Monday, December 22, 2008

Touching Down on Snowy Ground

It's been a bit of a whirlwind since the 40-miler two weeks ago. Running has taken a back seat to myriad other responsibilities and obligations. Work has ramped up; the holiday crush has been unrelenting; and I had the pleasure of escaping to London for a few days of sightseeing with my dear wife, and NO KIDS! So, I'm not asking for sympathy, but I am close to deciding not to run the Hyannis Marathon in February.

Before getting into more recent running reports, here are some photos from the 40-miler, taken by my wife at various stages.

When it's all added up, it looks we will have raised about $6,000 for cancer research, short of the pie-in-the-sky goal, but not bad considering the economy and how hard it is to raise funds at this particular time. It's also $6K which Dana Farber didn't have just a few short months ago.

Also, the media coverage ended up being almost ridiculous. All told, there were two front-page, above-the-fold features in two of the area's daily newspapers, another Q & A in one of those papers, a radio interview, several mentions on local Public Radio, a feature in a weekly arts/entertainment paper and a couple of dozen blurbs in papers large and small resulting from the story being picked up by the news wires. It had gotten so that even I was actually getting a little sick of hearing about myself, so I can only imagine how my wife and the rest of the world must have felt.

And so, life returns not so much to normal, but to post-40-holiday-madness-no-big-run-or-other-exciting-event-to-look-forward-to. It's not normal because we're frantic with work and holiday stuff, with Hanukkah and Christmas overlapping this year. The good news is that we'll be staying home on Christmas, always my preference, and will have dinner with close friends on both Christmas Eve and Christmas night.

That photo above is one of my favorites, as it captures the essence of the day (at least the more happy, carefree part of it) very nicely. The fellow carrying the flag stayed with me, but was extremely intentional about letting it be "my" day. I wouldn't have cared one way or the other, as I was just thrilled to be with friends and fellow runners during this personal quest.

And while we had some light snow during the run on December 7th, the Winter Gods have gotten another early start and hammered already. We got about 6+ inches on Friday into Saturday, and - with what seemed like no break really - got another 10+ inches yesterday (Sunday). It came down hard all day long, and we had to shovel many times. Needless to say, it has not made keeping to a training schedule very fun or easy.

The week after the 40-miler was odd, in that my legs felt fine by about Wednesday, but I was what can be described as emotionally spent. That led to minimal running, with a 3+-mile treadmill run on Thursday and nothing else until I got about 6 miles in London, most of that nice and easy along the south bank of the Thames. However, my wife and I walked so much that I feel like I got plenty of exercise, and actually came back weighing less than when I left.

Last week turned out better (if not ideal), with the schedule working out like this:

  • Monday - About 6 miles in London
  • Tuesday - Travel day
  • Wednesday - 6.2 miles on ice and snow
  • Thursday - 8.5 miles on the treadmill, with about 5 miles at tempo pace (between 7:05 and 7:15 per mile)
  • Friday - 4 miles
  • Saturday - 7.5 miles on icy roads; 8:55 average pace
  • Sunday - a little under 11 miles in a bona fide blizzard eyelashes kept freezing, making it hard to see); about 9:35 average pace

So, despite schedule and weather-related challenges (and I neglected to mention the sinus infection that's still dogging me), I logged a respectable 40 miles (and to think that I did that in one shot recently) and will see how the holidays, the weather, work and family (not in that order) conspire from here to year-end. I do hope to rally and put up some good mileage numbers, but if I do it in a day-to-day, more flexible way, that will alleviate some of the stress of being on a pre-race training schedule.


1 comment:

Billy said...

That IS a great shot. And $6,000? That's amazing in these times...congrats for doing something so selfless for a greater good.

Way to get the mileage in. Doing better than I am, that's for sure.