Do you really want it……no I mean REALLY want it?

I doesn’t matter where you are in the world, you probably know it has snowed in Britain this week. You probably know because we make such an almighty fuss about it.

If you live in the American Mid-West or the Rocky Mountains of Canada then what we have just had will seem like a light dusting of snow. But to us it is virtually a national emergency. People start panic buying at the shops and don’t venture out of their front door because their journey isn’t “absolutely necessary”.

And while the population reach near hysteria the country’s infrastructure goes into meltdown. Schools close by the hundred and roads are blocked with abandoned cars. The train service that takes me to London each day is running a “severely disrupted” timetable. This description presumably allowing us to distinguish this from the usual “pretty disrupted” timetable. The snow hysteria has also spread to the running community.

It is about this time of year that Twitter lights up with runners updating us on their Spring Marathon or Half Marathon training. The hashtag #LondonMarathon is the most popular and for me this year it is #BathHalf. These two bring me a stream of 140 character snippets of who has run what; wearing what; eating what; thinking what and at what speed. But the snow has brought an interesting shift in the tone of the running Twitterati.

The united front of runners seemed to sharply divide last Friday as the first snowflakes fell. There are those who find time to run and those who make time to run. I saw lots of Tweets proclaiming the hopelessness of it all.

“Snow falling heavily. Abandoned any ideas of running #gutted #LondonMarathon”

I am still seeing Tweets like this six days after the first snow. These are the people who find time. Those who make time are finding a way to run despite the snow. I would like to think that I am a member of the latter group having just come back from my third snowy, very cold run with wet feet in six days.

I think the difference between the two groups is about emotional committment. I blogged about it here a while ago. When I signed up to do the Bath Half I committed that I was going to try to go under 1 hr 50 – that means taking 3 minutes off my PB (or PR if you are from the USA!). I didn’t make this committment to anyone but myself. When I signed up and made this promise, I knew that I would be training through January and February which would mean training in some foul conditions. But I am excited enough about the race that I was happy to make that committment and stick with it. Now that I am into the swing of things and beginning to see a return on my training, the idea of missing a run isn’t one I contemplate. Now that I have some momentum, I really want this. I didn’t feel particularly brave or hardy running with cold wet feet in the snow this week. I was just doing what I had promised myself I would. “Simples” as my daughter would say!

Despite all that I would like to see a thaw now and a return to running on dry snow-free roads.

@weather – have had enough of snow. No more#Bored #BathHalf


8 responses to “Do you really want it……no I mean REALLY want it?

  1. I’m a Texas girl currently living in Bavaria. I’ve been so impressed with how things run when it snows here. I guess it’s because it happens a lot, so they are used to it. Snow falls and everyone who is supposed to do something (plow the roads, send out e-mail warnings, etc.) just does it. Back in Texas, it was hysterics at the mere possibility of flurries.

    I like your approach to training. That’s pretty much where I’m at right now. If I didn’t run when there was snow on the ground, then I couldn’t toe the line at my race in March. So I just have to get over it and get out there. (But I am hoping that the snow is a little more melted before my 16 miler on Friday! Pretty Please!)*


    • I used to live in Canada and it was the same. A couple of feet of snow overnight was business as usual and nothing missed a beat. Good luck with 16 miles on Friday. Keeping fingers crossed for your weather.


  2. I have heard a LOT about your snow this past week, and being a Texan, I know what you’re going through. When it snows here it’s like everyone goes a little crazy, even if it’s only an inch of snow. Kudos on not letting it stop you from running!


  3. I love my country, but it’s just ridiculous that people and institutions give up so easily in the face of adversity. Real runners have courage to face and overcome obstacles like this.


  4. It is not so much the snow as the huge slabs of ice that cause me concern. I have barely mastered this running thing, and am just learning about pace, so six weeks before the main event I went for the safe option and decided not to add ice skating in running shoes followed by an unexpected slip into the splits to my training programme. Perhaps time, and miles under the belt, will produce more confidence in the next bout of snowy/icy weather. Of course, if it snows on race day I will be utterly unprepared and wishing I had followed your example.


  5. Living below the Sweet Tea Line here in America, I too, am a cold weather wimp. That is what the treadmill is for.


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