We were all Fools in the Snow
On March 28th we lined up in blowing snow to run the April Fool’s 4 Miler in Salisbury, MA.
Race day temps are usually in the 40’s or 50’s. This year it was around freezing the entire day. I was hoping it would warm up as race time approached, but it continued snowing!
I signed up for this race on January 16th, the middle of winter. At that time we thought we were going to have a mild winter. Through January 20th we had a modest 29″ of total accumulation in The GBA.
Starting on January 20th the temperatures stayed low and it seemed to snow every other day. It snowed 10 weekends in a row, often on race days.
Check out this link for details on the 2014-2015 record breaking winter in Boston.
The snow didn’t seem that bad at the race. The ground was warm enough to keep the snow from accumulating and making the roads slippery. Looking at pictures from the race, it looks much worse.
Running for the fun of it
I’ve previously run this race three times. The first time I was just experimenting with a different distance race. I had run a few 5k races and 10k races, but these shorter distances were still new to me.
The second and third times I ran this race my goal was to PR, and I did on those successive races. While training for a marathon I like to use these shorter races as speed work outs. Running a race now and then also helps keep me motivated to train.
This year I wasn’t training for anything and didn’t have any goals. I was running for the fun of it.
A lesson learned
A most remarkable thing happened at this race: I learned something. Going into most races I have a goal: I want to set a course or distance PR. Often I just want to come in below a certain time.
This year I thought about the 30 minute mark, but it meant nothing. I did not need that time to test my training, because I wasn’t training for anything. Also, 30 minutes was not going to test my metal.
When I got to those points in the race where it got uncomfortable, I didn’t have a North Star. I had nothing to aim for, nothing to guide or pull me. I also ran alone this year, so I had no one to be accountable to.
It’s those moments of doubt and question that cost you the PR. When you start asking your self if you are really prepared to run as hard as you have to to hit your goal, do you REALLY want that goal? Why does it have to hurt? Why am I running through this discomfort? It’s fucking cold.
I had nothing to drive me through the discomfort
I did not have a goal or a reason to run. In those moments of doubt the voice asked, why?
When the voice asked why, my only answer was because. Because I love to run. Because I love that feeling of being beyond my self. Because there is a certain satisfaction knowing that I left it all out there.
I learned that there are more than goals driving me to run. There is something about the feeling of motion and pushing my body and will to the extreme.
I learned that I can run hard just for the fun of it.
April Fool’s 4 Miler by the numbers
My finish time was 29:22 for an average pace of 7:19. This was only 22 seconds off of my course PR and my 3rd fastest finish on this course. The last full mile was my fastest at 7:06 which really surprised me.
Looking at the numbers after the race is when I learned the lesson. I can run hard even when I am just running for the fun of it.
- Do you need a goal to run all out?
- How do you deal with the voice?
Run well my friends,