Monday, February 07, 2011

Week four: Whatever it is, find something to kick your butt out that door

Well, I am into week five of the 18-week marathon training program, and week four is now complete. I'm not gonna lie and say that I've been the perfect runner and done every single run on the schedule. Sometimes a girl just needs a night off to watch stupid TV and lounge on the sofa.

Winter has moved in to the city like a messy roommate, leaving snowbanks and icy sidewalks lying around like dirty socks (although the snow was pretty in the aftermath of the storm, all icing sugar heavy on trees and bushes). And although Groundhog Day was last week, I'm pretty confident that our local groundhogs didn't see their shadows that day. It was no Snowpocalypse, but there was enough snow dumped on us over a 24-hour period that our snowbanks are now higher than me (which for those who know me isn't saying much,'s saying something). Which makes road running a little interesting.

Take last night, for instance. While my hubby settled in for the opening ceremonies of the SuperBowl, I found that inner shoe to kick my butt into gear and headed out the door at around 5:00pm for a leisurely 16k run. And boy did I need that kick in the pants.

As I skirted the dirty snow on Herring Cove road, relishing in the downhill stretch before the long uphill climb on Joe Howe Drive, I soon realized that what looked like wet pavement was actually black ice. Each time my foot struck the pavement where it looked slightly wet, I felt a little slip. So I soon started breaking into this little tip-of-my-toe run, much like I would look  like if I were running in high heels, whenever I spotted wet pavement. And where there wasn't ice, every so often there were these impassable puddles that you had no choice but to run through, cold water sloshing in your sneakers as you continued.

At least it wasn't miserably cold out like it had been the previous Monday (-13 degrees, without the wind chill), but as it was my first 16k in months, the thought of the distance yet to be run seemed like it would stretch on forever. That's the funny thing about running: so much of it is mental. You build on the distance, week by week, until what seemed impossibly far all of a sudden seems small -- because just last week you ran only 2k less.

The important thing is to get out there on those days when all you'd rather do is snuggle up on the sofa and watch TV. You need to find that kick in the pants that will get you out that door; whether it's your hubby reminding you of all the work you've already put in and how proud he is of you for sticking with it, your running buddy who you promised to meet for the run, your weight loss goal or simply the thought of a warm bath and a hot meal when you get home (with an extra little treat to reward yourself for the calories you just burned). Make sure there's a shoe at your behind that kicks you out there on those days when the sky is gray, the sidewalks slippery and the weather chilly.

Because when you finish that run, the feeling of accomplishment is such a high, you'll be grateful that you kicked your butt out the door to do it.

~ Ceebie

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