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Character Building Run


I am in the midst of training for my fourth marathon.  I love running, especially long distances, but the weather here in Maine has not been cooperative with my training plan.  I have a very tight schedule, so I plan all of my long training days at least a month or two ahead of time.  I put the day in my calendar and treat it as I would a “work day”.  It is the only way I am able to get the training done.  The days are sacred and I don’t mess with them, unless it is a true emergency.  

My rigid schedule combined with the horrendous Maine winter has led me to do a majority of training inside.  Massive snow storms, frigid temps, & roadways covered with ice, have helped me gain a new appreciation for what some runners call the “dread mill”.   However, I had to draw the line somewhere, and that was at 16 miles.   There was absolutely no way I was going to do it inside…or was I?

My long training day was scheduled for Wednesday, the same day as yet another snow storm was predicted to hit.  Snow is fine, but gusting winds over 40mph, is just too much for me to bear.  I watched the weather for several days leading up to Wednesday.  I was a bit obsessed, checking weather patterns a couple times a day, trying to get creative with my schedule to change the day, etc.  Nothing was going to work, so I made up my mind to run on the treadmill, then as I was driving my daughter to preschool, I abruptly changed it and decided to go for it.  It had not started snowing and the winds did not seem that bad.  AND it could be lousy weather the day of the marathon, so why not be prepared and train in it?! ?

I headed out at 9:30am, fuel belt, hat, gloves, fluorescent yellow jacket, & 2 layers.  The first 2 miles were torturous, very windy and cold, my face hurt from the air.  However, I plugged away, and by mile  4, I was warmed up and 1/4 done with my run!  The next 4 miles went by quickly, until I had to pee.  Luckily, I was close to several places to make a pit stop, so I decided to head down the dirt road to the Audubon Center.  My kids have done several camps there and I figured they would not mind me popping in to use the restroom!  However, this is where the wind really started to get me.  There is a large open field that leads down into an estuary and the wind just came at me full force, blowing me almost off the road.  I made it into the building, my face beet red and my hands frozen, as I had taken my gloves off around mile 5.  I went to the bathroom and got back outside quickly, I did not want to give my muscles any chance to tighten up.  As I headed back out, I was blown sideways again for about 1/2 of mile until I made it back out onto more protected roadways.

The last half of the run was a mixture of cross winds, headwinds, & tailwinds at various points.  I was cursing the weather with each step.  I gave double middle fingers to the road!  My legs & lungs felt great, it was the weather hurting me. The sand from the roadways was blowing in my eyes causing me to run with them closed for a few seconds at a time.  I wondered if I might end up with an eye infection from all the debris.  Despite my misery,  I continued onward, had to make it home for the bus as my son had half a day at school.

I made it back close to my house with 2 miles left to run, so I had to make up the distance running in circles.  This was my view, which was beautiful and distracting in a pleasant way.

 I ran down this scenic road and back up twice and made it to my driveway with .3 miles to go, so ran up and down until my watch hit 16.0 miles!  I’m sure my neighbors think I am crazy, but I made it.  This was a true character building run for me.  I was thrilled to have completed this training in tough conditions.  I felt strong and proud at the end!  Most importantly, I feel a giant step closer to being prepared for the 26.2 miles in early May

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Wednesday 10th of February 2016

This is really motivational. I'm just getting back in to running after our second boy, trying to get rid of the Dad Bod. The goal is to do my first marathon, knee permitting. I received a FitBit at the weekend, which is helping get more positive about exercise and what I eat.