Occasionally, It Pays to be Stubborn

By: Brad Deel

Stubbornness is one of those things that running frequently punishes.  Knee hurting a bit?  Bah, just run through it.  Achilles feeling a bit tender?  Don't worry about it.  That attitude often introduces us to folks like the good Dr. Gilliland we see on the banner.  (Disclaimer.  I do not know Dr. Gilliland although I'm sure he's a nice fellow.  He has a good smile anyway).  Occasionally though, stubbornness is rewarded.

This past Sunday, January 29, was a picture perfect day for running.  The temperature was about 42 degrees and there wasn't a cloud in the sky.  Of course, pictures don't always tell the whole story because it was windy.  Wow was it ever windy.  I suppose if I had grown up in Chicago I might not consider 30-40 mph gusts "windy" but I grew up in the Kanawha Valley so it was windy to me.  

My regular long run route is in Nitro.  I have a 10 mile loop plotted and I started with the wind at my back.  After a mile, I turned around for a leg of about 4 miles into the wind.  HOLY COW!!  It was like running with an elastic band holding me back.  I knew within a couple of miles that I couldn't psychologically face running into that wind again but I didn't want to just bag the run entirely.  I have a marathon scheduled for March 18 so I wanted to at least get in two hours.

Fortunately, I thought about a particular route I have run before but not in the past 6 months or so.  It would be roughly perpendicular to the wind and I'd get in a nice hill workout with some serious climbs.  So, I ran through the Lakeview subdivision toward the TriState Racetrack and Casino.  The quads were on fire, the calves protested, and the heart rate skyrocketed.  I felt great.  I think I got in about four miles of hills with around 1,000 feet of elevation change.

I finished the run and got in 15.6 miles in just over 2 hours.  So, I made my two hour minimum plus I torched my legs in a good way.  Not a heck of a lot of things can make you feel better than finishing a run with your legs absolutely beat but feeling like you had a great run.  I realized later that if I wasn't such a stubborn cuss, it would have been a lousy run.  Instead, I did what I could to turn a crappy day into a good day and it turned out to be a great day.  Good stuff.

See you out there.

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