I guess I wasn’t kidding when I wrote at the beginning of 2012 that I needed something to keep running interesting (hence last year’s 52 Weeks, 52 Runs). Two months into 2013 and in the absence of a bona fide wallet-busting, sleep-depriving challenge, I have not only slowed down on the blogging front (wrist slap), but also on the thing I am supposed to be blogging about.
I’m thinking I should rename this blog Stride and Tumbleweeds.
It’s probably faster than me over 5K.
In keeping with the modern tendency to blame our failings on anyone/anything but ourselves, I have come up with the five causes of my recent lack of Stridery.
I ran in some truly biting New England conditions last year, but there was nary a snowflake let alone two feet of accumulation necessitating six hours of shoveling. We were supposed to run the Frozen Pilgrim 10K in Plymouth, MA, the weekend after Nemo turned my front yard into this:
Nemo comes to town.
The Sunday of the Pilgrim we were hit with another storm, and conditions were perilous. We had optimistically picked up our packets the day before, but when we looked outside the morning of, we realized it wasn’t going to happen. Amazingly, the run went ahead, but everything about the conditions screamed “danger!” so we decided not to go. It takes a lot for Hubby to turn down a run.
A week later, the Half at the Hamptons was also canceled days in advance due to forecasts of another weekend storm (third in a row). Hubby dutifully went and picked up his T-shirt at the event the race directors held to make up for the disappointment. Sadly, the weather turned out to be OK (if still slightly miserable) on the day, but the organizers made the right call.
We’re beginning to amass quite the collection of shirts for which we didn’t do the run (there are also a few from last year). I’m not sure what to do with them. If I wear them, even in the house, I feel like a fraud.
I started a fab new job this week. On Friday when I left for the weekend, I felt as though I had run a marathon, but without the red-faced shame (I hope) or the medal. (There may have been a banana.) Still, I decided it was all part of my running “training.” So, this is what it feels like …
Anyway, in the absence of stories involving new running shoes or random bulk purchases made by Hubby, I thought I’d share this old-but-great Natalie Dee cartoon (nataliedee.com). It speaks to me in many ways. (The reference to tights makes me think of my trusty CW-X beauties and their circulation-stymying properties. Also, I believe she may be on to something with that cape.)
Her outfit looks suspiciously like my absurd winter running uniform.
More 52 Weeks, 52 Runs shenanigans in the next few days. I’m running the first of the Wild Rover Series in Haverhill, MA, tomorrow. There will be beer.
Despite the absence of official beer, I had high hopes for last weekend’s 5K run, the Old Fashioned 10 Miler and Flat 5K in Foxboro, MA. This was primarily due to the distinct lack of hills. Or sand. Or sand in hill form. Glee!
Our shadows waiting for the starting gun.
Hills and I have a long, troubled history, and sand is a recent addition to the list of things that give me the fear, so I wasn’t at all upset that they both decided to make themselves scarce. Add to the mix some brilliant weather (if this is winter then I’m a marathoner), and the fact I had a running buddy who shares the same pace as me, and things were looking up.
With the blazing sun at our backs, Running Buddy and I started off strong … Probably too strong … Definitely too strong (when I say “strong,” I mean a 10.20 pace. It’s all relative, of course). We were going great guns until mile marker No. 2 loomed (when I say “great guns,” I mean me wheezing like a cat with a hairball, and taking my inhaler more than I would have thought necessary. But still, we didn’t stop).
But back to that mile marker …
First, a disclaimer. I did not run the Smuttynose Palooza Indoor Half-Marathon. I would like to say it’s because I had the lurgy and was feeling … as though I had just run the Smuttynose Palooza Indoor Half-Marathon. But really it was because there is absolutely no way I could possibly manage that distance this early in my running career. (For now, it’s 5K all the way.)
Attentive readers will note that I had originally planned to do the outdoor Cabin Fever 5K, which was part of the aforementioned Palooza, but illness coupled with the early-morning insanity of that locationally challenged prospect – it was in Middle of Nowhere, N.H., otherwise known as Milford – kept me under the covers. Did I mention this past weekend was appropriate only for polar bears and snowbunnies?
The capacious Hampshire Dome in Milford, N.H.
Hubby, however, did run the 13.1. And it was such a cool event that I couldn’t resist giving it a mention. Anything that’s called a Palooza and is sponsored by a beer company deserves at least that. (It was part of the fabulous Will Run for Beer series. And yes, while Hubby ran, I sampled. Order was restored.)
At the end of last year, I publicly declared my intention to do 52 organized runs in 52 weeks. In the harsh reality that was 7am on New Year’s Day, I wondered whether I hadn’t been chemically altered when I concocted this folly (too much Mamma Chia, perhaps?). Or potentially replaced by aliens …
But a quick 2012 audit of my corporeal self confirmed that everything was in order. So I decided to place the blame squarely on my new running alter ego, who, after appearing out of nowhere, is apparently now calling the shots – fueled by Spandex, Lululemon and many playings of Kylie. What else can explain my sudden desire to travel vast distances on freezing weekend mornings to run until I feel as though I am going to pass out? It can’t be the bananas. Or even the beer.
The happy crowd gathers for the start of 1st Run in Lowell.
It’s a good thing (or a sad thing, depending on how you look at it) that neither myself nor my alter ego overindulged on New Year’s Eve, or we would not have been at all equipped for the 5K 1st Run in Lowell, MA. Of course, I may have been secretly hoping that others had overindulged, in the interests of making me look faster. But these running types are serious!
I lived in Canada for eight years, so I know from cold. But not once during my time in the Great White North did I think it was appropriate to stand around outside in sub-zero weather wearing tights and no parka. Waiting last weekend for the Cambridge 5K Yulefest to start, I had a moment of clarity. It was along the lines of “You’ve proved your point. Now go back to bed.”
Of course, I didn’t do that. I mean, I was in the tights already.
The masses come out of their huddle to walk to the start of the Cambridge 5K Yulefest in Harvard Square. And yes, that is a giant gingerbread man.
About 800 hardy souls turned out for this event, which was in support of Cambridge Family & Children’s Services. I was surprised at the numbers, considering the chill factor, but then I remembered we had been promised beer.
Although I’ve been on a bit of a running hiatus during my sojourn Down Under, there will be no rest when I get back to New England (which during my five-week absence has nastily decided to morph from late-summer bliss to early-fall bone-chill). I will scarcely have time to draw breath before I am back scarcely drawing breath in a nose-hair-freezing 5K run.
But that’s OK, because Hubby has discovered something wonderful: the Will Run for Beer 2012 Race Series.
That’s right. Will. Run. For. Beer.
Now, I’m more of a G&T girl myself, but I say cheers to any event that combines running with post-race glass-hoisting (experts say you need to stretch out those arms, after all). This series, which has been going since 2008 (the Before Time), is put on by a New Hampshire company called Loco and sponsored by Portsmouth, N.H.’s Smuttynose Brewing Co. Need I say more.
There will, of course, be updates from the series as I go along, but our presence will definitely be felt at the Smuttynose Palooza in Milford, N.H., on January 14. One, because it’s a relay half-marathon (I can just run a bit!) that’s indoors; and two, because the website asks the probing question: “What is a Palooza?”
Two runs, one weekend: Jack Kerouac 5K
The bog days of summer