Last week I was in Peoria, IL for work. When I arrived Monday evening, it was a whopping 5 degrees outside. Since it had been 60+ that day in Greenville, needless to say it was a bit of a shock.
But as most of you know, despite the weather, marathon training must go on.
I may have mentioned it before, but I despise the treadmill. There is almost no weather that will confine me to running on a hamster wheel feeling like I am working WAY harder than I should be to run a 9:00 mile. BUT since I had to be at work at 7 a.m. Tuesday and the weather at 5 a.m. was going to be 3*, I didn’t really see any other option than to head to the gym. I did my 5-mile recovery run while (finally) watching the last episode of Gossip Girl. And guess what? It wasn’t that bad. The time actually went by fast and my nice, easy 9:20 avg. felt like it should…recovery.
But Wednesday morning I had 9 miles on the schedule with 5 miles at tempo pace. I knew there was no way I would survive that run on the ‘mill so Tuesday evening, between work and dinner I made a quick stop at Dick’s to find some sort of face cover to run with. Per my friend Molly‘s advice, I bought a balaclava (which is obviously different than baklava, the yummy Turkish pastry…despite my original interpretation).
It was a freezing 14* when I started my run Wednesday morning, but other than my upper legs, where I only was wearing one layer, I was pretty comfortable for most of the run. And apparently cold temps are where I run best…which is likely because the faster I run, the warmer I am!
So that’s the “cold” (all relative, right?I am sure some of you may think those temps are nothing!). Here is where the crazy part comes in…
A few weeks ago was my 3rd wedding anniversary, and to celebrate, this weekend we went to The Grove Park Inn in Asheville, NC for a little getaway. Because I wanted to spend the whole weekend with Brad and not have to peel myself out of bed early to run 16 miles, I decided to do my long run Friday morning. Doing a weekday long run isn’t normally a big deal, except I had to be ready BY 7:25 a.m. to make it to my 8 o’clock meeting on time. This meant that to get in 16-miles, I would have to start at 4:15.
I don’t know about y’all but that’s basically the middle of the night for me. Yes, I am an early morning runner, but 5 a.m. is usually where I draw the line. But Friday at 4, I was up and getting ready to run. When I headed out, there was a dusting of snow on the ground and flurries still coming down. It was a little warmer (around 19*) but windy and despite one of my water bottles freezing shut and having to chew my Gu, the run was fantastic. I loved seeing the snowflakes sparkle in my headlamp and how my Nuun turned into a fruit punch slushy. For most of the run, the streets were quiet and I just silently chased the light from my headlamp around the streets of Brad’s hometown (where I stay when I travel there).
I am not saying that I will make this a habit, but it was definitely worth the ridiculously early wake-up call to get the long run done and relax for the rest of the weekend. I am sure as this training cycle progresses, I will do many other things that most people would consider “crazy” to get my miles in and still manage work and life. But on April 28th, I am hoping that every freezing cold run and early morning wake-up call is 100% worth it.