Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Race Report: Canton Hall of Fame Marathon

Last week was weird and nice. I slept in. I ate a lot of carbs. I worried. I hydrated. And then it was time to leave for Canton.

Packet pick-up went relatively smoothly. I, like everyone else, parked illegally in a fire lane. No one seemed concerned. Just like there weren't signs directing us to appropriate parking, there weren't signs telling us where to enter the large school campus to find the expo. I wandered a bit with other people until we saw someone leaving with a bag, and they directed us in. Once inside things were easy.

I saw Shannon working at a race info table for a fall event. I got my bib and my teeny tiny women's race t-shirt. I had plans to room at a nearby hotel with two other women in my running group (although I'd never met them). Just as I was ready to leave I got a message that they were also at the expo. I met them and a friend of theirs, so we all went to the hotel, got checked in, and headed to dinner.

We tried an Italian place but, sadly, it was prom, so that was a no-go. We ended up at...wait for it...Cracker Barrel. Fun fact: the Cracker Barrel does not serve pasta. We loaded up on pancakes, french toast, and a few daring souls on meat, and called it a night. (Run group fail on the photo op)

I stayed up for a while with the girls in my room, watching TV and talking. Checking the weather one last time. Earlier in the week rain had been a huge concern. It looked like we'd clear from the rain, but that it would be in the upper 70's by the end of the race.

We did our Flat Momma (picture below) and headed to bed about 9:30.

We were all awake well before 5am Sunday. Our prep worked like a highly choreographed dance, even though we'd only just met. What great girls I got to room with! We were out by 5:30 and headed to the fairgrounds to park and board the bus to the start area.

Once at the start, we all did what runners do: used the port-a-potties. Stood around nervously. Saw people we knew. Peed again. Took a group picture.
MRTT Cleveland, Akron, even a few PGH I think. And a lot of people missed the photo op. It was so much fun meeting so many people I'd only known via Facebook.
When I lined up, another runner told me the start had been delayed 15 or 20 minutes due to an accident on the Interstate. I later learned this accident snarled the parking situation for at least several hundred runners. We anxiously waited. And then, we were off. I was sort of in disbelief that after all the training, it was finally really race day.

My shins cramped for about the first two miles, but the pace felt fine. I knew the first 4.5ish were pretty flat, so I just settled in an enjoyed it. I saw Shannon and her girls around mile 3 handing out water. This was unexpected. She wasn't signed up to man an aid station. Whoever was signed up didn't show, and since Shannon's awesome like that, she enlisted her tiny terrors and they got the job done.

Mile 1: 8:54
Mile 2: 8:49
Mile 3: 8:47


We passed the big hospital, a landmark I knew to look for, and started a gentle uphill. I'd memorized the altitude trends mile by mile. By mile 9 or so we were headed up Market, the bit I knew was the hardest stretch of the whole race. I'd planned for this. I lowered my pace a few seconds.


Mile 4: 8:48
Mile 5: 8:58
Mile 6: 8:50
Mile 7: 8:54
Mile 8: 8:44
Mile 9: 9:01

We wound through some neighborhoods and made a bunch of tuns and headed toward the half-marathon finish, near the start line. 
Mile 10: 9:14 (I think I paused for a water stop)
Mile 11: 8:58
Mile 12: 8:53
Mile 13: 9:06

Where I'd hoped to be about 1:54 at the half, I was something like 1:56. I could deal with that. It might be hard to pull off my PR, but I'd easily be under 4 hours and the PR still felt possible.

And then mile 14 happened. Or, it didn't happen. I'm really not sure. My legs felt fine. My cardio felt fine. And I knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that my fast miles were over. The forecast has said the heat would come on quickly, and it had. It was hot. It was humid. And that was it.

Mile 14: 9:15
Mile 15: 9:42

I saw Laurie at 15.5. She'd made me a sign and I LOVE HER FOR IT to get my PR. I saw it and just shook my head, and told her that had ended about a mile and a half earlier. Oh, how I wished that weren't true. 

