The state of faith allows no mention of impossibility. —Tertullian
I know I have been derelict in posting these past few weeks, but never fear, the training goes on in spite of the snow!
We knew the snow was coming. I had a 13-mile run scheduled for the Saturday, February 6th, but it was obvious that wasn’t going to happen. There was lots of email chatter about how various people would be getting in the run on Thursday before the deluge. I did something I haven’t done very often – I replied to someone I don’t know well, and met her at the trail on Thursday afternoon. The trail was in terrible shape – snow, slush, ruts, and a little ice. Even the patch of ground now and then. It was a hard run. My neck and shoulders were exhausted from watching my footing. My calves and thighs were aching in new places. But we persevered, and finished just as the sun was setting. We did it. We actually did it.
And then it snowed. And snowed. And snowed. Then it stopped. And then it snowed some more. Warnings were issued. Records fell. I wasn’t running outside any time soon.
The lesson from that run: I can’t or won’t do it without other people. And that set the tone for the next two weeks. If I could do that, I could be creative in how to stay on course during the “Blizzard(s) of 2010.”
And so, I have developed a deep and meaningful relationship with the treadmill in the basement, and although we’ve had a few tough moments together, we’ve managed to work through our issues and keep me on track. I’ve been surprised at my willingness to not skip workouts, not, at least, until Valentine’s Day.
After a wonderful brunch at the club, I decided that we needed to clear the street outside our house. Since there are only a few houses that face that direction, no one had really bothered to shovel it down to the pavement, and by that Sunday, it had frozen into a 3-4 inch layer of treachery. Joe pulled out a couple of flat shovels, and 3 hours later we had cleared the entire area in front of my house. Unfortunately, that was the time that I had dedicated to running 9 miles on the treadmill. Monday morning, I was a creaky, achy old woman, and 9 miles behind in my training.
What happened next was a surprise, something that I had no idea that I could do. I came home from work – two ibuprofens coursing to the aches – ate dinner, and decided to go downstairs to meet the treadmill. I put 99 minutes on the timer, the max on this old machine. I decided to do 30-minute increments and see what happened. And what happened was nothing short of astonishing. I ran the full 99 minutes, and cranked out 9.35 miles, with the first 9 minutes being warmup time. I was psyched. I was also sore. I iced my knees and stretched before dropping like a log into a deep sleep.
Then I took the next few days off. I woke up feeling like a Mack truck had run over me. So I checked with my coach, and decided to skip the Tuesday-Thursday runs and spend some time with the weighted exercise ball.
The result? I was fresh and ready to go when – for the first time since the day before the first storm, 2 weeks earlier – I ran 14 miles downtown and felt great. I did my recovery Sunday by walking to a fire, spending time on the elliptical and playing racquetball for the first time in 20 years. I came home from work last night and ran downstairs to get in my regular miles – yep, the very same Monday miles that I thought I couldn’t do all season. Tonight I’ll do speed work and tomorrow my scheduled miles.
All the things that I didn’t think I could do. “I have to skip at least one of the regular miles” was a common statement that I heard myself say before this training season. It wasn’t true. I had to do it to find out that I could do it. I can do it.
Nothing is impossible!