You know how the saying goes: April showers bring May flowers. It can also make for a miserably cold run. I'm warming myself with a nice hot cup of cinnamon hazlenut coffee trying to thaw out after spending over 2 hours out in the cold, hard pouring rain.
WHY DO WE DO THESE THINGS TO OURSELVES?? Why indeed. Always to work towards a goal, otherwise, what would be the point?
Today was one of the first days Don was planning to start running outside after his ruptured Achilles. Its been a slow process healing and getting back to running. He's done a couple of other runs, but today was really to be the day. And naturally, it had to be pouring rain when we got up and 40 degrees. We knew that was a likelihood; after all, it was sunny and almost 70 yesterday when I had to work, so it was inevitable. But it still was probably proving to be the better day of the weekend, since tonight the temperatures will dip down into the 20s, and the likelihood of snow is great. No thanks! And for me, it wasn't a choice. It was a necessity to get this run in.
After he reached the 1.5 mile mark, Don turned back and I continued on, into the wind and rain. But I felt somewhat better than last week. so I guess its going to be a process. Technically, I have 4 weeks until the 25k, but only 2 weeks until the Louisville Minimarathon. For sure that will be a training run!
I was forced to take the "high" road today because of all the rain we've had flooding out sections near the river. That meant hills, something I certainly need work on. And actually, it was a pleasant break taking a different route for a change. I've already reconciled myself to the fact that I will have to run and walk this thing. I just don't have the stamina I would like to run continuously for that long, and overall my pace stays more steady with walk breaks.
I did okay with this plan until about the one hour mark. At this point, the wind and rain in my face were starting to get to me and I had to make a decision to continue on for another 10 minutes or turn back. I gutted it out and continued. One thing I do with my watch when I get to one hour is reset it so I first can read it easier and second so the real time is not staring me in the face reminding me how long I've been out there. I know how long it really is, but its just a mental thing making it seem like less time. It works every time. I guess I'm just a wimp.
One problem with running on the high road is the traffic. What shoulder there is is soft gravel, and with the heavy rain it was quite mushy if not full of puddles. So I was constantly dodging puddles or cars. And then the hills came back. This is a rolling to hilly course. Not hills like those of you who live in mountainous areas, but not flat either. Elevations are probably 600-1200 feet, so there's a lot of up and down. And did I mention the road is sharply slanted? To keep the road from puddling from rain run off. So after a while, you start feeling like a gimp, like one leg is shorter than the other. Its not a good course to run on all the time.
Oh yeah, you can tell it was just a joyously fun run! After another 30 minutes of this, I just was starting to get frustrated and wanted to just walk in the worst way. But it would have been too far, it was still raining, I was soaked all the way through, and I was starting to get cold. Thankfully, the wind was behind me though.
Here's where the mind games started. "Okay, I'll run from this road marker to the next, take a quick break, do it again, etc." That became the plan. And surprisingly, I found myself doing interval-like speeds for the next 3 miles. It got me through the whole "ordeal" because that's the only way I can describe it.
So technically, I did more walking coming back, but the walk breaks were probably less than a minute for the most part, the run intervals were faster than my long run pace, and surprise, surprise! While I ran out 1 hour 10 minutes, coming back it was 1 hour 8 minutes and 24 seconds. It paid off! I really was surprised, and I feel less beat up physically and mentally than had I continued to "watch the clock" the whole way back.
I know I have a lot of mental work to do. I am really hoping with some nicer weather it gets easier. Whether its easier or not, with nicer weather it certainly will be more enjoyable!