This past week marked the second week of Marathon Training, and it was in the midst of traveling from one end of the state to the other for our Christmas getaway.
Four easy miles was the plan. A day prior to the run, I had been discussing with my neighbor just how much I was loving the non-winter weather we had been experiencing (weather in the mid to upper 40’s) in Eastern Oregon. No sooner I uttered those words and in 48 hours, a cold front made its presence and dumped 5 inches of snow. The four miles during the non-winter weather was a real treat. Even better, my four miles were negative splits, finishing with a sub-9 average pace.
The alarm went off at 4:45 on Tuesday morning. The plan was to do a Crossfit workout in the morning and run in the evening. The workout for the day was “Twelve Days of Christmas” and since I always put more emphasis on performing the lifts correctly versus rapidly (cause I can’t do both), I completed the workout in 39 minutes. It was a total sweat-fest with plenty of huffing and puffing to git-R-done!
Later in the evening, my will and determination were tested when I had to get off the couch and log six miles. The complacent voice inside my head told me to skip the run. Remembering full well my mantra of “Stick to the Plan” and visualizing crossing the Marathon finish line strong, I got my butt off the couch and laced the Hokas. Surprisingly, my six miles went fast and I ran with a picture of Hayward Field in front of me, adding plenty of motivation to my treadmill run.
It was another early wake-up on Christmas Eve morning. Running was not in the books, but since we were going to be traveling across the state later in the evening, I wanted to do a Crossfit workout. However, I woke up with a headache and little motivation to do anything physical. Since supposedly nobody regrets a workout, I figured it was worth getting my butt to the box. When I walked in and saw the workout consisted of cardio via rowing 6000 meters, I knew it wasn’t happening. After rowing 2000 meters, I called it quits. Six months ago, I would have belittled myself for not finishing a workout, but I have made a conscientious effort to be just and merciful with myself. Realizing I’ve come such a long way, I put together a picture of my fitness journey over an 18 month period.
After our Christmas Eve church service, we headed across the state to spend Christmas with my mother-in-law on the Oregon Coast. We arrived at 1:30 am, just in time to place gifts from Santa under the tree. Beauty sleep didn’t begin until 2:30 am for me, and I fell asleep knowing five Christmas miles awaited.
Once the light of the day awakened two very tired girls aged ten and two, the gift unwrapping commenced. There were plenty of oohs, aahs, screeching, and laughter. If you’ve ever had the joy of traveling seven hours in a car, on Christmas Eve, with a toddler and a tween, while hiding Christmas gifts from Santa in the middle of a snowstorm, then you know exactly how mentally exhausting it can be. Despite our fatigue, my husband and I managed to score a run date together while my mother-in-law baby sat. Running with my husband is rare, because one of us is usually watching our girls. It was a genuinely wonderful Christmas gift.
The five miles were absolutely wonderful! Not only did I have a running partner (with benefits), the weather and scenery were a total bonus. Knowing full well there was snow falling back home, I savored the gray and wet skies of the Oregon Coast. Prior to moving to Eastern Oregon 18 months ago, I whined and complained about all the Portland rain, but while running out on the coast, I found myself missing it. Maybe I’ve recognized I dislike snow, and running under gray and wet skies is so much more simple than running on a blanket of snow. Whatever the case, my five hilly and scenic miles were the best five miles I’ve had in a while.
Friday was a complete rest day, which was good, because the morning was pretty soggy. However, we did manage to explore a little and enjoy my husband’s hometown.
Six miles culminated the second week of Marathon Training, and I got to share it once again with my husband and my sister-in-law. The course was full of steep hills, the kind that hurt your lungs and quads and give you just a smidgen of time to gather your breathing before your heart rate shoots up again. It was a good thing I did not know what to expect from the course (my husband chose the route and I had never run this course before), because I probably would have approached my run with hesitation and chosen to take it easy. Instead, I did not allow the fear of pain and discomfort to dictate my pace and ran with the knowledge that a hard run would help make me a stronger runner. For the entire six miles, I mentally pushed myself to run outside my comfort pace.It was a great way to end my second week of marathon training.
Do you celebrate Christmas? Did you stick to your training plan?