Last year after I crossed the finish line for the Philly Tough Mudder, I felt relief. I had tackled what was a seemingly insurmountable task, dropped a fair amount of weight, and really started to view myself in a much more positive light. These were huge steps for me and I am proud that I took them. However, in the months that followed while I continued going to the gym, eating better, and getting suit ready for my friend’s wedding, there wasn’t any one big physical event that kept my my undivided attention. There wasn’t something I was training for beyond vague assertions that I was going back to do the Tough Mudder again in 2018.
This status quo maintained itself until December of 2017 when a close friend of mine sent me a picture of her signing up for the Philadelphia Love Run at the end of March. Now in the grand pantheon of organized runs and challenges that you can sign up for, a half marathon has always been what I considered the furthest I was willing to go. I had already done 10 miles during the Mudder, though under a completely different set of circumstances than your typical half, and figured even though it was absolutely going to hurt that I was going to go for it anyway. I mean it’s not like in the month leading up to the run that the weather would decide to go full The Day After Tomorrow and obnoxiously snow every other day right?
Did I mention that I hate Pennsylvania winters sometimes? Do not get me wrong, I love a good snow fall every now and again. It makes for some picturesque scenery and excellent sledding conditions. What it is not good for is trying ramp up your total mileage in preparation for running 13.1 miles before your legs realize the predicament your brain has gotten them into.
In the process of formulating routes through the neighborhood that were long enough to be proper training for the Love Run, and in the case of the first week of March going around a fallen tree the day after one of the obnoxious winter storms, you spend a lot of time thinking on those long runs. Most of those thoughts are “why am I doing this again?” and “how much would my pace be wrecked if I pet this puppy right now?” But they aren’t the only ones to come to mind. For me, my mind drifted towards thoughts of how far I’ve come in a relatively short amount of time and how it was okay to feel a little bit of pride in that. Also, not to let that pride go straight to my head since I still had to finish running 13.1 miles before I could truly embrace the pride.
I’ll have some during the race thoughts, musings and stories up a little later this week. It was an experience that deserves it’s own full length post. But know this, my legs still hate me and have very little reason to trust me when I say “This run is going to be a fantastic idea!”