Training these days feels like 12 Steps: 1 day at a time. But at least I don’t have to go back and apologize to a bunch of people. Or turn myself over to a higher power. Or stop drinking. Okay, it’s nothing like 12 Steps.
Maybe it’s more like finally escaping after being trapped in a plastic pod for six months.
I ran every day this week because I had a plan. Some of the runs were difficult. Others, just tedious. But, damn it, I did them. And ended up running 7 miles more than planned.
Last Sunday’s foray into Central Park showed some progress (although not enough to confidently commit to a long race anytime soon). Wednesday’s scary tempo run provided lessons in learning lessons. I did some pool running, primarily so I don’t forget how, but also to get some more “miles” in with 15 minutes of faster “running.”
Yesterday’s weather was like some kind of cruel joke. But it was predicted to be even worse today (and it was). So I dragged myself into the city yesterday afternoon, moving my Sunday long run to Saturday. I felt recovered enough, although I ran somewhat crappily anyway, probably because I was tired from the “high mileage” week and also because I always run about 15-20% slower when my hormones are skyrocketing.
God, I hate the city in January. Piles of filthy snow and black ice everywhere, a wind that feels as if someone who doesn’t like you very much is vigorously sandpapering your face, toes that burn for an hour before losing all feeling entirely. I came in over the Madison Avenue Bridge (because I’m trying to save money on tolls) and circled round and round Harlem before finally finding a snow-encrusted space on 118th St. I got out, walked three blocks, then realized I’d forgotten my MP3 player. When I got back to the car, it was touch and go for a moment. It was so tempting to get back in, turn on the heater, and drive home. As my masonry specialist would say, I was quickly developing “a case of the fuck-its.”
But I’d driven in, finally found a space, and I really had to pee. So I made my way through the moonscape into the park, availed myself of some sub-freezing relief and got to work. The runners were sparser than usual yesterday, although that may have been because so many of my usual companions had already run 13.1 miles there in the morning (in 14F base temperature) in the Manhattan Half. Their discarded Gu packets were everywhere.
No fast miles for me yesterday. A few were just under 8:00, but most were plodding at between 8:30 and 9:00. I swung clockwise around the park, then reversed direction at the 5 mile mark. I was slightly underdressed, which is preferable to being overdressed. But I was exhausted later on, probably due to having to expend so much energy to keep myself from dying of exposure. Ten miles was, I suspect, a tad too far after the week, but I felt compelled to hit that number.
The problem adductor was whining a little, but so was her sister. I don’t think either of them like the cold very much. I came home and took an hour-long hot bath and was still cold. That’s how cold it was.
I took today off.
Next week I have around 37 miles scheduled. Let’s see if I overachieve again.
I’ve registered for the Gridiron 4 Miler in two weeks. I have no expectations. I just want to run in a race again.