Posted by: Jack Savage | February 13, 2012

On Training

Great day for a run!

Some more donations came in over the weekend via snail mail–thanks and more thanks for that!

The most common question I get from people about this run for cancer project is how the training is going. The short answer is ‘so far, pretty well.’ The challenge for any runner, but especially for a relative beginner like myself, is to build up endurance and speed without overdoing it and injuring yourself. The challenge for a runner in northern New England training for Boston  is getting in the mileage during the winter. So far it’s been such a mild, snowless season that we haven’t had too many days where running outside meant slogging through icy slop.

Today took some determination, though, as it was 17 degrees with an arctic wind whipping down out of Canada this morning. I took part in the Winners Circle Running Club long run in Rye, NH, and put in 18 miles. Yes, it was cold and any time we turned directly into the wind was, um, invigorating. I was definitly stylin’ with a baclava, two hats and two pairs of gloves.

Experienced marathoners observe that running a marathon takes mental preparation as well as physical training. So keeping a positive attitude during a run like today’s is good practice for those inevitable miles during the race itself when it seems impossible to finish, much less meet a time goal. One of the great things about training for a marathon is that it takes you well beyond your comfort zone, and you learn that you can accomplish–physically and mentally–far more than you thought possible.

So here’s what I thought about as I tried to get my legs to bore through the wind. It was a beautiful day along the oceanfront–one of those days so clear that not only could you see the Isles of Shoals, but they seemed less than a mile away. And here I was healthy enough to run, albeit slowly and with no particular talent. Compared to anyone fighting cancer, fearful of a perhaps foreshortened future, compared to the fight for life that I watched Mike put up in his final months, today’s run was a glorious opportunity. Bring on the cold and the wind.

The 18-miler gave me 60 miles for the week. My training plan calls for running six days out of seven, so it’s an average of 10 miles per day. I’m walking a little gingerly this evening, but I feel pretty lucky.

Please donate if you can. You never know who you might be helping.

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