I think I'm in my running adolescence.
It's been more than four years since I went on my first run that wasn't hustling through a parking lot to avoid inclement weather, and this spring will mark four full years of regularly running.
Have I improved physically? Yes. Have I improved mentally as well? Yes. But do I still whiff on good decision-making sometimes? Oh, heck yes.
It's like being a teenager again: I think I'm smarter than I really am, then find out through mishaps that I should've maybe thought that move over a little bit more.
Consider the past week-plus in running for me, and you'll see what I mean.
Good decision: Baking cookies before going to the apartment of a friend who was going to serve me delicious homemade soup, two Sundays ago.
Bad decision: Skipping a run to make those cookies, "because of the ice," which turned out to only exist on the first yard of sidewalk leading out of my apartment building.
Good decision: Listening to my body and taking Wednesday off.
Bad decision: Listening to my whiny mind and relaxing Wednesday morning, the last time for a couple of days that it wouldn't be slick and/or horrifically cold.
Good decision: Doing laundry Thursday, a dangerously cold day, instead of running. Carrying baskets of clothes up and down stairs counts as cross-training, right?
Bad decision: Doing laundry Thursday instead of running, but doing so after an hour-plus of errands, only to come back and find one lady repeatedly washing the same load, even though she saw me waiting at least twice for a washer to open.
Thankfully a different neighbor decided her second load of laundry was too small to be worth it, and instead of using both remaining washers, she gave me one.
Good decision: Adjusting my expectations for Friday's run to the conditions. Race pace, not to mention intervals, was not going to happen on a single-digit day and slightly snowy/icy sidewalks.
Bad decision: Not wearing yoga pants over my tights Friday and leaving the balaclava at home. I applied the winter sunblock my dad gave me to my face, except apparently my upper lip, which did feel a little tender for the next 12 hours.
And to end it on a high note, here's a good decision/better decision scenario: For my Super Bowl Sunday five-miler — a balmy 21 degrees! — I left the fleece ear warmer behind, which was pretty apparently the right choice.
But the even better choice was to realize that my knit sweatband could be pulled over the tips of my ears, rather than tucked behind them, when the wind came through.