Sunday, January 26, 2014

The longest mile

Sometimes being oblivious has its advantages.

Don't get me wrong. Mostly it's horrible. Like the fact that I don't pay enough heed to the health and well being of my iPhone and it is now dead.


I don't think I REALLY did anything wrong, but I am guessing that taking it out in the very cold weather for my runs was not exactly the same as honoring it and loving it and treating it like a Princess. Anyway, I have been phoneless since Tuesday night. It just went burrzzzzzzzz. Well, it was silent as it died but that's the sound I imagine it would have made if were on the radio.

Since this is not my first go-round with an inexplicable ending of my phone's usefulness, my darling husband got irate on my behalf and made the calls/visits to Verizon/insurance companies. I should get a new phone delivered tomorrow morning and be back in business. I hope.

But for now, I have no iPhone, which means I have NO phone since we got rid of our land line last fall.

And it also means I have (basically) no alarm clock.

Nor radio.

Nor calendar.

Nor music.

Nor podcasts.

Nor (most importantly) GPS app for my running.

So that meant that I had to do some serious running this week and weekend without my phone and all the precious amusements that come along with it. So here's how it went:

Wednesday: The Polar Vortex returned and kicked my ass. My husband (a.k.a. the Safety Baron) told me in no uncertain terms on Tuesday night that I was not allowed to go for my scheduled 10 mile run in the insane temps and wind chills that were forecast for Wednesday. My Plan B was to head to the Arts Center to get the run in that way. So, at about 7PM, this early morning runner headed out the door and drove to school to run 90 laps. It. Was. Brutal. Scott gave me his old iPod which had about 10 minutes of power left on it. After that it was just 'round and 'round and 'round. For. Ever. In order to keep track of things I put 9 hair elastics around my wrist and switched one over to my other wrist for each lap. I had a piece of paper marked off into 10 section and I wrote my splits on them after each mile. Talk about an exercise in mental toughness! I was SO glad when it was done, let me tell ya! (As was the custodian on duty who I'm sure thought I was a total nut job....)

Thursday: The Deep Freeze continued but even if it hadn't, I couldn't have gotten out of bed to do the scheduled 8 miler early the morning after my evening before. Scott's theater kids had a short performance that evening so when the boys and I got home that night, I shuffled them off to bed and hit the elliptical. I didn't do 8 miles but instead did 80 minutes... a little longer than I would have been on the road for an 8 mile run. It was NO FUN but I watched silly television and when my feet fell asleep (as I knew they would) I took my shoes off. Blech but done.

Friday: Strength training and yoga for runners. Technically a rest day but, boy, did I need that stretch.

Saturday: This was the scariest day no-phone-wise. I had 24 miles on the schedule. By far the longest training run I have ever done. I mapped out a course on my 40-miler route but I wasn't 100% sure exactly where the turn-around points would be. Thankfully, the iPod was fully charged and I had loaded it up with my go-to podcasts. It was a 5AM start and the temperature was 7 degrees. About 1/2 way through it was 4 degrees. My water bottles had frozen. Probably the strongest (mentally) I have ever been in my entire life is when I stopped at my car, took a few swigs from my (thankfully NOT frozen) water bottles in the car, ditched my headlamp... and KEPT running. I wanted to call it a day. I wanted to get in the car and drive home. No one would have judged me. But, I knew if I bailed at that point I would just be facing a similarly daunting run on Sunday and that would suck even more. So, I kept going. I was glad to have stuck a five dollar bill in my pocket so I could get a Gatorade at the convenience store I passed. I don't know if I would have made it the final three miles without it. I was very cold but very pleased when that run was over.

Sunday: Woke up at 5 with 8 on the schedule. Heard the completely howling winds outside that promised incredible wind chills. Hit the elliptical instead. Went for 80 minutes and called it 8 miles.

So how come I started this blog talking being oblivious and its benefits?

Because I ran 54 miles this week.

And 54 miles the TOP mileage of this training plan.

Granted I have a 28 mile training run coming up in a couple of weeks. But I have very little mileage leading up to that.

So, I have survived the hardest week of training.

I am tired.

I am glad.

I am getting there.

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