Like many in the Northeast training for a spring marathon, I’m waving the white flag.
Snow. Ice. Freezing temps. Nonexistent pavement. School cancellations. More snow. More ice. Less pavement. More cancellations. They have all made training really, really difficult.
I have had the added benefit of running a mini-hospital for the past few weeks. (Poorly, I might add. I’m no nurse. But I have Lysol’ed everything in this GD house that doesn’t have a beating heart and gotten used to delivering meals on trays.) We went to Mt. Tremblant for our February vacation a few weeks ago. I highly recommend it to anyone who is healthy.
My youngest got a fever of 103 the first night we were there and then we all fell like dominos. I spent a week with fever and chills in a lovely condo with a stunning view. As did the rest of my family. We cut the trip short when my two boys started coughing like lifelong smokers (they’re not) and headed home for antibiotics.
In the 2 weeks since we returned, we have had TWO DAYS where no one in the house was sick. They were just finishing up their antibiotics when someone brought home the stomach bug going around school. The past week has involved a lot of laundry.
I can’t even put down in writing how lame my training for Boston has been because I will have a panic attack on the spot. ON THE SPOT. I almost feel like I need to write a letter of apology to the BAA for not taking their race seriously enough. But I have! I swear I have been doing my best, but this winter has been tough. Weather, kids’ sports schedules, illness and the short days have not been kind to my training. See, I’m already writing my letter.
Illness and snow this week made my midweek runs shorter than I had hoped. I had plans to run 20 on Sunday to gain a bit of confidence, if nothing else. And then I was grazed by the stomach bug on Friday-Saturday. And then I spent most of Saturday night awake with a vomiting child. Watching Nick at Nite during the wee hours holding a bucket is not how I usually prepare for a long run.
I woke up at 6:15 on Sunday (which I quickly realized was 7:15 thanks to the F&*%*&% time change) and decided just to go for it. It would be slow. It would not be my finest long run. But I believed I could make it through.
Got dressed, ate, put on my Garmin and it crapped out on me. Fully charged. I have long suspected that my Garmin hates me and now I’m convinced.
Now it became a quest. I thought I knew a route that should end up being around 20 miles, and rather than screw around trying to fix my Garmin, I decided just to go.
I’m so glad I did.
The first mile was a little shaky. I still didn’t feel 100%. But I kept “I can do this” at the front of my mind and tried to push all the other stuff to the way back.
Around 2 miles in, I relaxed. I literally felt the tension leave my body. What was I stressed about? I love running. When I’m sad or tense, it makes me feel better. When I’m happy, it makes me happier. Getting ready, I was thinking of it like a chore. It’s not. While every second might not be easy or comfortable, I LOVE running. It’s what I do.
The roads were still pretty snowy and icy but the air – the air is changing! Spring is coming – I can smell it and feel it. The temps were really comfortable and it was nice to run with less layers. I felt so light. So happy to be outside.
And I did my 20. Slow, but steady. Got home and mapped it, and it was 20.25. Right on the button of what I wanted to do. Was it my fastest run? No way. Was it my strongest run? No. But I did it. And I felt pretty freaking happy about it afterward.
I believed I could, so I did.
It’s the same mantra that carried me the last 6 miles of Philly, and hopefully will carry me through whatever Boston throws my way. I believe I can, so I will.
Do you ever dread a long run only to start it and wonder what the hell you were stressing about? Anyone else tackle anything they’re pretty proud of lately? C’mon, Brag to us. You know you want to.