I didn't print off a "Run For Sherry" bib, but she was definitely in my thoughts as I headed out. The idea of someone going out for a run and never returning is terrifying......these sorts of things should never happen anywhere or to anyone, but unfortunately we simply cannot take anything for granted anymore. I always make sure to hug and kiss my wife and son before I leave for a run.....not because I expect something bad to happen, but you just never know.....
Today was one of those days when you could tell right away that it was going to be a bit of a slog. The day was chilly (not BONE-CHILLING cold, but cold enough....thick, damp air), overcast, breezy, and with just a hint of snow in the air. Nothing was sticking, but it was coming down for the entire time I was out. As soon as I started out, however, it was clear it wasn't going to be a particularly good run. It just felt that my body was "locked"......it usually takes me about 2 miles to loosen up and start to feel good, but there was never a time when I felt like I could just go....things just stayed tight.
I was scheduled to go 13, but I knew that 3 loops of my normal training route would have me end up somewhere between 14 and 16, depending upon how many "extras" I dialed in over the course of the run. Normally, I see several people out running, but there was nobody out there today but me......again, it really wasn't that bad outside, but I think the forecast scared people off and got them to change their plans. As for me, I'm starting to get the mindset that unless I'm sick, I'm going.......like Coach Bowerman said "there's no such thing as bad weather, only soft people!". It's in my nature to be "soft", so I definitely had something to prove!
I was ready to quit by the end of the 2nd loop.....ok, I was ready to quit before I got to the end of my street after leaving the driveway, but I wasn't going to give in. As I left for the 3rd loop, I was adding in plenty of walk breaks......trying to get my average speed down. Someday, I'm going to figure out how to actually RUN slowly.....it's not that I run fast by any means, but the only way I can get my average to be more than 10:00/mile (short of actually running a marathon!) is to have walk breaks every few minutes. I think my ability to slow my pace is improving every day, but I still feel the need to go even slower, although the idea of doing my long runs at about 1:00/mile slower than marathon pace is something I haven't quite been able to do yet......I think I just need to get over how slow that actually is!
Anyway, I did finally finish my run....14.36 miles at about 10:19/mile. Definitely a slow ride, but it actually felt good to do it. I spent so much time fighting myself throughout the run that it felt like a victory just to do it. I don't like working so hard, but there are times when it's just what you have to do to get it done!
So now I've got one more week before we're off on our big vacation. My parents are taking my family on a Caribbean cruise for the February vacation week. Barb and I would not normally go cruising, but we're going into it with an open mind and we're really looking forward to it. I'm not sure how I'm going to work on my training while on a cruise ship, as I'm scheduled to do 17 miles the first day of the cruise.....that ain't happening! They do have a nice gym on the boat, but I can't really go any longer than 7 miles on a dreadmill, so I might have to try to run on deck. Flexibility is going to be the key, as I'm on vacation with my family, so I'm going to have to work out a new plan.
Any of you have any experience with running while on a cruise?