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Day 21 of 112-Speed/Track Workout-#metaphorforlife

First of all, I would like to say I was pretty excited this weekend when our “Big Event” countdown to the marathon on the sidebar changed from 3 months to 2 months!  Before long, it’ll be here!

So today’s track workout…in order to try and get an extra day of “runner’s high” in, Christy and I decided to see if we could find an outdoor track where we could run in the mornings.  I have to say, I can not believe how addicted that woman got me to not only running in the a.m., but now I am addicted to the runner’s high that tends to be fully ramped up in the a.m. and gets me through until noon! Thankfully, my wonderful husband drove by one of the local high school tracks and the University of Michigan outdoor track to see how light it was at 5:30 a.m., i.e., would we be able to actually see running around the track?  Great news-the U of M track fit the bill! So while I was very excited to be out running in the a.m. and the dark again today, I was NOT excited to arrive at the track and see this:

What exactly are they trying to say here? That I am not welcome?!

Breaking the Rules
Now this is where I need to admit I am not a real big fan of breaking the rules.  Well, let me somewhat correct that…I am not a big fan of breaking the rules if I think I might get caught and not be able to offer up a good answer/solution, which will allow me to complete my objective.  If I can lie my way out of a paper bag and get away with something, I got no qualms whatsoever about breaking the rules. However, today was NOT one of those situations.  Because if we were on the track and were asked to leave because we were ultimately on private property (Regardless of the amount of property taxes I pay because all of the university land is tax exempt…but I digress) almost three hours before it opens to the public, then what would I say? What could I say?  I’d be outta luck with no options for a morning workout, and thus no runners high.  So, this is what happened:

"Um...sorry, officer. No, I wasn't aware that the closed gate and the lock on the fence applied to EVERYONE, including me. By the way, do you know how much money I pay in property taxes?

Metaphor for Life
My favorite part of the track workout today was the conversation Christy and I had about our workouts and about training for the marathon, and about what we could do and would do and  should do and what we wanted to do and what we didn’t want to do.  Because it made me realize….training for a marathon is a metaphor for life-you have expectations, hopes, fears, dreams; you experience the highest of highs and the lowest of lows; you are amazed at what you can accomplish and you are crushed by what you can not; you look defeat square in the eye and sometimes you win and sometimes you lose; you meet people you love and adore and people you could live without.  And I think you learn as you train for a marathon, not unlike life, that regardless of success or failure, it’s a lot easier once you’ve done it for the first time because you know.  You know what works and what doesn’t.  And you know you’ll be caught off guard. And you know you’ll have to work through it because what other choice do you have? 

Marathon training, like life, can be hard and grueling and make you want to curl up in the fetal position, hop on the couch, grab the bigggest bag of chips and a 6-pack of Diet Pepsi (not to mention some home-made salsa and melted cheese) and just watch a movie that you know will make you cry-even though you know what happens and even though you’ve seen it a million times before.  Like, when Hubbel looks up from the taxi at The Plaza Hotel and sees Katie working across the street handing out pamphlets, and he goes over to her, and it is awkward, and she looks up at him and takes her beiged, glove hand and sweeps his beautiful golden locks of hair across his face and says, “You girl is lovely, Hubbell,” and then the music swells and Barbara Streisand starts humming and you just lose it! 

So what’s the point? 
The point is that life is hard, and marathon training is hard, but unlike life sometimes, the marathon training isn’t impossible and you just need to be open to all the experiences that come with it-the good and the bad. And, if you can, make sure you have someone who has either gone through it before, is going through it right now, or just appreciates a good God damn cry every once in a while…just because! No runner is really ever alone.  We are a fraternity of insane people, and we are all over the world.

The  run this week was much, much better!  Gee, it’s amazing how much less my lungs and throat burn, and how I do not have visions of being carted off in the ambulance after having a heart attack, when I stay on plan and run a prescribed time.  A time that, although I am much more comfortable with, still pushes me.  As Kai Ryssdal from PRI’s Marketplace says, “Let’s take a look at the numbers.”

As you can tell from the "actual" distances, I am still having trouble counting in meters. I realized today a running coach during track workouts is invaluable if for no other reason than to tell you when AND where to start and stop running!

I had a little bit of trouble with the distances, but at least this week we had the added advantage of going into the workout knowing that our pace time, while running, should be about 8:00.  As you can see (and I am sure you can all see this because you have either committed to memory our times from last week and/or printed them out and posted them by your computer to serve as inspiration) we were much closer to the 8:00 pace time this week than we were last week. And regardless of the numbers, you know how I know that?  Because we actually spoke to each other while we were running the laps.  Last week….all we could do was run and try to breathe.  So I am pleased with the times.  I feel we are both on track (Ha!  Get it?! On track?!  Geez, I kill me sometimes) and where we need to be right now.   It’s only going to get better.

For those of you who have been dying to see what an aerial view of the UM track looks like. I'm not quite sure how it recorded me climbing on the roof of the UM Intramural Building and then leaping over to the Natatorium. Perhaps this is part of my runners high, for which I was so high I have no memory. I'm kind of thinking this will be my new "thing." I'll travel around the world running circles on public outdoor tracks and then publish the satellite photos as recorded by my GPS. This. Is. Gonna. Be. Big.

Walk of Shame
The worst part of this week’s workout?  That my hands were literally numb and not very operable for up to 30 minutes after the workout.  The best part of the work out?  Being there and watching Christy’s love affair begin with the track, which has been documented for posterity’s sake in the form of her “Walk of Shame.”

Hey! Don't be so surprised. We live in a college town. We're on a college campus. We see the walk of shame all the time! The big difference between most walk of shames and Christy's? Christy leaves her love behind in the dark.

Carry on, friends.  Carry on.

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