Week 11: Mountains 2 Beach Training

And just like that every day is another new normal. When I went away to college I had a really hard time adjusting. Every night I would go to bed pretty sad and just beat up from the day. Luckily I would get good rest, but then in the morning I had that brief moment when I would forget I was at college and I would feel so happy and normal. And then I’d remember where I was.

This is how I feel now as each new day of the coronavirus unfolds. I’ve been teaching middle school Math online for a mere 3 days and the tone has shifted so much already. As this all happens I’m so incredibly grateful that I can run and so thankful that Xander wanted to do a marathon in the first place. Scott and I wouldn’t have decided this was the spring to marathon train again. This is all Xander!!

The rim trail streak

One thing that has impacted training this week and will continue to do so is my new streak with Elizabeth. We hiked the rim trail at Taughannock Falls State park (just down the road from our house) a couple of days this week. On our 2nd or 3rd day we realized it was something we both looked forward to. “We should make this a streak” I said. She agreed. We decided it would give us something to be excited about. I’ve often said that the mere existence of this trail and the easy accessibility to my house is what enables me to be positive about most things. The trail brings calm, joy, peace, time for introspection, connection with friends and more to me.

But, for training it means I’ll be adding a minimum of 21 miles of trail hiking to my weekly mileage. And, I have several friends that I like to hike with as well so some days I will need to plan on two hikes. There’s also Xander and Scott hikes to consider!! On Saturday I hiked in the morning with Elizabeth and then hit the trail in the afternoon with Scott. I decided to skip the 6 mile run scheduled for that day!!

Cancelled

I knew it was coming, but it was still hard to accept when we got an email Friday evening from the race directors of Mountains 2 Beach Marathon. Cancelled. They had no choice given the circumstances. We talked briefly and decided we’d definitely still run our own marathon. I had already talked to a few friends about setting up cheer stations and water stops for us. We hatched the idea of running from Tburg to Viva and ending with takeout on the Commons. It isn’t the ideal first marathon for Xander but it will suffice. One thing it does do is put Green Lakes 50K back on the table for a first organized race. Scott and I both love this race and we know Xander would too. So that’s definitely a possibility. The Rochester marathon clashes with the beginning of cross country season, so it is probably out, but it is a maybe possibility. It depends on how much Xander wants to focus on short vs long distance. Whatever happens in the future, we’ll plan to enjoy our family marathon. Note: it will be Scott, Xander and me. Elizabeth was going to do the half but she is not interested in this version. She’ll be our driver and supporter instead. Note: for the remaining weeks of training I’ll title my posts either Dawson family marathon or Xander’s first marathon. I’m deciding.

My 20 miler

Xander works at Finger Lakes Running Company in Ithaca. This has been an up and down week of wondering what will happen to them. Will they be forced to close as a non-essential business as new rules roll out with coronavirus? Will they manage to stay open? Will Xander have any more shifts in the short term? Will they be able to reboot when this is all over? We’ve known the owner Ian Golden for along while and just felt so sad this week as we worried for him and his store. Elizabeth and I spent a lot of time talking about his influence to the area on each of our daily hikes.

Sunday Xander was scheduled to work. Then, they ordered that all non-essential businesses must close Sunday at 8 pm. Ian posted a heart felt video that just made us ache for him. He wrote to Xander to ask if it was ok if he (Ian) took Xander’s Sunday shift. “Of course” We settled into a somber mood at breakfast discussing the situation and shared Ian’s video with people on Facebook. We planned to go down that day to buy new shoes.

However, this change in plans also changed my 20 miler plan. I had planned to drop Xander off at work at 11 and then run 10 miles back to Tburg on the Black Diamond trail and some roads and turn around and run back. I started considering doing loops around home and put a text out to friends to see who wanted to join me for different bits. One friend wanted to know what time which prompted me to look at the weather. It was 17 degrees. The temp wasn’t really going to rise til late morning. I decided I’d need to wait til near 11 anyway.

Scott thought he’d go earlier and do loops. Xander had done his long run the day before. And then, Ian texted Xander to ask if he wanted to come in and work the register. He realized the store might be busy and he could use the help. Xander was happy to help. That put me back to my original plan.

I packed my hydration pack (I haven’t been running with any water lately but it felt like I should for 20 miles) and got ready. Xander and I drove down and I started my run promptly at 11. Teressa said she’d join me when I got to the top of the trail. She’s up for about 10 miles right now, so I figured I would have company for 5 miles since she’d have to turn around to get back to her car. I was pleasantly surprised when she said her husband was in Ithaca doing errands and would pick her up. Yay! I would have company for my last 10 miles.

This run was good. It was challenging but I felt strong and positive. Teressa was a great sport when I slowed down quite a bit for the last 2 miles. After we finished I bought new shoes from Finger Lakes Running Company along with a shirt I’ve wanted for awhile. I am attaching my splits here. I feel pretty proud of them.

The week at a glance.

Thoughts for next week

We are onto the back of the training plan! There are only 9 weeks until Memorial Day weekend. During those 9 weeks so much will change. The weather will improve, maybe the state of the country will improve, and the chance to see people outside will improve. Being stuck in my house isn’t too awful with 3 other people in there with me and students to connect with virtually every day. But, my dad is 79. We lost my mom 8 weeks ago and he is so incredibly lonely. His world was just starting to open up and now it is contracted and can barely even include us. I’m hoping that the warm weather lets me get out for a walk with him most days as we keep our 6 foot distance from each other. I’m hoping we all still get to go outside and run. I’m hoping the rim trail stays open. There’s so much to hope for. For now I’ll start this next week with gratitude that all that is on my training plan for today is yoga and CX (and my hike with Elizabeth .. that I didn’t skip after my 20 miler yesterday). That is something else I’m proud of!