Monday, February 4, 2013

What, no medal?

I am at the point now where I'm not 100% sure how I am going to run 13.1 miles twice in one day.  I know that I have weeks and weeks (and miles and miles... like almost 300) of training left to do, but wow.  I love a good half marathon.  One. Just one a day.

This week of training was not without its challenges.  Wind, cold weather, longest long run so far, getting a little sick, and insomnia for some reason.  Tuesday's run was still a little snowy.  Wednesday and Thursday were just right into the wind.  Wednesday was a 6 miler and the first half was just awful wind-wise.  When it let up, it was perfect.  Thursday, more of the same, except the wind never let up and it seemed to come from every direction.  

Saturday was my first group training run.  I did not get much sleep the night before.  Friday, I had a pretty relaxed day and didn't go out at night so I could rest.  I ate pasta, I laid out my clothes and watched a bunch of Stabler heavy episodes of Law and Order: SVU with Winston.  And then ate some pita chips. And then some baby carrots.  And then probably more pita chips.  And, for some reason, a whole bunch of mushrooms.

I had a hard time getting to sleep.  I'm not sure if I was nervous about the distance, running with new people, maybe being the slowest person, getting lost, not waking up in time, would I be the only one with a Fuel Belt? 

I was woken up at around 5am (an hour before I wanted to get up and have breakfast) with some terrible ear pain. Awesome.  I laid in bed for about an hour trying to get a little bit more sleep and then just got up to eat. 

Again, Winston had no trouble sleeping

I decided to take the T in since we were meeting at MGH and I didn't know how much parking there would be.  Seemed like an awesome idea.  I'll get to that later.

I left my coat in the car, pulled on my hat, strapped on my iPod and Fuel Belt, stashed my keys, parking ticket, credit card, license, Charlie Card, GU, and some cash in my pockets, and headed in.  It's not too long to MGH from Alewife and I bumped into someone else heading over to run at Central, which was good, because I had no idea how to get to the actual meeting spot once I got there.  

There were about 10-15 of us, I think?  It seemed like a pretty nice and straightforward route a little over 13 miles.  Around the Charles from the Longfellow to the North Beacon Bridge in Watertown and back.  This is the longest distance I've ever run, so it was familiar, but it would be pretty tough still.  


We got started and right from the beginning broke out into groups of similar paces.  I ended up running most of the time with a group of four other ladies.  At least one had run the marathon last year, one had run 22 miles last weekend (what?  I'm fairly certain I had heard that right), and this would be the first for the other two.  I really had a great time running with these ladies.  There was some great conversation, I think I pushed a little harder than I would have by myself, and I realized that I am not alone in all of my training and fundraising worries.  The first half of the run flew by!  I had set my Nike+ app to just a basic run so it wouldn't alert me at every mile.  We got to a stopping point around mile 6 or so when we realized we didn't know where the rest of the group had gone.  There was a point to run back around the Charles, but we hadn't got to the North Beacon bridge.  We also couldn't tell where we should cross the street or even which street to follow... we decided to run back towards MGH and make up the miles at the end (two of them had those GPS Garmin watches).  

This is where we should have ended up.

Smooth sailing still, beautiful scenery and great company!  Then around mile 11- hip and knee pain!  I kept going because every now and then (for me) something that is just a little sore feels alright if I push through.  I decided to walk every so often to see if that helped.  I did, however, have to catch up to the group because I wasn't totally sure where we were headed or how far we had left (the Nike+ app can not always be trusted).  I felt a little better around mile 12 when one of the ladies said "My body is done".  I was glad to not be alone!  We finished a little over 13 miles and said our goodbyes.  

WHY does it have to be outside?!

Back to the T.  The one plus about running at home is I just have to walk up my street in the cold after I'm done (to cool down a bit) and then I can go take a nice hot shower right away.  In Boston, I have to wait for the train, get to my car, drive home, and THEN I can take a hot shower.  My running gear is super warm before and during a run.  It's great until you sweat for a couple of hours and then you stop moving.  Especially when the T stop is outdoors.  My fingers were freezing and three of them started to tingle a bit.  I put my mittens back on, but they were wet and it just seemed to make it worse.  The ride back felt twice as long as the ride to MGH that morning.  My parking ticket was bent and sweaty from being in my pocket, my hands were still tingly, and my legs were killing me from the run and from the cold that was totally on it's way.  I got off the train at Alewife and walked up the stairs hoping to get rid of some of the soreness (didn't work).  I got back to my car and cranked up the heat. I just sat and let my hands warm up before I started home.

My first finger is the color it normally is... the other three are kind of corpse-y.

I showered, I ate, I got some coffee and ibuprofen, and then I napped.


Winston also napped

I purchased a foam roller that evening, too.
This one.

Or was it this one?

I think the foam roller helped because I felt pretty good on Sunday.  Only sick/cold achy, not ran a half marathon the day before achy.

I also discovered/already knew that running a bunch of miles isn't really a good reason to eat whatever I want.  Don't get me wrong, I need to eat more than I would if I were to not run a bunch, but maybe I don't need to eat pizza, for example.  It's tough because I do find that I am considerably hungrier than I am when I am not running as much, but I just need to be sure I'm eating the right foods- foods that will help in recovery and performance.  

This week is a step back week for the long run- just 10 miles (10 years ago, I would never have said "just 10 miles).  I'm not sure if it's Saturday or Sunday for the group run.  If it's Saturday, I can't go because of my Zumba class, so I may be on my own.  Anyone want to run 10 miles with me this weekend?  Kind of slowly?

I have two fundraisers coming up.  There will be more details as they become available, but the first one is a Zumba class at Stoneham Theatre on February 23rd at 12pm!  The second is a Close Enough show at Dockside Restaurant and Bar in Malden on March 9th at 9pm!  Facebook events and emails will go out soon and I hope to see people there!  

This is what I learned this week:

1) Wind + running = not a whole lot of fun
2) I hate the T after a long run
3) Running in a group is awesome!
4) Cut the crap with the snacks
5) Foam rollers are totally a good thing
6) I can still take a nap after drinking a venti coffee