Well, friends, if you read last week’s
rant post about marathon training, you probably won’t be surprised to hear that I spent the week feeling pretty down about the whole thing. I dreaded each of my runs. With nearly two feet of snow on the ground (and two more snow days this week), it just wasn’t possible to run outside. Even though the streets were plowed fairly well, the run-off from melting snow, the frozen slush, and ya know, CARS, made it just impossible.
I tried to keep things interesting, like with this new running circuit, and by adding some extra strength training since I had to be at the gym anyway. But every day, when I stepped on the treadmill, I couldn’t help but let out a gigantic sigh.
I finally reached out for help on Thursday night at Faith Club. I was in the company of a few other runners, including Amy who has trained for many marathons and half-marathons. (I consider her my expert advice on all things running related–btw, she’s an official blogger for Hospital Hill this year! Isn’t that cool?!) I told them how much I was struggling mentally, and how desperately I wanted to overcome this obstacle. I recounted my reasons for wanting to run a marathon, but lamented over how much insanely more difficult the task was turning out to be. What I thought was going to be a quick prayer request turned into a twenty minute conversation (my friends are awesome!). I left feeling motivated–now I had a handful of people who were thinking of me, praying for me, and supporting me in my training.
Amy gave me the idea to try some group runs. You all know how I normally like to run solo, but at this point, I’m all for trying something new. So, I looked into a couple of options. It turns out Ultramax Sports offers a free group run on Saturday mornings, and a group called Sunday RUNday runs on Sunday mornings from a nearby location, as well. I plugged a couple of those group runs into my calendar over the next few weeks. Hopefully having some camaraderie in these events will help me push past this mental block.
However, both of these running groups were canceled this weekend due to the snow. Sigh.
However, from one of your reader comments, I had already made plans with my friend Kelly for this Saturday’s long run. I always love running with Kelly, because we have similar paces and goals when it comes to running. Also, we rarely get the chance to have such an extended period of time to catch up since she lives in Nebraska. But, she’d be in town over the weekend and had nine miles on her training plan (she’s running Rock the Parkway in April). The plan was for us to run those nine together, with me tacking a few extra on to the beginning and the end to reach my goal of seventeen.
We were determined to run these miles outside. So, I did a little research and found a decent stretch of plowed trail in the area. (It turns out that two of the three major suburbs in our area plow their trails. It’s the city in the middle, however, that does not–annoying, yes??) I started my run at 7:30, and was thrilled to find that the path was bone dry, except for a few easily-identifiable icy patches that I had to tiptoe over.
Although I had bundled up to the nines, I was able to shred my neck-warmer after five miles and I actually stayed pretty warm throughout the run. The cold really wasn’t a problem.
Kelly joined me at 8:30, after I was about 5.5 miles in, and we set off to do a 4.5-mile out-and-back. However, at 4.5 miles, after I’d had plenty of time to tell her just how horrible training for a marathon is (yeah, it took pretty much that whole 4.5 miles to lament), Kelly said she was feeling pretty good. “You know, I think I’ll just run the rest with you!” she said. I was ecstatic. I had so been dreading watching her climb into her warm car, and drive away toward a nice shower and a hot breakfast, and still having three more miles to run solo.
We ended up running-and-chatting-and-running-and-chatting for a whole two hours. Kelly ended up running twelve miles, and I got just over my seventeen mile goal. I honestly could not have felt more grateful for Kelly yesterday. My mind was distracted from the pain and annoyance of running seventeen miles. I only stopped to take two energy chews, and didn’t even finish my whole water bottle because I was so into the conversation. We covered every topic from friends, to family, to work, to relationships, to plans for the future. I barely even noticed that my legs were tired until about mile 15.5. It was remarkable.
I’ve written about Kelly before. She’s pretty much the best friend a person could ask for. Throughout the years, we’ve supported each other countless time. But let me tell you, yesterday Kelly was my rock. Not only did she serve as a great running partner, but she renewed my sense of self as a runner. Because of the fantastic run we had yesterday, I now believe in my ability to achieve this goal again.
Anyway, I of course had more workouts this week than just that one run. It just happened to be a pretty special one. But here’s the official breakdown:
- Monday - two hours of running & circuiting at the gym
- Tuesday (Snow Day #1!) - 25 min. lower body & core + 4 mile run
- Wednesday (Snow Day #2!) - taught CoreX, then 25 min. upper body strength training + 20 min. elliptical
- Thursday - ran 4 miles in the a.m.; Mixed Level Yoga in the p.m.
- Friday - taught 2 K4 Cardio + Strength classes
- Saturday - 17 mile run
- Sunday - Mixed Level Yoga (we did a ton of hip openers and it felt fantastic!)
How was your week? Did you get to run outside this weekend?