First, I’d like to thank Dre for the title of this blog- I told you I was going to steal it! 🙂 While I was joking at the time, by the end of our run, there really wasn’t a more appropriate title that came to mind… at least one that was PG…
Ugh. This morning I was in a rare mood. The run didn’t even get me out of my funk. Neither did my splurge on a Medium Soy Latte from Caribou Coffee post- run. To start with, American Airlines lost my luggage last night. I returned home and my luggage stayed in Texas. Awesome. After a quick assessment of what I needed for my long run this morning, I headed to the pharmacy to get a new inhaler and then to Sports Authority for a new pair of running gloves. I had to run “naked” sans garmin, since that was in my checked bag as well. Thankfully, Dre kept track of mileage for us this morning. I tried my best not to be whiny and ask how far we’d run too often, and I admit, it was a test on my running OCD.
I woke up this morning to big, fat snowflakes coming down heavy, covering the streets, trails, and the underlying ice. Last weekend’s run was tough, and this meant another tough long run slipping through the snow. Great. We had signed up for the Red Flannel 5 mile run and planned to finish our 14 miler with that course. We headed downtown to meet Dre for the first 9 miles. Starting out, it wasn’t as bad as last weekend. I felt like I was able to get some traction under my feet. Physically, I felt fine. In fact, physically, I felt fine throughout the entire run today. I was just carrying a bad attitude with me. Thankfully, Dre was cheery. She pointed out spots on the trail that she loved running and pointed out how beautiful it was to be out in the snow with the big, fluffy flakes. It helped keep me in check and opened my eyes to the beautiful scenery surrounding us. Mentally, I broke the run into 3 parts. The first 4 1/2 mile “out” to Water Works Park went by surprisingly fast. I wasn’t cold. I wasn’t tired. I felt pretty good. And, I had a frame of reference with mile markers for the 4 1/2 mile “back” to the race starting line. The snow was still coming down heavy and we had several inches on the ground by then. Traction was slipping away and it became more laborious to move forward. I was also getting sloppy. There were several steps where I am very lucky I didn’t twist or bend my ankle. I was definitely getting tired. We made it to the race start just a few minutes before everyone lined up and saw our friend, Marzia, and her family all decked out in Red Flannel, ready to run the 5K course. I used the time to refuel with gummy bears, hoping the sugar dose would amp up my energy.
Unfortunately, they started the race late and the extra 5 minutes standing in the cold was enough to let that coldness settle in. By the time we started running, I couldn’t feel my fingers and my breathing was heavy. My legs felt like lead. The energy of the race didn’t even snap me out of feeling sorry for myself and my the frozen, burning state of my fingers. As we kept running, my hands finally thawed out and my legs loosened up, some… they remained pretty tight the entire race. The first mile was up the mammoth hill by the state capitol and as we ran up it, slipping backwards on the snow, all I could think was how I definitely deserved a splurge with a latte from Caribou post-run! Surprisingly, I started to feel lighter and regained a bounce in my step. The course was entirely new since I ran it two years ago with Dre. Despite the mammoth hill at the beginning, I really liked it. As we split the course from the 5k runners, I was losing steam. I knew if it weren’t for running this race, I would be a mess and ready to quit. I’m so thankful we planned our run to end with the race because that was really what kept me going. I just kept telling myself over and over that in the grand scheme of things, we were nearly finished with our 14 miles. While we were not very far into the race, we were definitely close to the end of our long run! That helped me mentally and I found another surge of energy to keep going. I have no idea of our pace since my garmin was lost in my luggage (ahem… American Airlines…) but I’m pretty sure we were pretty slow in the snow. As we got back on course with the 5k runners, we saw Marzia and her family walking back to their car. Marzia yelled out good job and we are done! I knew that meant the finish line was just ahead and I couldn’t be happier! I tried to pick up the speed once I saw the actual finish, but the snow was so slippery and my legs were so tired, it was a feeble attempt.
Two tough long runs through the snow back to back. I definitely think this will make me a stronger runner come time for the spring marathon. Both mentally and physically. That’s what I need to stay focused on. The big picture, not the nuances of each run and the rather crappy weather conditions we’ve endured each Saturday.
Oh, and I was greeted by a glorious sight upon pulling into my driveway. My luggage sitting on the front porch. Hallelujah!