This Valentine’s Day, I declare my love for my eyelashes.
When the snow began on Thursday afternoon, the temperature was so pleasant, and the sidewalks were clearer than ever. Accuweather.com predicted 12 inches overnight and my teacher friends were doing “snow dances” in hopes for 16. I knew I was going to be stuck indoor-running for at least the next two days, so this stubborn kid trotted into the flakes with her canine pal at her side for her four-miler.
The snow was coming down at a rate of about two inches per hour. Now, I LOVE snow; I really do! And most of that “Run-During-a-Winter-Advisory” was spent grinning stupidly as I admired all of the sparkly fluffy stuff falling down and covering the ugly, slushy gross stuff. I think I may have even stuck my arms out and spun once or twice while giggling stupidly. None of that joy would have been possible without my wonderful, incredibly evolved-to-perfection eyelashes. I even tried running for a short stretch with my eyes open wide to generate an eyelashless experience – just out of curiosity; it was rough by the way – snow-swords-in-my-eyeballs rough.
This is one of those moments when I know some of my friends are reading and shaking their heads, thinking, “Kiersten, you really should keep these things to yourself.” But you should seriously try it sometime – pop those eyes wide open while running in a blizzard and find a new appreciation for your eyelashes.
Or you just shouldn’t run in blizzards.
Readers, as you might recall from last week’s blog, I did a lengthy snowshoe and called it my long run. Well, this Sunday, I attended Burlington’s Wintervale. It’s a really great, low-key community event where everyone can go and demo cross-country skis or snowshoes, drink delicious Lake Champlain Hot Cocoa, eat HindQuarter duck nuggets, and have an all around fabulous time. This year, it occurred post-Valentine’s Day snowstorm and on a stunning Bluebird Day. I couldn’t NOT go. I demoed cross-country skis for a solid two hours, exploring fun trails along the river and around the Ethan Allen Homestead; it was PERFECT.
When I arrived home, I felt slightly ashamed. Wintervale was the same day I scheduled my long run, this week. Much like my love for cake, I now realize I am going to have to balance my love for winter activities with my training. While I fully intended to head out into the sunshine for a nine-mile run after the Wintervale festivities, my legs were humming a different tune (double meaning intended). I wondered how bad it would be to skip another long run; could I actually substitute fun winter play for 90 loops around a track, or snow-pile slalom on the sidewalks?
I decided it was a good time to call “Consultant Sam” – yet one more “Rookie Perk.” After our brief conversation, I know Sam and I are going to get along; he balances complementing me and suggesting better choices quite well. He commended my skiing, saying a lot of his running buddies substitute outdoor activities for training runs; however, the long run is the most important one, and if I need to get a “winter activities fix,” it should be on cross-training days or short-run days. He did tell me doing both the skiing and the long run in one day would NOT be a good idea – PHEW (because, let’s be honest, I really wasn’t moving from the couch).
This Rookie solemnly swore to do her nine-miler the next day, and made an appointment to connect with Sam for a more in-depth chat later in the week.
The theme of balancing Marathon Training with my personal indulgences reemerges. If there is any hope of making it across that finish line without swearing off running forever, I must have room for my cake, cross-country adventures, and cocktails. Now, I know I haven’t shared any cocktail challenges yet, but I know enough to give it a spot on my dance card…