So, I've been doing this marathon training for what, three months? It actually feels a little like an eternity. I'm going to blame winter for getting in my way all the time. I'm all, "Hey, I need to run 6 miles today," and then Winter is all, "Ice storm! BOOM. Roasted."
And then two days later, I'm like, "I better get my 8-mile tempo run in." And Winter's like, "What? You wanted more snow and less shoulder to run on? I'm on it."
I hate winter. It's not a secret. I just don't like being cold and/or wet. I don't ski. I tried to take the girls I watch sledding, and while we had a grand old time when it was happening, I have barely been able to put my socks on for three weeks. My spine has abandoned me.
The only thing I've been able to somewhat successfully manage in the winter is running. Which is silly, considering it's one of the hardest things to DO in the winter. Everything is against you- the snow, the ice, the freezing temps (January was so cold everyone had frosty eyelashes with sun in the sky)... basically, Michigan winters are like a big eff you to anyone who runs. (Be kind when you drive by the us bundled-up kids running out there; I know we're using some of the road up, but we are working SO hard. Slow down a little, maybe give a little wave?) =)
But then again... running in winter is a great challenge. The fact of the matter is, if you're training for a marathon and you're not injured, you need to get your miles in. So, whether like four inches of snow in the road or not, you better just run through it.
There was one day I ran a week or two ago that the wind was so obnoxious I could barely move. I felt like I was running frickin' "Chariots of Fire" out there... yeah, the slowed-down version. "Bum bum bum bum buuummmm buuummm..." I was scheduled for six miles, and around 4.5 I was ready to quit. I thought, "I could just do five. This is dumb. I don't have to take this." Then, I thought, "Jen. If you were actually running the marathon for realsies, and we had this weather, you would NOT quit. You'd keep going." That was enough to steer my mental vibe in the direction it needed to go.
So overall, how do I think my training is going? Mostly well. I have days where I don't want to run because I'm exhausted. (It turns out, marathon training is very tiring???) But I have days where I feel pretty amazing, too. Sometimes I have to run on the treadmill, which I hate, because it's like running in place. But on the up-side, I can get some great tempo work done on a treadmill. Training is all about keeping a positive attitude, even if things suck a little. Think about what great muscle strengthening running on all that snow must be! By the time these roads dry up, we're going to be basically Hulks out there. So if you see a crew of 700 muscle-y beasts out there, running, come April? It's probably us.
So get ready.
"Running has given me the courage to start, the determination to keep trying, and the childlike spirit to have fun along the way. Run often and run long, but never outrun your joy of running." ~ Julie Isphording, Marathon winner