…are the days that I will be looking back on to give me strength in mile 24 of the Boston Marathon.
Today’s workout wasn’t anything crazy: 20 min warm-up, drills, 2x1mi at ~5k pace (6:35), 20 min cool down. It is a work-out that I have completed once this cycle and, in my opinion, not nearly as tough as the 6×800 that I did last week. But the forecast for today was high 30’s/low 40’s with 100% chance of rain (and wind). I stalked the weather forecast repeatedly last night and this morning looking for the best window to run. According to my not-so-trusty weather app, around 11 a.m. was the lowest chance of rain (70%) and least wind (10-12 mph).
As I sat around working and texting with Jenny about the best options, I started to get antsy. At 9:30, it wasn’t raining so I decided to just get the workout done. I was worried that the Lakefront Path would be a slushy mess of puddles so I (naively) decided to drive to the track and see if the recent 40+ degree days melted the snow. It didn’t (duh – stupid move). In an attempt to not waste the 45 min I spent driving there and back, I contemplated running at the park adjacent to the track. And then I saw a runner nearly wipe out on ice. Nope. So I drove home.
I worked a little more, did some strength work to warm-up then finally left again around 11. When I left, it wasn’t raining, but about halfway through the warm-up it started sprinkling. It was the kind of rain that gets you wet, but not soaked, and with a hat on it wasn’t bad at all. I finished my warm-up, did some drills and started my first mile repeat. Halfway through the first mile, it started pouring. It was coming down hard and the already standing puddles on the path were getting out of control. I gritted my teeth, tried to suck it up and splashed through the water until my watch beeped. 6:34 with a few second negative split. I patted myself on the back a little as I wallowed in my soaking wet misery during the 2:00 walking rest. The time flew by way too fast and soon it was time to start my 2nd mile. About 1 min in the second mile, completely drenched and freezing I told myself that I couldn’t do this. My legs felt like lead and I truly didn’t believe I could run almost a mile whole at that pace.
But something Jenny texted me before I left started floating around in my head…
I thought about this and reminded myself WHY I was out there. I reminded myself how bad I want a 3:25 (or faster) at Boston and that days like today will make me tough.
It wasn’t pretty. It hurt, my legs were burning and I am sure my form was hideous. But I finished the mile in 6:37, also with a negative few second negative split. By the time I had 400 m left, the rain let up and of course, by the time I was a few minutes into my cool down, it stopped completely. Go figure.
On paper, today’s workout was really nothing special. It’s probably nothing that Coach will even thinking twice about when he sees the results. But I am hoping it’s days like today that will give me the mental toughness and will to keep pushing on April 21st, when my legs are trashed from the downhills and my body wants to give up on my goal.