Coming to the close of last week I had altered my training schedule, scaling it back a little, so I could be prepared for the first throwdown between myself and Mangorunner. This was something that bothered me to some extent, because I hate to amend my training schedule to the shorter end of my mileage, but it made the most sense and my body was having a hard time adjusting to the higher mileage. Regardless of all my apprehensions, it never ended up being an issue, because Mother Nature ensured that neither one of us was going to be able to race ... they both were snow and iced out.
So, in the absence of my Boston Build-Up 15K race I decided to go up to Rockefeller Park to do a trail run with Coach Adam and fellow RwPer Farrah, who will also be running Boston in April. The snow was still falling in the morning, but it wasn't quite as biting cold as it had been the day before. It really was quite beautiful, aside from the disgusting black/grey/brown sludge created by all the cars on the streets. I met Farrah on the train heading up to Philipse Manor gearing up as we rumbled along, texting back and forth with Coach Adam so he knew where we were. As it turns out, once you head outside of the City and get into the burbs plowing must be a somewhat foreign concept, because he ended up being late, due to poor road conditions.
Farrah and I walked towards Rockefeller Park and Coach Adam picked us up on the side of the road looking like a couple of transient, hobo athletes; me in all black and brown and Farrah in an outfit of delightfully vibrant contrasting colors, like Helen Keller mix-n-matched it for her. When we got up to the high school parking lot we pulled up next to Jackie Vanover who humbled us all by coming out at all after doing the Walt Disney Goofy's Race & a Half Challenge the previous weekend. Coach Adam, in a wondrous attempt to trump that feat, stripped down to his running shorts ... in the snow ... and was like, "What? You're all going to wish you were dressed like me once we're out there." Below is an accurate representation of just how excited Coach Adam was:
Once he finished getting himself run-ready, we hit the trails, for what ended up being 12-miles, and it was amazing! After a brutal week where I had mentally been struggling with fatigue, the mercilessly cold temperatures, and the many miles in my training schedule this run was the perfect response. It was almost as if I had forgotten how much FUN it can be to go on a run with a group where you don't care what the pace is, you just go out and enjoy it. I found myself reveling in every moment that we had in the snow caked woods with drifts raining down on us blown free from the limbs high above. I was captivated by all that saw and felt on those trails and remembered why I love running and what an amazing and beautiful place the World is.
Just a little literary food for thought, R.W. Emerson once wrote, "Nothing divine dies. All good is eternally reproductive. The beauty of nature reforms itself in the mind, and not for barren contemplation, but for new creation."