Fair Weather or Fair Play?

While doing my actual ‘day-job’ yesterday, I attended a breakfast seminar for us marketing type people and I heard a great quote that kicked off proceedings for the morning:

“There’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad preparation”

I’m reminded of this particularly this week here in Sydney given the huge amount of rain we’ve had and I think the penchant for those who enjoy activities of the outdoor variety to maybe skip a session if it is a little wet. Now I’m not here to tell people how to suck eggs, but  thought it was a nice little reminder to always take the positive out of any situation. Indeed that’s the rationale for the second part of the title, ‘fair play’ to you, if you are one of those that revels getting out there in the rain, or you deal with anything that gets thrown at you.

The reason for rambling on about this is mainly because of all the discussion ahead of this year’s GNW (and to be fair, every GNW), about the hot weather that usually descends upon the course in November. I for one was very vocal about the fact that I hoped it was cooler than normal, but the quote yesterday really got me thinking as to why was I so concerned about the weather at all? It is what it is to be honest, so there’s nothing I can do about it. All I can do is prepare and react to whatever gets thrown at you, and I guess in some ways this is what we all have to learn about ultra running and the trails and tribulations that we experience along the way. So for me, I definitely took something away from that.

We talk about being prepared and ready for races, but again another great piece of advice I’ve often heard along the way while doing these ultras is that it’s not how you deal with the expected, but it’s how you deal with the unexpected. Things do go wrong, and things don’t work out in ultras. They very rarely go right perfectly, so you have to adapt and adjust your strategies while you’re on the go. The successful people are the ones that deal with it accordingly – those who DNF (like I have in past), don’t – but I have learnt my lesson indeed.

The finish at B2H last year. It was quite windy, so I ran a bit faster instead 🙂

I had this very experience during GNW this year whereby I was on a two backpack strategy of swapping between different packs for different legs. Having worn one of the packs on one leg, I decided that I didn’t want to wear it anymore and that my other pack was better. This kind of threw my crew a little bit as they couldn’t get my pack prepared in the time frames I’d allowed for each checkpoint. But ‘no dramas’ I told them, I was so up on my splits, we could afford some extra time – life was good.

I guess the point is this, whatever conditions are thrown at you, they’re what you’re going to have to deal with on that particular day, so there’s no point going on about it as I have learnt. Adjust your race strategy accordingly, deal with what’s been given and accept that things will be different today. Oh and if you were going to head out for a run today but didn’t because of the weather, there’s still time later tonight 🙂

To all those C2K runners making their way to Eden today, best of luck and I’m sure you’re all ready for whatever the weather throws at you, it is what it is. But above all, it’s perfect for your race tomorrow, (and Saturday) and we wish you all the best for a successful race.

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I'm a mediocre runner who can bat above his average when I train hard. A man of extremes, I do enjoy everything life offers and consider it an absolute pleasure just to be able to put one foot in front of the other and let my mind wander somewhere different.

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