Monday, February 26, 2007

It's Getting Harder! - Martha

So yesterday (February 24), I was slated, according to my downloaded marathon schedule, to run 20 miles. Another milestone! Unfortunately, my teammate Heidi was out of town, which allowed me to wonder if I should go it alone or revamp my schedule. After discussing the pros and cons with one of my colleagues at work (let's just call him Coach Bob), I decided to stay true to my inflexible self and run the 20. We figured two 20-mile runs a week apart would not kill me. That remains to be seen.

So of course yesterday dawned bright and sunny. I had decided to do two loops of 10 miles each, first running toward the finish line and then returning back to run a loop to Wellesley College. My husband Ken decided he would join me to run the second half and see what all the hoopla was about. Let me just reiterate how hard running this alone would be for me. I started out ok enough, but realized I had forgotten my ice “cleats” after I took about two steps. Because going back to the house would throw the timing off for all of the rest of the Saturday household goings-on, I decided to just watch where I was going. I soon discovered how maddening it was to keep one eye out for the cars (since half of the sidewalks are still caked with ice) and one eye down at my feet. And I am convinced we have drivers out there who thrill in seeing how many runners they can get to hop up on snow banks to avoid being creamed. I’m memorizing your plates!

I had purchased a small timer that was supposed to go off every 30 minutes to remind me to drink, but then realized I had no place to put it. So I stuck it in my glove and then realized that the pressure of putting my hand into the glove kept deactivating it. Back to the drawing board for that problem... By the time I got to the base of Boston College (a mere five miles), I was bored and freezing. I took off my gloves to drink and could barely pull the bottle off my belt because my fingers felt like frozen sausages. I turned back and immediately was hit by what seemed to be 50 mile an hour winds coming from the West. How could this be? I thought westerly winds were supposed to be balmy?! My only consolation was knowing “spitters” (those disgusting people who feel the need to blow volumes of fluid out of their mouths while running in close proximity to you) would pay a price today! Even more amazing to me as I headed back was passing people dressed in shorts and no gloves! How is that possible?!

I decided I hated running and would never leave the house again without checking the entire weekend forecast. My husband caught the brunt of my ire against the world as I met up with him for the second half. He suggested I call it a day, which always makes me do the opposite. So we headed west and I was pleased to see that several cars from various organizations had parked along the way, offering cheers, food and drink. Of coarse Ken stopped at every spot and I think believes this race is just one long tailgater! I felt like the horse who couldn't wait to be able to turn around and race back to the barn. My feet went numb around mile 14 and I felt like I had icicles hanging out of my nose (I probably did). At mile 19, one of my knees instantly started throbbing. My body was screaming at me to stop but I guess I couldn't hear it over the wind. I felt the seams of my UnderArmor burning into my legs (at least it was some warmth) and I can honestly say I don't think I could have gone to mile 21.

So today my knee feels “full” and my Achilles tendon aches. My only exercise today was going to the store and buying a box of frosted leprechaun cookies. I hope they work their magic by next Saturday.

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