So here's what I'll say for me in this scenario. I can't say I wasn't well-hydrated. I can't say I didn't have enough carbs, or that I wasn't prepared, or that I wasn't rested. In fact, I was really well prepared for this situation. A few faster people I knew ended up only slowing their races by 5-10 minutes, but I think they were the exceptions. For a while I kept mile times respectable by running slower and walking through water stations.

Mile 16: 9:49
Mile 17: 9:36
Mile 18: 10:33

And then I....well....let's just say it involved my asking a police officer not to arrest me. 
Mile 19: 15:54

After that, strictly owing to the amount of time I'd already been on the course and the heat, there were no points to be won. There was nothing that could be done to salvage a time I wanted. My goal became finishing without getting sick, and that meant more walking. Everyone was walking.

Mile 20: 11:04
Mile 21: 11:29
Mile 22: 11:37
Mile 23: 11:09

Somewhere around mile 24 I found Shannon again. I'd actually seen her once earlier, arguing with a man who was just determined a road wasn't open (it was) and nearly getting arrested for being belligerent about it. But anyway, mile 24, she'd been looking for me long enough that she'd set a time, and if I hadn't shown up by then she was calling the med tent to see if I'd checked in somewhere. I was fine, I was just slow. She had her girls in the double stroller and they jumped in with me. SO MANY PEOPLE asked if she'd done the whole race with the stroller. After a bit, someone would start to say something and we'd both just reply "no, she's just with me for a few miles!"

And let me say, thank God this woman had sunscreen in the stroller. The bit I put on my shoulders meant my shoulders were the only part of my upper body that didn't burn.
Mile 24: 12:23
Mile 25: 12:40
Mile 26: 11:50

Just before mile 26 we found my family. Shannon and her girls jumped out and I grabbed my older son to run me in. I always cry at the end of a marathon, but running down the straightaway holding his hand there was no keeping the emotions back.

Finish: 4:26:15.
This might be the only photo of either of my children ever to exist on this blog. I just love it so much.
Was race day what I wanted? No. It was not even my second fastest marathon. And that has to be ok. As a wise friend reminded me, the training and the race are separate events. There is no certainty in a marathon. It just means I'll chase that PR another day.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Pre-race jitters

Because even for Marathon #5, I still get nervous before the race.

I've enjoyed some great workouts since my Week 14 recap. Shannon ran part of my 12-miler last weekend with me and showed me a new route while we were at it. 
Me & Shannon. I can't imagine this training cycle without her.
Running here does not suck.
This week, she ran my last fast workout with me, which was 5 miles with 3 at 8:18. It was a gorgeous sunrise and, after settling into the run, it was so fun to go fast. It was especially fun I think because I knew this was it before the race. I loved it so much.

And then, just a few easy miles from there until tomorrow--race day.

Mid-day Thursday I switched to carb loading, following an article I got several years back in Runner's World--the same plan I used before my last full marathon (fall 2014). I have to say, I had a much harder time with it this time around. My diet has changed since 2014 to where I just don't eat as much sugar or as many carbs as I used to. Switching to an almost-all-carb diet has been difficult, even for such a short period of time. I've had to scale back from what the plan recommends, and eaten more "real food" to keep my body happy. But, I've eaten enough to say I've carb loaded. Hopefully it's enough. 
This yogurt is so unbelievably sweet. Like frozen custard that isn't frozen. I'm sure someone can eat this as part of a meal, but it isn't me.

In my final act of pre-race over-planning, I've Google Street Viewed the race course so I know what to expect. I did not buy a Pace Band (yes, I know you can do this for free if you're willing to ignore terrain), but I have studied the elevation chart and memorized my mile-by-mile planned pace.

