I’m making that my motto until marathon glory has been attained. As in, “yes, it’s mile 23 and you’ve never been here before and it really doesn’t feel very good. But you didn’t get this far just to be a pansy, Megan!” Or perhaps, “you didn’t get this far to relapse into the Mountain Dew addiction, chica. Now, go refill your water bottle like a good little runner.”
A little motivational slap upside the head to give myself, if you will. It’s already coming in handy, because this is apparently the week where temptations NOT to run abound. Wednesday, a late meeting and the desire to be a good wife clashed with the training plan. Yesterday afternoon, just as it was almost TIME TO GO RUNNING! (Sidenote: In college, there was this guy who lived in my dorm. He ran about 115 miles a week, so often we would have morning runs when no one else did. If he saw me leaving the dorm at the same time as him, he’d call out in an ultra-chipper voice, “It’s time to go RUNNIIIIIING!” It’s weird, I know. But just think what running 115 miles a week would do to you!) I looked out the window to see…
Snow? What the? It’s not supposed to snow. I checked the forecast, and the rain was supposed to start late Thursday night and carry over into an all-day rain fest on Friday. Is it even cold enough for snow? I check the temperature. 40 degrees. Ah…ha. Intriguing. I call Scott just to verify that it isn’t going to suddenly turn nasty and make the roads treacherous, and he suggests that I go to the gym instead of running outside. Tempting…but then Scott would either be stuck waiting for me at the gym or I’d have to drive all the home and then all the way back to the gym. Blech. No, better to get it over with.
So I head down the path to a Falls Park with decidedly fewer people than there were during beautiful, sunny Wednesday. While running, I’m struck by the “neatness” of running beside a waterfall while it’s snowing. When I got to the bottom, I decided that I wanted to do something a little different. Instead of following the road, I’d take the path that runs beside the river for longer and really get the most out of the unique snow/river combo.
Question: What is the stupidest thing for a marathoner-in-training to do a week before the big day?
Answer: Run down irregularly-shaped, wet, slippery stairs, of course!
Nope, I didn’t twist/pull/strain anything. The situation was literally begging for it, though. To get to the path by the river requires navigating a series of stone steps. Ordinarily, I avoid this path like the plague. I don’t like running stairs in general and these are slanty stairs of varying widths and a less than smooth surface. The snow and the river were calling me, though, so I made my way to the path without a second thought. I was on the third step when the lightbulb went off — slow down, stupid. Stupid slowed down and managed to avoid certain doom. Yikes.
Once inside Cleveland Park, I was starting to get grumpy. Snow is all right and all, but eventually you just end up wet and cold. Mentally, I shook my fist at the snow and said, “you think this is going to stop me? I didn’t get this far to start skipping workouts now!” That’s when I started to notice that some of the stuff falling from the sky was not landing softly and gently to melt upon skin or clothes. No, some of it was settling with a decided “plop” to instantly soak and chill me. It was now snowing AND raining simultaneously. “Oh-ho-ho!” I scoffed. “Is that the best you can do? I tell you, it’s going to take more than that to sway me!”
Then, the wintry precipitation trifecta was achieved. Things took a decidedly painful turn when ice pellets decided to join the party. Oh, how I love the feeling of ice attacking the bare skin of my legs and face. My response to the wintry trifecta? Grim, determined silence. I might be a slow learner, but I catch on eventually. At this rate, I figured the next thing my defiance would get me was hail or a lightning bolt. No thankee.
In a few minutes, the snow and ice dissipated. With rain and darkness settling around me, I finished the run. There’s only eight days until the marathon and I didn’t get this far to give up now.