LONG RUN | Feb 14 and 21 | Running in Circles
Breaking records and Laps. Then more laps. Then another set of laps.
Miles: 13.1 (93 laps) and 16 (112 laps)
Song in my head: Megan Trainor – All About That Bass
Brunch Motivation: Bloody Mary
It was Valentine’s Day. I found myself navigating through snowbanks and slush and limited T-service to reach the shelter of BU’s indoor track. Earlier in the week I had been prepping for a 20 mile run in Martha’s Vineyard with Allie and Tim. We were going to make a weekend of it. Then another blizzard warning, piles of snow, and negative temperatures put that trip to bed. The race coordinators cancelled the race due to unsafe roads and race conditions, and I felt my motivation deflating once again.
There have been no breaks, no reprieve from this winter. Cold, wind, and snow. Cold, wind, and snow. It was beating me down. The cancelled race was probably for the best as I was nursing a hamstring/knee injury. Too many miles of not properly warming up in the cold, making my previously injured hammies work harder on the slushy roads left me with tendinitis. And now restricted me to indoor training.
However, waiting for me at the BU gym were Allie and Tim with Valentine’s Day hugs and water stop essentials in hand. We had our Valentine’s Day run after all. The idea of tackling 13 miles on an indoor track was daunting, but not having to go at it alone made it into a much less formidable goal. While it wasn’t one we had anticipated, it was the best backup Valentine’s Day plans I could have asked for.
While Boston winter was breaking records outdoors, Allie, Tim, and I were breaking records indoors. Prior to this run, the longest I had ever done on an indoor track was 11 miles. And I thought that was crazy. 🙂 But what are you going to do when it’s below zero? When we wanted to quit at mile 10, we found it in us to break the 11 mile record. We called it a day at a half marathon. Hands in the air, breaking the imaginary tape. I suppose that’s the funny thing about marathon training, running, or life in general, once you break that barrier, you have a new perspective, a new base. If I can do 11 miles, why can’t I do 13? If I can do 13, why can’t I do 16?
What do you talk about for 93 laps, around and around. Well for one, we made plans for our next races. That could have been the crazy talking, or maybe we were dizzy with delusion. You have to understand. This indoor track is quite small. 7 laps is equal to one mile. That’s a lot of circles. But given the alternatives, I was just happy to be warm and would happily turn to the indoors if it meant avoiding further injury and the chilling winds. After mile 12, the tendon in my knee started to stiffen, letting me know it was about time to call it a day. Talking to the PT, though, if I took proper care of it – ice, foam rolling, Advil, a couple more trips to the PT to work out the tension – I would be back on the roads soon enough.
I’ve recruited Allie and Tim as my sweatpants models this year. You too can have them (the sweatpants not the runners. 🙂 ) Find out more here!
The following weekend threw another cold spell to Boston and I managed to recruit another runner friend to the perilously monotonous ways of the indoor track. We broke up the 16 mile run into thinking about it as 4 sets of 4 miles, switching directions for each set so as not to put too much pressure on one hip. As with any daunting task, breaking it up into manageable pieces made it into a much more achievable goal. The club basketball tournament happening below us and the view of Sunset Cantina, home of the most giant breakfast burrito and bloody mary ever, with every single passing lap provided some necessary motivation. Plus, if I can do 13, why can’t I do 16?
Thank you for keeping me warm on these snowy days with your encouragement, donations, and hugs.
I think all of those things earned me a bloody mary…or two. 🙂
Bright tights and happy trails,