I’ll lead with the good news: I got into Cherry Blossom! DC friends, I hope to see you in April!
As for training…Um. This wasn’t a training week so much as a freaking-out-over-whether-I-can-train-through-winter week. The Hansons’ advanced plan calls for four easy runs the first week, from Thursday to Sunday. I should have paid more attention to the forecast for awful weather coming our way at the end of the week. But I didn’t, and in retrospect am kicking myself for not running at the beginning of the week. I ended up running only twice this past week. I did four sessions of strength training, so at least there’s that. But ARGH. This is not an auspicious start, and I’m worried about how I’ll train this winter.
My first running day was Thursday, when the polar vortex blasted through. It was 9 degrees, which surprisingly wasn’t too bad, unless I was running into the bitter cold, strong wind that made it feel much colder. But it was the first run of training, I was in good spirits, and I was happy to get out for my 3 miles.
Friday had four miles on the schedule. It was 6 degrees when I woke up, but I had the day off from work so figured I’d go later when it would be warmer. I spent the morning cleaning, checking my phone every hour for the temperature. It never warmed up like it was supposed to. By Noon it was only 13 degrees, and I had no motivation to go out. I knew the Hansons’ beginner plan called for three easy runs the first week and figured skipping the day wouldn’t be a big deal. So instead I did a legs and core strength training session then spent the afternoon huddled under blankets watching movies. This is extremely unlike me. I’d planned on going out to run errands but just wasn’t motivated to do anything. Blah. When my husband got home I lamented how I felt like such a sloth. He looked at me and said, “You didn’t run for one day.” Still, I felt really awful about skipping the run and vowed to get back on track the next day.
And then the ice storm hit on Saturday. I tried to walk the dog, and we couldn’t even make it around the block. The rain was just starting, and I knew it would turn the ice to slush and I’d be able to run then. But it was taking forever. I kept looking outside to check the progress, and it just wasn’t happening. I also couldn’t drive to the gym to use the treadmill since our road was a sheet of ice. We had an appointment at the car dealer, so I couldn’t wait that long. Instead I did an upper body strength workout and continued to freak out over winter training.
The highlight of the day was that we finally bought a car! I have a 2002 VW Golf that I love and hated the idea of getting rid of it. I’ve never had any problem with it, and it’s actually great in the snow because of its low center of gravity. I always smiled when I would see big AWD SUVs struggling while I sailed easily by. But there’s just not enough room for Django, and we take him everywhere with us. We figured we had to get a bigger car, which neither of us liked the idea of, and started looking at compact SUVs–that’s as big as we’d be willing to go. But the only one either of us liked was the Subaru Forester, and Django was too tall for it. He actually turned on the ceiling light because his head was pressed against the ceiling! I’ve been drooling over new Golfs when I see them, but we figured the new wagon version of the Golf wouldn’t be enough room. We had basically run out of options for a compact SUV, so finally we went to the VW dealer. And fell in love with the new Golf SportWagen. We got all the features we wanted in the Subaru–AWD, heated front seats, heated side mirrors, heated windshield washer nozzles–for $5,000 less and with much more room for the dog. And I get to still have my beloved Golf. YAY! We settled all the paperwork and will be picking it up this week! We’re thrilled.
Sunday I was not feeling well and had major stomach pains. But there was absolutely no way I was skipping another run. I’d planned to meet Jamie and Gretchen at North Park. On my way there, Jamie called to say everything was a sheet of ice. What?! It was just wet when I left my house, and North Park is only 30 minutes away. We canceled the run, I did my usual Trader Joe’s trip, and then I went home to run on the trail near me. Sure enough, the asphalt parts of the trail were icy. But since most of the trail is crushed limestone and not icy, I was fine. It was in the upper 20s so not too cold, but I struggled nearly every minute of this 4.5-mile run. Maybe it was from my stomach, or maybe it was from just not being used to running in really cold weather, but it wasn’t fun.
And so I finished my first training week with just 7.5 miles and feeling very sad. I know I said I would run on the treadmill as a backup, but the gym is at the university where I work, so I’d have to drive there, find parking, pay for parking, and drive home…and that all just seems ridiculous when I can run from my front door.
I’m not going to throw away this training segment yet. There’s a lot of time between now and mid-April. So I’m just going to take it day by day and do my best. If winter continues to derail me, I may just start training later and find a race later in spring. We’ll see.