Tuesday, February 03, 2009

The endless winter

February is here at last. Although February is the shortest of months, it is also the longest--because it comes just at that time when winter has really overstayed its welcome. By the time we reach February, the name becomes nothing more than a hurdle to be cleared on the way to March, in which there at least exists some hope for warmer weather.

This month has been a sticking point for me in my marathon training for the past two years. I always basically miss a week of training during February, because of weather, sickness, or both. Of course, now I have access to a treadmill, so only the worst weather will force the gym to close. And we had that last week. Snowstorms like like simply do not come around every week. So I think that barring sickness, perhaps this year will snap the streak of bad Februaries. The motivation to run certainly takes a hit around this time of year as well. But I seem to be sailing along on that front as well. So I will hope it continues.

I have had a string of great runs lately. Last week was a little tougher because of the snowstorm we had here in the Midwest, which actually caused me to miss a scheduled run outright for the first time this cycle (a record, surely). I ran a few extra miles on Friday to make up for it (recovery pace, naturally). Saturday morning I got in a tough 20-miler outside on the ice and packed snow, followed by a 10-miler on Sunday at just below 9-minute pace. I was feeling some soreness and tightness on Sunday night, but on yesterday's recovery run of about 10K I felt completely recovered with no hint of tightness or nagging pain. Today is another medium-long run of 15 miles at an easy pace. I plan to run it no faster than 9:30 pace. I need to be more careful than ever in these next few weeks to make sure my body can hold up to this mileage.

Most of my free time not spent running has been spent on BookCrossing, trying to get my collection registered and sorted. It's been challenging. Some books are just too dear to me to let go, and others I feel that I may be able to let go after one more read. I believe, though, that I will be able to keep my permanent collection to a fairly reasonable amount. And then there's the business of actually reading the books. More than ever, I want to get to all those books and enjoy them. There are so many that I feel quite overwhelmed and less willing to spend time reading online forums and the like. My goal is to be mainly a library person instead of a bookstore person, and also have a small enough TBR list that I can go out and buy/borrow more current books. For example, right now I would love to read The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, but the thought of adding even one more book to the TBR pile is actually stressful. I feel that I have a prior commitment to the books that have hung around for years without being read. And then there is the stack of books that have been loaned out to me and also the stack of gift books. It is truly a mountain! My nickname on BookCrossing is "Book-Dragon" because sometimes I feel like a dragon hoarding not gold but books...and sometimes even sitting on them.


jen said...

Wow, great long run! You're really racking up the miles lately, awesome.

I am experiencing my first February in a winter-y climate in a few years and it's all coming back to me .. it is a tough month. Luckily we're having a streak of great weather this week so maybe it wont' be so bad! Hang in there!! :)

Anonymous said...

just happened on ur site..started running a year ago..started to doing races last fall..mostly 5ks and 10ks..hope to do the chicago half marathon in sept..id never thought id be running..i used to look at all the crazy people running n all sorts of weather and think there must be something wrong with them or they didnt have anything better to do..but now ive seen the light..im in the best shape of my life and met alot of new friends thru running..especially women haha..i just wanted to thank u for the link map my run and the pandoras box.it is awesome..thanks again..may the wind be at ur back when ur running especially in this COLD weather..Hootie~

Al Durham said...

A 20 miler and then a 10 miler the next day? Are you sure you are not training for an Ultra? That sounds way to familiar. Keep up the good training.

The Alien said...

Wow 20 miles outside on the snow?!?!?!?!? That's a GREAT run, I'm amazed to read how much you are running in such a cold weather!

RoyMcC said...

Scary miles Miranda! Well done but beware of overcooking it and breaking down. Love the blog.

Black Bear! said...

Yeah, I'm sick of winter too. I've been wearing a turtleneck since October. (Not the same one).

Have a good week!

TiredMamaRunning said...

Your training's going great...I hear you on just trying to hang on at this point, stay healthy, and make sure the body can handle the mileage!

April 11 will be here before we know it!

James said...

Finally someone captured the despair of Februay in words.

Be careful on the mileage.

Anonymous said...

On #4. I'd forgotten about that. Now I remember some sleeples nights

On #11. I had the same feeling about children when I was your age; then I met you.