Oh hey, what up, internet? I turned 33 since we last spoke. I'm that much older and wiser. Everything is different.
Just kidding, nothing is different. Except I'm older and richer and happier, so that's new. I am actually all of those things, what with a birthday and a new job and the fact that we've made it over the Year-End Dark and Cold Slump of Doom.
That struggle was real, you guys. And now that it's over we've been thrown head first into Sub-Zero Temperature February.
I hope it lasts forever, and that I never get to enjoy the sensation of warm, fresh air filling my lungs while I run in shorts at sunrise to the tune of morning birds and crickets.
Seriously, what if it's never warm outside again? I'm halfway through my training cycle for the Boston Marathon, which is now a too-soon two months and two days away, and the majority of the running has been done on the treadmill.
Everything feels different this time around. The workouts feels tougher. I feel slower.
I'm sort of unfairly expecting this experience to be identical, if not better, than the training that led me to Grandma's Marathon and its subsequent Boston qualifying finish. I assumed the speed would come back, lickety-split. I assumed I'd be stronger. Ready. Faster.
Turns out none of those things are happening, and I'm finding myself disappointed. But I only realized this morning, during a particularly painful slog on the treadmill at 5 a.m., that I'm being cruel to myself.
No race will ever compare to my experience last summer at Grandma's Marathon. I had a fire under my ass. I had a goal. All I wanted in the world on that weekend was a qualifying time, and when the race went off without a hitch, and the weekend wrapped itself up in a perfect, love-filled bow, that was the ultimate.
I qualified for the Boston Marathon, and it's all I ever, ever, ever wanted as a runner.
OK, so now I'm going, it's the dead of winter, I don't necessarily need to qualify again, the air outside hurts my face, I'm not feeling fast, and I haven't run outside in nine days. The glory and glitter and hope of making it to Boston has fizzled into, "OK, but can they move the race to October so I can train in appropriate weather?"
Don't get me wrong, I am CAPITAL LETTERS, OUT OF MY MIND EXCITED to run that race. It's going to be amazing. Crossing the finish line will be the single coolest moment in all of my running to date.
I am lucky I got there. Our flights are booked, our lodging is set, my official Boston Marathon jacket is (still wrapped up in its packaging because SUPERSTITION) in my closet -- it's happening. And that's rad.
I need that to be my motivation. The excitement and luck and celebration.
To be clear, I also need the snow to melt and the temperature to increase by about 45 degrees because what the actual hell?
I've got shit to do on those roads.