Short stories from long runs

This blog about my run and training

I think we have our first official “wintry mix” of the season here in New England. Despite reports of temps in the 20s and snow for this morning, I laid out my gear last night and set my alarm for early. When I woke up and opened my weather app, I have to admit to mixed emotions. 45 and rainy meant I could run (no ice) but also meant I had to get my butt out of bed (so cozy).

I got out of bed.

Rocking my new favorite piece of running gear — a headlamp — I headed out for a few easy miles. One real quick thing on the headlamp: I know how nerdy it is, which I’m willing to embrace, but I’m so excited by how much more I can run with this thing. Daylight Savings Time was such a bummer during each of the past several winters, but now I feel like I can get out on the road just about any time. It’s so freeing! I’m not sure what I’ll do when legit snow starts, or when the sidewalks and shoulders are icy and slick, but if I can get an extra few weeks out of the fall and spring, it’s a victory, and certainly better than skipping my workouts altogether.

The other most fantastic way to keep running outside in the dark? Weekly run dates with Kaitlyn. We went out for seven easy miles last night in the city and it’s such a welcome dose of friend time and outdoor miles. And also way less scary than running in the dark by myself (even though I’m getting braver). It’s been very cool that we’ve managed this routine weekly for more than a month after struggling to get together with any regularity for close to a year.

This morning I was so groggy that I woke up as I ran. My lamp illuminated drops/flakes/flecks as I ran and for at least a couple of miles my internal dialogue was exclusively, Is it rain? Is it snow? I don’t think I’m getting wet. What do you call this? It was extremely productive and intelligent.

I’m getting a bit antsy and stressed about meeting my 110 mile goal, not wanting to go into the race this weekend completely spent and not sure how I’ll feel come Monday. 110 is totally aggressive. I was marathon training the last time I ran that much, and busting out 13-18 miles in one fell swoop each weekend. I might have to throw something crazy in each weekend after the half marathon as a Hail Mary. More than anything, I don’t want to finish the month having run 70-80 miles. I’m plagued by — or allow myself to accept — a “less than” effort. Sometimes it’s 2/3… other times 75%. And while I’m not willing to run through pain that might push me towards injury, in November I’m determined to go all the way.

So, when I got to the intersection where I could have banged a left to head home and complete a 3-ish mile effort, I went straight and completed 4.5. It’s not dramatic and that might be the point. I need to make a conscious effort to do a little bit more to reach my goals, to be sure they are goals and not just hopes. It was a slow run in the rain snow rain this morning, but it all counts. And it turns out the extra mile and a half I tacked on actually added an extra 1/3 to my workout, which for today, made it complete.

Do you give your all all the time? Do you struggle to lay it all out there? What makes your workouts complete?

Pile on the Miles Challenge Update: 34/110 miles, 12/30 days