I've checked the weather hawkishly. Earlier in the week my weather app was sure we'd have an 80% chance of thunderstorms. Fact: I nearly cried when I realized that would likely mean a race cancellation. Luckily, at this point the chance of a storm is pretty slim. Race temps will be in the upper 60s and 70s and probably quite humid. I think I'm as tolerant of heat and humidity as most people (brief aside: Clevelanders love to complain about humidity), and I'm hydrating like a champ today.

Last thoughts before I pack up and head to Canton?

I'm nervous. I'm afraid allergies or a cold or something might compromise me. I'm afraid of the weather.I worry that I haven't mentally prepared enough for this race. I'm just nervous.

I'm thankful. Training for this race has so frequently reminded me how lucky I am to have landed here. I've particularly gotten to know my friends Laurie and Shannon during this training cycle, and hope someday they know what their friendship and support has meant to me. I've gotten to know running routes all over the east side of Cleveland and have come to appreciate how awesomely beautiful many of those routes are.

I'm so much healthier than I was a year ago. Over the past year I've been able to address some nagging pains and injuries. Training this spring has felt much easier than it did the last time I used the same training schedule, and that encourages me. I've also lost a little weight, largely thanks to changes in my diet.

That's what I've got. Let's go do this thing. 

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Marathon Training Week 14: You may saaaaay it's a taper

But when I'm still running 45 miles a week it's kind of hard to see how. Welcome to the recap!

Monday
Today was novel in two regards. First, I'm not sure my calves have ever been this tight. So tight I stopped to stretch them about 3 times in the first 1-2 miles, and even to massage them once. I wasn't sure I was going to be able to finish my 8 miles. Finally around the end of mile 2, when I stopped at a light for a bit and stretched again, finally they released. Just, wow, though. I think I was trying so hard not to slip on Saturday that I must have changed my gait or something. Who knows!

The second thing: there was a discarded red apple on the sidewalk in front of the middle school. What better place! It made me laugh out loud.

Tuesday
Tuesday morning it was raining, so I stayed in bed and put the run off until Wednesday.

Wednesday
I got to go fast. I love to go fast. As I was running fast--and smiling--I thought, today will be the day my co-workers drive past me and wonder why I'm grinning like an idiot while running. I just...I love to go fast.
 
Thursday
Seven easy miles. I did a loop down through the next town over and home. On my way back I saw a small purse left behind on a park bench, near a school. I hesitated. What should I do? Should I take it into the school, in case it's a student's? In case they could check it for ID and try to find the person? I went back and picked it up and opened it. If it had a wallet or phone, I decided, I would take it to the school. It didn't. Just some lip gloss and a few similar items. I hoped it hadn't been picked over already. I hoped no one loved the particular bag a lot.

Friday
I got lost going to Shannon's house, a full 36 hours after telling her we could run near her because I was sure I could finally find her house. Someday, someday I hope to say reliable things to that woman while planning our runs. 2017 is not, apparently, that year. Thankfully my phone had come back the day before so while it had deleted her contact information at least I did have GPS.

We ran through horse farms. Beautiful, rolling hill, green pasture, mansion-laden, horse farms. The sun was streaming through some clouds. The horses were pasturing while wearing blankets, which I hadn't seen in so long (maybe ever?) I'd forgotten it was a thing they sometimes do. Beautiful morning with a wonderful friend.

Saturday
I realized I've nearly completed this race season and haven't brunched after a Saturday long run even one time. Unacceptable! So I texted Laurie and Shannon Friday night to see who was game. To my great joy, Laurie said she could run a few miles with me. SO HAPPY TO HAVE HER BACK!! So Saturday morning I went to our agreed-upon trail head to run the first 9 solo. In perfect timing, just as I was walking off the trail back into the parking lot, Laurie pulled in. It was so good to see her again. We ran my last 6 together, then headed to brunch.

