Yesterday, I ran a sub-two-hour half marathon in the middle of a torrential, electric thunderstorm.

For me, there are rare, precious training sessions that come along every now and then that fundamentally change me. These are training sessions so challenging that they not only take my physical abilities to levels I never thought possible, but they change me mentally and even spiritually. This may sound a bit over the top, but it is true.

One example is the century I biked in Massachusetts in July of '07. This was my first ever self-supported century. The challenge came when I faced soaking rains and ferocious winds at about mile 40. I rode 60 miles home in this weather, as the closest person I knew to call for a ride lived in PA. After this, anything seemed significantly easier. No just riding - anything in life.

Yesterday's run took me to a whole new physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual level. I really can't even vocalize the training effect that happens in a session like this. It rained hard and non-stop from mile zero through mile 13. It was loud, windy, and electric. The side walks were flooded. When I crossed the exposed George Bush bridge, I crossed myself and sprinted. Toweling off didn't even dry me when I got home. Drivers looked at me and shook their heads in disgust, condescension, bewilderment. I looked at my wrist RoadID, and I legitimately thought, "I wonder if getting struck by lightening will char my contact information off?"

Clearly, there is limited research in the body of training literature that addresses running half-marathons during a national weather service tornado warning. And, I am not arguing that this was a smart thing for me to do. The last thing I want is for my fans to replicate this sort of run.

However, the gains accrued from such a session are incredible. Come May, self-doubt will inevitably creep in during the first few miles of the run. I know I will conquer these demons, for I will know that I laid 13.1 base miles in the middle of a thunderstorm back in March.

You want to look as good as me? Run as fast or far as me? Do you ever wonder how I can describe a hundred mile ride as easy? Try running 13 miles in the middle of a thunderstorm. Then, we'll talk.

Quote of the Week:
"Don't be mad cause I'm Frey and you're not."


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