled around I began my training but was not ready to run nine miles right out of the gate. I started off with shorter distances and had to push myself to run when it was colder than I liked, windy, and on some days when I did not feel good.
That Saturday morning was probably the best conditions I had so far in my six weeks of training. I was in pretty good shape by that time, but there is no way I would have been able to make that nine mile loop if I had waited for the “ideal conditions” to begin my training. Pushing through all those days of not-so-ideal conditions, both external and internal, helped prepare me to complete that run.
The second lesson I learned that day was that ideal conditions don’t last forever. As I began running around 7:00 am it was sunny and the temperature was close to 60 degrees. The wind was blowing from the south at about 5-10 miles per hour. So as I headed east I began with a cross wind and then turned north with the wind at my back.
As I turned back west into the cross wind I noticed that the wind speed had increased some but I was still feeling pretty good. As I approached my final turn to head back south for the approximate two mile homestretch I was running low on energy. Previously I had not run more than six miles this season so I was already past that.
And then it hit me. As I turned south for that final homestretch I was met by a 20 mile per hour head wind. The wind had picked up considerably since I left nearly an hour before.
I had to talk myself out of stopping and walking several times during those last two miles. I even had a fake conversation with the person in charge of determining how to rate the running conditions on the weather app. But I made it. And I was able to pick up my pace over the last half mile and finish strong.
And the next time I ran I felt even stronger.
If you are constantly waiting for conditions to be ideal, you are delaying your growth and improvement that will prepare you to compete when you do have the conditions or opportunities to perform.
And conditions are never going to truly be ideal. It may seem like it for a time, but that 20 mile per hour head wind is just waiting for you to turn that corner and smack you in the face.
I guarantee you that every action you take is preparing you for the next action, even if you feel like it did not go well or it wasn’t your best.
Don’t look at conditions. Look at what needs to be done.
Sometimes it is going to be 60 degrees and sunny. Enjoy it. Soak it in. But always be ready for the conditions to change.
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