15 miles, to the face.

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This week has been both glorious and difficult. All at the same time. Early mornings, snowy days and frigid temperatures have definitely made this girl a little tired and a little cranky. Usually, I would wind down with a cocktail or two but these days, I’m not really one for drinking. (Side note: last weekend when I decided I was one for drinking, I consumed two vodka martinis, acted like a bit of a douche and then fell right to sleep) By the time Friday rolled around, I was ready for the 15 miles to be over and done with. The concept of waking up at 5 AM to begin this task just entirely daunted me. It’s so damn early. In the summer, these moments are fantastic. The sun is already up, you’re beating the heat and can move on to experience an amazing day. In the winter, it’s completely dark, cold as balls and it wipes you clean of all energy. But it had to be done. Emma had an early morning basketball game and since Allison and I were sticking Josh with an extra toddler, we knew we better get our bums home early. (P.S. Josh did wonderful with the task of controlling 3 children, I would have tied them to a tree outside and left them there) After checking the weather report last night, we vetoed doing 15 miles outdoors. I’m just too old for that shit. My bones hurt. However, I don’t want to do my long runs on the treadmill, I don’t think you train the same, so we broke it up. 6 miles indoors. 9 miles outdoors.

The 6 miles indoors were terrible. I was hot. (I know, terrible thing to complain about considering the temperature outside) I was still sleeping. (We officially got up at 4:45 AM) The episodes of Portlandia I put on were terribly unfunny. It felt like it took forever. But most importantly, I was still sleeping. Once we finished that up, we put on our twenty-five layers (including my very special penis hat, it provides maximum head coverage but still, makes my head look like a penis), stuffed peanut butter toast in our faces and headed off to the Roasters, where we arrived just in time to see them all–running away. Boo. Could I have caught up with them? NOPE. My legs physically could not move any faster than I was currently going. This is what was happening:

Every time I took a breath, the condensation from that breath hit my eyeballs/eyelashes and froze, immediately.

My eyeballs were twitching from the cold. (I still wonder, can they actually physically freeze, my medical journal says no, but I question that)

My lips were chapping so I definitely looked like a bit of a crack head.

My legs were becoming tiny (well, not tiny at all) little ice sticks that if someone kicked, would jut fall over.

And my hair was freezing underneath my penis hat.

Plus, for 9 miles, I ran around Yarmouth looking like a penis.

So, that’s cool.

Also, when anyone tells you that a route is easier the other way, don’t expect that to be entirely true. This is Maine. There really isn’t an easy way.

But here’s the thing. Here’s the bigger picture. Last night when Allison came over she greeted me with a really beautiful card and a bracelet with an elephant on it (because I look like something with two large trunks: JUST KIDDING!) Elephants are loyal, they bring good luck and they tend to be inspirational creatures. Her card and her gift, were centered around those very things. I always worry about writing too much on my cards, being too forthcoming, too mushy, in truth, I’m a very emotional person, I like telling people how I feel, it was really refreshing to have someone do that for me. It’s been a little while since someone put on paper that I am appreciated. If there weren’t so many children interrupting us, I probably would have started to cry. This has been a special journey for me. In three months, it will be a year that we’ve been friends. I can honestly say, my life is better, more fruitful, with her as an addition. Last year was hard. I needed everything that I have been given the past 12 months. I needed a reset.

After the 15 miles were complete, we walked into our coffee shop to smiling faces. People just happy to see the two of us. Proud at what we just accomplished. Today was a first for both her and I, it’s the longest we have ever run. It felt good. It felt like an accomplishment. It felt rugged and hard and real. It felt like we left a piece of ourselves on the pavement. Most importantly, it was the first time, on a run, that I could grasp the concept of running 26.2 miles. I think I can do this. I think I can make it. I think this moment, I’ve been visualizing, is actually going to happen.

I can’t say this road has been easy. but for certain, I am actually enjoying the journey.

And even experiencing some laughs along the way.

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