There are a couple of running lessons I seem to be completely unable to learn.
Lesson 1: There will be weeks during training where nothing is easy and that is okay even though it feels like you should just give up on running because clearly you are terrible at it.
For example, I’m at the tail end of training for the Seaside School Half the first weekend in March, which means I’m now in the blessed taper. Before that, however, I needed to do two long runs: eight with the mid-four at race pace and an “easy” 14.
I was looking forward to the “Eminem” run. Eight miles right now seems like a quick little scamper. I laced up, suited up, and headed out with a spring in my step and a song in my heart. And hit a wall of wind and snow because the weather doesn’t care at all about my spring and my song.
I pulled myself through eight. There was swearing. There was wailing. There was more than one moment hen I had to convince myself to not just run home. There was only one mile of race pace, which just had to be good enough.
By comparison, the 14 miler, when it was about 20 degrees warmer, was a breeze.
My taper lined up nicely with a family trip for the kids’ winter break. Because of a long series of coincidences and a smattering of kismet, we were able to book a trip across the pond to Edinburgh, Scotland. It’s not the first place you think to go in February — but we knew it would likely be warmer there than at home, if nothing else, and booked the trip.
I know. I am a very lucky gal and am well aware of how much.
Lesson 2: If you go on a family trip that involves changing more than two time time zones, you will feel like hammered crap for enough days that bringing your running gear is more or less pointless. Good thing it’s taper time. The idea of 14 miles right now makes me want to barf a little bit. That could also be the jet lag.
While out and about, I did, however, notice that runners in the U.K. are really really awesome at making themselves be seen and that Edinburgh has some really really awesome trails that would be perfect for running but — see the first sentence. While we are having a great time, mostly, the idea of forcing my body to do more than get up and tourist makes me want to laugh a little, then maybe cry.
But it does look like a lovely place to run.
Lesson 3: Trying to write anything that makes any sense and is funny or enlightening, when you are sleepy, queasy, and trapped in a room with three other humans and the Olympics on the telly, is a bit of a trick. As much as I love my family, they make concentrated focus a challenge.
Lesson 4: Sometimes good enough just has to be good enough, you know? No race is worth giving up this time with my kids, who are getting closer and closer to leaving the nest with each passing second. There is always another race. There isn’t another February break with a 12- and 15-year old.
Lesson 5: Irn Bru is a taste I never need acquire.
Question: how do runners who travel a lot get their runs in when their body is fighting the time zone? You are amazing.