The first 16 weeks of my training plan for the Boston Marathon, which began with a 10-mile run down the Las Vegas Strip the morning of the Vikings-Raiders game on Dec. 10, had been draped in meteorological good fortune. I'd done a 15-mile workout in 50-degree weather on Dec. 23 and ran in shorts at least once every month from December to March. The El Niño winter meant my Yaktrax, the slip-on cleats that runners use for traction on snow and ice, hadn't been taken out of the closet once.

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It was March 24, three days after the official start of spring, when Minnesota's winter threw its one good punch of the year: A snowstorm that was forecast to dump nearly a foot of snow on the Twin Cities meant I'd have to leave for the NFL owners' meetings in Orlando ahead of the storm, and reschedule my last long runs of the training block. I moved my flight to Florida from Sunday night to Sunday morning, stuffed all my marathon gear into my suitcase and started researching routes for a 17-mile run in Orlando.

The first 14 miles of that Monday morning run had gone splendidly, to the point I was worried I might have run a little too fast three weeks before a marathon. But the text message I saw on my Garmin watch from Vikings executive vice president and chief communications officer Jeff Anderson proved the fast pace had been necessary: Vikings coach Kevin O'Connell would be free to talk with reporters a half-hour earlier than scheduled, meaning I'd need all the time I'd just bought myself to clean up after the run, drive to the Ritz-Carlton Grande Lakes and work my way through the sprawling hotel to the spot where the interview session would be held.

Those drawn to the marathon often revel in its simplicity, of the months spent following a neatly prepared training regimen in pursuit of a certain goal on one day. As Kara Goucher, the Duluth East graduate who finished 10th in the marathon during her second Olympics in 2012, put it on KFAN-FM on Sunday, "You have to just put in a lot of work and rest a lot. It's very un-fabulous: getting up, doing the morning run, resting, doing the afternoon run, seeing the miles tick up and the strength you're gaining along the way. But I really loved the monotony of it."

Life as an NFL beat writer, by contrast, is often a series of sprints, toward a newspaper deadline that's hours away or a breaking news story that must be filed in minutes. Your schedule is rarely yours to control; attempts to structure your life independent of the NFL news cycle can amount to foolhardy attempts to flout Murphy's Law. For this beat writer, preparing for an April 15 marathon, through the end of the Vikings regular season and an offseason that held franchise-altering news stories, seemed almost as treacherous as training through the winter weather that never really came.

Fortunately, I was as well prepared for the time-management tightrope as I could get.

I've covered the Vikings for as long — 12 seasons — as I've been an assistant cross-country and track coach at my alma mater, Apple Valley High School, which means I long ago developed a particular, and peculiar, set of processes for covering NFL news on the run.

My first story about Minneapolis being awarded Super Bowl LII in May 2014, while I was covering the Vikings for ESPN, was filed from underneath the bleachers of a high school stadium seconds after the starting gun began the first event of the South Suburban Conference track and field championships. The first day of the high school track season in Minnesota usually coincides with the first day of the NFL's free agency negotiating window. I once dictated text messages to sources on my phone during the middle of a run, while using the same method to file my initial story on a new contract for Adam Thielen.

Technology affords most of us the ability to work from anywhere we have an internet connection. I've tested the limits of those possibilities about as much as I care to do.

Though I tried to keep my marathon training as free of breaking news conflicts as I could, opting for early-morning runs and treadmill sessions with my phone nearby, I knew there'd be at least a few moments where I'd have to report and write on my feet. I'd donned a reflective vest and headlamp for a 14-mile evening run on Jan. 29, and was a mile into it when the Vikings announced T.J. Hockenson had undergone reconstructive ACL surgery. I paused my run to gather some background information through phone calls and texts, sent in a quick story and promised to circle back with more. Chris Miller, whose dry wit has been a decadeslong constant on the Star Tribune sports desk, teased I'd miss deadline because "you're not as fast as you used to be."

And franchise-altering news broke about an hour before the first track practice of the season: Kirk Cousins had agreed to a four-year deal with the Falcons that would end his time in Minnesota. I touched up the story I'd already written in the event Cousins left for Atlanta, filed it and arrived at track practice with my phone in my back pocket. We were a mile and a half into our first run of the season when I got a call with some important information I'd need to add to the story; I told the kids I needed to take this call and I'd be right behind them. I walked for a minute, explained to the person on the other end that I was in the middle of a run, and chased after our team, running around a 7:30-per-mile pace with the phone to my ear. A half-hour later, I pulled my tablet up in the front seat of my car, logged onto my Wi-Fi hot spot and started on the rewrite, with the information I'd gleaned from the mid-run phone call.

When I toe the start line for the Boston Marathon in Hopkinton, Mass., on Monday, 11 days before the NFL draft, my phone will be sitting in a bag drop somewhere. Though I've joked with several Vikings officials not to make any news while I'm racing, they've mostly smiled and humored me. If the news of a big pre-draft trade breaks while I'm in my first journey through the storied streets and harrowing hills from Hopkinton to Boston, the rest of the Star Tribune's deep Vikings team will have you covered.

I don't look back on training for the Boston Marathon through a torrent of Vikings news as much of a grind at all. Mostly, it's a reminder of how blessed I am: to still be doing the sport I fell in love with at Apple Valley, and to have the job I'd dreamed about since I was a high school freshman there.

Occasionally, I catch myself wishing it would all slow down. Some day, it will. Most days, I'm grateful it hasn't yet.