Faithhard thingsmarathonrunningwestWinter

Running West and East

By April 9, 2014 8 Comments

In 10 days I will be running with Marathon Glenn. Finally. It’s been the longest, coldest, and darkest four months of winter running. Ever.

We are wicked excited. We say “wicked” a lot in New Hampshuh’.

Wicked takes Excited to a whole new level, don’t you think?

This is where we can look back and remember the cold winter mornings.road

Oh how fondly I remember this day. When the running program said “Run 15 miles.” But the roads apparently ignored the memo and were covered with ice and snow. Um, hello?? I showed up and this is what you’re giving me to work with??

longjohns

The most oft-asked question: “Why did we decide to train during the coldest part of the year?” When we had to wear two layers – long johns and running tights – and were still cold the entire run.

This was always the answer: It will be worth it in April!

I wasn’t always so sure, like that time I came home and cried, when my hands hurt so much I thought they would have to be amputated.

Or that time last weekend when my poor little baby toe swelled up to the size of an orange and I was performing emergency surgery at 2:45 in the morning, cursing those things called BLISTERS.

There were chapped lips, black toenails, lost toenails, less sleep, less writing time, unidentifiable aches and pains, weird dietary changes.

When our conversations consisted of chafing, fuel, VO2 max, pit stops, shoes, wicking socks, and whether the altitude change will kill me or not.

There were other conversations too, ones that only happen out there on the road; conversations of family, children, grief, God, turning another year older, and whether or not we should go gray naturally. A firm no has been decided 🙂

These are the moments that bond women together for life.

There were days when the only time we could fit in a run was before the sun was up.buddies

We had to wear fluorescent running vests so we wouldn’t be mistaken for deer, so cars driving in the dark could see us. We had to wear hats, mittens, face masks. We often had to wear head lamps to even see the road, and then it became so cold and slippery, that the run had to wait for the sun.

Why do we look so happy in this picture? Oh yeah…it was…fun.

I’ve said it before: I couldn’t have done it without the buddies.

cold

Yes, there were times we questioned our sanity.

longrun

And because it was winter, sometimes the run had to be done on the dreaded treadmill, a psychological weapon which I have already spoken about and won’t go into until next December. Oh spring, I love you!

Now, two roads diverge in a barren wood…we will part ways and each run our own race.slc

Headed west. In 10 days I will run at the base of the mighty Rockies.

Running buddy will go east and run in the famed Boston which, after last year’s tragedy, is going to be the greatest marathon the city has ever seen, with the fastest qualifying times ever recorded. Where American runner and Boston runner, Shalane Flanagan, will seek redemption. She wants to win it bad. For all of us.

We’re all looking to prove something to ourselves, that all the training over four long winter months was worth it. It’s a funny thing, this hard thing. You can run your guts out, throw up at the finish line, and say, “that was awesome.”

Now, as the weather is finally starting to warm, as the mountains of snow are mere hills, when we are in the best shape of our lives, and all the training that can be done, is done…I can look back fondly at how hard it was to get from there to here.

Anyone can run. But it won’t always come easy. And that’s what makes it so great.

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