Holy Moly, have two months really gone by since I last posted? Egads, time flies! I know, I know-it doesn’t really, especially this time of year. Winter-bleck! It is definitely NOT my favorite season. Although I must confess, January here in ole Missouri wasn’t half bad. We even had one or two 70 degree days. It was running bliss. Then came February (darned that groundhog)! Brr, cold, windy, snow, ice…dreadmill…er treadmill time!
Now, I know some of you are BEASTS and run in all kinds of winter weather. I don’t mind the cold so much as the slick stuff on the ground, and I have actually done my fair share of running (dodging) ice patches as well. But I do not like it one bit. One slip and this half a centurion could be laid up and injured for weeks. I just can’t risk that with Boston looming on the horizon in seven short weeks. I know I could just walk out to my car and slip as well, but that would be do to my clumsiness (that dance lessons didn’t fix).
The month of February posed a challenge to get my long runs in in preparation for the 50 miler I am participating in at the end of March. Notice I said, “participating in.” I am definitely NOT racing it and have no goal times. My goal is to finish and still be standing. My challenge when running long has always been starting out really slow-uncomfortably slow! Yet, I know that is what I must do or I will not finish. Some runners say, “Death before DNF.” I say, “Hog wash!” That is just dumb. I have completed all races I have entered up to this point and finished in pain lots of times. Two particular marathons I despised every mile past 18, but I trecked on. I have learned a lot since then. To not finish would not be the end of the world, especially when it comes to an ultra. As I’ve gotten older, I have realized it is about the journey. I learn a lot about myself with every training run and every mile covered. Now to DNF Boston would be another thing!!!
That is the point of doing the 50 miler three weeks before Boston. It’s called endurance, and I have enough of a base now from running consistently and smartly for over a year now in contrast to prior years when I would take months off at a time (winter). My hope is to taper from there & make 26.2 seem like a half marathon. People have called me crazy for doing it, but hey…that’s their problem. I think drinking soda every day is crazy, but that’s just me. Now when people see me out running in winter weather I may LOOK crazed, delirious, insane, and ninja like- but that’s okay. I gave up on trying to look “cool” a long time ago. I was a fat little introverted kid in school-definitely not the “popular” cheerleader or “cool” athletic type.
I decided while grocery shopping today (and freezing), that I am ready to sweat and to not have to wear so many clothes. I know there are a lot of running folks who love this cold weather running…I am not one of them. I would rather sweat and look like I came out of a swimming pool fully clothed than be cold. But that’s just me, we’re all different (thank God)!
Learning how to fuel for a 50 miler has been a learning experience as well. I’m not one to carry things during a race that I have to chew. It has always been GUs for me. I did discover the baby food pouches and have decided that they will come in handy. I am also going to have someone crew for me, so there’s that as well If I decide I need a banana or something. Again, since I am not focusing on a specific finish time goal, I have been experimenting with many different things. Oh yeah, and it will be nice to be able to go potty when I need to (no time goal, etc).
The good news is, this is suppose to be the last really cold week and the temp may even hit 70 by this coming Sunday. My training is somewhat off due to a nasty stomach bug I had a couple weeks ago and the blasted weather. I am not concerned. Daylight savings is also this weekend, so running after work will be possible again. I am super excited for that. I am super excited for Springtime and sultry Summer nights. Winter has it’s place. I realize that I may not appreciate the warm weather as much without it. It could have been worse for most of us in the U.S. Poor Boston got pounded with heavy snowfall. But they are Boston strong! It still seems surreal that I am running Boston. This former fat, introvert’s big running dream came true. I guess life is sort of like that. Through running I have learned that if you’re going to dream, dream BIG…anything is possible!
Until we meet again (it just may be at a start line somewhere),