Nature Trail Runners

A running club with weekly Group Runs in Aurora, IL., Montgomery, IL. and Oswego, IL.

So I Signed Up For A Spring Marathon -by Harish Pai

snowy trail

So I signed up for a Spring marathon. It will be my first shot at 26.2. What was I thinking?? Oh! what was I thinking? Training started….the week of Christmas. Ah great! Put away that extra helping of stuffing and go easy on the booze, bubba. A busy work week means that the alarm will need to go off at 4:30 AM on weekdays to train. And the weekday mornings are too cold/dark to run outside, so the treadmill will have to do. Man, the treadmill just sucks. No wonder they call it the “dreadmill”. Oh! What was I thinking signing up for a Spring marathon.

On weekends though, I have the group runs on the trails to look forward to. Time for the first long run of the New Year at the BFRC bonfire event at Waterfall Glen. How many layers might I need? Let’s try 3. That 9.5 loop was a tough one. Up and down, up and down it went. Glad I had Andy’s company but my knees are screaming now. On the way to work the next day, a person on the train asked me if I needed help when getting off at Union station. It’s so obvious that I am hurting huh? Boy! What was I thinking signing up for a Spring marathon.

Weather app on my phone says it’s going to be 15 degrees this weekend. Hmmm… …Maybe 4 layers this time. And let’s double glove and double sock as well. Those palms and feet take friggin’ forever to warm up. Aparna asks me “Are u out of your mind going out in this??” I must be…Who in their right mind will consider running in 15 degree weather. Out we go…Brrrr, that first mile was brutal…How am I gonna do another 9. Crap! What was I thinking signing up for a Spring marathon.

Well, it may be cold these days, but at least we haven’t gotten any snow and the trails are clear. So maybe I shouldn’t complain. Too late! Megan Glaros on CBS 2 says we’re getting freezing rain this week. Boo…just what I needed. Hope it dries out by Sunday…Come Sunday, a text from Tonozzi – “Dude, Gilman trail is all iced up and un-runnable today. Don’t do it”. Ahh! I gotta do 8 on the “dreadmill” again. Crazy me! What was I thinking signing up for a Spring marathon.

Another weekend, another day in the teens, plus an extra special dose of wind this time as well. 2 loops in Springbrook with the Christina and Andy…Ouch! Those double gloves aren’t doing me any good. I can’t feel my cheeks and my snot is icing up on my wristbands as soon as I wipe it off. By the end of it we are all red-faced Man! What was I thinking signing up for a Spring marathon.

Here comes the snow…the real stuff this time…that requires shovels and blowers. I wonder how the trails are. Running in fresh snow is fun…but it’s like running on sand… my calves took a beating today. How many more miles this week? 25? I thought this was a low mileage plan! Think I’m gonna sleep in. (Sorry Hal, missed my weekly mileage again). Man, I don’t know how Tiffany and Boyana do their 50 mile weeks! Jeez! What was I thinking signing up for a Spring marathon.

Well, at least we are in Feb now…the colder days should be behind us. A nice snowy run with the gang on Sunday morning. Lori and I are exchanging our training notes. “I finally hit my weekly mileage. What about you”. But it doesn’t get easier. 9 more weeks until race day and the runs are getting longer. It’s 15 next week and 17 the week after. Dude! What were you thinking, signing up for a Spring marathon.

Well, what WAS I was thinking. Through the pangs of winter training, the dark and depressing mornings, the tired early nights, the brutal cold, the snow and ice, the agony and discomfort, the cold protein shakes and iced up water bottles, the snotty wristbands and tearful eyes, the frosty cheeks and blistered feet, mile after painful mile on treadmills, trails and roads, through all this a quiet confidence was brewing . I was thinking.. maybe, just maybe I can do this…no, not maybe, I CAN do this..YES! I WILL DO THIS!

-by Harish Pai






Comment below and help keep Harish get mentally psyched-up for all his training. What are your training plans? Are you running a spring marathon? Which one?


5 comments on “So I Signed Up For A Spring Marathon -by Harish Pai

  1. Andrew Wells
    February 20, 2013

    What was I thinking trying to run Waterfall Glen in January when I was NOT training for a marathon??! Of course I was glad to have the company and it makes me feel a little better that your knees hurt afterwards because I think mine did too. Great article Mr Pai

  2. Sherry
    February 21, 2013

    yes, what were you thinking? extreme cold, extreme wind, or extreme hot, regardless of weather it’s hard, but you know what training for a marathon is…well…fun! Enjoy the journey!

  3. Susan Green
    February 21, 2013

    This reminds me of a shirt I saw while running the Illinois Half Marathon last year that said, “This seemed like a good idea 3 months ago!” Keep up the training, and see you on the trails soon.

  4. Lisa Drew
    February 21, 2013

    You are strong both physically and mentally! You have got this! However…..Dude, why a spring Marathon? Lol

  5. Abraham Garza
    March 3, 2013

    Harish,If you can’t make it as a runner you for sure have a promising future in book writing.I enjoyed reading your blog very much your humorous,funny and honest. I can’t wait to cheer you on at the start and mile 22 or so,and thats if I dont get lucky in the BOAM lotto but no worries I dont have good luck 🙂 you will do great, dont get hurt over training you still have plenty of time take care my friend.

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