Wednesday, March 11, 2009


I can’t tell you the last time I ran alone, seriously. 98% of the time I’m with Joe and for those runs he’s not with me, I’m with friends or my dog. I don’t run alone, which is a little odd. I do many other things alone and typically don’t mind it. Being social is not my thing. Today he was running late and I was determined to get the miles in. So I started without him. First there was the debate, “I’ll just wait”. I got over that and got out of the car. I’m not a stretcher, I know I need to be, I’ve heard the lecture. Today I was stretching, before a run, unheard of. Once I got beyond that and looked around a little off I went. I had no idea what I was doing, what pace to set, who to comment too. In some ways I felt like was running naked. Even though my dog isn’t much conversation, she keeps me going and hears all my comments about other people. Today I was alone, it was shocking. About a mile down Elmgrove I realized I wasn’t sure where I wanted to go and there was no one to discuss it with. There would also be no one to discuss it with if I decided to turn around right now and go back to the car. That would be cheating, and I decided to head on our old loop. For the whole 40 mins, I never got comfortable, couldn’t find that groove, something was missing. I kept my eyes peeled for a running partner, anyone. Surely I would run into someone, it never happened. I was dreading the 2nd loop, I’m not doing this alone again. No worries, my trusty partner was there and ready to go!

Monday, March 9, 2009

excuses, excuses

I know, I know, it’s been over a week. I’m sorry, time got away from me (I am trying to finish school you know). Excuses are easy, especially when it comes to running. Below are a list of my top 10 (in no order):

1. It’s too cold. I’ve also been known to whine about the heat.
2. It’s too wet (rain, snow or ice). If I wake up in the am and can hear the rain, I refuse to get out of bed. Can’t tell you how many times I have laid there praying for that sound.
3. I just ate, will have to wait 2 hours. 2 hours comes and I have forgotten I needed to go running
4. I overslept, there have been times I have hit the snooze button for 2 hours consecutively.
5. I have homework, which never gets done.
6. Let me do the math, I then add and subtract miles until I have rationalized not going for a run.
7. It’s too late, I’m a morning runner. I can push it to 9am, but after that it’s like asking me to lift up a car. I don’t like to run when it’s light enough for other’s to see me, weird I know.
8. I don’t have time. This one cracks me up because I can run out my front door for as long or as short as I want to, time should not be a factor.
9. I’m sore. HELLO, I'm training for a marathon, I'm ALWAYS sore!!
10. My favorite pants aren’t clean. We now do laundry nightly to avoid this one.

There were no excuses tonight. Postponed the run that should have happened this morning. Why? I heard rain on the roof when I woke up this morning!

Sunday, March 1, 2009


Just getting from the bed to the alarm clock this morning was painful, was I really going to get 18 miles in today? I was nervous, we had run a lot this weekend and the weather report was not looking good at all. When we left the house there was no snow, could it be we dodged the bullet. Nope, the closer we got to Quonset the heavier the snow was.

We were heading there for a 10 mile race, but had a goal of getting in 16-18 miles. We should have gotten in the long run earlier this weekend, but we didn’t. There was debate about when to run. Should we get it all done before the race? Do a little before and a little after? Wait and get it all done after the race. I lost the debate and we were going to get in as much as possible before hand.

We headed out on a 2 mile loop, the weather was worse than expected. The snow and sleet were heavy, that combined with the wind, it was awful. The first loop was really painful, my legs were not happy to be working again. The second loop was a little better. Just as I thought I could convince Joe to call it a morning, a guy from our running club met up with us. Joe had someone new to chat with, meaning I was stuck for at least another 2 miles. It was nice though, the new addition made us push the pace a little and the change in conversation was a nice distraction. I have been whining about running 55 miles this week, the guy were running with had pulled 70+ a few weeks ago. UNBELIEVABLE! I’ll stop complaining.

Before I knew it we were at the start line. I knew we would be slow so I moved towards the back of the pack. It was a small pack, we might come in dead last. This has never happened before. It was a little nerve wracking. A few miles into it, I was as sore as I expected. The weather forced me to run with my eyes close to closed, only a slit to peer through. The pain from the weather on my face forced me to forget about my legs for a while. Surprisingly I pulled ahead of a few people, maybe I wouldn’t be last.

Things were good until about mile 7.5. My body was done. My legs were throbbing from ankle to hip. As slow as I was moving I refused to walk. The people I passed earlier, soon passed me. I looked behind me there was one person back there. My new hero, he would prevent me from taking the title as last one to cross the finish line.

Finally we were on the home stretch, less than a half mile. Joe was cute. We started a tradition last year of holding hands as we crossed the finish line. Normally we are crossing with a crowd of people watching and are feeling stronger than we were today. I didn’t even think about it, until his had found mine. He had thought about it. It didn’t matter that when we crossed they were breaking it down, or that we were close to dead last or that we were dead tired. We were finishing together, and what a week we had just ended, holding hands.

How far??

When we headed out for our run yesterday morning, the distance was still up in the air. We had to get in an 18 miler and a 12 miler and there was a race scheduled for the next day. We decided to see how we felt and take it from there. We had run less than 12 hours ago, so the legs were tight. The first loop was good, my legs were sore but I held a good pace. Heading up Elmgrove I thought about backing off and catching my breath but I was excited that Joe had not caught up. Reaching the car in 37 mins, not bad at all for 4.2 miles. The problem was I had at least 2 more loops of that, maybe even 3. Had I pushed it too hard too early? We switched directions for the second loop. Immedicately Joe and Jessica pulled ahead of me. I didn’t care, we had too many miles to care. Heading up North St, I caught up with Joe. He asked how I was and I could only grunt, we were facing almost a mile uphill. There was nothing nice to be said at that point. We reached the car again, I didn’t look at my watch, I could tell it was much slower than the first loop. Jessica left us and we were on our own. I asked Joe if he had 18 in him, he said to focus on the next loop. We took off again. Things were feeling good, no pain and no residual soreness. By now there were more people out, as I passed them with a terrible look on my face I wanted to explain I was on mile 10 with 3-8 more to go. I kept my mouth shut and kept going. I was thinking about what would happen when we reached the car, I would offer to keep going and Joe would choose to stop, it would work seemlessly We reached the car again, at first it looked like we were going to keep going. I offered to keep going and when he was supposed to say no, he said yes! WHAT?!?! I don’t really want to keep going, I’m pooped!! I shut up and refueled, I must have had a look on my face because within minutes he said, you don’t look good, let’s go home and tackle it tomorrow. THANK GOD!! Not that 18 will feel any better tomorrow, but I’ll worry about it then. We packed up and headed home. As I type this, it’s tomorrow and we are facing 18 miles to start in an hour or so. I’m nervous, it’s going to hurt and there is no waiting for tomorrow today.