Sunday, February 1, 2009

A cold, the wind chill & a training plan from God

What to do? The weather forecast said that today, temperatures would climb into the 40's and there would be no wind chill but we needed to run on Saturday. Tom needs a day to recover from a long run before returning to work. The temperature yesterday was 27 degrees but 14 degrees with the wind chill. We have access to the indoor track at BU but doing 17.5 miles indoors just didn't do it for me especially since I was getting over a cold and the air is so stale at the track. On Friday night as I lay in bed getting ready to go to sleep, I was wrestling with whether or not I could even do a training run since I was feeling under the weather. And God spoke to me and said, expand and breathe deep and so I did. I knew I had to run on Saturday but what was going to be the best way to accomplish this. There was no way we could be outdoors in 14 degree wind chill weather for 17.5 miles....

Hmmmm -- so as I am having my breakfast, God sent me a training plan - why not split the training - get in 8 miles at a good pace on the indoor track and then take it outside for 9.5 miles. Tom found a route from Cleveland Circle to St Mary's Street which we could run four times. Armed with layers and layers of clothes off we went to BU. Ruth Anne's cold had gone into her chest and so she opted out from today's training run. She did do 10 miles on the bike today and was such a trooper last week as we trudged through snow and ice wielding our way through 17.5 miles on the Marathon Trail.

Eight miles seemed to fly by - especially since at times we were doing a 13:00 minute mile. I wanted to make sure we had enough left in the tank for the remainder of our training run so we slowed it down to a 15 minute mile. We changed into our outdoor running gear, got some extra fueling from the concession stand at the Fit/Rec Center and drove to Marathon Sports (strategically located near Cafe Nicholas). We were going to run to St Mary's St and out to Cleveland Circle when God redirected me to run from Marathon Sports to the finish line of the Boston Marathon. I must note that as I sat in the warm car with my winter coat on, the last thing I felt like doing was getting out of the car and putting in the rest of our miles. A part of me was beckoning to go home and rest but I knew that I could not rest if I went home - I needed to finish what we set out to do this day.

It was freezing - as I read through my blog postings, I realize that this was the coldest weather I have ever run in. We had to negotiate our way around snow and ice and kept criss crossing streets to find the clearest route and then - turning right onto Hereford Street and left onto Boylston St. There were crowds of people milling about; they became a blur as all we could focus on was hearing how the crowds are going wild as Team McManus crosses the finish line of the Boston Marathon. I get this amazing feeling in my core when I imagine this scene. Joe is shooting the documentary; Spencer plays his trumpet; Janine who met us at Heartbreak Hill will be in the middle of the group hug; all of my friends from Spaulding will be there and I even imagined that Tommy Kelley, Johnny Kelley's nephew would place the medals around our necks. There will be strangers and familiar faces and the media will be there and it is going to be a triumphant celebration of what one woman can do with faith, surrounded by love, and support, courage, determination,and healing angels.

We ran back to Marathon Sports (power walking the last part of the way because the wind chill pierced my joints and I knew that it was crucial to listen to my body) and realized that given the hills, the wind chill, & the incredible pace on the indoor track that we had run the equivalent of 17.5 miles for this training run. I did map it on and it was an 8 mile run round trip given all the detours we had to take with snow and ice and trying to stay in the sun .:) Given the weather conditions, my feeling a little under the weather with a cold and the realization that running on the indoor track, while a blessing, creates a lot of wear and tear on the muscles-we are constantly taking right turns so the same muscles are working over and over again -we had an awesome workout.

In my 11/4 post, entitled "Labor of Love" I compared this experience to being pregnant - and it is - complete with food cravings- hence parking strategically at Cafe Nicholas in Washington Sq. We were both craving pizza so ordered a large mushroom pizza and while we were waiting, I caught a whiff of french fries and immediately needed to have an order. While we were waiting for our pizza, we scarfed down french fries with salt and ketchup. After we had our pizza back home, we had our clementines which my body has also been craving. A hot shower, watching "American Idol Rewind" with Ruth Anne -(our post long training run tradition), Tom's snoring while he naps and we fix dinner and to bed very early capped off this day.

I had been praying that this was going to be the mildest winter ever - moderate temperatures and dry roads. God in Her wisdom knows what is best for me and I am so grateful that this has been a harsh winter. I would never know that I can rise to the challenge of facing my fear of the cold and doing training runs. I would never know that I can conquer the fear of cold and pain and falling on the ice. I would never know that, despite having a cold, I could still run and work out. I would never know the contrast of feeling joy on this sun drenched 43 degree day (and are there any regrets that we ran yesterday instead of today? Not a one for if we were to have run today, we would have.) I have run in pouring rain, heat and humidity, freezing cold, cold rain & sleet and when those words fell out of my mouth 'I want to run the Boston Marathon for Spaulding Rehab' I had no idea the adventure that I was about to embark upon. Had I thought out what I was about to do, I'm sure I would have run back to bed as fast as I could and pulled the covers over my head - but I chose to live from my heart and God is with me every step of the way loving, guiding, healing, helping, coaching, and yes, even sending training plans .:)

To make a donation to Team McManus, go to

No comments: