By the time Sandy made her evil presence known, the apex of my training calendar, some 36 hours past, was a distant memory. I was no longer thinking about a marathon; I was barely even thinking about running. Warmth and electricity were pretty much all that would be on our minds for the better part of the week. Without going into great detail, I will just say that all things considered, our neighborhood got off so incredibly easy. Seventy-two hours without power and ten days without our bundled services from Verizon were a mere hangnail, compared with the hands dealt to countless others in our region.
As one might imagine, the trunk-, limb-, and power line-strewn roads of our local towns made running al fresco a monumentally stupid idea. By a stroke of good fortune that I neither deserve nor am able to explain, one important edifice in Ewing was among those spared the worst of Sandy’s wrath: the building that houses my both my son’s day care center, and my health club.
Enter the Treadmill.
I hate the treadmill with the power of a million suns. It is my running venue of last resort; say, after dark in Kingston, Jamaica. In this case, however, I made do. For practical reasons, I had to curtail my medium Wednesday run (sorry, six miles is my limit on the conveyor belt, marathon or no marathon), but otherwise, I was able to pretty much stick with the plan until our lights came back on, and our area returned to something approaching normal. The ability to get some legitimate exercise under my belt in the wake of this meteorological gut punch gave me a several hours of sanity, along with no small dose of survivor’s guilt. I had a difficult time reconciling my selfish activity with the on-screen images of Shore towns that appeared to have been leveled by atomic warheads, but any port in a storm, right?*
Oh, and the sauna and hot showers certainly sweetened the deal.
The long run on Saturday was strangely refreshing. As was promised to me by Hal Higdon, I really could feel my legs starting to come back, and I put this one behind me at a rather alarming pace, actually flirting with ten-minute miles.
As good as it was to not think about the taper this week, I wish there had been a less destructive way to get it off my mind.
*Oh my, I’m going to hell for that one.