Thursday, February 4, 2010


93 seconds is all it takes. In that first 93 second of being awake, I struggle mightily on whether to jump out of bed or reset the alarm and get a couple more hours of sleep. Sure, 2-3 hours of extra rest, huddled under a warm blanket would be sheer bliss, but the rest of the day I would be mentally scolding myself for being lazy and a procrastinator. I had my gear laid out, went to bed early, carbed up the night before, so I was ready as I could be. By 4:15am I was off!

We had had a few inches of snow overnight and the plowing crew hadn't quite caught up yet. At first this wasn't an issue, but as I traveled further from the center of town, it became more difficult. I love my gear and think I am well prepared for most situations, but not today. I've battled wind, sun, heat, humidity, sub-zero temps, but haven't really dealt with too much snow. It finally caught up with me today. There was just enough snow on the roads and sidewalks to be annoying. Each stride was more like a half-stride and my body moved almost as much side to side as ahead. I really could have used those winter studs they make just for this purpose. Needless to say, the going was slower than I would have liked.

On to the run...

It is remarkable how "easy" the first 10-12 miles have become. They certainly aren't fast by any means, but my body seems to handle this distance in stride. However, anything after 16 is a totally different run. My body began to scream, first the left knee, then the right, right hamstring, oh (!) there's a cramp...etc, etc. The only thing keeping me going was I was 4 miles from the hotel, so I had two choices, run back or walk back. Might as well run. I hit mile 18 and experienced calf muscle cramps like something I never felt before. It was really high in the calf almost behind the knee. That lasted about 3/4 of a mile, before subsiding.

The last 4 miles was a demonstration in sheer will power. I wanted nothing more than to stop, but willed myself on, thinking of anything I could other than stopping. Looking back a day later, I can say that I will do it again. Why? Being able to get my body through that 8 months ago would have been impossible. This is representative of how far I've come and yet the pain and suffering shows me how much further I need to go. I still think back to my first 3 mile run. I experienced similar things during that run and now I've run 20. This marathon thing might actually happen!

Mileage: 20.00
Time/Pace: 3:24:42/10:14
Avg HR: 158
T/W: 22, light snow
Best/Worst Splits: 9:38 (mile 9), 11:21 (mile 19)

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