Anyone who has ever trained for a marathon knows the hellishness of all the miles that need to be logged. And logging those miles (or attempting to) during this winter's brutal temperatures have been damn near impossible. I live in Ohio. I've lived here all my life. Cold winters and summers that are hotter than Hades with 110% humidity are normal. But this winter's weather has SUCKED in a big way. Damn you, polar vortex. Go back where you came from.
To make things more interesting, I also started a new full time job. Plus I spend anywhere from 15-20 hours a week on paid writing gigs. There are days that I'm lucky I remember my name. And running after work is damn near impossible. After all, dinner doesn't cook itself. Well it does in the Crock-Pot. If I remember to turn it on after I toss all the food into it. Sigh. It's only happened once. No judging. Anyway, that means I've been getting up in the morning BEFORE work to run. Now, most people who know me also know that I am NOT a morning person. Oh, I'm better now than I used to be. But the fact remains that mornings are not my favorite.
Anyway, running the streets of my little town at 5 a.m. isn't as hellish as it sounds. First of all, I generally run with a small group of like minded people. The conversation helps to pass the time. Secondly, traffic is light. (Seriously, who else is up at that ungodly hour? Most people are smart and stay snug in their damn warm beds, the lucky bastards. Plus, my little town is quaint. It has a personality to it that I adore. Even at 5 a.m.
However, a recent injury has sidelined me a bit. My IT band (some muscle that runs from the knee to the hip. That's all I know.) has decided it doesn't like me very well and the resulting pain as I run competes with the pain of childbirth. Okay, that may be a bit strong. But it does suck more than running out of wine.
So who trains for a marathon in Ohio during the winter time? A person who is going to run in the Napa Valley Marathon on March 2. Yes, that's right. My happy ass is leaving Ohio at the end of February for the mecca of Napa. Wine. Good food. A beautiful place to stay. Friends. Have I mentioned the wine? Oh yeah...and the marathon. Those are the thoughts that keep me going as I tiptoe through the ice at the buttcrack of dawn or curse my IT band on long runs. And no matter how I look at it, I'm between a rock and a hard place. If I don't train, I'm afraid that I'll bonk during the marathon. But if I do train (especially on runs longer than 8 miles), my knee hurts as bad as my ears do when I'm forced to listen to that train wreck Justin Bieber.
I see sessions with my foam roller in my future, plus lots of icing. (Not the kind you eat. Although that would be nice too. I meant icing as in a cold-pack on my knee as I watch Dexter re-runs.) I can also see MAYBE taking a little mini-break from running directly following the marathon. That will make me sad it it happens, but it might be a necessary evil. Even taking a break for a few weeks will give me time to train for Another Dam 50K in June.
Plus, I can self-medicate with some of the great wine I get in Napa. See? I've found the silver lining....Happy trails!