Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities
The weather in Chicago has been less than ideal this past week. It’s been brutally cold. It’s been snowy and windy. It’s been unforgiving. Some of my pals have slogged it out on the path, scoffing at the negative temps. To them, I tip my hat.
This weekend was a tale of two cities. Failure and victory. Kind of like what the Harbaugh family will be feeling in about 4 hours…
I went into Friday night with a more-than-usual aggravation with Saturday’s impending long run. I had no interest. I had less than no interest. I slept fitfully. I woke up exhausted. I was irritated with run before it even started. Snow on the ground meant every step to get to the path was 50% harder. The path itself seemed to be beautifully paved, and I braved the southern route, as it looked a little clearer than the northern. Running south, I had the wind, and the snow seemed to hang lazily in the air. It was peaceful. I felt almost overdressed…
Then I turned around at Oak St Beach (where the tundra stays untamed for the duration of the winter months), and I felt the full furry of the wind. I was suddenly too cold to function. The “lazy snow” was hitting my face like the ninja stars of evil fairies. I got to the trail head and continued north, where the path was not as beautifully cleared, and I found myself starting to slip in the slush that had accumulated as a result of the ninja snow. The path wasn’t clearing, and I could barely feel my thighs. DONE. I was supposed to run 14, but I allowed my attitude to creep in. I only logged 7.5.
I spent the rest of the day sulking and moody. I had dinner planned with girlfriends for Restaurant Week, and I managed to pull myself out of a wretched mood to catch up over lychee and ginger martinis. The food was meh (Vermillion), but the company was definitely needed.
I decided that I was going to essentially switch my Sunday and Saturday runs (10 and 14, respectively), so that I could redeem myself of Saturday’s bullshit performance.
I allowed myself to sleep in (my body felt like it was fighting itself to just exist yesterday – I felt exhausted after a 7.5mi run and was really nervous that I was getting sick again), and felt a million times better. I hit the path around noon – a bright, sunny day, with clear paths and lots of people out
enjoying the day earning their Superbowl guacamole. Today was going to be my day.
I ran north towards the trail’s end. A mile before the turnaround, a couple of lithe and nimble neon stallions passed me. I chased the man’s Boston Marathon jacket, daydreaming about joining their herd. I didn’t necessarily feel the strong wind, but the turnaround found me running 15-20 seconds faster. I was flying. I was concentrating on the sparkle of the salt on the path, losing myself in the sunshine. I felt like a million bucks. I had found my redemption.
This winter has been filled with ups and downs – mental weakness and strength. February promises to bring an additional 70 minutes of daylight by month’s end, and I’ve finally found peace with this weather. Sitting here in my compression socks, the future looks pretty bright.
In other good news, my toe pain has pretty much disappeared on its own, and my water bottle has yet to give me another tramp stamp!
A 38-mile week that should have been 45, but I’ll take it.
Be happy, but never satisfied.
Anyone going anywhere exciting for Restaurant Week? Has your winter training been equally as bipolar? What’s your favorite training day of the week – long run? Speed work? Rest day? Any of you guys want to bring me cookies?