Tuesday, December 15, 2009

December Dilemma

At one time in my life December was one of my favorite months. Things have changed.

I should be running right now, instead I am cowering inside, away from the cold rain that is much too common in December here in Vancouver. I can console myself with the realization that cold rain in the city equals snow in the mountains but even that is not working at the moment. And I also understand that it is much easier to train in the rain then in the freezing cold of the rest of Canada, but gosh is it hard.

I think I have a bit of seasonal affective disorder. Consecutive days of dreary weather often put me into a bit of an ornery mood. I find it very difficult to head out the door to get my workout in when I know that within seconds of my feet hitting the pavement I am going to be soaked and cold. Knowing that I have to run an additional hour both cold and wet provides just about enough incentive to change into a warm pair of sweat pants and crawl into bed with a good book. Usually I force myself out the door but the accumulated trauma of getting cold and wet takes a toll. Add into the mix the pitch black darkness and the requirement to run on hard concrete or asphalt and there is little to no incentive to run. The last nail in the coffin is having to do a second workout in the rain. It will not happen today. Today's goal of 8-10 miles with a tempo will not be reached. Besides, my clothes are still wet from yesterday's run.

Now that I live in Vancouver my understanding of seasons has changed. I no longer think in terms of winter, spring, summer and autumn but rather rain versus dry. At the present time I am thinking December would fall into the dark/dreary/rain time of year. We have had a good summer and fall of beautiful weather but the body does not store up summer sunshine to be used at a later date. We must endure the cold wretched weather with a resolute constitution. I am afraid my resolution is fading.

I have decided I do not like the month of December. May was once my least favorite month but now I think it is December. Regardless of where you live in Canada Decemeber is a difficult month for training. This is the month when the Treadmill may become one of your most consistent companions. This is the month when one recovers from a year of racing and training and also begins the long road to fitness for the early road races and for indoor track. December also has a host of events to distract one from training and many occurrences that could possibly interfere with a long run or training run.

I also find December difficult because of the 'Holiday Season'. As I have blogged before I am a former Christmas nut. I would decorate everything in sight including the dog. My gifts would be well thought out with the theme for the wrapping paper chosen in late summer. I would start playing carols in late October and would have several advent calendars. This is not how I feel now. I am excited for the Holiday Season to be done. There may be several reasons for this. One would be work. Formally Christmas meant holidays and a good break from school, now it equals a 4 day weekend. I have to work on Christmas Eve, kind of puts a damper on any holiday cheer. Another reason, as I have mentioned earlier, is the December weather. I do not like snow but it sure adds a Christmas cozy flavor to the air. This heavy cold rain really brings me down. I do not go to church which may be another reason Christmas does not move me the way it used too. Midnight mass was always one of the highlights of Christmas and it is a ritual that I do miss. My last reason for not being into Christmas is the lack of a loved one in the city.

Christmas is a time to be with family or a special loved one. I do not have any close family in the city which makes the holidays tough. It is always wonderful to go visiting and catch up with everyone. There is a comfort with being with family over the holidays that makes Christmas special. Family traditions and the environment of childhood all add to the warmth and love felt at Christmas. Nothing I could ever attempt to create would compare with the magical feeling of Christmas in rural Nova Scotia. Whether it is sitting by a roaring fire, taking a drive to look at the Christmas lights or going out to cut our own tree, it is truly an enchanting time of year. The other aspect my Christmas world is missing is a special someone. This is a time of year when being single and lonely is especially apparent.

Another thing about December that sucks, the very short days.

I am going to try and survive December. It has been rough so far, I hope it does not get any worse.

Monday: 7 miles
Tuesday: 0 Miles and a Swim

Happy Training!


  1. Cheer up, Jay. Less than a week till the shortest day, then it's all downhill. And I've been told that the Kenyans take it easy at this time of year (could just be propaganda, mind).

  2. I actually would choose a crisp cold morning over a damp and humid one to train in.

    While they can't replace your family, your friends can fill in for them. I hope that you do find a kind and intelligent person to share your days (and nights) with, you do deserve it. Xmas is a good time to hit the bars I am told.

  3. 過去的事早已消失,未來的事更渺不可知,只有現在是真實的..................................................