Take yesterday. I was scheduled to run nine miles. I also had errands to run. On Saturdays I usually do my weekly long-run first thing in the morning and do errands afterward. But yesterday I switched the order thinking if I waited until afternoon, I’d run during the warmest part of the day. But the warmest part of the day never happened.
By the time I hit the greenway at 12:30 I felt sluggish compared to my early morning runs. About a mile into the run I realized why. I drink coffee in the mornings, meaning I benefit from a caffeine buzz while pounding the pavement. But by early afternoon, my buzz was long gone. I didn’t think to drink a cup of Joe before heading out. So there I was, sluggish and cold…really cold…with eight miles left to run. I was in a bad mood and I wanted to quit. I thought back to this past summer, one of the hottest in recent history. I remember a 10-mile run I completed in 90+ degree heat. I was staying at a friend’s house and when I returned from the run, she commented that she’d never seen anyone with sweating calves. I was drenched from head to toe. But the memory of that awful heat did not make me appreciate yesterday’s cold. I’m a girl who dislikes extremes.
As you are by now sick of reading, I’m currently running “conditioning” miles before it’s time to begin training for my first full marathon. Training officially begins in mid-May. I’m currently “trained up” to about Week 7 of my chosen training plan.
When I say I was cold, I’m not kidding. I wore two pair of gloves, yet when I got home and took them off my fingers were purple. My face was a strange color from the windburn: sort of a cross between sunburn red, and the orange hue women of the 1960s sported from self-tanning with QT. I sat directly in front of a portable space heater while I read the newspaper, yet I could not get warm.
While I know there will be a lot of pain associated with running a marathon, I view my current conditioning work as an investment in the future. I know it’s going to be tough, but I want to stack the deck in my favor as best as I can. And that means training when…gasp… I don’t want to.
Yesterday part of me was begging to quit, and it would have been ok to do so. No one would know. But I would know.
And so I ran.