What a day!!!! The morning was busy with working on taxes for the business, working with my 6 and 8 year old daughters who were both needing lots of one-on-one with their math today and getting the laundry and housework caught up before lunchtime. I was looking forward to meeting Ryan A. for a lunch time tempo run as a break. I quickly finished up things and jumped in the car to take off. It was raining cats and dogs. I get less than 2 miles from home and the alternator goes out on the little car. It totally dies and won’t start. I knew it was coming. We just changed the battery a week ago and bought it new tires and our Suburban is at the shop right now getting the power steering pump changed. Our last car is a minivan that no longer shifts beyond second gear!!! Argh!!! One of those weeks!
I very reluctantly make the call to Ryan to tell him I won’t make it. Ironically, earlier this week we’d talked about how great it is that we never flake on runs together. I felt like a heel.
Thankfully, Wayne’s home and drives the minivan with the battery charger to help me out. We have to stop twice to recharge it just to get it back to the driveway. Wayne offers to take me to lunch since he can see I’m having a crappy day. He takes me to Chinese -the first non-healthy food I’ve had in 8 days. He orders Coke. I have tea and water. I’m starving since I’d skipped lunch trying to get everything done. I eat most of my food but skip most of the manderin chicken. The soup, chow mein and rice are yummy, though.
We drive to the parts store to get a new alternator. Then Wayne asks, “Are you seriously going to go running in THIS weather?” He knows me well enough he shouldn’t have even asked. I tell him as soon as we get back home I’ll take off – Chinese food in my gut or not – this is tempo day!
And I do. I head out into the rain. The schedule called for 1 mile w/u, 6 miles tempo at 8:00 then 1 mi c/d. I am determined despite the weather to hit my splits. And, I do.
The rain is coming down hard when I start. I ease in, warming up the legs. Mile 2 includes a steep downhill towards the town greenbelt. I relax and let my legs do what they love to do. The pace is too fast for the goal, but I know the downhill is the reason so I’m not bothered by that. The effort feels similar or easy. After mile 2, I hit the greenbelt finally and the weather changes. It starts to snow and the wind picks up. The miles tick by as I run through the basalt canyons with the view of the fog covered mountains ahead of me. I have to keep my eyes squinted almost shut because the snow is coming down hard and hurts if I open them. I hit 4 miles and don’t turn around. I want to keep going. I run until I’m at Sandy Point – the end of the line and the starting line for the Famous Potato Marathon — the very race I qualified for Boston at in May. I get a little emotional because I’m training for Boston in this very workout! The dream is coming true and I’m proving that I’m worthy of the honor – willing to tough out my workouts no matter what the weather or how bad my day is going.
It’s a little more than 5 miles into the workout when I turn around in the parking lot and head back. The wind is powerful in my face and the snow is coming down harder, burning, stinging my eyeballs. I try to run with my eyes closed but try to squint when I know the speed bumps are coming. There are several in the parking lot – maybe 6? I’m soaked to the bone. I’ve ran 4 tempo miles just under goal pace. I’m on track. I’m feeling a little tired, but I’m ok. I can do this. I’ve trained in bad weather before. No big deal. I keep at it and don’t let up. I hit mile 5 on track and mile 6 comes and goes and I don’t slow down. I’m done with the tempo portion but I don’t choose to rest. I want to get out of this crazy weather, so I push on, knowing that’s the way to make it end – to get back to my five kids and warm house an hot shower. I hit mile 7 of tempo and have done it also under goal pace! Wow!!! I finally let myself take a walk break as I climb up out of the greenbelt section and back onto highway 21, which is bustling with cars.
The weather changes again. It’s colder. The rain/snow feels like sleet. The trucks and buses woosh by on the bridge, splashing me with slush and water. It’s uphill now. Almost home. One more mile. I jog from the bridge to the front door, realizing I’ve done over 10 miles when I set out to do 8. I knock and my 6 year old opens the door and yelps when she sees me. She says, “Oh my gosh! You’re a snow monster!!!” The other kids pile around to have a look at the creature standing in the doorway with piles of snow on her head who’s soaked to the bone.
I did it! Over 10 miles done!
Tempo Mile splits: (Goal was 8:00)
1. 7:36 (downhill assist)
7. 7:58 (bonus one!)
Elevation Gain: 336 feet. Ave HR: 168 Winds: 12 mph with gusts up to 20. Rain, snow, sleet.