I will admit to stealing this post title from my good friend Nandi. However, I feel that it perfectly sums up our training experience this weekend.
In case you’re unaware, there are exactly 5 weeks until the 114th Boston Marathon®! Five more weeks of training, five more weeks of fundraising, five more weeks of falling asleep on Mr. Menace’s shoulder every time we try to watch a movie…ok, I’m not sure that last one will change all that much once all of this is over. The point is, D-Day is fast approaching, and this marathon thing is becoming very, very real. We ran 37 miles this week, and I did all of the mid-week runs in the morning with teammate Kelly. We continue to tackle hills with a vengeance, to the point where I’m beginning to think I will be part mountain goat by the end of all of this. Check out the elevations on our Thursday five miler! There’s nothing like kicking off a run with a good 45 foot hill to get the blood flowing!
That said, all of the hills this week were a stroll through the park compared to what we went through on the long run – despite it taking place around the Charles, a nearly entirely flat course.
You see, if you’re not on the East Coast you might not be aware but it rained this weekend. A lot. Not the gentle spring showers that bring the flowers, nor even just a good hearty soaking. We are talking torrential, apocalyptic rains, accompanied by gale-force winds – 60 miles per hour, to be precise. Winds that literally rocked my house and moved our wheeled garden of its own accord, while the rain washed the entire city away. Here’s a picture of the dam they had to erect on the D line this morning! And all of this started on Friday night, right before the 19 mile run we had to complete on Saturday morning. The course was essentially a giant loop around the Charles River, from the Esplanade to Watertown and back again a bit. This meant running over bridges and along an unshielded river bank as the rain came down and the wind made its best effort to keep us from moving forward.
When we began the run the rain was minimal, but the weather kept getting fiercer and fiercer. By mile 17, as I battled a headwind and my own blood sugar crash, it was all I could do to keep putting one foot in front of the other. My teammate, Lisa, sensibly suggested varying our route to get out of the wind, but I simply couldn’t get my brain to function with the deviation. We plowed through and finished the run in about 3 hours, 15 minutes. It was one of the hardest runs I’ve ever done.
And yet once we were finished I felt great! Cold, wet, and bedraggled, but so amazingly accomplished, like I’d really fought something and won. Here I am in the gym – I shucked my dripping jacket but you get the idea:
Victory was mine, but not mine alone! In addition to my amazing teammates: Nandi, Kelly, and Lisa, without whom I’m pretty certain I would not have even it made it out the door, I must give an extra-special thank you to two of the greatest men I know: Gary Spezzafero and Mr. Menace! Not only have they donated time, money, and energy to my campaign, running not one but TWO of my fundraising events, they actually STOOD in that crazy storm for an hour and a half to hand out water and pretzels to the runners! We at least kept moving – they had to stand still and be drenched! It was such a boost to see them at mile eight with that much-needed salt!
While I’m thanking folks, I’d also like to thank Greeley O’Connor for the latest donation to my efforts, and lovely ladies Valerie Sacchetti,(check out her blog) Jess Sutich,(check out her show!) and Caitlin Bottego(check it out – she’s my sister!) who, while I didn’t ultimately utilize them, also agreed to get up early and stand in the rain on our behalf. If all of those people are willing to help out, the least I could was run.
Five more weeks, folks. Thank you all for the many ways you each help me get through them.