Laurie & me
Both Shannon and my friend Rosie met us for brunch. I loved the place we ate at. Everything looked so good, it was hard to choose. They served the best breakfast sausage I've maybe ever had. What a win.
The dream team of strong-willed women
Total Miles: 45
Favorite Run: I loved going fast. I loved the horse farms with Shannon. Laurie was back. This week, I can't call a favorite. There was just too much good.

Next week I taper in earnest, cutting back more dramatically on miles and effort. I'm ready.


Monday, April 10, 2017

Marathon Training Week 13: Rain and snow and ice, oh my!

Monday
Six easy miles. I told myself to relax, that this is the weekly reset button on running. I did finally relax into it, it just took a little bit.

Tuesday
I'm using my iPad for most things since I currently don't have a phone. I forget that when I sleepily hit the iPad when my alarm goes off, the way I have the settings it just turns it off. And so, I turned off my alarm and slept an extra roughly 45 minutes.

It was hard to make myself get up. I was over-tired the night before and had slept ok, but not great.I told myself it was probably still raining (it wasn't). I told myself my stomach hurt and I should go back to bed (it did, but this is pretty normal when I first get up when it's super early, and not at all an excuse to go back to bed). I told myself I could switch my rest day (tomorrow) to today and push this back (I shouldn't--it was a tough workout). I fought back against the inner voice and won. I made it to the back door, to my shoes, and outside.

Two mile warm-up: easy, slow, steady. No big deal.

8 x 800 Yassos.
Yes. This day has finally arrived.
(Yassos: you run 8 800s in the minute:second pace of your hour:minute target race pace. So, if you wanted to run a 4:00 marathon, you'd do Yasso 800s at 4:00 per 800)

In all sincerity, I have been looking forward to this for weeks. I ran 6x800 a few weeks ago, but on a treadmill, which might make it a little easier to pace. Would I be able to do them at pace outside? For 8 of them?

Yes. My slowest 800 was still a few seconds faster than my goal pace. Success!

The run did feel substantially harder than my treadmill version had. In part, this was due to wind. In part, I ran the intervals faster. And once, I had to dodge a car. All told, definitely pleased with this one.

(And those cool-down miles, sooooo slow)

Wednesday
Rest day. Like a mother.

Thursday 
This is an actual Facebook Messenger conversation with details obscured to protect the innocent.  




I ran through an honest-to-God thunderstorm. Thunder. Lightening. In the dark. At one point I thought, "I'm not sure it's possible to rain any harder." There was a puddle so big it covered three-quarters of the road; I got lucky though and got to it when there were no cars, so I could walk around it. It was so bad at one moment I fantasized Shannon would just materialize with pastry (because she does that) and a dry, warm car (which I knew I was not out at the right time to really hope for). Of my 7 miles, it was raining for about 5. 

I was so wet when I got home that I put my shirt in the bathroom sink. Fact. 

Friday

Cleveland: We had a mild winter
Me: Ok, but can it be done now?
Later in the day I had occasion to drive through rolling hills and lots of trees. It was gorgeous. Like, the kind of day where people stop and get out of their cars to capture the perfect picture of snow-laden trees hanging over the road. Beautiful. And I did finally get the easy run done. I've lived here long enough to know the roads will be clear by mid-afternoon, so I waited until then.

Saturday
Plan A: meet a group running a point to point that would end with breakfast. Make new friends! Run new places!
I got up at 4:30 to get dressed and drive to the meet-up. Because I don't have a phone, I looked up all the directions for the whole round trip. And then realized, I didn't have time. It was 30 minutes from the end back to the cars, and then ~45 minutes back home. And with a group running a variety of paces, I was not going to get home with enough time to shower, eat, and get the rest of the way ready for my younger son's 5th birthday party*, which was at the house. 

(*Sidebar: if you're a parent wondering where the hell your kid's invitation was, we tried. He was determined to invite just a few kids from his daycare. How about more kids from your class? No. How about kids from the street? No thanks.)

So I reluctantly texted my soon-to-be running buddy to cancel. So disappointed. 

