Monday, March 10, 2014

a newfound appreciation...

Today marks six weeks until the 2014 Boston Marathon. And I've had a realization, a new found appreciation, if you will. You see, thanks to Mr. Polar Vortex (x5 now is it?), Iowa has been a frozen tundra for the last few months. Its coldest and snowiest on record, I've heard. And, though I'm no stranger to cold weather running, a few things have to align to allow me to get out the door:
1. Temperatures that don't cause frostbite in less than 5 minutes.
2. Sidewalks not lined with ice, underneath a fresh layer of snow.
3. Wind chills conducive to running with a one year old. 
So far, not even one of these things has happened for me in the past two months. Seriously, the warnings were to not go outside for more than five minutes for risk of getting frostbite. FIVE MINUTES!

As for number two, I actually like running in snow. I find it relatively peaceful and calming. But I like to leave the skating part to hockey players and ice dancers.

Those wintry conditions + dark skies until 7:30am and then again at 4:30 pm = no running sans kids for me = no outdoor runs. I'm still not completely familiar with the roads in my area, so I'm not going to risk running alone in the dark. And pushing a stroller on ice while trying to run is most likely less fun than run/skating on it myself (but in full disclosure, I haven't tried).

The dreadmill and I have become very close in the last few months. Too close, actually. Of my 207 miles of training since December 30th, a measly 54 of them have been outside (and that includes 18 glorious miles in California). For all you number crunchers out there, that's 26%. 

Which leads me to my realization/appreciation. Because the other 74% have been inside on my trusty treadmill, I've had a lot of time to stare off into space at my 1960s wood-paneled basement wall, feeling like a mind-numbed lab rat. Running round and round and round on my rubber wheel for hours at a time.

But that's when it hit me. 

A lab rat! 

Research for Rett syndrome! 

That's what this whole thing is about! 

And honestly, underneath all the moaning and complaining about where I'm running, I am truly grateful for the ability to run at all, and for the opportunity to run for Rett syndrome. For Leah. To raise funds for life-changing research. To finish what we started last year. 

I'm grateful for my treadmill. And I'm grateful for those little rodents. 

And so I run. And run and run and run. Sometimes on a treadmill, sometimes outside. It doesn't really matter. For Boston 2014, I run for Rett. 

Please consider a donation to our 2014 Boston team on behalf of Leah's runners:
or Elissa:


Colleen said...

Maren I love it! I can't imagine how hard it must be to spend that much time doing something that is meant to be wild and free inside but I love how you brought that around to the WHY. I'm so glad that you don't have all the wires going into your brain and so glad that the mice do and I am amazed that your running on your treadmill in some way leads to the wires for the mice. What a weird and wonderful little cycle.

Megan Hoffmann said...

Hey Maren, you dont know who I am but I was told about your blog by a relative of yours. I tried to find an email address for you but I must not be to computer savvy :) I just wanted to let you know how amazing I think you are and how much you have inspired me to be a better person. I want to know how YOU do it. I have absolutely fallen in love with your little Leah and I would love nothing more than to help your quest for a cure. Please let me know what I can do to help. I am currently residing in Utah and would love to help your little family out. Thanks!