Sunday, February 15, 2015

Resilience

Pretty much my plan!
I had some tough, fast, mind-clearing runs this week.

Earlier in the week, I ran on anger. When I finished that blisteringly fast (for me) run on Tuesday, I involuntarily did a double fist pump. I could have gone farther. I was not tired. I was not winded. I felt strong. I felt tough. I no longer felt like pummelling my son. Which is a positive thing, right?

As the week went on, my runs were still strong. My speedwork on Tuesday was cut short by fatigue, but as I look at my mile splits, I can see why. 7:50 mins/mi? I can't sustain that! I did for miles 2 and 3 though. Then I pooped out. I wasn't too sad about it, all things considered. I do need to do a better job pacing myself on my unreliable treadmill. Lesson learned. But I did take the day off from CrossFit. We're doing intervals right now and I didn't know if I had it in me to take the beating that those workouts bring. The day off was a welcome break from a tough training cycle and a chance to regroup and deal with the problems at home.

Yesterday's run was a 4 miler before work. The weather was the limiting factor. It was 25F when I started, but the winds were howling at 30 mph with gusts up to 45 mph. With the wind at my back, I flew. It actually felt like the wind was pushing me down the road. I considered running the entire distance like that and having my husband pick me up when I was done so I didn't have to turn around and run into the wind. No, that didn't happen. I forged ahead. Running into the wind was tough but I still finished with an average mile speed of 8:22. I'll take it! There was one point where the wind blew at me sideways and almost blew me over. Nope, you're not the boss of me, Mother Nature! It wasn't an endorphin producing run, really, it was more exhausting than anything. But I was glad to triumph over the conditions.


And then there was today's long run. It was so cold, my thermometer didn't register the temperature. As I contemplated today's run, I put on the news and the current temp was -2F, with 10 mph winds. Less windy is good, right? See, it's all relative. And the sun was out. Piece of cake, was my thinking. After all, I have the thermoball.

I had 10 miles to do and I sure didn't want to do them on the treadmill. Really, what's worse? Running outside in the cold with my thermoball to keep me warm or running on the treadmill for an hour and a half? You know what I chose.

I slipped on my Athleta wind pants and knee high Smartwool socks. Put on a long running bra top, my Chicago marathon long sleeve shirt for inspiration, and my jacket. Topped it off with a face mask and gloves. Oh, and to insure that my phone didn't freeze, I tucked my Spibelt in my pants and off I went. I headed to the bike path, which I knew would be clear. How far I could go on it, I didn't know. I was running at a nice comfortable pace, and once I hit the unplowed portion, I headed south on the sidewalk, which I was pleased to see was cleared. I decided to head to another park where there is a fitness path as well.

Me and my thermoball
I don't usually run at this park because in warmer weather, the path is really popular with walkers, who aren't very accommodating to us runners. I think they feel like this path is "their" path. But today, I had the entire path to myself. It was peaceful and beautiful. The 2 little lakes were both frozen, the golf course was covered with snow, the driving range was empty, and the playground equipment sat idle. I circled around and dreamed of summer. Thought about the triathlon that takes place here every year. As I headed back towards home, I looked at my Garmin and saw that I still had 2 miles to go. I think those last 2 miles were the hardest part of the run. Where to go, where to go, I thought? I circled around my neighborhood to make the last 2 miles.

When I finished today's run, I felt triumphant. I felt tough. I felt strong. I felt resilient. Ready to tackle the tough challenge that life is throwing at me right now. Compared to that, running is easy. Even in the bitter cold.

I look back at that Chicago marathon last fall. How I killed that tough training plan Becky gave me. Chased away my demons of self doubt and fear. How I crushed my PR. I was a different person after that race. Tougher. Stronger. Believe.

My mantra comes back into play. I can and I will. As on the road, as in life.





I'm linking this post up with Tara at RunningNReading! Be sure to go over to her blog and check out all the other posts.


39 comments :

  1. You inspire me every time you post a run! You are amazing. Nice job on your increased pace!! Impressive. I wish I could high 5 you. Although it is pretty snowy here, the roads are way too narrow to be running long distances on. There is just no place to put the snow. So I long for the days that I can run outside. But for now, I'm good living my outside runs through you!

