Sunday morning run. I was up at 5:15 to take care of Kalley and get ready to go running with my team. It was 23* out and still lightly snowing. My biggest concern was the condition of the roads. As much as I wanted – probably needed – to meet for the run, it’s not worth ending up in a ditch. I decided the roads weren’t any worse than they’ve been for the last few days – not good, not the worst I’ve seen. I also figured that very few people would be driving between 6 and 7 am on Sunday morning and they’d be more clear by the time I was driving home.
Allow me to preface this run…. At our team shindig last week, Sam (love this guy!!) told me everyone was meeting for a 14 mile run and that I should come. Well of course I should come!! Geesh! BUT, I’m a half marathon girl. I’ve trained twice for a marathon and both times I didn’t end up running the event. Half marathon’s are still a challenge but I don’t have to tweak my training so they’re comfortable. They’re also 13.1 miles which is less than 14 for those of you with weak math skills. Plus I haven’t run a half since August which is four months ago (again – weak math skills). The longest run I’ve done since August is about 11 miles. So 14 felt like a stretch. A GOOD stretch, a push that I needed, but still a little longer than my comfort zone. Which, to Sam, is the perfect distance!!
It wasn’t just 23* and lightly snowing. That part was fine. The accumulation of several days of snowing, the ice, the lumps of hardened snow that aren’t quite ice, the slush, the slippery stuff that’s between slush and snow, the places where you fall in over ankle deep, the puddles you didn’t realize were underneath it all, the cars driving past that don’t slow down or move over a little and pelt you with all the crap on the road…. That was the difficulty. I definitely believe snow running is far more difficult than trail running. The perceived effort is outstanding. I have a secret weapon though – my teammates. Even the ones that are ahead or behind, the ones on vacation or that couldn’t make this run. I can run alone and did for years, but my teammates push me harder than I’d ever push myself. Sure our minute miles were slower than “normal”. Yes, it was difficult. Of course there were times I questioned my sanity (oddly that happens other than when I’m running). Naturally pushing takes not only physical but mental effort. The good news?? It’s absolutely worth it. My team let me know when I’d hit 13.1 miles – my longest distance in 3 years (I actually figured it out when I got home. That’s the last marathon I was training for). Every step from that point on was a milestone. I’m glad they were there to share it with me.
Getting home, eating and lounging in a hot bath felt SO good. I love that contented exhaustion that comes after a tough workout. No stress, no irritation, not a bad nights sleep. Physical exhaustion from pushing yourself. The soreness, the feeling of your body having been in motion and working hard. That is a good feeling.