Alright, people! 2 months until the marathon! It’s officially 8 weeks out and I’m feeling strong and healthy.
This past week, running was therapy in more ways than one.
I left for vacation to Montana with my family on Saturday afternoon. And on Sunday morning, I woke up at 4 am to watch the badass female marathoners competing in the Olympics. I sat in a pitch black hotel room on the floor with a sad pillow with my eyes glued to the screen (except for those frequent commercial breaks!). It may have been 4 in the morning, but I was wide awake just hoping to catch every second of it. (It’s always nice when you have plenty of Tweeps to chat with simultaneously.)
After going back to sleep for a few short hours, I went down to the hotel treadmill and ran 4 miles. How could I NOT run after watching those ladies run hard?
I didn’t go to Montana expecting to stick to a workout plan because I knew that the elevation would be a factor. I would only be out of town through Wednesday evening so I figured I could fit my key workouts in through the end of the training week. I’m happy I was able to take it easy for a few days. I made my mind up and decided that I wouldn’t feel anxious or angry about not having the time to work out. Sometimes the hardest thing for me to do is to be okay with doing nothing.
On Monday we adventured into Yellowstone. The pictures can probably do it justice more than my words can:
If you ever get the chance to go to Yellowstone, GO! And for all you beer-drinkers out there, you will rejoice when you taste all of those delicious craft beers that you’ve never heard of. (Plus, you won’t even see a Budweiser or Miller sign anywhere!). For real, I did a fair share of taste testing from a few different menus. Plus, Moose Drool is just delicious.
Tuesday was a bit more active, as our mission was to hike. My sister, Lindsey, had scoped out a 6 mile trail up to Mount Washburn. And, turns out, she’s a great tour guide because it has gorgeous 360 degree views of the park. We ended up hiking closer to 7 miles, eating Subway sandwiches at the summit, and seeing tons of animals (my favorite was the chipmunk, but Mr. Fox was also a close second).
I travelled home back to Chi on Wednesday after relaxing in Bozeman before my flight. (I also fit in a short treadmill run at the hotel in the morning!) I was very tired from the trip, especially after realizing the effect of high elevation. I’ve done a fair amount of skiing in Canada and Colorado in my life, but I’ve never taken such a short trip that didn’t allow me to fully acclimate. The short 5-miler I ran that morning proved VERY challenging.
Thursday. Ahhhhh back home. And back to reality. On the trip, my mom received a phone call from my uncle saying that my grandma wasn’t doing well and had potentially had a stroke. On Thursday morning, my mom told me that my grandma had passed overnight. Needless to say, this week has been tough. Thursday was a sad, lonely day. All I wanted to do was hop back on a plane and go to Montana to reunite with my mom and sisters and stay through the end of the week.
My grandma Eleanor was a spitfire. She always says what she needed to say. She never held back. And she always made us laugh (even if it was unintentional). She was spunky and she wanted everyone to know it. She was 93 and she lived through things that I can only imagine. I have a feeling that inner strength runs in my family — Eleanor was strong.
Thursday afternoon, I went out into the fresh air and RAN. I laced up and let my legs carry me. I didn’t know how far I’d run. I didn’t even know where I was going to run. I just ran. I ended up at the lake, and after 4 miles I turned around. I smiled. I laughed. I cried. I became angry. I was confused. And then, I smiled again. The lake was calming and my body wouldn’t let me stop. Running felt effortless compared to how my heart felt. I ran 8 miles for my grandma that day. I’ll be running many more for her in my lifetime. Because I know she’d want me to.
Tuesday: 7 mile hike in Yellowstone
Wednesday: 5 mile progressive
Thursday: Tears ‘n Sprinkles – 8 miles
Friday: 400 m repeats at <1:40
Saturday: Shakeout + Strength Routine
Sunday: 18 miles with 3 min pick-ups every 3rd mile