Monday, December 9, 2013

The Marathon that Wasn't.... Snowcumseh

I was supposed to run a marathon on Saturday…. The Tecumseh Trail Marathon. I ran it last year and it was AMAZING! It was 60 degrees out in DECEMBER and the course was beautiful, the volunteers were wonderful, and once race got going (late start=me being a giant stress ball) it was a fantastic day (read about it here)! So, I signed up for the race again, obviously I expected similar magic.

Early last week we started to see rumblings of an epic storm inching its way across the country. I’m a huge weather stalker most race weeks, but I was extra stalky watching this storm. The race has a time cutoff of 17 minute miles. I was “sure” this wouldn’t be a problem on clean trails, but add in snow? This is how my mind spent the week:

Check the forecast

How many inches of snow would make the race unattainable?

Check the forecast

Ice is ok, I could run in ice

Check the forecast

I don’t want to run in Yak Tracks…. What kind of screws do you put in your shoes for traction?

Check the forecast

3 inches of snow? I could run in the inches of snow

Check the forecast

It’s not going to be that bad

Check the forecast

It’s going to be SNOWMAGEDDON! Should I even charge my Garmin?

Check the forecast

It’ll be fine, just a single digit wind chill. I can run in cold

Check the forecast

I’ll charge my Garmin, but there is no way I’m going to be able to run this race

 Friday morning my husband and I woke up early to shovel the driveway. We were looking at 2-3 inches of snow on the driveway, but it wasn’t snowing at 5:30. I still had a smidge of hope… until I heard the weatherman say THE WORST IS COMING! Oh no….. word was we were going to be snow city all day. I knew my chances were slim to none that this was going to happen. Maybe my husband could still run it. He’s faster than me and a foot taller. But for me and my stumpy, slow running legs, it looked like the game was over.

At some point during the day we got word that the race was canceled. Canceled? Canceled. Whoa. No one expected the race to be canceled. Change the course from point to point to an out and back? Sure. But canceled… no way.

So how did I feel about it? Relieved, disappointed, sad, happy, all of it. I was relieved that I didn’t have to make that final call of; sure I’m stubborn enough to try it (possibly injuring myself and being out of commission). I was disappointed because it’s a great race! And even if my stumpy legs couldn’t run it, some folks might have been able to. Sad for the volunteers, the race director, the athletes, and everyone that had put their time, effort, and training into this event. Happy that I didn’t have to have an anxiety attack that my husband was STILL going to run it while I stayed safely at home picturing him with a broken leg in three feet of snow seven miles off the trail (I have a vivid imagination when it comes to anxiety).

For me, this wasn’t a “goal race”. I had a great 50k in September and a fun full marathon in October. I wanted to run this race, but ya know… stuff happens. If it had been the one race I was training for I would have been heartbroken. I get that.

So what did I learn?

  1. If I’m going to sign up for a race in the winter in Indiana… expect ANYTHING!
  2.           I am a control freak, but I can’t control the weather.
  3.        Sometimes, shit happens
  4. I really might need to see someone about my anxiety issues
  5. I never EVER EVER EVER want to be a race director. EVER

Will I register for the race again? You bet I will! Cause when it’s not being screwed up by a stupid snow storm, it’s freaking awesome!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Bad Run + Good Run = Good Race? We'll see....

When I had been running for less than a year, my husband asked me if I would like a running log. I laughed out loud at him.

"Who uses those things? That's ridiculous. Why would I keep track of stuff like what shoes I was wearing an how many miles I'm running? I mean.... no thank you".

Fast forward to today. I log every run, what shoes I was wearing, and any interesting notes. I also have a blog that blathers on endlessly about running which I sometimes look back on as a form of running log. So, to answer the question, "who uses those things?" It turns out I do. Who knew?

I bring this up because I have one more marathon on Saturday. This weekend I ran 10 miles on Saturday and 6 on Sunday. The 10 mile run felt like crap. My legs were tired, the easy pace seemed impossible, I couldn't settle into a groove. In fact, the only saving grace of the run was the fact that I was running with a friend and we did get to see a beautiful sunrise. But it was one of those runs where you really question your training. The race I have coming up is challenging and there I was on a 10 mile run feeling completely spent. Crap crap crap crap crap.

Sunday, my husband and I didn't set an alarm and spent the morning lazing around the house. This seems like a great way to start the day, but for me... if I don't get out for a run early... I can lose motivation quickly. And that started to happen. Thankfully, when my husband showed the motivation to get moving, I reluctantly went along with him. I figured I'd slog through 6 miles and continue to punish myself for my crappy training. I was even whining as we headed onto the trail. Then everything changed. I started out counting the tenths of a mile pass... but within 3 miles I was screaming down trails with my arms flailing and a grin on my face, grabbing onto trees to navigate switchbacks and power hiking hills. It was PERFECT!

And then I remembered.... this is pretty standard for me. My weeks leading up to races typically have at least one super crap run and at least one really great run. This is standard. I know it's standard because of those stupid running logs that I had mocked a few years ago. oops.

So, today I'll just go ahead and assume that my crappy run and good run will equate to an excellent race day! That's the way it's worked before! Now back to my tapering....And did I mention the impending snow/ice/sleet storm that's supposed to hit?