February the new May?

I’m not sure what’s happening. I look at a calendar and it says it February but then I look and walk outside and it feels like May. 65 degrees, sunny, birds chirping—pure bliss if you ask me! So what do I decide to do on a 65 degree February morning? My friend and I thought it would be appropriate to go up the mountain and find snow!!

Just a 20-minute drive from town and the temperature dropped a bit but it was still gloriously (is that a word?) warm, sunny and snow covered! We only had an hour and half so the plan was to hike/run around, but our plans were bosched when we realized we didn’t have a parking permit and everywhere on the mountain you need one so that your car doesn’t get towed or get a ridiculously huge ticket. But we didn’t give up!

Instead of hanging up at Mount A, we cruised on over to the base of Pilot Rock and just hiked up and up for a solid 30 minutes, didn’t really make it to any destination, but we were both over dressed and sweaty by the time we decided to soak in the view and head back down to town. We both kept shouting “THIS IS WHY WE LIVE HERE”

Moutains

Be jealous

Not having got my cardio fix in at altitude I threw on some shorts, (yes, shorts and a t-shirt) and headed out for a run/core workout. The core workout consisted of me laying in a grassy field doing a few planks, a few crunches, but more so slowing down and basking in the sun, soaking up the free vitamin D mother nature was handing out yesterday.

My legs felt heavy and the hill never seemed to stop, but being outside and just enjoying the day was exactly what I needed on my day off from work. Being able to slow down and just be is something I’ve struggled with and I think living in the mountains is helping me learn to take a deep breath and appreciate what I have right now.

So, whether you’re in a town that’s covered in snow, a sunny beach, or some weird mix like my winter has been, figure out how to breathe. Live and love each moment that you have right now. It’s hard, but that deep breath is worth it, I promise.

Lesson Learned

I like to pride myself in being some sort of bad ass runner. Well, at least in the sense that I’m usually really happy running in shorts most of the year. I don’t understand the people I see running in 40 degree weather with pants on, it just seems silly. The other day I went out to run, it was 33 degrees or so—sported my favorite shorts, long sleeve top, fleece vest (it’s all about keeping the core warm) and some gloves. I was good to go. I had great temperature regulation with the zipper on my vest (it’s amazing what showing a little neck does!)

On my 5 mile jaunt through the valley I passed several runners. We waved, nodded, said good morning to one another. Many of them in pants. I honestly felt bad for them. I feel like they don’t know that running in shorts can continue through the fall season. I want to let them in on the secret, but am not sure how. Hopefully seeing me and a few others sporting shorts and long sleeve tops (moinka is what my Dad and I call it) will help guide them to autumn running bliss.

This morning however I ran in pants. I ripped my favorite shorts and have yet to find a needle and thread to sew them up, (yes, I’m that cheap.) I over dressed. I didn’t believe Weatherchannel.com when it said it was 35 out, mainly because I woke up cold and just wanted to be warm. Well, my five miles this morning was HOT. Lesson learned. Shorts from now on unless it’s under 30 degrees.

What’s your threshold?

I’ve been meaning to write a post all week, however, work must take priority over this silly little blog and I’ve lacked the time and the energy to write something worth reading. Though I did think about it all week, about what I was going to write about. First, I thought I’d write about the 74 degree semi-long-run I had at a reservoir on my way out of Delaware. It was a run that was so unseasonably hot and more or less a miserable hour and half of my life. Then I was going to write about my longest run ever to date (17 miles, 50 degrees 40 mile per hour winds that nearly blew me and my running group into the Inner Harbor last Saturday.)

However, I’m going to write about my run today. It was a long run that ended up being about 16.5 miles, this 16.5 miles happened at 7:30 am this morning after a 4pm 12 mile run yesterday afternoon/evening. Tired legs gearing up to run a long long way.  This run started out with my group, The Pacemakers, and was a bowtie loopty loop that allowed me to not carry water because I ended up at my car every 4-6 miles and I was able to hydrate, genius because I’ve yet to buy a hydration pack and ended my 17 miles last week very salty and very sick.

The first ten miles were great, we were all chatty, talking about the beautiful morning we finally had, the sun was shining, I was able to wear shorts, (it was 34 when we started but warmed up to about 41…perfect!) The first two lets of our journey felt great. When the third leg began I, among other runners, was feeling pretty good. (I was surprised, I thought my legs would be dragging more, I thought my feet would be hurting–)

 

Fast-forward two miles. My legs began to drag, my feet throbbed, I went silent.

http://vimeo.com/19529550

 

I could hear Bob’s footsteps behind me. This sound kept my feet moving, kept me from looking behind, kept me from walking, all the other kids with the pumped up kicks better run better run… someone told last night to sing Foster The People to keep me going. ALL THE OTHER KIDS WITH THE PUMPED UP KICKS BETTER RUN BETTER RUN… I was shouting in my head, I had to keep going, I couldn’t stop

 

—the silent miles had begun.

 

The Silent Miles: I think all runners hit a point. Not the wall but A Point in a training run where all falls silent. We get so absorbed in our head, our thoughts, our own personal demons and motivations that we go silent. My personal threshold has gotten longer, I used to only be able to go 10 or so miles before I fell silent. I stop talking, I stare straight ahead and concentrate, hard. At this point in my training I’m not really sure what my threshold is, I hit it a bit earlier this week because of the combination of last night’s 12 miles and the run this morning. Fatigued began I even began.

But today’s silence was okay. I’m okay with silence; I still had Bob’s feet and breathing behind me, the road in front of me, and the knowledge that I had a big cup of coffee at the end of the run. I finished 15 miles and ran another loop, on my own, to get in another mile and a half. This is where my personal motivation began to lack, this is where I fell apart and walked a bit. But this is the point that I remembered to listen to my body and remind myself that in the past 15 hours I had put in nearly 28 miles.


My body is broken down, (but not broken) and will rest and recover tonight and tomorrow. The Silent Miles are what make us stronger, they’re what make us realize what we are truly capable of.