Wednesday, March 11, 2015

The Dawn Treader

It's 70 degrees outside this evening.  WHAT.  Seriously, it's 70 degrees.

It has been a long winter but spring is finally peeking around the corner.  We survived.  We made it.  All in all, it wasn't a terrible winter.  In fact, it was a great winter.  I really have no complaints about winter other than the normal things that make us whine and pout about the coldest season of the year being.... well, COLD.

I've been doing my best to be consistent and diligent this winter, even though things haven't been easy.  For the last few months I've been running almost exclusively on the treadmill, which on the one hand has built a mental strength I won't soon rival, while on the other hand has made me salivate for spring time more than ever before.

After Memphis in December I took a small break, then started working my way back into the routine.  My plan for early winter and spring was to build a base and start building as much speed over shorter distances as possible without punishing the legs.  I don't have Boston in April to work towards so I typically like to fill my March and April with something that keeps my mind off Boston specifically, but my body still very much on the charge for running that elusive BQ time later on this year.  I know I'm taking the slower route and counting on the slow and steady build over this entire year to get me that BQ time, and I have to be OK with that.

So, I could go on and on here, but I'd like to give a winter training synopsis in photos, since that seems like the easiest way to get caught up here.

1.)  Winter started this way... 5:30am, 5-6 days/wk, when it's freezing cold, miles still have to be run: 

2.)  Ya gotta live life and have fun and be young again... and what better way to do that then to go roller skating for a friend's 36th birthday party dressed like an 80's explosion??!??  The Daisy Dukes were NECESSARY:

3.)  When you DO that... sometimes you get a little too fancy at the skate rink and THIS happens (fractured radial head  by the elbow) reminding you that being "young at heart" doesn't mesh well with, "The bigger you are the harder you fall": 
4.)  But you still have to run. (I still have to...because i'm sick in the head and its my life)  So I got fixed up and took my new sling for a spin a few days later during an UNUSUALLY warm winter day.....

5.)   This weather wouldn't last, soon it was ice/snow for GOOD.  I couldn't risk slipping and falling outside, so it was back to the treadmill.... for over a month.  Every run.. every day... treadmill: 
6.)  My Saturday long runs looked a lot like every other run... on the treadmill, but with more fuel more prep: 

7.)  Such a fun treat to get a little winter pick-me-up in the form of encouragement and a fun feature courtesy of Hammer Nutrition in the most recent episode of Endurance News Mag.  It was just the fuel I needed to remember that day last October that opened wide the gates of what I thought was possible.  Huge thanks to the good folks at Hammer Nutrition for taking care of me all year long! 
8.)  Most recently my JOB has changed as well. (Same company, new position)  I'm very excited about new opportunities as I venture into the world of training and development.  It's what I feel like I'm meant to do and I'm following the call as best I can.  It means my schedule is flipped on it's head for a while, but still.... no worries, no excuses.  One day at a time, puttin' in WERK, and being a positive influence as best I can:

So it's finally warming up.  It's here.  It's time to start racing (Missed one 10K when I busted my arm, and have a 5mi race this weekend), it's time to GO.  I'm not 100% healed yet but it's not affecting my running as long as I'm not falling. (fingers crossed)  If there's one thing I've had to fall back on every single day this year in order to get through, it's understanding that my excuses are invalid if I want to succeed in the way I WANT to succeed.

Winter sucks.  But there's something gratifying about getting up every day and beating the odds, beating the weather, getting the miles in, getting it DONE.  This is what we do.. and why we do it.