This is so much harder than I thought
But I will give them everything I've got
One day I am gonna prove them wrong
'Crazy' by Lost Frequencies
So, I'm getting ready for a March marathon. Which I started training for about two weeks after my November marathon. Which I hadn't planned on doing but added last minute after my October marathon didn't pan out the way I'd wanted it to. It sounds legitimately nuts. Because it is. Not only the number of marathons I've been doing, but how quick my turnaround is between them. As my coach often reminds me, I'm no spring chicken (43 this past Monday). Well, he doesn't actually use that term, he says something less severe like..."age is just not on our side anymore". Which doesn't offend me in the least because he's the same age as me and he's also doing his best to defy it. And he's not saying it because he thinks we're old. He's throwing it out there because the window of opportunity to reach my goals, which are pretty lofty, is not quite as wide as it would be if I was in my twenties. I've run some great races and come painfully close to breaking three hours in the marathon, a goal of had for a while now. And, unfortunately, I just can't afford to take the time I would or could have as a younger runner at this stage in the game. Basically, it's now or never. So, it's now. And it's harder than it's ever been. Which I probably say during every training cycle but this time I really mean it. Because I want it more now than ever? Maybe. Because I'm older? Perhaps. Because I'm scared? Sure. It's all of that and more. But, my heart is telling me the fight is still worth it. Thus, my dukes are still up. Which means I'm training for my next marathon in the dead of winter. Something I swear to myself I will never do again after getting through it each winter. Because, from a running perspective, it is basically my worst nightmare. Give me heat and humidity any day over snow, wind and sub-zero temps. And despite my best efforts, I am always forced inside at some point, primarily because the roads are a death trap. Man, do I loathe the treadmill. Yet, I don't have a choice. Well, I do. But, you know what I mean. My mother-in-law once asked me if I've ever just not done what my coach told me to do. My response? Sure. Once. Or maybe twice. Which made her laugh. Because she simply can't wrap her head around why I put myself through this day after day, year after year. And if I'm being fair, there are days when I ask myself the same question. Particularly during the winter grind when getting through each workout, each long run, each double session, seems monumentally harder than usual. Case in point. Last Wednesday, I needed to run 10 miles in the morning and 6 miles in the afternoon. Nothing unusual for me. But, here's the kicker. A winter storm was coming. And while it was no problem to get my first run done at the usual time; which is around 9:00am, I wasn't sure how I was going to eek out a second run in a blizzard. I sent my coach a panic text:
Lowell: Sadly, I have done it myself. As long as you eat after run #1 and rest it is ok. Not ideal, but we make these things work since life doesn't always go on hold for our running.
Me: Winter is awesome.
Lowell: Winter is a bear.
After that, I ate a banana and a piece of toast. I stretched a little. There was no time for rest as the snow was getting heavier by the minute. And then headed back out for another 6. In the snow which was coming from all directions and accumulating on my eyelids. Good times. The upside? I was done with both runs by noon, which felt oddly rewarding. The downside? After a quick cup of coffee and a sandwich I was out shoveling. Because, in the end, Old Man Winter doesn't give a shit about my training. And we all know there is no rest for the weary. Or the crazy 43 year old marathoner.
Listen to this:
Crazy - Lost Frequencies