Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Marathon Training in a Series of Snowstorms

Monday marked 2-months-till-Boston (and also, coincidentally, my 28th birthday!), which means that this marathon is no longer a concept of the distant future but a very real and very imminent issue that must be addressed now now. But addressing it means training, and training in Boston this February is at best not easy, and at worst not possible.

Let me set the stage for this tragic comedy of meteorological error. You may have heard a little bit about Boston's multi-record-breaking winter this year? (Ok good. Documenting the atrocity is part of the healing process.) Right now, as we speak, there are 4-6 feet of snow lining every sidewalk. But "sidewalk" may be too generous of a term -- narrow ice rink? Crunchy packed snow and ice that may at one point have been a sidewalk? Snow bank that has not been cleared once this year? -- thus running, if pursued as an outside activity (which it should be!), must be done almost exclusively on the roads.

The problem isn't so much that it has snowed a lot. It's that it has snowed a TON, in rapid succession, and been so Arctic-ly cold that not one single flake has melted.  

So what's a marathon-hopeful to do? IMPROVISE!

First off, I am taking a very flexible approach to days off and scheduling. For example, if it snows a ton and everything is shut down (including the gym), then looks like I'm doing abs in my living room! If it's relatively warm on a Wednesday -- get in a long run!

The next part is that I am getting very friendly with the treadmill. Now, just between us, I do not like the treadmill. One might even say I hate it. But I am fostering a temporary truce with this torturous contraption for the time being. I'm not quite up to doing a truly long run on the 'mill, but I do have some long run-ish workouts that keep me mildly entertained. This gem for example that adds up to 13 miles in total: warm up 3 miles, 4x1 mile with 1 mile recovery, cool down 3 miles.

Third is that when I do run outside, I remember that it's cold and that therefore I will not be running as fast (because science). Knowing this keeps me from getting upset or frustrated or unrealistically feeling out of shape.

Finally, I am SO looking forward to spring! Which at this point I would define as above-freezing temperatures. You guys, it's going to be amazing!

If you're interested in more details on my workouts, you can check my workout log page. Also, if you would like to support me in my marathon endeavor please donate here. Meanwhile I'll be on the treadmill...