Must…Keep…Running

I go through phases with running; I’m either loving it or loathing it.  I’ve noticed too recently that it tends to fluctuate with the seasons:  Spring?  Yes.  Summer?  Only in the mornings.  Fall?  Absolutely.  Winter?  Are you crazy?   I live in Montana and there’s snow on the ground people.  And it’s cold!  I can’t be bothered with bundling up to run!  I bundle up enough just to get to my car.

Which is why I signed up for a 1/2 marathon in February.  I figured the mere pressure of having to run 13.1 miles would be enough to force myself out the door.  The race is called the Snow Joke and takes place in a town called Seeley Lake about 60 minutes from here.  The race goes around the lake and in the snow, ice, slush, mud or whatever else Mother Nature decides to throw at us.  I ran the Snow Joke with a friend 3 years ago and was relieved to find out that it’s more of a fun/hey-look-we’re-all-running-in-the-snow run than a serious/I-want-to-qualify-for-Boston run.  Case in point:  your race number earns you a free beer at the bar afterwards.   Free beer?  Yes please.   Here’s me and my friend after the race last time.  Don’t we look like we had so much fun?

Nope - that's not the free beer. Yet.

And I just have to share this, because it’s the map I found online for it:

Who needs MapMyRun.com when you've got 'ol Bob who will HAND DRAW your race course? This is big time people.

 Anyways…it seemed to work out well in the beginning….in fact I was quite proud of how well I stuck to my 11 week training schedule by running on my lunch break three days a week (unless it’s below 10 degrees!) and making sure to schedule in a long run on the weekend.   Heck – I even ran 4 miles on Christmas day from the in-laws house, and 5 the next weekend on New Years Day at our cabin in 10 degree weather.  I was rocking it!

 Then week 5 came.  And went.  And I missed two runs including my long run that was supposed to be 8 miles.   8 miles seems like a long distance to miss.  The problem arising is this:  there are several weekends between now and the race that we are gone for the entire weekend (we’re talking Friday after work until Sunday evening).  I’m struggling to get the long run in either before I go during the week (which means after work in the dark) or when we get home on Sunday (which means I’m exhausted and not exactly wanting to bust out 8+ miles).  Granted, we aren’t just sipping margaritas on the beach while we’re gone during the weekend….we’re skiing or snowmobiling…both activities that are fairly good workouts.  But I’m sure many of you fellow runners can attest; nothing compares to just getting out and hitting the pavement snow when it comes to running. 

So am I destined to be a fair-weather runner?  I’m not sure.  I think for now I’ll continue to make sure and get my short weekly runs done, and make a better effort to get a long one in either (1) while I’m away or (2) once I get back.    Hey, there’s a free beer in it for me if I do. 

Now if I could only find out how I’m going to do 10 miles at a ski hill this weekend….hmmmm.

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