So, I haven’t written that much about training this go around. This is for two reasons, the first is that as of this morning Boston officially broke its record for most snow recorded in a single winter. I couldn’t do anything about the snow and I didn’t really feel like complaining about it. I did what I could – -ran some long runs on a treadmill (tortured me mind, body, and soul), ran up and down the back stairs of my building (up 5 flights, down 5, repeat, repeat, etc…), ran outside when I could, which wasn’t much. So needless to say, training has been iffy.
The second reason is when I’m training this year, I’m more confident in my ability to do workouts. Each run isn’t a brand new experience. It’s training, sometimes routine.
You know what isn’t routine? Running 20 miles. You never know what is going to happen with those. This past weekend, they dumped us out in the 508 and told us to find our way home. It wasn’t cold cold, but it was cold – and promising to rain. Due to the sub-par training season, I wasn’t 100% convinced I could make it – and I knew I could bail at my apartment about 17 miles in *if I had to.
Either way, started off running and the raining slowly started. For the first 11-12 miles I ran at a good clip with a couple of other runners until I stayed behind at a water stop and missed a light heading in to the Newton Hills and didn’t want to over-exert heading in to that part of the course. By this point it was raining – cold, cold – nay, freezing – rain. Once through the hills and into Brookline, I reached the water stop right before my apartment and decided there’s no way *I could possibly feel any worse, which was a promising sign – so I kept going and managed to grind my way through the final miles to the downtown finish.
Like I said, 20 miles is never normal, never ordinary. 15 is long but you get to this weird place mentally where you’re like, eh, it’s just a shade over a half marathon – not so bad. But 20, that hurts – it requires planning, fueling, thinking, and rethinking. I always seem to forget how bad it hurts shortly after – seriously, everything hurts – legs, eyes, lungs, you can’t feel your fingers, you have knots in muscles the size of bocce balls, you’re hungry, bottomless pit hungry, cranky — it reminds of the scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark when asked where doesn’t it hurt he points to his elbow. It’s a lot like that. And I’m always amazed at how I feel relatively fine the next day.
Now it’s starting to feel real. Even though we just broke 108 inches of snow, I ran 20 miles 2 days ago and can walk normal today. This training cycle is almost done, then it’s taper, then it’s go time in 5 weeks. It’s starting to feel real, and crazy, more crazy than just waking up and going for a 20 miles run. I’m rambling now, but I can’t wait.
P.S. I’m just about 3/4 of my way through fundraising — please click here to learn more about why I’m running this year and help me out!