The snow is falling sideways again today. Today I had an 8 mile tempo run on my schedule. After 1.2 miles, I was struggling with everything I had to keep my pace under 8 min miles (5 min km) while running uphill into the snowy headwind. I can't help but suspect that the conditions will be better again one day.
The fact that I lost my research salary last week has been harder to deal with than I expected. Instead of enjoying free time, I find myself scrambling to find ways I can get a full-time salary next month. I think that if I get an acceptance as a ph.d. student at the University of Copenhagen, it will make things easier. But anyway, I woke up at 5:30 Saturday so I could have a couple hours to work on applications to private funds in peace. By the time 12:30 rolled around, and SR returned from dropping off Natali at a birthday party, I was on the edge of a breakdown. I started yelling at SR for no reason and then started throwing some of The Lorax's favorite possessions (good thing he was taking a nap). What on earth was going on? I started crying. I went for a nice swim and it helped calm me down, if only temporarily.
Sunday morning, I woke up again at 5:30, unable to sleep. I ate the breakfast of an ultramarathoner. But the problem with eating like one is that you had better also run like one...
SR and I drove with the kids to his parents' house in Bagsværd. It was a day for a long run together. We started running at 2 pm. There was snow everywhere. We took it easy running in the snow the first two hours.
(I stole these from Tina and Ole who were out in Bagsværd at the same time. My camera sadly ran out of batteries)
We went back to his parents' to refuel. I only had a couple sips of water. I was way ahead on my calories for the week, so I didn't figure I needed any more to continue. We felt renewed as we went out again, this time running on bike paths without much snow. It is so easy to be in love with SR on our runs together. Though there was one point when he told me he was amazed I had made it so long in life without any psychiatric medicines or diagnoses. Well, one could easily take this as an insult, but honestly, it is running that keeps me happy and sane (or at least somewhat).
After 2.5 hours we decided to run alone at our own pace. I stayed on a bike path as night fell. The snow on the dark tree branches glowed as I ran effortlessly under them. After running on snow all day, I felt like I was racing downhill just by being on a dry, level, hard path.
There is something amazing about running in the snowy cold for so long. I felt such a happy warmth inside of me. I listened to The Great Lakes Singer's Your Rocky Spine and cried as I thought of the beautiful places I have been and run in my life. And the experience of the Trans-Alpine Run. A while down the road, as it became completely dark, I listened to Slow Show by The National and the beautiful lyrics "You know I dreamed about you for 29 years before I saw you" brought me to tears again.
God, life was good. Only a fool dwells on the negative. If you don't believe me, become a runner. 22 miles down and it felt like almost nothing.
So it is now two days later. A tempo run with pace of less than 8 minutes per mile for 8 miles was probably an unrealistic goal in a snowstorm. But I pushed through the snowbanks and the blistering wind. I don't really know why. I actually yelled out at one point in pain. That was a first. When I turned around, the snow became ice pellets and the wind picked up. I could feel a small corneal abrasion developing in my right eye from the wind and I could see almost nothing out of it as it was tearing so much (I imagined coming into my own department explaining the injury). I just kept pushing, pushing pushing. And came though 8 miles at a time of 63:47. Yes!!! I did it.
And as I was writing this blog post, a woman came to the door and delivered this:
It's an acceptance letter into the Ph.D. program at the University of Copenhagen. :) Again, I did it!!!!