Thursday, February 23, 2012

I think the groundhog was wrong

The last few weeks have been very mild and dare I say even a little WARM for February. My running streak last week continued for 10 days straight and then I was tired so I took a rest day. It was tough because I was on a roll and feeling really good, but something told me 'I should probably take it easy'. I know I have a tendency to overtrain and do too much and I'm really not always good at listening to my body. It's a weakness for sure. I ignore the obvious wisdom that running all the time is not necessarily good for you and continue to chase my endorphin high like a true addict.

Here's what February looks like so far for me:
I'd say I'm well on my way to marathon number 10 (which is in less than 90 days!). Over the next few weeks I'll get up into my favorite distance runs, 16-18-20. I know it's crazy most people cringe at the idea and wouldn't drive that far to go out for dinner never mind run that far just for fun. There's just something peaceful about settling into a comfortable pace and shutting out the entire world for a few hours to be truly in the moment and in your own head. It's almost as if time stops and things become quiet and loud at the same time. I tend to notice things I would never see under any other circumstances. Little things, funny things, random things, all sorts of things. My brain wanders and all my problems melt away and I open myself up to all the magical possibilities the world has to offer. It's hard to describe and you will never really understand it unless you are also a distance running addict.

Anyway, after I broke my 10 day running streak last week, I woke up Friday morning and got ready for work and grabbed my running gear and headed out feeling great and looking forward to the day. Then as I was starting to drive to work I realized something was wrong with my car. I pulled over a mile from my house and discovered my tire had been slashed. I put some air in it and could hear it coming right back out, felt around and found a 1-2 inch slash in the side wall. Drove it back to my house and called work to let them know I wouldn't be in. Then reported it to the police and tried to figure out how I would get it to the tire place to have it fixed. Thank God for great friends.

It was still wicked early in the morning and I knew no one was awake and didn't want to wake them up since I was in no rush because the tire place wasn't even open yet. I texted my Massachusetts Mom Ann and her husband Jack came over and put my spare on for me. I drove to the tire place and lucky for me I got new tires in December and paid the extra money for the lifetime replacement plan and I got a new tire FOR FREE! While I waited for the tire to be put on I went for a run with Ann and then we met Jack for breakfast. So, the day started out a little bumpy but quickly improved. By 11:00 I had a new tire and had already run and visited with friends.

I went home and baked some banana nut bread and did laundry and dishes and cleaned my house a little. Turned into a really productive day. Saturday I had to drive up to Portland for a funeral service for my Godmother. It was really sad and difficult. I had lost touch with her and her family and it sucked to see them like that. I wished that I had reconnected with them before my Godmother's sudden and tragic death. She was the one that called me when my mother got breast cancer and I credit her with bringing us back together. I hope that I can stay in touch with the family a little better now.

After the service I forced my brother to go for a run with me. I wanted to do 6 or 7 miles and he didn't want to run at all so I compromised and we did 4 miles. we took his dog Logan around Baxter Boulevard in Portland. I loved it and Logan loved it, my brother not so much. I secretly smiled inside knowing he was always the more athletic one in the family and now I could claim that title. He struggled a little and I felt fine. I hope he continues to get out and run with Logan (but not too much) because I need to cross off the 'to-do' list item - beat my brother in a sprint tri.

Sunday my long run was 14 miles. My longest run since Disney. I felt really good until the last 4 miles. I still averaged a decent pace, just slowed a little towards the end. Granted the last 4 miles are almost completely uphill. Overall I think it was a successful run. Not pain or boo boo belly, just tired.

Monday was a holiday and I met up with Kim, Ryann, and Nutter for a quick easy 5 miler and then Kim, Ryann and I went to Life Alive for lunch. Not a bad way to wrap up the long weekend. It was a rollercoaster ride, 4 days of ups and downs, ending on a high note.

As the short week started, the run streak and emotional rollercoaster caught up to me and I was feeling a little worn out and tired. Tuesday afternoon I ran 5 miles with Kim in Ayer and then Wednesday I woke up with a sore throat and a little head congestion. I rinsed out my head with the neti pot and drank green tea all day hoping to reduce the duration of the cold.

I feel pretty good today. A little tired and my throat is scratchy but not sore. I'm a little bummed I didn't run yesterday because it was almost 60 degrees out, but I plan to make up for it today with a run along the Charles River after work. This winter has been really mild. I kinda like it, but it makes me nervous for everyone running Boston this year. My theory is if training season is really rough, race day is perfect and if training season is perfect race day is rough. Take last year for example: by this time last year Boston had over 70 inches of snow and some of my long runs were in the single digits. Then Marathon Monday was in the 50s, partly cloudy, and there was a tailwind. Seriously PERFECT marathon conditions, once in a lifetime PERFECT. This year.....only about 7 inches of snow so far (I'm not complaining, just concerned), temperatures averaging 5 degrees above normal. I'd bet money that there will be a monsoon on Marathon Monday this year, but I REALLY hope I'm wrong.

I sort of wish I was running Boston this year, but also really looking forward to running Vermont in May. I have a few extra weeks to train and I can cheer on the side of the course for my friends this year (another reason I hope it's not a monsoon). In the meantime, I'm just really enjoying the mild winter. The warmer weather and lack of snow makes it pretty friggin awesome to live, work, and run in the greater Boston area right now. Check out the recent temperature trends:
Ideal running conditions. Mother Nature is finally NOT a douche.

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