Short stories from long runs

This blog about my run and training

Last week — Wednesday morning specifically — I was wrapping up my workout and mentally ticking off the miles I had run so far that week. Way to front load the week, I congratulated myself, having hit the road Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.

This should be a pretty solid week, I continued, thinking to myself that I should take a rest day Thursday, despite my enthusiasm and desire to just.keep.going. I could probably tack on another 15 miles or more over the weekend, even with the day off. I have a tendency to lean towards the all or nothing path, if you haven’t picked up on that already.

Well, less than 12 hours later I was sitting in the pediatrician’s office with the little dude on my lap radiating like a hot potato. For the next four days we sat, snuggled, and slept in similar positions, the baby completely listless and flat out fighting a virus while the thermometer bounced from 101 to 103 to unsettlingly-close-to-104. He’s fine now, dazzling us with dimpled cheeks and new tricks, but wowza. What a weekend.

The good news — well, the good news aside from H being cured and me actually making an appearance in the office for the first time since last Wednesday — is that my worry and love for mama’ing didn’t completely derail a strong week on the road. To be honest, emerging from the weekend simply tired and not completely deflated might be completely attributable to the fact that I did get out and move.

For one thing, I thought to myself how relieved I was to have run that morning a half dozen times between the doctor’s office and the late, long night that followed. Putting those miles in left me feeling fresh(er), clear(er)-headed, and like I had a little bit of a buffer when I was still in boxer shorts and a baby-crusted t-shirt two days later.

Originally, Saturday was supposed to be really busy, back-to-back with swimming lessons, a first birthday party, and a graduation birthday party later in the afternoon. Instead, we faced the day with a pretty blank slate. Henry took a five hour nap in the morning, followed by lunch with some family who came over between hockey games, so with things looking up, I took advantage of a quick chance to get out of the house when Henry went down for bed later that night. Oh-my-gosh, what a relief. My mind wandered, thinking back over the past few days and listening to my tunes. I took it easy, recognizing that it had been a few really exhausting days, but was happy to run each mile just a touch faster than the one before it, finishing four miles in about 34 minutes, at 8:25 average pace.

Sunday morning was a non-negotiable long run, after kind of dropping the ball on training for the Newport 10-Miler, which is coming up this weekend. I went out for a hilly 8 1/2 miles on a route I used to run several times a week, but haven’t covered nearly as often in the last couple of years. It’s familiar, comfortable, and still challenging enough to feel like a really good effort, no matter how hard I run.

This week I took it easy, with 9:00 pace in the back of my mind. I opted to run the direction that takes me out downhill first, with a long, slow climb in the last two miles towards home. From start to finish I felt comfortable. The weather was really nice, if not a bit humid, and the miles ticked by quickly and easily. I decided against carrying water or Gu, since the distance was a little funky (I usually carry for longer than 8 miles) and it seemed like a hassle. I didn’t regret the choice, but definitely felt pretty thirst as I got closer to home, especially as I made my way uphill. On the last hill towards home I ran past a neighbor I don’t know very well, out for his morning walk. He gave me a double thumbs up — nice job! — which made me smile huge. Turning back onto my block, I saw another family who commented, That’s a long run, huh? How far? wishing me luck when I told them nine miles. I finished nine miles comfortably in just under 1:20, at 8:45 pace.

In the grand scheme of marathon training and compared to lots of distance runners my weekly total of 26 miles isn’t much, but it can be really easy to throw in the towel during a long and stressful week, so I was pleased to stick it out and squeeze in workouts.

Here’s to a new week. A healthy week. A productive week. What are your goals for the next 6 days, and how was your weekend?