As the cold weather set in, I'm happy to have my biggest mileage goals of the year already logged. At this point, I'm a little reflective and thankful to have a "Barefoot Mindset" about many things in my life.
The barefoot mindset allows one to sort of take things as they come. Knowing you are not in contol of the key elements: temperature, precipitation, road surface, debris and traffic flow. This is the start of patience and of course, prayer. To be able to ask for things completely out of your control, and then WAIT for them to be delivered helps to develop your barefoot mindset.
And waiting doesn't have to mean sitting and doing nothing...
You begin to define patience a little differently too. I like the idea of ACTIVE patience. Each day is a choice. I can simply look at the cold snowy weather outside and skip today's long run OR I can go out and "take what I can get." Maybe go out and run only one mile on snow and slush, into a 14 MPH headwind, knowing that something is better that nothing...it's better to log a "one" than a "zero" for the day! Then, maybe, as I approach the turnaround, I can push it for another quarter mile before turning back, and log a 1.5 miler instead of just a one!
Shorter runs due to bad weather also leave you well rested and ready for a sunny afternoon to run a 14 miler knowing that the next cold front is coming soon. This patience, this waiting for the ebb and flow of the weather, can be applied to the road surfaces as well. The rough stretch is only temporary...the gravel will end soon...the smooth road is just ahead.
Sometimes the rough stuff is actually better. When we think we have a nice smooth stripe to run on, that's often when a hidden rock pops up to say "hello!" In fact, running on a rough road helps prepare us, both mentally and physically, for the next "surprise" rock on our otherwise smooth, cool stretch of pavement.
And just as running on rough pavement builds callouses and improves reaction time, running in cold weather builds mitochondria and an appreciation for the milder temperatures. A cold two miler might produce the same internal body response and fitness as a warm sunny twelve miler. Less is more.
So don't lament your conditions...rejoice in them!
And if you think these words were just about running barefoot, think again...this barefoot mindset can apply to almost everything in this world.
Rocks are just metaphors for the "hard times" in life...
God gave us bodies and minds with amazing abiltities for recovery and adaptation. But He didn't stop there...as He tells us in James 4:2 You do not have because you do not ask.
November Mileage = 165 miles