Happy But Hurting

We are training for the 2014 NYC Marathon and getting in as much quality time (with each other, with the gym, with our running shoes, etc.) as possible. Over the next few months, we’ll be sharing our weekly workout woes (whines) and marathon musings as often as they can set pen to paper (instead of sneaker to city street).

Ellen: Last week, Kelly and I met up at Central Park to squeeze in a quick pre-work run. Quick it was not. It was sweaty and arduous. By mile 3 we were drained.

Kelly: DRAINED, we tell you. You may be thinking, “These girls run all the time. I don’t buy it.” Buy it. We’d stopped twice for water by the time we finished the reservoir loop.

E: I’d like to say it was the humidity. But it was most likely the fact that Kelly had been on vacation for over a week while I had generously taken a break from cross-training. You know, in solidarity. Getting back into training is tough. And on our second attempt at a group run—this time at a weekend 10-miler—did not fare much better.

K: “I put in a few runs on vacation!” I thought. “I’ll be fine,” I thought. No. Is it possible to forget how to seriously train? I mean, we’ve done this before. Evidently, though, it’s possible for our bodies to forget what it’s like to be able to run 10 or 15 miles at a time without feeling completely depleted. By the end—nah, by the middle—of that run on Sunday, I was willing to send Ellen on without me. In fact, I do believe I tried at one point.

E: And this morning, as we sat sleepy-eyed on our spin bikes (because cross-training is evidently necessary), both Kelly and I were in a world of pain. Everything hurts. And it will keep on hurting until we’re back in our groove. We didn’t choose the run life. The run life chose us.

K: I feel like there may never come a time where it doesn’t hurt. Between spinning and running, my thighs and calves are pretty consistently screaming. Between cross-training and strength-training, my arms are so sore that I have trouble slipping on a sundress in the morning. Arms aren’t really my strong suit. Abs either. But I know I need to work ’em . . . who wants to look like a mess of jelly and flab atop strong, toned legs? The point is, every ounce of me hurts. Worth it?

E: Yes.


Kelly and Ellen live in Brooklyn, work in Manhattan, and often run back and forth between the boroughs.