Marathon Training update
(Who doesn’t start the month listening to this song?!)
It’s February first and we made it through the dreadful month of January (Blanduary). I have exactly 7 weeks and 1 day until my 10th marathon: the Circular Logic in West Lafayette, which means I am a bit over halfway through my training program. And as I face my first 20-miler of the season tomorrow, I thought I’d reflect on some of the fun runs over the past few weeks.
I realize I have been kind of quiet on this blog. As much as I typically hate January, this one wasn’t that bad! I have been crazy busy with work and being sick (I’m on day 16 of this damn cold!) and travel and fun. Though I haven’t done too bad a job of keeping up with my training, I haven’t done well at documenting it. Without further ado, let me introduce you to a few snippits of the past 8 weeks:
Now that I live downtown, I have taken it to the streets. I love running in the Herron-Morton neighborhood. I have mapped out quite a few routes and whether it’s light or dark, I always enjoy navigating the sidewalks. For some reason, I always feel fast when running these routes and sometimes I’ll challenge myself to intervals “Run as hard as you can to the next stoplight.” And occasionally I’ll take a really cheesy self-portrait because whenever I’m running in the ‘hood, I am happy.
As I mentioned earlier, I have been traveling a lot this month. The end of 2012 was pretty quiet from a business travel perspective but I have already made up for it in January. Chicago, Sedona, Miami, Cincy, Kansas City – I’ve been racking up the FourSquare Airport badges. Only problem is that it makes running difficult! One of my more hilarious runs was in the hotel fitness center at the Ambassador in Kansas City. The hotel was pretty awesome – very new and trendy. But the fitness center? Well when I walked in, I saw a sign that said “Maximum Capacity: 3.” There was one treadmill, one elliptical and a bike in a room that was the size of a walk-in closet! A little cramped and very quiet, I knocked out a 3-miler and got the heck out of there!
For any loyal blog readers, it will come as no surprise to you when I tell you that I hate running in the cold. So earlier this month, when Meg and I had to run 14 miles, we decided to do it running circles on an indoor track rather than bear the elements (112 laps to be exact.) Some people think this is crazy (probably the same people that think our marathon is crazy) but the temperature in there is perfect and as long as we have company, it really wasn’t so bad. We ran based on time and took breaks every 40 minutes or so. Plus, we got to wear minimal layers!
But there are times that the cold is worth it. One morning, Dana, Meg and I met to run 10 miles in the snow. The problem was that the snow was fresh and fluffy and just impossible to run in. We made it only 4 miles, but it was a gorgeous run. And we made sure to have some fun as well.
And typical of Indiana, one minute we are running in the cold and ice, and another we are running in 50 degrees! A couple of Fridays ago, I left work a little early to get in some daylight miles. I am currently obsessed with running to “Matt & Kim’s” latest album. It’s upbeat and loud and just enough cuss words to fire me up, so this was a fun one. When I finished, I collapsed in my front lawn and took this pic. I can hardly believe it was taken in January!
But have no fear, the Perfect Strangers haven’t disappeared! In fact, the majority of us have marathons we are training for so Saturday long-runs are still on the calendar. We may not always run together based on schedules, pace, distance but when we do, it makes all the difference. This pic was taken on my 18-miler a couple of weeks ago. The weather was decent and the conversation made the miles fly by!
And finally, one of my favorite runs of all time actually occurred last night. It is bitterly cold outside. Unrelenting wind. Temperatures are just dumb. There was no way I was going to run in this weather and thank gosh Meg felt the same. But neither of us were too excited about a treadmill either. So we came up with an idea: let’s run through the Convention Center. This idea spawned from our friend Stacy who (no lie) ran through Costco recently. She ran up and down the aisles and ended up getting around 2 miles in (the only person who stopped her asked why she had earmuffs on, not why she was sprinting through the store)! We thought if she can do that, surely we could disappear in the halls of the Convention Center. So last night we found the doors open with only the cleaning staff around. We ducked into an empty corridor and started running. At first I felt very anxious about breaking some unwritten rule but the more we ran, the more confident we felt. We ran up stairs and around posts and opened doors we probably weren’t supposed to. We ran into quite a few people, but without breaking conversation or looking the least bit guilty, not a single person questioned what we were doing. In fact, had the cleaning staff not collected our jackets (which we left in the food court), we could have gone for hours!
Now tomorrow Meg and I are running 20 miles. By gum, we will run 20 miles. Cold temperatures be damned, we have a plan. We are re-doing our AWFUL Super Bowl run from 2012 with some new routes and hopefully a much better performance. Wish us luck!