Plan B: Run alone near home. I went back to bed for a while, then got up and ran. I quickly realized the path I usually run on days like this still had too much snow and ice on it and was not passable. I redirected, no big deal. As I do, I circled back to my house at the halfway point to refill water and grab more Gu. I left again and headed north. 

My path north goes through a one-block stretch of road that's currently closed for maintenance, and thus isn't being treated for snow/ice. I walked over the snow and ran where it was clear. Then my feet flew out from under me. It wasn't clear. It just looked clear. A sheet of ice. The good news: my internal monologue reacted well--I knew what to do. Mid-air I was bracing for impact. The bad news: I landed pretty f-ing hard. I groaned. 

A guy heard me. He came running to see if I was ok. 

He fell exactly the same way on the sheet of ice. 

We were both fine. He at least had on a thick hat that probably protected his head, which was my chief concern for me. I noticed shortly after that both hands were bleeding, just a little. I didn't know until I got my shower later that I also got an impressive bruise on my left elbow. Then there were muscle-related responses. 

At mile 20 my left shin clenched hard into a ball. I actually had to walk a few times, and that night it hurt so much I could barely walk. By Sunday morning, and after a good bit of massage, it relaxed. My abs hurt on the left side into Monday. But all told, the incident was more funny than painful. 

I finished my 22 miler slower than most long runs, and feeling successful. 

It feels weird to say when I'm still running 45 miles next week, but the taper has officially started! It's all downhill to race day. It's hard to believe I've arrived at the taper already!

Total miles: 50
Favorite run: The Yassos, easily.  

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Marathon Training Week 12: Sideways

Monday
I did not even make it off the starting block this week before having to rearrange. My younger son didn't eat much Sunday, tossed and turned a lot Sunday night, and didn't eat breakfast Monday, earning him a day at home. And my husband was out of town. So I had no way to run.

I have a 1-mile time trial later this week. I'll ditch that, move everything back a day, and take today as a rest day. So I'll only miss 1 mile. That's a small price to pay for a maybe vaguely sick kid.

Also, my phone got stuck in a perpetual reboot cycle, earning it a trip home to ATT to be fixed. I'll be lean on pictures until it's back. Sad face.

Tuesday
What a morning. My intention of getting both kids dropped off the minute their schools opened did not happen. I was over-tired and slept a bit past my alarm. And then kids. When you're trying to rush to get out of the house. Glacial. I had them both dropped off and I was back home by about 9:15. I checked work email and took care of a few things, then headed out.

I was dressed for rain, which meant I was hot for the first half, until the turn-around. It started to very lightly rain at about 5.5, which was fine, because:
Image result for there's no such thing as bad weather for running just bad clothing 

Wednesday
Stilllll sideways. I came home early from work so I could run before picking up the kids. I had 9 miles planned with some fast miles. I got through the 2 mile warm-up and knew I didn't have it today. I suspect running at 4:15 was largely to blame, but who knows. I remembered that I had 6 easy miles sometime later in the week, so I did that instead and called it a day. 

Thursday
It rained all day. ALL DAY. As in, thunder and lightening and heavy rain. So no. That 9 miles I pushed back? Not happening.
Friday
Still raining. A lot.
Saturday
Some hours after my weather app said we'd moved to a 0% chance of rain--zero percent--it was still raining. But by mid-morning it stopped. I spent the morning cleaning the house, and headed out about 2pm for my long run. 
I was scheduled for 13 miles but was feeling guilty about missing 18 miles earlier in the week. Good news: I can run 13 miles pretty casually. Less good news: I have to think about 16 miles a little bit. I stopped by the house at 11.5 to get water and whatnot, and after that I was entombed in lactic acid that would not go away. I finished 16 miles at a just fine average pace, but I felt it. 

Total miles planned: 44
Total miles ran: 29
Favorite run: I mean, I guess Tuesday, although to be honest it wasn't very memorable. The week just didn't really happen. 

