Monday, February 25, 2008

Last month I announced unretirement from marathoning. That announcement was probably a bit more dramatic than it needed to be. I'm kind of a drama king that way.

You see, it's not like I've just been sitting on my ass for my years of retirement. I still maintained my three-times-a-week running schedule and I ran something close to a half marathon practically every Saturday morning. So, even though running the 2nd 13.1 miles of a marathon is a lot harder than running the first 13.1, I was prepared to kick off my unretirement. I was going to start adding some miles to my weekly runs and start doing some cross training on my off days.

I was all set. I've been through this drill before. I was ready to commence Plan Unretirement!

On my marks...

Getting set....


*crickets chirping*

and... GO!

*sound of one hand clapping*

There was not so much going, as it turned out. As soon as I made my big announcement, then I skipped a run or two due to a rare case of being under the weather. Then, it was really rainy, and although I will run in the rain, it seemed unwise to do while coming off a cold. Then, there were some scheduling conflicts, and another bout with undertheweatherness.

Ugh. Instead of increasing my training, I was running less than usual. It wasn't panic-time, because my marathon isn't until October, but it definitely wasn't time to start hanging out on couch of the bon bons either.

So, last week I vowed to do all 3 runs. I vowed it! And, sure enough, the weather report predicted rain on all three of those days, punishing me for my hubris. I got in a solid run in the rain on Tuesday at lunch, a rainy speed workout on Thursday at lunch, and when I got up on Sunday morning for a 12-miler, it was, of course, dumping rain with howling wind. Fun.

I dragged my sorry ass out to my favorite place to run (Crystal Springs reservoir) and stretched in the rain. As I strode over to the start line, I saw another runner come in and end his run.

"How was it out there?" I asked cautiously, not sure I wanted to hear the answer.

"Well, it's pretty wet, and the wind really kicks up at the two ends of the trail, but it's ok."

Hmmmph. I was unconvinced, but standing in the rain isn't any better than running in the rain, so I launched out for my 12-miler, and it wasn't the worst thing in the world, I guess. It was better than cancer. I squeezed water out of my shirt every mile or so as I ran, and I got chafed nipples, but I made it. I limped back to my car, thoroughly water-logged.

Another runner sat in his car in the next parking spot. He rolled down his window.

"Hey, how was it out there?" he asked, clearly looking for a reason to drive back home.

"Oh, it was wet. Wet and blowy. Not too windy in the middle of the run though."

Ah, the grand circle of dejected acceptance. I got to go home and he got to start his misery.

Training has officially begun. Again.


Avery Gray said...

I admire your conviction. Chafed nipples are no laughing matter. Aveeno makes a good cream for that, though. I highly recommend it.

Mike said...

A man can't put cream on his nipples. That's like instant gay.