I think it’s pretty official now that I am a runner.
On Saturday, a couple of major things occurred that exemplify my official status as a runner. Whereas I once thought that the accumulation of miles and having a mild obsession with sneaker shopping was sufficient, this weekend’s experiences taught me that there is so much more to running than long distances and aesthetics.
My alarm went off at 5:45 am on the first morning of the weekend. Even before it forced me out of bed, I knew what I was waking up to as it had kept me up part of the night: rain. When I undid the sheets and layered on my clothes, I could hear the drizzle of the raindrops outside my window. As I left shortly after 6 am, I walked to the bus stop with an umbrella. Out of fear of becoming too wet and too cold prior to the start, that umbrella stayed with me until the official race clock started. But it didn’t really matter staying dry; I was soaked before I saw the first mile marker. Continue reading
Very rarely do things go according to plans. Like this winter’s training.
At the beginning of the year, I vowed that the coming months of running would be different from my sporadic bouts of running last winter. While I can say I have been pretty good at getting my miles in, they have definitely not been in the way I would have preferred.
For starters, mileage logged on the treadmill far surpasses the miles logged outside. I didn’t think this winter could tops last year, but I proved wrong. Several of our weekday workouts had to be cancelled due to ice and snow, leaving me to do speed and incline indoors. On days when it wasn’t cancelled, temperatures still hovered dangerously low; one of the few runs to go on as scheduled took place in the coldest conditions of (unofficial) Fleet Feet training history. Although I loathe the treadmill, my preference to retain feeling in my feet, fingers and nose convinced me that any evening workouts scheduled for sub-20 degree temperatures would be done indoors with a post-it note dictating my intervals (and subsequent looks from neighboring runners confused by my high speed sprints and constant adjustments to the incline).
After I completed my marathon I wondered how I could top myself in running. How could I continue to challenge myself and push my limits when I had completed a 26.2 mile race? While the next level of insanity would be a 30- or a 50-miler, I know enough about my body and its limits to recognize that any distance greater than 26.2 miles is not on my bucket list.
So to keep myself motivated, I signed up for a different kind of experience, or should I say, two experiences. Yesterday morning, before most of the city even shifted under their covers, I stood in the shadow of the Washington Monument prepared to run the Pacers St. Patty’s 5k, and then the 10k, back to back. Continue reading
I have always been good at math. Despite what former Harvard President Larry Summers said about girls not being good at math, I outdid the boys and won my high school’s senior math award.
Like Cady Herron in Mean Girls, I’ve always liked math. Not so much because it’s the same in every country, but rather because I love that feeling of accomplishment when you come up with a solution to a difficult problem. You always know there will be answer, it’s just your job to figure out the best way to solve for it. Granted, I have not taken a math class since my freshman year at Georgetown, which was nothing like the challenge of 12th grade calculus, but I still enjoy channeling my nerd self with a good math problem. Continue reading
When you spend upwards of two to three hours with people moving on your feet, you have a lot of time to talk. About everything.
Like last Saturday’s long run, for example. As I headed out among the faster crew for our 10-mile run, the conversation began with my discovery that father-daughter dances are still a thing. I could have sworn political correctness killed them just a few years after my own dances with my dad years ago. Continue reading
Yesterday I ran with a man and I never got his name.
In a series of fateful events, I pushed back my Saturday long run to Sunday morning. Needing the motivation to run the full 9 miles, I ran to Fleet Feet to join the Sunday morning fun run to make up for my laziness from the previous day.
When I arrived at the store, already warmed up and prepared for more miles, I met several of the Saturday morning runners who had also made the same decision to skip the previous day’s run in favor of the next day. The decision seemed to be in our favor: sunny skies, little breeze and temperatures around 40 degrees. Rarely perfect winter running conditions. Continue reading
The hardest part these days of running is not the actual exercise. It’s the getting out of bed to do it.
After telling myself that this winter’s training would be different from my last and vowing to stick to my scheduled SLRs, I spent a morning nestled under my covers. Even before the morning came I had already turned off my alarm and decided that I was going to use my Sunday for my long run and bypass the typical Saturday routine. I expected much of my fellow crew runners to do the same in postponing their runs, but when I reunited with the group last week, I heard from those who ran 7-8 miles in temperatures struggling to break out of the teens. Several ran with frozen GPS watches that failed to track their brave feat on that icy, bitter morning.