When the winter that wasn’t turns into the winter that was after all and it feels like you’ve spent five days battling the snow already and your schedule has you doing hill repeats alone in the snow (of course) and you’ve already reached out for moral support in every direction you can think of  and when your legs feel like lead and you promise yourself that instead of a race back to the car, you can just get the miles in and when the only reason you are out here at all is seriously because your coach told you “you’re the kind of person who gets it done” and you are trying so desperately to believe that. When it’s the second to last hill repeat and you think of your new friend whose son died five years ago today and your old friends who check on you every day and the snow stings your cheeks and you wonder what the hell you’re doing out here. But then on the last time down the hill, when you remember that you really do want to qualify for Boston and this particular piece of insanity is apparently part of your pathway there and then when on the way up the hill for the last time, the theme from Rocky comes on your iPod shuffle? When that happens, then you hit repeat, repeat, repeat all the way back to the car and suddenly this part of the run is not perfunctory at all because you’re gonna fly now and you are trying to negative split this bad boy and you are moving those feet, get that fast turnover, like a cat walking fast, go, go go go GO! When that happens? You’re smiling at the end at last and you love running again and you love Philadelphia, home of your marathon PR and you love Sylvester Stallone and the whole wide world and everything is good again. Yeah, when that happens.

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