I am currently skipping my first workout of the season - more like postponing it until tomorrow night in order to skip Tuesday's workout and get back into cycle on Wednesday. I have many reasons for doing this, but no matter how many sound reasons I have, a skipped workout still gets me. It's how I know that I'm becoming a true runner without actually being one yet. A real runner would run regardless of everything that is causing me to quit without trying. A beginning runner looks for an excuse not to run. I am somewhere in the middle, overwhelmed by guilt because the odds of me running safely and "comfortably" are slim. So I'm either a beginning runner who grew up Catholic or a developing runner who's excuses are enough to warrant postponing the key run in any endurance training schedule: the long and slow Sunday run. Here is my list of excuses; it is quite complex so try and keep up.
1. It's raining. Rain is cold and wet which could lower my immune system and make me sick. Because I have ulcerative colitis, which is an auto-immune disease, I am on medicine that restricts my immune system. Running in the rain will get me sick which will cause me to miss work which will cause more stress and work against my goals of weight loss (i'm a stress eater) and stress also makes my ulcerative colitis flare up which would ruin thanksgiving. One point to not run.
The rain also makes the ground wet and wet ground is slippery ground, especially in the city. I have two pairs of shoes in my running repertoire at the moment. A pair of Merrell Trail gloves with about three hundred miles on them and a brand new pair of Vivobarefoot Neos which have less than fifty. The Merrells were my first pair of barefoot/minimalist shoes so they're exceptionally worn because I learned how to run in them and I am still not the most efficient striker especially when fatigued. Even Vibram rubber is no match for a 220 pounder scraping his feet on the pavement for miles at a time. The Neos are so new that the rubber still has the newness on it and traction is an issue for me, if only just psychologically. Either way, I picture myself coming down one of the long and steep cement downhills that I inevitably have to run, slipping and blowing a knee and ending my season in week 1 which would feel so much worse than moving one workout. Two points not to run.
Even without the rain, my time is limited. I'm caught between times. I only left myself a small window to train today and the rain makes it smaller. I can't run before breakfast because of my stomach, breakfast was late because I slept in, and I made solid plans with the gf and our friends for lunch, so I only had three hours in which I could make an eighty minute run, which would be fine for you normal people, but I can't run with a full tank so to speak. While training for the San Francisco marathon I learned that I couldn't run with a round in the belly chamber so to speak. Without getting too graphic, stopping mid run to use the facilities is all fine and dandy unless there are no facilities, or unless you're soaking wet and out of breath. So without having the time to wait for my stomach to catch up to the will to train, and the only bathroom on my training route being my office or a store which are both out for the reasons above, I have to award another point for not running.
The three reasons to run are much more slight. First: while I'm sitting in my apt looking outside and dreading it, Dean Karnazes just tweeted "rainy, cold, miserable and dark out. Great day for a run!" so my "hey, nobody trains when it's rainy, right?" is clearly being met from the ideal runner with a giant gameshow "BZZZZZZZZ!" Reason number 2 is much more superficial but true nonetheless. I just bought a rain shell for this exact reason. I spent 30 bucks to preempt the excuse of water falling from the sky being an effective excuse for me skipping a run. I could have saved 30 bucks if I wasn't going to run. This excuse just compounds my guilt even more. Number 3 is easy. If it's not raining tonight, I will run. I wont run in the dark and the rain, but I'd run in either if it weren't for the reasons above.
So there it is. Those are my reasons. I'm right, I know I am. I also am a phenominal rationalizer. I know my weak spots and adversity is definitely one of them. I do enough hard things every day to add more to my plate. It's all I can muster to avoid overeating, drinking, and smoking. I can't add running in the [now torrential] rain. I hate me.