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    1. Last winter we had a ton of snow and it was tough to find places to get the miles in! And in spite of all the cold we're having, we aren't getting socked with snow, and for that I'm grateful! Silver lining, right?

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  2. I don't really run much...but you have totally inspired me to maybe switch that up! Look at you running in the snow...so amazing!

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  3. Glad you had some strong runs ( even if they were fueled by emotions). I could get through running in the cold without my face mask too!

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    1. I don't wear the face mask very often but once we get down to the single digits, it's a must!

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  4. Sounds like a great week of strong runs - good for you! Sometimes emotional runs are the best ones... :)

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    1. I hope I can bring this intensity to my half marathon in 4 weeks! Sans the mama drama...

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  5. You are a winter beast, Wendy! Way to get it done. You are inspiring for the cold week ahead--one treadmill run was one too many for me. Glad running gave you the catharsis you needed.

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    1. And this week looks to be even more brutal--weather wise, that is! I'm hoping for smooth sailing on the home front...

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  6. Wow! I couldn't bring myself to go outside yesterday. -30 with the windchill. No better today. Boy I'm a slacker and I hate the tm.

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    1. You're not a slacker. This weather tests the will of all of us.

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  7. maybe I need to buy a face mask LOL

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    1. I love mine! I was at Dick's yesterday and they had a huge display of them. No time like the present, my friend!

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  8. maybe I need to buy a face mask LOL

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  9. I love that pic of you in the face mask! I have one and feel like a thief everytime I wear it! You are so inspiring with youre running. I love it

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    1. Haha! At least the pink coat takes away from the fear factor people might have when they see me! LOL!

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  10. Good for you! Runs like that are worth their weight in mental toughness you'll be able to draw upon whenever you need it. Now tell me: does the Thermoball breathe? Or does it get all wet with sweat inside? I just don't think of mine as a running jacket.

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    1. The thermoball does not wick sweat. I was dripping when I got home. But I was not cold. It's really only for extreme conditions, I think.

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  11. I agree.. I'd rather run 10 cold than the 10 on the TM. I wimped out today and did the TM, but I cut my run short. I am soooooo over running on the TM. But the wind chill was -15 and they were saying frostbite warnings were real.... soooooo.. I kept it indoors and did not enjoy it. I hope to get outside later this week. Awesome job on your runs. You are truly and inspiration!!!!

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    1. Tomorrow's link up on Tuesdays on the run is all about running the mill. This winter is testing all of us!

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  12. Wendy I needed a big dose of your determination today! Thank you friend :)

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  13. I don't have a treadmill, which sometimes I am sad about, but for the most part by the time I am out running I am always glad I don't have one. I really think the runner's high is so much higher and the run more relaxing when done outdoors. And it makes us tougher more resilient runners for sure. I need that face mask thing you have!
    Great job on your runs! Love the winter poem :)

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    1. I agree about the runners' high. I don't think I've ever gotten one from a treadmill run!

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  14. Wendy, I can totally relate! It's so mentally challenging for me to run indoors; almost more trouble than it's worth, and I always try to get outside. Way to get it done, girl! Woo hoo!! Thanks so much for linking up with the blog this week; hope yours is off to a good start.

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  15. Seriously?!! You are my idol, I don't know how you run in those conditions. I must be such a wimp. I've turned warm blooded for sure. You had a great week of runs!! Keep it up!

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    1. I don't think you're a wimp at all. Those treadmill runs take such mental toughness!

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  16. and a high-5 to you, served up with a heaping slice of lemon pie :-) You are weathering the storm, and are gonna be victorious. Hang tough, and keep smiling :-) (And I'm totally with you on the sub-ZERO elements over the 'mill....give me Momma N any day over that indoor torture device)

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    1. Oh Kim! I sure hope so! So so so thankful for running these days.

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  17. high five! you are one inspiring crazy bad ass runner! you got this- on the course and off! thinking of you!

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  18. Great job...I am still in wimp status staying inside on the mill. My body just doesn't handle the cold well!

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  19. You rock, sista. You are going to crush your next half.

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    1. I hope so. I was thinking about that on the way home from work tonight. If I can ride this wave...

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  20. I love those kind of run days!! They are the best :)

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