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That time I didn’t run long (x2)

Confession: last week when I took my 48 hours off, I was still calculating how I could end my week with a high mileage total. I may have been all “REST IS SO GOOD. I DON’T CARE HOW MANY MILES I RUN THIS WEEK” on the outside, but on the inside, the mental math was racing furiously to figure out how I could still make daily mile proud, even with a 48 hour “break.”

So I went running for 7 miles on Friday at lunch, knowing that my only opportunity to get any mileage in would have to happen midday since I was scheduled to start my weekend of fun in DC immediately after leaving the office. It was (mother fucking) hot, I’d already taught a killer spin class that morning, but I just HAD to log miles. And with that mileage under my belt before the weekend, I was set to still hit at least 60 for the week, since most weekends don’t go by without me running somewhere in the neighborhood of 25-35 miles. Even in the sloppiest stages of marathon recovery immediately after Eugene, I was still out there for a 12 mile long run first thing Saturday morning and back out on Sunday to log some recovery miles. Long running and weekends just go together in my life. They’re like the peanut butter and jelly (or, even better, peanut butter and chocolate) of my running schedule. I don’t even think about whether or not I want to run long when I wake up on a Saturday morning. I just proceed immediately to the toaster, while simultaneously lacing up my running shoes and strapping on my garmin, and then head out the door for double digits.

But this weekend, my first raceless weekend in a while and my first weekend actually staying in DC in even longer, I didn’t end up running long. I barely even ran short. I certainly ran really, really slow.

And I didn’t care. In fact, I was happy, relieved even, to unload the pressure I put on myself every damn weekend to hit major miles.

I scrapped my plans to spend Saturday running long when I woke up after way too few hours of sleep, way too many ounces of belgian beer and one very appealing text invitation to spend the afternoon shopping and drinking on patios.

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Who has time to run long when you can drink budlight in a can at a crossfit gym? Yup, that happened. In our defense, it was for a fundraiser. Some people run for a good cause, we drink bad beer in a hot gym.

Instead of hitting the road for 20 miles, I ran 5, grabbed my closest sundress, and resolved to run long the next day.

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Fast forward more than a few hours of patio cocktails, a margarita the size of my head and an impromptu Robyn dance party, and I did no such make up long run sesh.

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Instead, I ran another 5, even slower miles with a friend who was equally, if not more so, feeling the consequences of a long Saturday night. I didn’t look at our pace at all, but I’m pretty sure the guy who passed us in a cotton shirt and high socks could have confirmed just how slowly we were crawling…if he had been wearing a garmin. Instead of our normal routine of speeding up to avoid getting passed, we just laughed at how pathetically slow we were going, and maintained our sluggish pace. And after the run was done, I cut off any possibility to add on more miles by heading out for some brunch drinks with a friend from home who decided to turn his canceled flight into a full on weekend of fun in DC.

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We get REALLY excited when we are served drinks in pint glasses from Middlebury because we are also from Middlebury. Try to contain your jealousy of how cool we are.

I felt a little shitty about my lack of miles this weekend for half a second and then I realized that my weekend away from lots-o-miles was exactly what I needed. While my runless 48 hours was great and helpful, it wasn’t enough. I just beat the shit out of my legs with five huge races in seven weeks and I can’t expect them to magically recover in 48 hours, which a weekend of shitty, slow, short runs made very clear. And while I’m in no way claiming to have 100 percent recovered in two extra days of easy running, I am feeling about 100 times better in my hokas.

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This morning, I headed out for run. I wasn’t sure how long I wanted to go, I just knew that after a weekend of endless debauchery, I needed to sweat. My normal weekday morning routine is to run 4-6 easy miles before work. For the past couple of weeks, I have crawled through these runs at a pace that makes me curse out loud every 5 strides and spent every minute of the run counting down the steps until I’m back home.

But today? Today was finally a good old, runners highing kind of run. I found myself taking turns or modifying my route over and over again to add on distance, which is SUCH a refreshing feeling after countless runs spent questioning my love for miles and miles of running.

I’m not back, but I’m on my way to being back. My legs and mind are both finally getting to be on the same page. While I was taking my real live break from running and running long, I spent some time thinking about the big “what next?” question and I’m 99 percent sure I can answer it. And I’m finally feeling physically and mentally ready to tackle my next big goal. Having track trials to watch all weekend and fuel my running excitement is also not slowing down my desire to get back out there and race the shit out of a course.

I hope everyone had a great weekend of running and racing! HUGE SHOUT OUTS of congrats to all of the brand spankin’ new Ironman athletes who killed it at IMCDA yesterday. You kids are inspiring and full of bad ass sweat.

8 Responses to That time I didn’t run long (x2)

  1. Otter Creek! I just went there yesterday to get my VT brewery passport stamp. I’m on a mission to get 10 stamps before brewfest to get a free t-shirt.

    • SO jealous! I spent every friday afternoon at that brewery during college. What session are you going to brewfest. I will be at ALL OF THEM.

  2. I’m glad you are scaling it back. I was starting to worry that it might take an injury before you realized how much abuse you’re putting on your body. Treat yourself well!

  3. I’m so proud of you!!! You chose patio-sitting over running! You’re not an addict! Way to go!!!

  4. I think it’s great you’re learning to recover. You’ve mentioned how you’re prone to injury; listen to your body no matter how hard it may be to do! Your fracture posts were great, I love that it all helped you come back stronger and better than ever!

  5. [...] party this weekend, a fundraiser for a friend from Middlebury, and maybe a little running (a very little amount of running.) But hour by hour, new and exceedingly fun things kept popping [...]

  6. Had a fantastic relay run this weekend. The team came in 3rd in the Ekiden Relay at the StanChart KL Marathon (www.kl-marathon.com). And you should really incorporate cutback 48-hour breaks every 3-4 weeks.

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