It took a week longer than I planned but it finally happened….I broke past 13.1! After a few days of rest (which was strongly enforced by Mother Nature in the form of 3 feet of snow), I was finally able to do some test runs on the treadmill. And when the pain didn’t return I got the much anticipated green light for my long run. Wohoo!
As I laid out my clothes and packed my bag Saturday night the usual nervous butterflies started to creep in. The fact that I was finally going to run beyond the half marathon distance was pretty daunting. I kept thinking about how miserable I’ve gotten towards the end of every single half marathon. I thought about how I had to run further than that. And then I remembered how I felt just a week prior, devastated that I wasn’t spending my night preparing for my long run the next morning. That shut the butterflies right up.
Sunday morning was a balmy 14 degrees, with a real feel around zero. I was pretty nervous as we headed out, especially since it had been over a week since I’d run outside. Magically my feet still knew exactly what to do. The miles ticked by painlessly. Once we hit the water stop that was my cue to turn around and head back (I was cutting off a mile since I had missed the week before). I kept reminding myself that I was already halfway done and still feeling good. And just as my legs started getting tired I hit the stretch of Comm Ave where the CITGO sign looms above you. Instantly I felt goosebumps flow through my body. Suddenly my legs weren’t so tired anymore. If there was ever a “Holy shit, I’m training to run the BOSTON *%&!-ing MARATHON!”, it was this one. I’m glad the snow banks were high enough that people couldn’t see me cackling up the sidewalk. I finished the run tired and sore, but still alive.
I have a feeling that time is going to fly by from here on out. For months it felt like the Marathon was a stove pilot- there, but not much was happening. Suddenly it feels like everything is picking up. The miles are just going to get higher and higher. In just over a month I’ll attempt my longest training run. My first fundraising event is happening this weekend. I just keep telling myself to take a deep breath and take it all one day at a time, one mile at a time, one step at a time.
75 days to go!
For anyone who DOESN’T live in the New England area (or resides under a rock), we kind of got some snow this weekend. And by kind of, I mean – we got absolutely buried. For all the years that I’ve had to listen to people talk about “The Blizzard of ’78” I can now say that I survived the epic “Nemo”. Yipee.
For the most part, my first winter of “being a runner” in New England has been pretty uneventful. A few slushy days, an inch of snow here or there, and that one dreadful night where I decided to run in negative degree weather with a DIY neck warmer. So needless to say that when the rumors of FEET of snow began- I began to freak out.
As the first snowflakes fell I threw on my running gear and headed out to the streets in fear that I may never see pavement again (Also because if you’ve ever run in the snow before, you know it’s one of the coolest feelings).
Unfortunately for once, the weathermen were straight on. My weekend was spent shoveling my car out from under 30 inches of snow and spending almost 30 hours without power. In a desperate attempt to save my fridge of healthy food, my greek yogurts became frozen yogurt on the back porch, Saturday’s bootcamp was cancelled and I didn’t get a run in ALL weekend. By Sunday afternoon I was literally twitching from lack of exercise- I can’t remember the last time I went two days in a row without some kind of workout. I’ve developed such a routine that I paralyze with fear at the thought of it going out of whack. There’s still this small part of my brain that thinks that one missed workout will have a snowball effect, and that I’ll be back where I started a year ago. I know it sounds pathetic, but I have to remind myself that a few days off isn’t going to spiral into a downfall, or make me gain 5 pounds back.
Deep down I know all this because honestly, I would miss it too much. I keep waiting for the day that “this all” becomes a chore, but at this point- I’m pretty sure that’s never going to happen. Last week I went snowboarding, swimming AND running. Never in my life have I been such an active person and honestly, I’ve never been happier. I feel like there’s this amazing world that I’ve been missing out on for so long, and now I want to do everything possible to catch up. Every week seems to bring a new experience or something different to try and for once in my life I’m not letting the “what ifs” hold me back- I’m just taking a deep breath and doing it. 🙂