Snow Day!

I had something different planned for the blog this week, but after this weekend’s blizzard, I had other thoughts. So we’ll talk about volunteerism next week.

Let’s talk about snow. Snow. Certainly the topic of conversation this weekend here in the northeast. I hope you all managed okay and made the best of it. For most, I guess it wasn’t really a snow day since it fell on a weekend. My daughter was enormously disappointed.

The storm didn’t affect my plans all that much. Although I spend a lot of time maneuvering the snow thrower around my oversized driveway that I could have done without. I worked on some projects in my home office as planned and I went for my scheduled runs.

IMG_3113Ramsey, NJ. Saturday, January 23, 2016

Yes. I ran. Both Saturday and Sunday. I’m training for the NJ Marathon on May 1st and these runs were for “mental fortitude.” That being said, safety comes first. Appropriate dress, distance, and pace are all taken into consideration, especially when running outside. On Saturday’s schedule was a 5-mile run at “recovery pace” (meaning it’s done in a certain heart rate zone, which for me typically translates to about a 9:30/mile pace). The snow slowed me down of course, but I was working harder. So as I averaged a 14:39 pace, my heart rate was exactly in the zone I needed it to be (the beauty of effort based training). I also cut my 5 miles down to 4 since I was out there longer than planned. It was a great work out. On Sunday, I ran my scheduled 14-miles thanks to the work of the Bergen County Parks Department who had most of the Saddle River County Park paths cleared.

IMG_7302Saddle River County Park, Ridgewood, NJ. Sunday, January 24, 2016

Why did I run? Sunday’s decision was the easy one; just can’t miss a long run during marathon training, even if it meant taking it indoors for the monotony of the treadmill. But it was a beautiful sunny afternoon, the roads were passable and the park was open. But Saturday? Anyone would understand if I blew off Saturday’s run under the circumstances, so why didn’t I? A few reasons… I’m the president of De Novo Harriers running club. On Saturday morning the club’s secretary posted a “selfie” in our FaceBook group proving she was heading out. Then the treasurer followed. So how could I not? I also hated to miss an opportunity to run in the snow. It’s different, quiet, meditative. Really just me and the plows. But the real reason I ran, and why most of the runners I know got out there too, is because that’s the way we are. We’re training to reach a goal. And to achieve success, the work has to be done. We know there are no excuses, no short cuts. So we run when it snows. And when it rains and when it’s hot or cold or just right.

And this is why runners usually make good employees. Runners do the work. Runners make sacrifices. They don’t make excuses. Runners have determination, focus, and discipline. And for the runners I know, that carries over to our professional lives as well.

I read this in a blog a while ago and saved it:

Whether you’re training for a marathon, a century or the Ironman triathlon, one thing you quickly find out is that there’s no room for bullshit out there on the pavement. You either do the work or you’re screwed. Politics won’t get you to the finish line. It doesn’t matter who you know or how well you can work the system. When you’re out there, every weakness bubbles up to the surface and stares you in the eye. Lack of preparation, lack of motivation, lack of dedication will all come back to bite you in the ass. There’s nowhere to hide. They will all find you and jump up on your back to stop you dead in your tracks. The choice becomes this: Do you let them stop you, or do you accept them and keep going?

You learn a lot about yourself, training for that type of event.

You learn a lot about how to break thresholds and get past your own little ego, training for events like these. When you’re tired and sore and hungry but you still have four miles to go, guess what? You still have four miles to go. How you get through these last four miles is entirely up to you. Nobody cares whether you walk those last four miles or run, or hail a cab. Nobody made you set 26.2 miles as a goal. Or 100 miles. Or 144+.

Once you’ve broken past your lack of will and learned to keep going, you are transformed. A similar thing happens to Marines during training. At some point, who you used to be before you went beyond what you thought your limitations were, before you kissed excuses goodbye, before you left all of the bullshit that stood in your mind’s way ceases to exist. You become someone else.

That someone else, the marathoner, the long distance cyclist, the triathlete, the Ironman, he or she walks into your place of work with you every morning.

We all work with two types of people: Partisans of the least amount of effort, and dedicated professionals.

The latter aren’t all marathoners or triathletes, but I have yet to meet an Ironman or marathoner who didn’t take his or her intensity and dedication to their job.

(Olivier Blanchard,, February 21, 2009)


Totally agree.




2 thoughts on “Snow Day!

  • January 24, 2016 at 10:15 pm

    saturday was just too rough to run…i went for a 1/2 hour-45 minute walk in the blizzard if that counts..sunday, i did all my digging out and did a 10 miler on the streets of mahwah and ramsey..and i like that comparison of runners to good employees…later

    • January 26, 2016 at 9:51 pm

      1/2 hour walk in the blizzard is good exercise! You dug out and then ran 10 miles…I’d hire you, Bob!


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