Short stories from long runs

This blog about my run and training

I took a few days off at the end of last week, so watching the New York City Marathon was a good way to re-motivate to get out the door for my long run yesterday afternoon. It was so inspiring to watch the race leaders absolutely cranking and one of the commentators made a remark I thought about for the rest of the day: without the training, a goal is only a wish.

In those terms, I guess I’ve gone into races with both, but always calling it a goal. That said, the sense I get in my belly at the start line is a good bullshit barometer for what I’m actually prepared to tackle.

I headed out for 8 1/2 yesterday — a harder, hillier route than I’ve been running recently — and figured I could tack on extra depending on how I was feeling. Turns out finding out how I was feeling only took about a mile. I ducked into a diner bathroom but my stomach settled so I hit the road again. Almost-instant mistake. Luckily I hit a park where I know there’s a bathroom close to 2 miles or so. I jogged slowly along the crowded path and made it to the restroom before getting sick, feeling better almost instantly.

Oh, by the way, was anyone watching the NYCM to see Deba (who led for 24 miles) puke over her shoulder without breaking her stride? I am not that graceful.

Now I was a few miles out from home and cellphone-less, but I felt better, more or less, so I kept going. At least I was headed in the right direction. I took it slow, especially on a steep hill I totally hate, but felt better and better as I went, like a fog lifted as I ran. Weird, I know. While I wanted to curl up in a ball at mile 3, by mile 6 I just wanted to keep going. I decided to tack on an extra small loop that would get me close to 10 miles while staying close to home. I finished 9.75 miles in 1:30:34, a 9:17 pace.

The Philadelphia Half Marathon is less than two weeks away and I continue to feel good, even without months of strong base under my belt. I’ve run 10 miles each of the past three weekends, the BAA Half the weekend before that with another 10 preceding that race. With good conditions, enough sleep, and proper nutrition leading up to race day, I’m excited to see where things stand November 17.

Pile on the Miles Challenge: 9.75/110 miles, 4/30 days.