Short stories from long runs

This blog about my run and training

Whoops! I hadn’t planned for that to happen, but as my sister reminded me on Friday and then again on Saturday: Jill, you haven’t blogged since Tuesday! Sorry, friends. I hope the past several days found you entrenched in visits with family and friends, indulging in delicious food, and enjoying at least a little exercise in the clean, crisp late-fall air. I, for one, took part in all of the above.

When we left off Tuesday, I had quite a few miles left to run and an increasingly uncomfortable knee and hip acting up. Strangely, a change of scenery seems to have done wonders for both. I’m definitely achy, but neither knocked me off my game. I stuck to the day-on, day-off strategy, running a couple of longer runs to crank out miles in one fell swoop instead if breaking the mileage into smaller daily chunks.

While my Wednesday morning run was scenic, it was also the least fun of my last week. It was pouring rain. I ran from my parents’ house out to the Capital to Coast path that runs from Trenton to Manasquan beach (most of the way, I think). I’ve done this run a dozen or more times and really enjoy the route. It’s flat, close to home, and showcases some of the beauty that Jersey’s haters have obviously missed. I ran past my elementary school, over wooden-slat bridges that cross high above the Garden State Parkway, and then out through fields, golf courses, and a state park. On a sunny day, it’s awesome. On Wednesday, it was exceedingly wet, muddy, and gravely. I also encountered no fewer than 30 deer, which, if you haven’t heard, I am irrationally afraid of. The weather translated to crazy chafing on my neck and chest and bloody ankles. Super attractive stuff. The deer added up to two slow miles as I tip-toed past. I took a bunch of photos of the deer to share with you, but for some reason they don’t look nearly as terrifying as they are in person. Weird how that happens.

I checked something close to 11 miles off my calendar, getting me within 12 of my 110 mile goal.

Getting THAT close to the 100 mile mark was really good news. I could tackle 12 in one more shot or break it up over the few remaining days in November. My sister Corey and I opted for a Thanksgiving morning yoga class (more on that tomorrow, I think), but even still, I had two days to achieve my goal for the month.

After mentioning the idea of doing a running streak from Thanksgiving to New Years to my mother a few weeks ago, she told me this weekend that she had decided to take it on. So cool! As I’m sure I’ve mentioned, my parents just moved home after living in Germany for the past few years. Before leaving, Mom trained for and ran her first 5K during a girls weekend trip to Disney. She’s always been a super-active walker, and trekked all over Europe during the past 20-something months, but wants to get back to where she was pre-adventure, especially after being sidelined with a nasty broken leg thanks to a ski accident last winter.

Anywho, I was game for being my mom’s sidekick and cheerleader, so after a piece of early morning blueberry pie Friday morning, off we went. We logged 1.8 miles run/walk style around our neighborhood. It was really fun to see old friends’ houses and to catch up on years and years of where-are-they-now scoop from my mom.

I wasn’t feeling fabulous the rest of the day, so in true procrastinator fashion, I saved my last 10 or so miles for Saturday, scooting in just under the wire.

Good news is that Saturday morning was much sunnier than Wednesday, but I was also NOT motivated. It would be my fourth 10+ miler of the week and I was tired of running. Obviously, I went anyway. First, Mom and I did another 1.8 around the neighborhood, even quicker than the morning before. Then I set out solo to get it done. I ran out to the path the same way as Wednesday, but decided to go east instead of west this time around. I haven’t been on “the bike path” since I was a kid and my best friend Dana and I would ride our bikes from home to Manasquan for flea markets or to buy CDs at The Soundwave. The path is SO much shorter than I remember it! It was two miles from home to the path, then two and a half to the other end (and two and a half more back). I can’t say the run was that much fun, but it was neat to retrace the steps I had traveled a long ways back. I got back to the road to get home at 7.15 miles and my phone died. I knew it would be two miles back, but got super nervous I had miscalculated somewhere along the month and would run 109.25 or something stupid, so I tacked a little bit more onto the end and completed with 112 miles for the month. 

Insert giant sigh of relief here!

So, I know that 110 is nothing for some people and astounding for others. The most important thing, to me, was the whole not quitting part.

As I said, my enthusiasm about a run streak from Thanksgiving to New Years had really waned as my mileage crept up in the last week or so, but after running with my mom over the last three days, I’m kind of liking the idea again. I’m not ready to commit, but I’m going to keep going for now, just to see how things pan out.

If you set a Pile on the Miles Challenge goal, did you achieve it? How did your month go?

Pile on the Miles Challenge Total: 112/110 miles, 30/30 days