There isn't anything I can do about it, and there wasn't much I could do about it as it was happening. I have to just move on. Next week is another 50-mile week, and with it, my last shot at a really long run before the race. I'm eager to get this coming week right.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Marathon Training Week 11: 50 Miles

For, I believe, the third time in my life, I hit 50 miles in a week. Welcome to week 11!

Monday
My weather app did that thing again where it couldn't decide if I was in the clear or would be running in rain and snow. Gun shy after Saturday's hypothermic debacle, I went back to bed, packed a gym bag, and hit up the treadmill later for this easy run.

Tuesday
When I stepped outside, it felt like spring. The fog held a chill: damp, quiet, calm. The air smelled of wet leaves. It was dark. My feet crunched on pavement, its occasional gravel under my weight.

Wednesday
Rest day. Brought clothes to do office yoga but ran out of time, so I did it at home in the evening. I used a new workout from doyogawithme. The workout wasn't as fulfilling as others I've used, but I enjoyed trying a new one and getting the benefit of a workout. It's amazing how much even a little yoga can heal things that hurt from running.

Thursday
18 degrees when I stepped outside. I was cold at first, but knew I'd warm up after a mile or two. And oh, these are the mornings I live for. I was most of the way finished before the sun really rose. Before that, I could see hints of light on the horizon, all in shades of blue, leading up to the inky, dark sky and a sliver of a moon over the lake.

The run felt easier than I expected, all but a small uphill part. I was home before anyone was awake, which let me get breakfast started and clean dishes put away.
Mmmmmmm
Friday
Shannon and I met for this easy 5 miler. Well, easy for me. She was pushing a jogging stroller containing 3 and 5 year old girls. Not so easy. But a beautiful cool morning.
There wasn't a memo. We just showed up like this.
Saturday
I must have checked the weather 40 times between Friday afternoon and Saturday. Rain or no rain? Rain or no rain? I finally decided that while it might rain, it looked unlikely to rain until at least 10am. If I started early enough, I could get this 22 miler finished before the rain came.

But just to be sure, because, lake effect, I told Shannon I'd text her before 6am if plans changed.

The plan only changed because I was a few minutes late getting out of my house. I ran the same 2.7 miles as last week to meet her. We ran 6 miles together. Without incident. I so appreciated having the company for part of this very, very long run.

Shortly after parting ways I saw a skunk. I stopped where I was, about 30 feet from it, and let it waddle itself across the road and well into the other side of the street before I proceeded. Without question, and with more thanks than I know how to express here, this was the most disruptive, concerning part of this run.

I finished out 11.5 miles to end up back at my house. I left a note for my still-sleeping husband, listened to the kids playing quietly, refilled my water, grabbed more Gu, and was back out the door. Down to the lake, a lap around, a lap through Cleveland Heights, another lap of the lake, and back toward the house. I got tired toward the end. Mile 21 was a 9:55 pace. I know enough to harness this as an opportunity to train my brain to deal with fatigue, and that's exactly what I did.

Total miles: 50. FIFTY!
Favorite run: I loved them all. Ok, not Monday, but all the others. Gorgeous sunrise one day. The smell of spring another. Running with Shannon. A successful 22 miles. It's too hard to pick this week.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Marathon Training Week 10: The Week I Learned What Lake Effect Actually Means

Monday
It's spring break at my university, which gave me the luxury of running this 4 miles mid-day. Nice.

Tuesday
As the east coast braced for soul-crushing snow, and as my older son's school was canceled, I kept watching the forecast and saying, guys, it says only 1-3" overnight. And guess what? We got about 4" of snow overnight. NBD. But it kept snowing through Tuesday, and the roads weren't great until mid-afternoon, at which point my window for getting 'er done had closed, as I was entertaining the kids. The worst part of the day was that my university also closed, so I didn't have access to the gym to do this run indoors.

