About 8 weeks ago I posted this picture on instagram.
And fittingly I haven’t really rested since then. Between finishing up with the OUC half marathon, working 6 days most weeks, and spending any day off I have in a theme park.
A week after my half I was just getting ready to get back in the game and start heading out for a longer run again when I started to get sick. Nothing crazy, just a cold and sore throat. Refusing to take time off from work, I slowed down my running a bit and figured it would just be a longer recovery, no harm done. But fast forward to Christmas Eve and imagine me at the bell desk starting to waver while my vision was going black. I hadn’t felt good all day but was trying to make it through and ended up not being able to. I got myself home after getting out of work 4 hours early and after a call to my mom I drove to urgent care.
Apparently I have a upper respiratory infection and had a fever. I was told to take off on christmas and instead of working I sat on the couch for hours on end watching Love Actually and a ton of episodes of Freaks and Geeks. Not an awful christmas but also not a great one.
The moral of the story I guess is that I do indeed need to rest, especially if I’m sick. and maybe 6 days a week is too much for work. So that’s something I need to work on.
Wee! which is to say I finished! This half wasn’t my best, and it wasn’t my worst. So I’m solidly happy. Going into it knowing what I did about my training (which I talked about a lot right here) I’m happy I finished.
I’m happy my parents came to see me run and I’m happy they cheered me on and didn’t once complain about waking up at 4:45 to be at the race. I made them biscuits to soften the blow of waking up so early. Also my parents watched other runners throw up, keep running, and be cheered on (whoever you are, you’re rad). Basically I have awesome parents and am very very happy to have had them there and spent the weekend with them.
My mom even lets me prop my legs up on her while my dad takes pictures. What more could you ask for?
Running wise, nothing crazy happened. The real curveball here was that the course was about 50% brick which I found out while I was in line for the porta-potties 5 minutes before the race started (poor timing, but it cut down my pre-race nerves that usually happen while I’m standing waiting for the gun).
I will say this, I was definitely not “racing.” I don’t think I’ve ever really managed to do that with a half (yet). More than anything I think it’s always been a get to the finish as quickly as I comfortably can. But when Ido 5ks it’s more of a “get to the finish as quickly as you can, don’t mind that you can’t breathe, damn the torpedos, full speed ahead” mindset.
So this race was similar to the others, nothing crazy, the course was boring (hello Orlando) and the first hour or so of the race was muggier than I wanted.
Final words about the OUC half: happy I did it, not happy (or unhappy) with my time but not surprised, very very happy with the medal.
Official time: 2:40:36
(and hell yeah you know I wore that into EPCOT and out to dinner)
And the first week of half marathon training is in the books.
While the majority of the miles were inside by myself on a treadmill in the morning (read, 6 of the 11.5 miles of the week), I got to go outside twice which was a way bigger deal than it probably should have. See, I go to school in upstate New York and we’ve gotten a fair bit (24 inches total, approx) in the past week and a half and it’s been pretty cold (as per usual). While I can deal with snow if it’s cleared from the sidewalks or kind of chilly temperatures, the two together made things impossible outside. That is, until Thursday when miraculously the temperature got into the upper 30s (positively balmy) (For the record people at my school see anything above 30 degrees and everyone starts wearing shorts and no coats or just sweatshirts and it’s glorious.)! And I dragged one of my friends to do a quick mile+ run outside. While the temperature was perfect, the ridiculous amounts of snow that was melting and flooding the sidewalks which made for some pretty hilarious leaps while we were running.
Saturday it was supposed to be warm again and not really thinking about it what flooded sidewalks do when the temperature dips below freezing over night, I set out for 5 miles and soon found myself with my hands in front of me sliding on ice if I hadn’t been watching carefully enough to avoid it. This happened for the first time about .3 miles in and I started laughing. I was still on campus at this point and my school is hilariously bad at clearing sidewalks and roads. I was under the impression that this would be the worst I would face. And I was pretty wrong about that.
This was the ice. This was not run-able.
For the rest of the run I was kicked off the sidewalks because of ice and instead on the road (which had a patch of ice along the side that was at some points 6 feet wide). Drivers were super nice and maybe a little mad because I wasn’t using the sidewalks but I really didn’t have a choice. I also scaled a snow bank to press the button for the sidewalk and felt like the world just didn’t want me running outside, but oh well I’m going to do it anyways.
There were also a couple of times when it looked like it was ice so I was running/walking/shuffling very carefully and instead my feet ended up submerged in icy water. And because my pace was so messed up from the ice I ended up sprinting on the parts of the sidewalk that were completely clear (approximately 5%, all downtown near the restaurants and shops). So pacing was more than weird for this run, and something I’m looking to try to figure out throughout my training because I’m bad at it.
Admittedly the ice looked really cook when I cracked it and made a spider-y pattern and then disappeared because of the water.
Mostly, it felt really nice to be running with a set purpose. I’ve talked about this before but goals are crazy important for my motivation (especially in the winter when I’m stuck on the treadmill or in the super cold). There have been multiple times when I fall out of running right after I complete a goal (see last July after my first half marathon and January after I finished my 500 miles for 2013). Now, I don’t think this is bad for me because having some time to rest/get tired of just sitting around makes it easy to fall back in love with running.