No Marathon for Me This Year

I had big plans for the 2010 marathon sea­son after my marathon mess last year. Instead I won’t be run­ning at all. Sit­ting this one out. And I’m major­ly bummed.

What hap­pened?

For starters, snow. Lots of it. Even if I want­ed to get out­side and gear up for spring races I could­n’t have as Philly was besieged by a record 73″ of snow. But that should­n’t mat­ter, right? Skip those spring races and train for fall! That’s the ticket!

Wrong again, sadly.

Morn­ings are a tricky thing in our house­hold. Char­lie still wakes up to nurse around 4 AM or so and can­not ever set­tle him­self back to sleep. And Helen’s not a morn­ing per­son, so morn­ings are Dad­dy’s duty. So instead of knock­ing out 3 or more miles a morn­ing, I’m chas­ing Char­lie around the house try­ing to feed and clothe him before he’s off to daycare.

Much as I’d like to be Super Dad and find a way to work out either dur­ing the work­day or after­wards, I just can’t. Run­ning at night in Fishtown/Port Rich­mond is worth your life sim­ply because of vis­i­bil­i­ty and traf­fic. And who wants to run after din­ner? Not me, that’s who.

I like to think that once Char­lie weans he’ll be more will­ing to sleep lat­er sim­ply because he won’t have the urge to nurse the moment he wakes at the crack of dawn. Maybe then I’ll be able to sneak out, fire up my Garmin watch and get in a few miles before I have to get him dressed and ready for preschool. Fin­gers crossed!

The Running Man

If you fol­low me on Twit­ter or Dai­ly Mile, or by some strange twist of fate bump into me in real life, you know I start­ed train­ing for and suc­cess­ful­ly com­plet­ed the Philadel­phia Marathon last Novem­ber. I’ve tried to keep it up over the course of the win­ter, but it has­n’t been easy. Cold weath­er and icy side­walks aren’t the most invit­ing aspects of the mid-Atlantic region, and I can’t stand to run on a tread­mill. I often opt­ed out of a morn­ing run rather than risk break­ing my neck on some black ice I did­n’t see (or to just stay in my nice warm bed a lit­tle longer.)

I’ve lost a step, thanks to that, but I’m con­fi­dent know­ing that the time I lazed will like­ly keep me from over­train­ing at an unsus­tain­ably high lev­el. I’m a lit­tle frus­trat­ed by the set­back, but I’m still aver­ag­ing a sub‑8 minute mile, so it won’t be long before I’m run­ning com­fort­ably at clos­er to 7 minute miles all the time.

Now that the weath­er’s start­ing to get warmer and the sun is up before I’m at the office, I’m back out on the streets of Port Fish­ing­ton again. (I know, I’ve said I hate that term, and I do, but I use it here because I’m run­ning from my house into Port Rich­mond, and occa­sion­al­ly Brides­burg. There are now no few­er than four names for my neighborhood.They include Olde Rich­mond, which is total­ly bogus, brought to you by ORCA; there’s Flat Iron, the name most of our neigh­bors call the area; and last­ly, Cione, which derives from the play­ground at the neigh­bor­hood’s north­east­ern bound­ary at Aramin­go and Lehigh.) My route right now takes me up Rich­mond St., which is usu­al­ly pret­ty emp­ty (and always flat) when I get out there in the hazy pre-dawn hours. It can be a bit bor­ing, and it’s not exact­ly pic­turesque, but it’s con­ve­nience that dic­tates the terms here.

I’m look­ing for­ward to April, when it’ll be even warmer and I’ll feel more com­fort­able rid­ing my bike down to the Com­cast Cen­ter. Then I’ll be joined by my friend Bri­an from the Food Trust on morn­ing runs dur­ing the week. We’re already run­ning togeth­er on week­ends and it’s been great. I can think of few things more reward­ing than get­ting out ear­ly on a Sat­ur­day or Sun­day morn­ing for a good long run. It’s actu­al­ly pret­ty beau­ti­ful if you can get out there before every rollerblad­er and week­end cyclist descends on Kel­ly Drive.

I’m already look­ing for­ward to those 14+ mile runs that take us into Wis­sahick­on Creek Park. It’ll be amaz­ing to get back out there in the late sum­mer and ear­ly fall.