I woke to a back yard dusted with snow – it was beautiful.

My Back yard early this morning!

My Back yard early this morning!

This picture shows what my back yard looked like when I first got up.  I love the snow but I also knew that I needed to get in a long run this morning.  Since falling on the ice last winter, I have become a much more timid running in weather conditions like this.  Long runs are as much mental as they are physical.  Today would take all the mental courage I could muster.

With the fall last winter fear entered into my running for the first time.  I have never really experienced that kind of thing until after the fall.  I started thinking things like, “what if you fall again?”  “It is not worth the risk!”  “You will never make it through the full run – you will fall again.”  While this was only the second time I had fallen while running (the first was as a senior in college, but it was slipping on some loose sand and breaking my wrist), it was the first to affect my running.  I didn’t run much the rest of the winter and had to start over in the spring with conditioning and endurance building.

I can’t afford to take this winter off – I am planning on running Grandma’s marathon in June and the Twin cities in October – hoping one of these will get me a qualifying time for Boston!  Which means I need to conquer this fear in order to continue running through the winter.

So my sole goal for this morning’s run of 6+ miles was to stay vertical!  It was a difficult run – more mentally than physically.  I picked my path carefully, but there were still 2 places where the sun had not been able to penetrate through the leaves and were still icy.  I managed to stay upright and run a decent time – about 6.5 miles in 69 minutes.

My dad used to tell me, “if you get thrown from a horse, get right back on that horse.”  There is much truth in this statement – you can’t let fear of getting thrown off the horse and the horse needs to know that you are in control- not him.  So today was my chance to get back on the horse and I did and I conquered my fear.