Back in November, I registered for this Saturday’s Frosty 25K at Salem Lake in Winston-Salem. It’s close to the 17 miles Hal Higdon wants me to do. Start time is 8:00 a.m. As you might know, it’s January. On Saturday at this latitude/longitude, sunrise arrives at 7:32 a.m. Because, well, it’s winter. The forecast is dry and sunny, with temps around 30 at start time, rising to 39 by 10:00.
The data indicates that I will flake and eat the $20 plus processing fee.
Runners always say, “Listen to your body,” so that’s what I’m doing. That advice usually pertains to the actual running, but health and fitness is a 24/7 thing, not just time on feet. My personal circadian rhythm wakes me at sunrise. That works out fine since I’m self-employed and make my own schedule. Sure, I can haul my butt out of bed earlier for the occasional big race, but it always messes up my sleep schedule and leaves me feeling crappy for a couple days afterward.
I’m serious about this Umstead training, sticking pretty closely to Hal’s plan, resisting The Goad, eating my veggies and whole grains. As my favorite Chanel-clad doc always lectured me, sleep hygiene is the key to good overall physical and mental health, which translates to skipping a January race with a totally unnecessary 8 a.m. start time. I’ll happily loop the town six times instead—on my own internal schedule—and feel much better for it.
How about you? What makes you bail on a race you’ve already paid for?