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Roomies on the Run and Managing Expectations

So yesterday, I went running with my roommate for the first time ever. Which, if you’ve been following along with my apartment drama this year (move, move, couch surf, couch surf, couch surf, move) might not seem like a big deal seeing as we’ve only lived together for approximately 3 months.

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But, prior to combining our collections of bicycles in the D of C, we were next door neighbors in Burlington…starting FIVE YEARS ago.

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Yes, Big Red and both of his flat tires is buried in the back, he hasn’t exactly been getting much love in the past, oh, 6 months…triathlete, what?

During these five years, I ran a lot, and Tim ran a lot, but we never ran together. I distinctly remember crossing paths with him on our favorite routes in Burlington, Tim with no shirt (yes, he’s one of those runners, he thinks a garmin is exclusively for cars, doesn’t know the mileage of any of his runs, and thinks races are for horses, but he runs shirtless, or in the case of yesterday morning’s frigid temps, flannel reindeer boxers) and me with my very calculated marathon training plans. He kept claiming he didn’t really run with people so we never did.

And then we moved in with each other, and I called his bluff.

Or, he just asked me to go running on a Monday morning, same thing.

He was super impressed when I demanded we start when it was still dark so I could test-run my new reflective ruffles shorts and sport my hot pink glow ring.

And even more impressed when I slept through my alarm and we had to start about an hour later than normal.

Reflective ruffle fail.

So even though it was “feels like 29 degrees”, I threw on a pair of shorts. Not just because I’m clinging to this unseasonably warm winter like it’s my long-lost lover, but because the idea of friction from running tights or capris on my still very wounded and still very sensitive knees was not appealing in the least.

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Yes, my left knee looks like it’s smiling, but trust me, it’s a maniacal, evil, taunting grin.

Plus, a little cold weather is nothing that can’t be combated with a pair of zebra print leg warmers.

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So we set off on our run, and I immediately learned that Tim is going to be someone I should run with more than once this training cycle. Turns out, the guy is not slow.

I say this because the first thing we did after leaving our apartment was sprint up a 3 block long hill, that’s .3 miles of sub 7:30 huffin’ FYI. Which, maybe under normal circumstances would not feel quite so huff inducing, but at 6:45 on a Monday morning, huff city.

The rest of the run was actually a new-to-me loop (which is fairly shocking, considering I’ve Run this Town for 2.5 years. Bravo, Tim) with it’s fair share of steep climbs. We finished our 4.5 mile recovery run in 35 minutes.

And then, as I was riding my running high on my walk to work, I started to get a little panicked. Because while all I want to do is run all day every day (not exaggerating here, people), I really can’t. And while the fact that I’m now up to 8 miles for a “long” run is fantastic considering I had a broken foot a few short months ago,

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It’s less fantastic when you consider that I have a marathon in less than 13 weeks and should already be up to like 14 miles plus doing speed work since I have, you know, that little goal that I haven’t talked about at all or plastered on my refrigerator to remind me on a daily basis.

And the more I thought about it, the more a little panic turned into a lot of panic, and it wasn’t long before I was in full on panic mode about my ability to tackle any of my goals for this Spring.

So I did what I always do in matters of panic and running and consulted a good friend who has a gift for knowing exactly what to say to me to talk me off a ledge.

And as always, he said exactly what I need to hear.

Things about listening to my body, and things about how it’s okay if I run the half in Eugene and then slaughter the full at VCM a month later, things about how as much as I want to run fast now, it’s much more important that my comeback is happy and healthy, and things about how 27 very much meets the criteria for young and I am by no means going to be achieving my lifetime PR this Spring, in Eugene or Burlington, and things about how 13 weeks is a very longtime and I should not stress about making these decisions right not, and things about how no matter what happens, Eugene is still going to be an amazing weekend from start to finish.

See? Good stuff, people. Cue Emily backing away from the ledge.

So I’m taking the pressure off of myself, adjusting my expectations and focusing on getting this recovery right, because if this whole injury debacle has taught me nothing else, it’s that I really truly cannot live without running as a starring character in my life.

And for now, I’m not sweating which marathon is going to be my goal marathon this Spring, I’m just sweating.

Happy Tuesday friends, make it a sweaty one.

14 Responses to Roomies on the Run and Managing Expectations

  1. wow your recovery run is my dream run!

  2. I am convinced that you are going to achieve your lifetime PR this year. And you will rock Eugene, with or without a shiny new PR!

    • While I have no doubt that I’m going to nail a PR this Spring, my lifetime PR plan is that I am going to keep getting faster and faster for a few more years!

  3. I’ve been lurking here for a while without commenting, but we have some scary similarities… I tore ligaments in my ankle falling down the stairs about two weeks before you broke your foot while I was training to go <3:20! Needless to say, I almost literally feel your pain when it comes to the boot, hobbling around, and cheering at races you should have been running. My first run was the day after Christmas, and, as elated as I was to be moving myself forward under all my own power in a kind-of-fast motion, it became clear a few weeks ago that my first Boston Marathon probably wasn't the best idea if I wanted to come back fast.

    We both have a long time to hit our goals, and coming back fast and building endurance will get us there a lot more quickly than coming back with endurance and trying to get fast! Good luck!!

    • Serious parallels! Wow, good luck on your recovery, way to be smart about it, and have you picked a new marathon yet to dominate the 3:20!?

  4. YOU WORE YOUR VEGAS RING!! Sorry, was that not the point of the story?

  5. Those knees are looking good!

  6. WOW, good for you, I ran a 5 Mile Hilly Course on Sunday and then I ventured out there today for another 5 mile training run, I was sucking wind!! Hard to get back into the groove but you will :)

  7. I have been running the dreaded treadmill workouts for the past month and finally got outside for a 5k trail run and thought I was going to die before it was over!

  8. Actually, my plan for Eugene is the same. Shoot for the marathon (3:35 though, not 3:20!!!), but not to get my heart set on it. Problem is, I don’t have a marathon picked out for later in the year. Need to find one before end of June though as that’s when I go back to being a real medical student (ie not on my research year). So, wishing on a star that Eugene will work out, but if not, I’ll run the half.

    But, hey, you’re way ahead of me. I only ran 15 min today and still some pain. My body needs to get the memo that the injury period is over.

  9. [...] all one room away. What’s not to love? To really seal the deal of being stellar, Tim both ran with me AND learned how to play “Barefoot Blue Jean Night” on his guitar to cheer me up after my [...]

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