Checkin’ out training in Cleveland

Checkin’ out training in Cleveland

Last weekend, we packed Geordi off to the pet sitter, left Aayla at home for a weekend of raging parties with her kitty friends (we suspect) and drove up to Cleveland for training, Beth’s birthday, and whatever else we could find to do that weekend.

On Saturday, we woke up to sleet.

We sighed. We ate bagels. We whined. We wished we could go to boot camp. We sighed some more. We got dressed. We whined. We laced up our shoes. We looked for winter hats. We sighed and whined together. We dreamed of coffee. We got in the car. Beth pulled out of the driveway and it looked like this:



We drove awhile more and it looked like this:



We said, if we catch pneumonia at least we’ll know why and wondered why we thought this running thing would be so much fun…

And Beth kept on driving all the way to Strongsville. And then we got lost just a few hundred yards from my destination (which was totally my fault).

Beth: Do you think we should turn around?

Me (in the single decisive moment of my life): Yes.

Do you see why I’m indecisive?

Even though we were 20 minutes late, we were still the first ones to arrive other than the coaches.

And by then, it looked like this:



No rain! No snow! Just gray and chilly. Well, I’ll take cold and dry over cold and wet any day.

So off we went!! For 9 miles!!

While the Western PA/West Virgina  team trains by running for a specific number of minutes, the Northeast Ohio team trains in miles. This made for my longest, most challenging training yet.

Because of our training style here in Pittsburgh, the longest I’d run was about an hour and 25 minutes covering an uncharted number of miles (if I track too closely I get discouraged more easily). Beth and I did the full 9 miles in 2 hours and 9 minutes. Kevin did it in about an hour and 40 minutes.

It was not easy, let me say that right up front.

But it wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be either.

We increased our running time versus walking time early on, but had to scale it back to what we were doing before as we fatigued towards the end of the run. On our last few intervals, my legs were burning and I was wondering where the line is between “feeling the burn” and “asking for an injury.” But for some reason I kept running faster. I liked the control over my end time that running miles gives. When you run minutes, you can’t say “Great! That’s nine miles! I’m done!” Nope, if you set out to run 2.5 hours, you’re running 2.5 hours whether you go 5 miles or 15.

Training in minutes was perfect for me in the beginning, so as not to be discouraged. But now, I might be up for training in miles.

But anyway, back to the run. The 4.5 miles out weren’t too hard. Once I got past my cold weather use of the inhaler, it was a straightforward, mostly flat run with little wind. I even took off the awesome Penn State hat I borrowed from Beth. The run coach, Jenn, was with us the whole way and telling us stories. She’s one of those people who loves exercise and makes it look completely effortless.

The 4.5 miles back was a lot tougher. We were running into the wind, we were hungry, and our intervals started to feel a lot longer even though they weren’t. By the time we were getting close to the end of our run, we’d just about had it. Had Jenn not been there to keep us on task, there would be a lot more pictures and a lot longer finish time, too.

Finally, Jenn said the magic words as we were finishing an interval. “Okay, just 0.2 miles left. We’ll walk a minute and then finish out the end.” And suddenly, “0.12 miles! Let’s go!” And we did. And I was certain it would be awesome, a final jog to the finish.

But you know what? It wasn’t. It was hard.

It was the “0.1”

When it was done, we felt half dead and half great. We stretched. We went to IHOP. We shivered over our coffee. We ate pancakes. We napped. It was great.

We’re hoping to get in one more Cleveland training before the half!!

And there’s still plenty of time to help with the fundraiser:

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