Short stories from long runs

This blog about my run and training

Does it even matter, since I didn’t get around to publishing my post until Monday night?

Nonetheless.

Sunday night long runs are easily one of the highlights of my week. I’m not really sure whether they end my week on a high note or kick off the week strong, or if I can get away with claiming both. And while it’s sometimes a struggle to get my butt off the couch to go (so. much. football.), I never, ever regret going once I’m up. Reminding myself of that is sometimes the only thing that gets me moving in the first place.

I was surprisingly optimistic about this run given how shoddy I felt on the last 8 1/2 mile go around. Last time I walked a bit and was completely dehydrated. Last night I decided to run the loop in reverse to switch things up (living on the edge, I know) and to overcome the mental block that I run into each time I take on the long, slow 2-3 mile incline at the end instead of facing bits of pieces of it throughout.

Success!

For one thing, it was gorgeous out, which seems to be a bit of a theme lately. I ran around 4:30 p.m. and went with lululemon capris and a short sleeve top and was comfortable from start to finish.

From time to time I lament the fact that the route I run most often isn’t particularly attractive. It gets the job done and I know the mile markers by instinct at this point, but ocean views and snowy mountaintops, it has not. (I mean, do you read Hungry Runner Girl or Skinny Runner? Geesh. I’d log insane miles for those views, too!) Still, I really appreciate the little moments and glimpses on my long runs when I look around and realize  I’m in an absolutely beautiful moment. It might be short lived, or cut down by an SUV careening around a corner with music blaring, but the pretty little moments do exist!

And, I’ll tell you what, the 2-3 mile incline turned decline is so much nicer that way then when I’m headed up. I honestly think just that one change improved my mood and outlook for the entire run (instead of dreading it the entire time).

Of course, reversing the loop meant I missed the long, slow incline up Summer Street, but instead there were lots of hills sprinkled throughout and a short, steep one at the end of the loop, in addition to having to head back uphill to my house at the very end.

I used to own the short, steep hill when we lived in our condo at the top. I ran it almost every day, since it was part of my three mile early morning out and back, my six mile loop, and every long run when I ran the six mile loop over and over again. Even in spring, when I was training for Vermont it became familiar. No longer.

Well, I shouldn’t say that. It’s familiar enough to know that I run past 12 telephone poles on the way from bottom to top. (In the photo above there’s slight dip down, a curve to the left, and then UP.) You know I count each and every one.

Overall, I felt really good yesterday and it was definitely a confidence boost to counter the bummer a few weeks back.

My splits were 8:12, 8:54, 8:43, 8:50, 9:25, 8:48, 9:40, 9:03, 8:39, for an overall 9:00 average pace. Good enough for me and my Sunday.

I could run a half mile or 26.2 miles and regardless, my face is this red at the end. It’s not uncommon for strangers to ask if I’m okay.

Hope your week is off to a great start. I participated in FenwaYoga tonight at (you guessed it) Fenway Park and can’t wait to tell you all about it tomorrow!