Sunday, February 15, 2015

The coldest day of winter

About a year ago I posted about the worst run of my life; 16 miles in a steady rain and wind with the temperature in the upper 30's.  I ran alone and was cold, wet and miserable the entire time.

Today I almost topped it.

I ran my first 20 miler of the season last Sunday, and wanted to drop back down again this Sunday before jumping up again in March, so I planned 16 today.  Unfortunately, temperatures plummeted last night and I woke up this morning to a rather frosty 9 degrees.

I had a gigantic breakfast (3 scrambled eggs with cheese, potatoes, broccoli, diced tomatoes and spinach mixed in, two pieces of toast and OJ), and waited for the temperature to rise a little.  By 2pm it had only risen a few degrees.  When I finished around 4, it still looked like this:

The 31 mph wind gusts coming off of the Cooper River and Newton Lake were torturous.  The thin layers of ice and snow on parts of the roads were treacherous.  The brilliant winter sun coming off of said snow and ice was blinding.

The long run today was challenging, to say the least.

I am not normally one for mantras, but I found myself repeating several times throughout the run, "I am stronger than winter."  This eventually devolved into a lot of yelling and cursing in the latter miles.  The streets of South Jersey have never known such profanity.

When I finished, I took a picture in the backyard:

Train for a spring marathon, they said.  It'll be fun, they said.

As tough as today's run was, and as much as I lament the fact that the Boston Marathon is in April, necessitating so much mileage in the winter months, I don't think I would have it any other way.  The sense of accomplishment I have after a run like this is incomparable.  And nothing tastes as good as a dark porter after a long, hard winter run.

And tomorrow the relentless forward march of marathon training goes on...

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