Wednesday
With institutions re-opened, I headed to the gym to get my speed work done for the week. Could I have done it outside? Probably. But, SO COLD. Today was the second time this winter the cold has bothered me, and mostly at this point its because I went ahead and put the Easter wreath on my front door.

My training schedule sends me to the track only twice in this 16 weeks, and today was the first, for 800m repeats. I dutifully set my treadmill to 0.5%-1% grade (I varied it through the run) to simulate running outdoors. It might still be because I was on a treadmill, but these 800s felt pretty easy. This one was a win.

Thursday
I don't watch a ton of tv, but lately when I have, I've been all over the commercials for fried chicken sandwiches. Hell, for almost any food. Today while I was getting my 10 miles of pace running done, my husband picked up lunch. So bad. So good. If there had been two, I would have eaten two.

My once per year fast food
Friday
The only rest Friday on my entire schedule. And thank goodness, because this body is tired.

Saturday
The following are copied and pasted from an actual text conversation:

Friday 11am: "I'm showing rain and snow all day tomorrow but clear/foggy Sunday. Unless things change, I will likely do my run Sunday instead."

Friday 10:55pm: "Now it's saying maybe clear. I'm going to bed now and getting up early to check weather and will decide then."
 
Shannon, Saturday, 6:29am: "Mine is saying rain snow mix for 60-70%."

Saturday, 8:36am: "My phone can't decide. I checked twice in the last 5 minutes and it said two different things. It says it's going to rain but the radar looks clear until about 1."

Saturday, 9:21am: "I think the weather is going to hold" 

So we went. I ran almost 3 miles to a train station where I met Shannon and her bike. She biked and I ran about 3 miles east, where I wish we had aerial video of us going opposite directions around a cul-de-sac, and back. About the time we got back it started to rain/snow/ice pellet. We stopped to take a video and decide what to do.



A post shared by Shannon (@clerunningmom) on

So things weren't good at that point. We hoped the storm was just blowing through, that we were just getting the edge of something nearby, because, THE PREDICTIVE RADAR HAD BEEN CLEAR. I'd checked 487 times. The hourly forecast had been inconsistent but looked like it would be clear. I'D CHECKED.

So we kept running. The plan was to stop by my house 3 miles later anyway, so worst case, we could bail then if necessary.

Things did not get better. Things got worse. Much worse. People driving by started staring openly at us, shaking their heads. And, to make matters infinitely worse, neither of us was wearing a jacket. I hadn't had a hat until we went past her car. I was wearing regular, non-thermal, non-water resistant tights. I was wearing my lightest, thinnest gloves. Her feet were wet. I had no money on me.

We finally arrived at my house and went inside. We plainly couldn't do the other 8 miles. We went upstairs to get dry clothes. After I changed, I found her in my kids' bathroom with her feet in the tub, running the hottest water it would give her. Her toes looked like death. Fully changed, I could not stop shivering. This lasted an hour. Neither of us could have been coerced to change into real clothes or leave again for a while after that. So at some point we gave up on the day and started baking and drinking beer. I missed an event in my neighborhood in the midst of all this and I feel terrible about it. I also missed my husband's first tae kwon do belt test, and I'm sorry for that too. And I'm bitterly disappointed to have not completed a long run. But the day ended many hours later, smiles all around, after our families had a left-overs dinner at our house. The day ended like this. Yes, most of what she's wearing is mine. Especially those slippers.
What I learned:
"Lake effect" does not just mean "lots of snow." My whole life, I thought that's what it meant. Lake effect means a storm is moving off the lake and it could end up anywhere, violently, quickly, and the meteorologists really cannot tell you where it will land. That my weather app kept changing its mind reflected this. That we got caught in ice pellets blasting at our faces was the result.

Total Miles Scheduled:
43
Total Miles Ran:
35
Favorite Run:
No, the long run was not my favorite, but certainly one I won't forget. Ever. And it was an amazing day at the end of the day.