Dry Martini: Five Lessons from the Road

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.

Just before the wheels came off.

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.

She spent the whole flight like this. I’m a little jealous.

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.

This guy outside my window is also making focusing 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.

10 responses to “Dry Martini: Five Lessons from the Road

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  3. Just got home to Texas from 2 weeks in Wales. I found a local running club and did an amazing trail run through sheep meadow and sea cliffs. Embrace the new environment as an opportunity, even if tired.

  4. We went to Ireland last summer, I was determined to run at least once. I was fine from the jet lag after the first day or so, but we were there at the summer solstice. Sunset was about 11:30 pm at night, we were non-stop from about 7-8 am until after dark. I was just exhausted, no way did a run happen. Maybe next time?

  5. #1! All. The. Time. (Well, almost It’s that tricky time period.after a race when you are feeling great and sign up for another race) then yep #1 again.

  6. Two summers ago we traveled to Il de Re, France and then a big Italy trip. My hostess in France was also a runner and loved my shoes. I happily gave them to my companion size 8 and didn’t have to worry about running in Italy while we were there.

  7. We travelled to Ireland this summer to watch Women’s World cup soccer. My niece is on the team, but was injured. By sheer coincidence, the one and only weekend we were there was the Dublin RnR half. My husband and I could not pass up the opportunity to be international racers. I also ran a few mornings with my SIL. Our trip over was a red eye and we were so confused by time, once we had a good night sleep, we were fine. That being said, I am amazed by runners who travel abroad to run a marathon.

  8. I agree with you! There is something about flying across the pond that makes adjusting to time change so much harder. Now flying west, I can handle. I’ve run at 3-4 am in Hawaii, Washington, Arizona, California, etc, but running in Paris? I was good to remain upright until I fell into bed at just about the time everyone else was going out to dinner. That said, I’m jealous of your fun travel adventures!

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