Wednesday, October 16, 2013

well, that was a productive weekend

20 mile training runs are the worst. 

I don't have good luck with training runs of that distance. In the middle of my first (and only) 20 miler for Disney I started to feel as if a huge rubber band was tightening around and behind my knee. I spent 10+ miles in agonizing pain, only running because it hurt more to walk. By the time I got back to my friend's house, I could barely walk up the stairs. For NYC-turned-Richmond, my first 20 miler was a comedy of errors - my iPod died, it rained so I spent most of the run with damp socks (which is THE WORST), and had to stop at Marathon Sports to buy more fuel because I was starving. I pretty much collapsed in a heap of tears as soon as I walked into the door of my apartment.  Needless to say, I usually hope for the best, but prepare for the worst when it comes to 20 mile runs.

And you know what? It wasn't that bad!

I decided to run about 8 miles down Mass Ave and then out on the bike path to Bedford before turning doubling back and running the Minuteman all the way back to Somerville. I thought it would be boring since I've run and biked on the path many times, but luckily I was wrong. I've never run that far out on Mass Ave and between the historic buildings in Arlington and Lexington and the foliage throughout - I definitely had a lot to look at. Unfortunately I spent most of the run STARVING, which is something new and different for me. Usually I'm not hungry at all during or after a run, but on Saturday all I could think about was a sausage egg and cheese on a bagel from Dunkin' Donuts (no joke). The only thing I can think of is that perhaps I didn't eat enough the night before, since I had my regular breakfast and more than enough fuel during my run. 

And you better believe that the first stop I made after finishing my run was to Dunkin' Donuts for my sausage egg and cheese. And i inhaled it so quickly that I burned the inside of my mouth. Chewing is overrated. 

On Sunday I substituted my recovery ride for some recovery apple picking. That's a thing, right? My legs were feeling a little sore, but I have to say I actually felt better than I had after the previous week's rough 19 mile run. I think that walking up and down the hills of the orchard helped loosen me up. After apple picking, we grabbed lunch at Shake Shack (the first one in Massachusetts!) and spent the rest of the day roasting pumpkin seeds and baking a couple of apple pies. It was pretty much the perfect fall New England day, if you ask me. 

I woke up on Monday morning feeling stiff. I can't say I was very surprised. I did worry a little bit what it would mean for running the Tufts 10k. I had told my coach (and myself) that I wasn't looking to race and that I would take it easy. Famous last words, right? I really do love the Tufts 10k. There's something really wonderful and inspiring about this race. My biggest complaint is not even that it's a huge race - it's more that people do. not. seed. themselves. correctly. 

(Side note: I just looked at my entry about Tufts from last year and I said the EXACT same thing - almost verbatim - about people seeding themselves. Hilarious)

I don't know what it is about this race but I always am just barely making it to packet pickup and the starting line. I can make it to 8am races in New Hampshire, but noon in Boston and I'm scrambling. It makes no sense to me. But anyway.. I met up with my fellow LUNA Chix at the tent before making my way to what I can only describe as a blob of thousands of women. I couldn't even get near the 10 minute pace group, and I knew I'd be kicking myself later as I spent the first couple of miles dodging people left and right. Luckily some space cleared up on the outside and I was able to get near both the 10 minute milers as well as some of my friends, though I did end up losing them and running almost entirely on my own. Since I didn't really care about the time (or at least that's what I was telling myself), I set my watch to the weird screen that shows a compass and no time or pace. I didn't even have my heart rate strap, so I went solely based on how I felt and that seemed to work out very well!


That would be a PR, by 1:17. Also! It is my sub-1 hour 10k! I'm so slow on my longer runs, that I forget that I do have a (very) little bit of speed in me for shorter distances. Also, apparently I can only PR 10ks at Tufts while marathon training. What am I going to do for next year's race since I am 100% done with marathons after NYC? I guess I'll have to work on my half marathon time..  

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