Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Risking it all...

One thing I have found running this winter is that I get a lot of questions...

* How do you run in this weather?
* Are you staying warm enough?
* Are you crazy?
* Why do you do it?

Last night a friend asked me a question that was a first for me...

"Do you ever fear for your life when you're running in a snowstorm?"

Honest answer....YES! Every time I head out there. Okay, maybe fearing is the wrong word. I'm not actually afraid that I will die, but I do think about it every time I head out.

You see, right now, with ALL the snow, the sidewalks haven't really been plowed very well. In fact, the sidewalks on the main road that connects a bunch of other roads are completely covered. They haven't even tried to plow or shovel those sidewalks. And on other sidewalks where they have plowed, there are still 2 - 3 inches of ice, which is usually covered by the latest fresh snow.

And I really don't like running on ice. I'm scared of slipping and falling. I'm scared of twisting an ankle. However, I still run on sidewalks, unless I can't, which is when I hit the road. And that's where the fear comes in.

I consider myself a very safe runner. I run a reflector vest when it's dark. I ALWAYS run in the opposite direction of traffic. I am very aware and will move over as far as I can. With ALL the snow there isn't much of a shoulder, so it gets tight. I'll do whatever I can to give cars the space they need.

But accidents can happen. And I worry that one of them will hit ice and head towards me. Or that I will slip on the ice and get run over. These thoughts aren't my primary thoughts while I'm running, but they certainly cross my mind when things get tight.

Well, this morning, I left the house at 5:45 so I could get 4 miles in before my husband had to leave for work. Although it was dark, it was nice because there wen't a lot of cars, so I was able to run on the streets almost the entire time. I was 1/4 mile from home, running at a pretty good pace when I see a car ahead of me, coming in the opposite direction. Next thing I know, the car is swerving towards me. There were no other cars on the road. There was no reason for him to head in my direction. And yet he did. I had to jump up on the big pile of snow because I wasn't sure exactly what he was going to do. He passed by me (too close for comfort) and kept on driving. Scared me so bad. My heart was racing, and it wasn't from the running.

The exact same thing happened to my friend this morning on a different road about 2 miles away. So now not only do I have to worry about cars accidentally slipping on ice, I also have to worry about the drivers who are apparently out to get runners.

Has this ever happened to you?! Suggestions?

Sunday, January 23, 2011


I am trying really, really hard not to get down about the weather this week. There is a Wind Chill advisory for tomorrow morning (could feel like -25) and cold temps the rest of the day. Then a(nother) big old storm moving in on Tuesday and Wednesday. It does look like it will "warm up" for the weekend. My running partner and I have already cancelled our early morning run tomorrow. We're going to go (swap kids) after 10 am when it's a bit warmer. I might even op to run on the dreadmill because I kind of don't want to freeze my face off.

It's not even the end of January and I am DONE WITH WINTER!!! Training for a marathon in such a cold and snowy winter has been tough. But on the bright side, if I weren't training, I wouldn't be getting out there to run. And I'd be doing what my body wants to do - hibernate and eat high-calorie foods all day. And I'd probably gain 20 lbs. So I guess I'll suck it up and get back out there this week. I just will probably whine the entire time!

Hope you're enjoying better weather and friendlier temperatures in your neck of the woods!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Pictures from my run today...

It was supposed to be 7 miles, but because of snow and trying to get two people's (I swapped with a friend on kid watching) runs in, we cut it down to 4 each. Should have just gone the extra three since I was already out there, cold and wet. It was tricky trying to figure out where to run - sidewalks covered, streets barely plowed and lots of traffic. I got splashed with cold, wet slush a couple of times. All worth it. And now I feel REALLY hard core. Just two pictures I snapped....

My feet and legs right after I got splashed by two cars.

It was messy out there. And actually it got worse the farther into my run I got. Yuck!

Monday, January 17, 2011

15 Miles

Mile 7 at 7:15 am - iPhone photo.
Boston is in the distance - Prudential Center and John Hancock Tower side by side. The body of water is the Chestnut Hill Reservoir.

I did a long run on the sixth of January all by myself. That was a first. Other than my Wicked half in September, I had never run longer than about 6 miles on my own. That day I ran 15.47. It felt great. In the days leading up to the run, I was worried and also excited about it.

I planned out my route, figured out babysitting for my kids, loaded John Grisham onto the iPhone, filled up my fuel belt with lots of yummy treats and I was off. It was BEAUTIFUL clear morning. Pretty chilly (although nothing compared to what I've run in since then). I ran from home to Beacon Street. Up Beacon Street, around Boston College, over to Commonwealth. Down Commonwealth and then back home. I will say I much prefer running Commonwealth (Heartbreak Hill) down.

I got through about 5 chapters of my book and when I didn't want to listen anymore, I called and talked to Matt (hubby) for the last three miles while he was on his commute. It was awesome because while he was on the phone I beat my previous half marathon and I got to "celebrate" that with him.

I was really pleased with how I felt after the run. I wasn't nearly as tired or as beat up as I had expected. I even made it through the whole day without a nap and attended an event that evening. No crashing! I owe it to the chocolate milk and egg breakfast I had as soon as I got home! I think there is something to be said for running alone...which is a good thing since I will be running the National Marathon by myself. (Any takers?!)

All in all, probably one of my favorite long runs to date. It definitely kicked my 16-miler's (this last weekend) butt. I'll have to write that one up another day.

Sunday, January 16, 2011


My blog has been neglected for the last two weeks, but my running hasn't been. Despite sickness and cold and winter storms and birthday celebrations and everything else that life has thrown my way, I have only missed one 3 mile run. This is not to brag. This is just a big milestone for me.

Running in the winter outside is something I have never done. I have always either had a gym membership or I haven't run. So the fact that we are more than halfway through January and two major storms and I haven't quit yet, that's saying something. Maybe it's saying I'm crazy, but that's something right?

In the last two weeks, since my last post, I have run 52 miles. More than half of those have been with my running friend, Kristin, her husband and another friend Amy. It really helps to have someone else out there, pushing you. Especially on Monday morning when the LAST thing I want to do is get out of bed and go running.

Running when the earth is covered in snow makes me feel hard core. I love it! I'm one of "those" people.

So here's to training through winter. Training through snow. Training with friends. Training with a goal in mind. And living to tell the tale!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Joined the Club

Today I joined the Run 1,000+++ with Tall Mom Club. I am so excited. That means running 1000 in 2011. Actually, since my birthday is 11/11/11, I think it would be really cool to run 1111. That's just over 20 miles/week. I am so excited. I'm going to need lots of encouragement, so get on the cheering train!