Running in sleet

Running in sleet

Jan 21
Jean Drasgow, Director of Career Services

I started on a three mile run on Sunday at about 11:30 am. It was 25 degrees and windy so I was going to take an ‘out and back’ route that was mostly protected. About three-fourths of a mile into my run it started to precipitate, light drops, nothing too major. Then, a mile into my run, the precipitation turned into full-blown sleet. I could have turned back and shortened my run, but I would have been disappointed in myself for not reaching my three-mile goal, so I decided to push through. 

Running in sleet was fine at first; but by my return leg, I had a slight hill to climb. Normally, the hill is inconsequential but I was struggling to get traction on the asphalt slope. I moved over to the shoulder of the road to gain traction on the rocks and grass. I normally avoid the shoulder because my ankles seem to turn more easily on choppy terrain, but I decided given the circumstances it was the better choice. On my run, I also encountered a four-way stop with cars coming from two directions having difficulty stopping because of the slick roads. I kept checking my surroundings, looking at my feet to make sure I would land without twisting my ankle and up and around to gage the traffic hazards. I noticed that running in sleet could be challenging, even hazardou,s but the chink, chink, chink sound of the sleet hitting the ground and the ever-growing glistening scenery gave me an experience in nature that I hadn’t had before.

I do not want to give the impression that I am a hardcore crazy runner. One look at me and you would know that I run so I do not feel as guilty when I eat ice cream. By now you may be asking, “What does running have to do with career advice? Running in sleet is like navigating a career in rough times. You have a career goal and at some point you will need to answer for yourself, “Is this goal too tough? Should I keep going? Do I push through for the satisfaction or do I cut my losses and try another day?” You have to use your best judgment. By deciding to keep running, I faced some challenges which I had to navigate and adjust. I did not have a fast run, but I still finished it.

Sometimes if you try a challenging career/job/major, you may struggle with it. You may have to adjust and do things that are out of your comfort zone (like running on the shoulder or moving to a different state). During your career you will also need to keep aware of the environment around you and stay relevant (aka avoid becoming roadkill). But by doing things out of your comfort zone, you will be able to experience things you have never imagined. For instance, you may not ever know you like living in Texas unless you push yourself to try it. Who knew I would like running in sleet?