Variables make a difference. What you do in one day compared to the next is dependent on so many variables. It's important to understand the importance of making different decisions. 20 days ago, I went out to unexplored territories to make a nice long loop, running a little over 21 miles. I was unprepared to do so, and due to that, I suffered a lot. I didn't eat before I ran, I didn't bring any water with me, and when I ran, I didn't plan anything out. I finished my run in 3:21:18. This time, I ran 21.55 miles in 2:51:58, 7:58 min/mile. I ran almost 30 minutes faster under harsh circumstances. While I ran my first time in a nice day, temperature was awesome, no winds, but even with the good weather conditions, I wasn't able to perform at my best. Today, it was cold... there were snow flurries, and there was wind coming in from the west. It was a miserable condition and the weather wasn't working for me. However, last night, I bought some pedialyte. This morning, I ate some chia seeds mixed with the excess pedialtye, and filled my running bottle with pedialyte.
When I ran, I made sure to conserve my speed, knowing the distance I was about to run (psychological advantage comes with experience), I drank my first little sip 30 minutes into my run, then at min 40, I started taking sips every minute (continuing the replenishing of my water supply as well as electrolytes in my system). The hard part was the weather. As the flurries fell, my fingers were cold. Ten minutes of holding the bottle with my right hand made it feel as if my pointing finger and thumb was frozen up. I switched hands and figured that I could somewhat get through it. At first, it was really cold, but as it came closer to noon, it got warmer and my hands got used to it. I managed to get through the run, looking at my watch for how much time has passed, and also listening to a running jam I made up. The music pumped me up, and the pedialyte rehydrated me. Using the music and pedialyte, I worked my way through the run, planning on finishing the run at about 3 hours. Knowing the distance, it was a lot easier for me to judge how much I needed to work. Having extra fluids really helped me out. The chia seeds also helped me with all the energy I needed during the almost 3 hour run.
Variables. They change a lot of things, but ultimately, you could be in charge of the variables. I wore my underarmour to protect me from the cold, and my upper body felt fine (probably need to get some for my legs... anybody got some?) and my asics gloves really helped out keeping my hands warm enough. The water bottle served to store my pedialyte which got me through the run, and I had a great time. Things happen that you might not be in control over (like weather) but you can always control what you do about it (put on underarmour) and the thing is... you're not as helpless as you might think you are. Humans are an amazing group. We don't give up and we become stronger. Why? It's because we have a brain that we use. Variables makes differences, a few simple changes can save 30 minutes on your run (for me, I was able to run 1:15 min/mile faster than the last time). Use your head, find a way, and make things happen.