Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Day We Almost Quit

If anyone out there is following along with our little training calendar, then you might have noticed this weekend was the longest run in footsy history (not the longest run in Sal history, as we know that she previously trained for and completed the Nashville 1/2 in 2007). But definitely the longest run in Liv history....and I was nervous come Saturday morning.

I was nervous, but also excited. I woke up to the most beautiful day in DC, not a cloud in the sky. The sun was shining and when I took Tallulah out for her morning walk, I think it was the first time I've felt warm rays of sun on my face since November. Not to mention, we had a new route planned, one around the center of it all in DC, around the Mall and all the monuments, Tidal Basin, and the Capitol.

What I also knew about Saturday (thanks to "Storm-tracker Steve" - my co-worker who diligently sends out alerts for any sort of weather happenings) was that we were under a high wind watch all day long. This wind watch included sustained winds of 35 to 40MPH with wind gusts possible of 60MPH.

Okay, point taken - it's supposed to be windy....except for I didn't really get it... it was going to be WINDY. If you paid attention to the national news at all on Saturday, then you might have seen that this happened:

That's the National Christmas Tree folks. It was planted firmly in the ground of the White House Ellipse. Sal and I were basically running by here - maybe even when this very thing happened. Except we would have never known it because mostly we were running with our heads down and our eyes closed.

Let me back up and describe the worst three miles ever run in either of our lives. At any point during these three miles, if Sal had said, "Okay, this sucks monkey balls, let's quit" I would have responded with, "OMGthankyou, I've been waiting for you to say that."

It started out fine enough - us just kind of looking at each other like, whoa - this wind is worse than we thought. Then Sal put in her busted headphones (seriously yurbuds, we'll take 2 pair now thankyouverymuch), and it was like the headphones created this wind vortex, drastically amplifying the sound in her ears. She couldn't hear anything - me talking or her music - so basically, she just ran with her hands covering her ears the entire time. Next we're barely approaching mile one and the wind blows something into her eye. She couldn't even open it for me to see if I could find what was in it. Eventually, whatever it was made its way out of her eye, and then she just had tears streaming down her face for the next two miles after that. As we approach the Washington Monument, the leaves that are being blown into us might as well be weapons. I seriously think one caused my ankle to bleed.

Meanwhile, we're seeing these other runners who don't appear to be half as miserable as we are and I'm thinking, what gives? Why do they seem like this is not a problem for them? All the while my left calf is really tight, and because I'm an injury hypochondriac and get super nervous any time I feel the slightest bit of pain, I'm now contemplating walking.

We finally get a little break from the wind after we circle behind the Lincoln Memorial and head toward the Tidal Basin, when a piece of glass somehow is blown up and hits Sal's leg and fell into her shoe.

Also, our fabulously planned route is foiled due to the National Mall restoration and the construction of the new MLK memorial resulting in all of these closed sidewalks. I'm looking down at my watch realizing that because of the alterations we've had to make to our route, we aren't even at the half-way four mile mark yet.

But somehow, we didn't stop, even though we definitely weren't enjoying ourselves. Running back up the mall was made little easier considering we were no longer running directly into the wind. Finally we got into a groove and surprisingly, miles five and a half to about seven and a half were the best miles of the run for me. And I have to say, I was so proud of myself when I finished the longest run of my life. 

Then I get home and I'm telling husband about our run and he says, "So what? That was like one-third of a marathon?" ha... nope, not even. But baby steps folks - I think we're going to be just fine for our April 10th 10 miler.

What about you? What do you think is the worst weather element to run in? We've exposed ourselves to freezing cold, icy paths, and now extreme wind. We haven't even tackled rain yet - but as we were running Saturday, I was thinking I might prefer rain over wind?

P.S - It's here y'all - tomorrow we'll be live blogging as we *gulp* - sign up for the 2011 MCM.


  1. u guys are hardcore! way to go!!

    the tree is so sad =( how long had it been there? i saw on our news that it would be "replaced" and i was wondering.... with a full-sized tree? that would be pretty amazing!

  2. I think they will replace it with a full-sized tree, considering the tree that fell on Saturday was 15 years old when it was planted in the Ellipse in 1978. Apparently it's the third National Christmas Tree that has fallen in the 87 year tradition. I know...I totally learned way more than I ever would have wanted to know about said tree(s) on Saturday in all the coverage.

  3. I'm impressed that you got your run in! Great job!! I have to say I hate the wind more than anything. I would definitely take rain and/or cold any day over wind. Wind is miserable. Of course I have to admit, I'm kind of a weather sissy in general and do alot of treadmill running when the conditions just aren't quite right! Great job!!