Sunday, January 22, 2012

Go Big Blue!

I ran the Portland Marathon in 2010, and if I had to choose a word to best describe the conditions, it would be wet. Whenever I tell people (runners or spectators) that I ran that race, the first reaction I usually get is, "Oh, is that the one where it rained the whole time?" Yes, that would be it. I finished, and I was happy with the results, but that doesn't change the fact that I was soaked and had to stuff newspaper inside my running shoes to help them dry.

Memories of that day came flooding back (no pun intended) as soon as I stepped outside to go on my long run and was greeted by the rain. I won't lie; I did consider going inside. But then I told myself, "I'm dressed, I'm outside, I might as well just go for it."And so I did. I went down to the waterfront, because I know how far my place is from the river, and I have a 5-mile loop around the waterfront that I've run before. I figured that if I ran the loop twice and ran to and from the river, it would add up to about 14 miles.

Once I got moving, I felt fine. Well, as fine as could be, given that it was raining and about 40ºF. I was happy to see other runners (and cyclists) on the pathway, just for the sake of knowing that I wasn't the only crazy person out there. Between seeing other runners and different scenery, the miles go by much more quickly outside than they do on the treadmill. However, by mile 10, my thoughts changed from the scenery to how much longer I had and how cold it was. By mile 12.5, my hands were frozen (with gloves on, mind you), so I had to find a different way to hold my water bottle. From that point on, I basically had to tell myself, "Almost there. Almost there!"And so I ran home, and in doing so, ran farther than I intended.

The final stats (as told to me by my fantastic Garmin watch):
Distance: 14.62 mi.
Time: 2:06:29
Pace: 8:38/mi

As soon as I got home (and managed to get my keys out of my pocket with my frozen hands), I ripped my gloves off, walked to the kitchen sink, and turned on the hot water so I could thaw my hands. As the blood vessels in my fingers reopened, the pain was enough to make me wonder why I do this. But as I learned from my days of crew, "Pain is temporary. Pride is forever."

I've spent the rest of the day trying to be productive, but due to this headache that won't subside, that isn't going so well. Oh, and the Giants-49ers game. Good long run AND a Giants victory in OT (that's taking them to the Super Bowl)? Awesome day!

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