It’s Prime Time Friday. What’s that mean you ask? Different things to different people, I’m sure; however, to me it means the following: sitting in my kitchen listening to a playlist of the same name, one glass of Riesling poured, one Greek pizza in the oven (what’s up with Greek / Hawaiian / Mexican pizza anyway? Pizza is Italian, people and nothing trumps a good Italian, duh). My “baby” girl is turning 17 on Sunday therefore I rearranged my entire running (and life) schedule in order to accommodate her and the bevy of teenagers who are about to invade my crib.
Marathon training called for 20 miles tomorrow. Given that I’ll be up until at least 3am making sure everyone is behaving to the best of their 17-year-old abilities (thank you to some good friends who are on the way over with the sole task of feigning their best interesting so I don’t fall asleep), I knew running 20 at 8am would be out of the question. So, part of my Birthday present to Liv was to run this afternoon. And run I did…
35 mile an hour winds precluded me from going outside lest I land in Kansas, so to the Y I went. The mental fortitude which must be mustered in order to drive 5 miles so you can spend almost 3 hours inside a stank tank is no joke. Thankfully, I have many personal experiences from which to draw strength. A few of my own hard times, sure, but mostly, when I have a bit of a daunting task in front of me, I think of my friends. Those who are in the midst of difficult times, who are traversing laborious waters, and who are heading for shore. Sometimes as well, I think of others in this world who are struggling in ways which we cannot even begin to comprehend and I immediately realize just how blessed I am to be able to run at all.
Those thoughts and some serious heavy metal on the way over, and I was ready to bust a move. Boston is not the course (or so I’ve been told) to PR. Which is exactly why I’m going to. As Eminem likes to say:
You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow
This opportunity comes once in a lifetime yo
So, I totally disregarded the “60 minute max” sign-in sheet at the Y and proceeded to hang up my keys, my sweats, and my North Face. I climbed aboard the #5 treadmill knowing full-well it was gonna be a long ride back to the station. The treadmills stop at an hour. Shut down as if you’ve somehow single-handedly derailed them. No matter. Knowing this and my running math like the back of a sleepy left hand at 2am, I planned to run 7 miles, reset, start back up and run another 7, reset, and finish the last 6.
7 miles an hour = an 8:34 pace; I need to run a pace of 8:22 for 26.2 miles in Boston to PR (well, more than PR but I want to run 3:39). So what do I run on a treadmill? 7.5 which is an 8:00 flat pace, of course.
We’ve been running outside in weather which can only be described as complete and utter bullshit. I FINALLY qualify and THIS is winter’s reward? You know, I love the seasons. Spring is my least favorite (Yeah, yeah, I’ve taken enough abuse about this statement, but it just is and I can’t see it changing any time soon) and I love the other three seasons almost equally. Fall wins as it should, given I’m a sports fanatic who decorates for Christmas every Thanksgiving weekend and by that I mean Halloween, effective immediately.
So, I’m cruising along at mile 17 and by this point, I’m happily running a 7:30 pace (8.0 on the dreadmill) and what do my wondering eyes should appear? Some jerk face climbing aboard the #6 treadmill with a look of contempt towards yours truly.
Whaaaa? What did I do? Little ‘ol me? Seriously, dude. Be nice or I will destroy you.
Now, in his defense, it may have been the Willow Smith Whip-my-hair-back-and-forth thing whereby sweat was flying off my ponytail like a Banzai Spray N Splash sprinkler that was so off putting. But regardless, I was warmed up and he was…not.
By the time he figured out how to use the treadmill, I was fast approaching mile 19. I had been passing the time by watching him push the up arrow ever so nonchalantly until he was exactly .1 faster than whatever pace I was now running (8.2 for me; 8.3 for him).
Silly, silly man.
It was at exactly this point that I decided to run 21 miles. Just because I can, not to mention 7/7/7 is like a Winner! on every slot machine I’ve ever seen. Couple today being the 21st and jerk face needing to be taught a lesson, and it was settled.
Mile 20 was 7:00 flat. His fat finger began to shakily push the down arrow and I turned my head to the left in a non-nonchalant manner and gave him my best “white flag?” look.
One more time he tried, and I was momentarily impressed with his tenacity. So impressed that I ran a 6:19 mile to finish the third 7 mile installment in just under 55 minutes.
Mentally, today was an amazing day. Physically, this Riesling needs an ibuprofen chaser. For apparently, any mother of a 17 year old daughter should probably act her age.
Maybe next year. This year is Boston.