Thursday, October 10, 2013

Obsessive Compulsive Weather Checking Disorder (OCWCD)

“Everyone talks about the weather, but no one does anything about it.”~  Mark Twain
Obsessive Compulsive Weather Checking Disorder or OCWCD strikes some runners with a ferocity that unsettles everyone else within 2000 miles. I'm a reasonable person. Sometimes I believe I am TOO reasonable - too logical, but when it comes to my sever case of OCWCD, logic and reason cease to tame the beast.

I start looking at weather forecasts and trends a month before a key race. Now, I know this is pointless. Meteorologists rarely get tomorrow's weather right, so why would I put any faith in an "extended" forecast - or, a month long forecast???  Well, because this little game we runners play is part rational and part irrational.

Aristotle described this interconnection best: There are rational and irrational parts of the soul. Both are necessary for a flourishing life. Emotions, desires and passions are found in the irrational part and they are what MOVE us, what fires us up, what get us all jazzed about an idea - like running a marathon - six months down the road. You press that "register" button with the necessary impetus from desire. You feel the rush, the thrill.  Reason alone would never get you excited. Reason MOVES nothing. Reason's purpose is to direct the passions. The emotions make you wake up in a cold sweat two nights before a marathon screaming in your head "ARRRgggggg" heart pounding, "Oh my god, Oh my god. Oh my god...". And reason is saying, "Ummm, why exactly have you done this again??" Then in the light of day, emotions are redirected with the help of reason, and the 'ARRRggggggg' is replaced with, "This is going to be so great! I can do this." 

So reason and passion work together. Passion moves us to DO, while reason DIRECTS the passions. Neither one rules here. They are both a necessary part of a full, and rich, and meaningful life.

And then there's OCWCD. I KNOW it makes no sense to check the weather a month out. It's flat out unreasonable. And yet I can't help myself. I know that clicking the damn accuweather tab (always open) 24 - did I just say 24? Yeah. more like 124 - times a day will change nothing and will tell me nothing new. There have actually been times that I see a good forecast and I just don't want to look again in case it changes for bad! Do I believe that all this checking and clicking will change anything for the better. No, And yes. I must or I wouldn't keep doing it.

And then there's the lack of understanding concerning this affliction. People chuckle or outright laugh at me for my silliness. Can you imagine how people would respond if those with other real obsessive disorders and phobias were laughed at and ridiculed to their faces?? People also laugh at me if I want to avoid sick people a few weeks before a race. I DO know that it's just a stupid race. BUT the things that are important to each of us are important to us. That is what make life worth living: the things that matter even if they seem trivial to others. Call me uptight. But it matters - to me.

I'm not trying to trivialize serious conditions that negatively affect the lives of many, but the fact is that telling me to stop worrying doesn't work! I admit I've had some bad experiences, and that makes me nervous (OCWCD-PTSD). You run a few hellish marathons, you stagger through mile after mile of beating down, desiccating, heat with not a drop to work hard for months and your one day royally sucks, and you start to feel, well, uptight.

Yep, THAT was Boston 2012!!...Nooooo. It was only a heat index of 122!  Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Then again there's...

The London Olympics...

They practically have no clothes on and it's pouring rain!!! (Hot + Wet = Bingo!!)

So apologies for being a basket case.

Warning: This will continue. I just can't help myself!

And why?? Because I am alive and I care. Because I, and you, go out and face what we will face - and be brave, or not. Because there is no weather sitting in front of the TV. There is no weather sitting in the cubicle at work. Weather matters to us, because we live life. Weather is as much a part of this as anything else: the training, the people, the course, the day. It's not just an add on. It's part of the whole experience that you will carry with you until the end of your days.


  1. So true! But of course, you have to do something during taper when you're not allowed to run... (Oh, and of course I love the picture from Wellesley, with the Quad in the background!)

  2. I do this as well. I have weather apps on every electronic I own and look at them a several times a day.. and even more when I see the impending stormy, raining, windy day on the radar! My name is Celeste and I too have OCWCD. :)

    1. I suppose we should start an OCWCDA chapter - Obsessive Compulsive Weather Checking Disorder Anonymous. Now that's mouthful!

      AND the weather forecast for Chicago has improved. Clearly all that checking had a positive effect!! (fallacy??? Non Causa Pro Causa!!!)


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