Short stories from long runs

This blog about my run and training

Oh, Jillian. When will you ever learn?

I have got to stop making these sweeping proclamations of distance and intensity and physical fitness before actually accomplishing them. Yesterday was an incredibly active day, no doubt, but when I crashed and burned five minutes into yoga, I had to eat my words about my most active day ever. Still, 22 miles and five minutes of yoga isn’t bad!

Understatement. 22 miles was amazing.

I spent the entire morning sick to my stomach nervous, though I couldn’t pinpoint exactly why. I guess I knew I could cover 22 miles, I was just dreading how bad it might feel. In the end, it was exactly what I needed: a good hard workout and great piece of mind.

I headed out from the office right around 1 PM and hit the road faster than I wanted to – free for the afternoon, weeeee! I deliberately slowed my pace just a bit and within a mile, hit our usual Saturday morning starting point in Washington Square. From there, the entire run would be familiar, blending this season’s route with the Boston course. The first few miles felt completely cautious, like I was waiting to crash and burn, but gradually I fell into a comfortable rhythm into the rolling hills of Newton.

Switching up my usual run was a really good thing. I’ve run those darn 8.5 mile loops around home so many times over the past few months that I am completely bored. That, coupled with the way that everyone responds when I tell them I’m running Burlington (“OH! Hilly, right?!”), I wanted to be absolutely sure I was working enough hills (and an appropriate amount of simulated exhaustion) into my training.

Here’s the elevation map from Tuesday afternoon:

And from my everyday 8.5 loop (when I do it twice I reverse direction on the second go-around):

And, finally, of the course:

Fingers crossed that it has been enough!

It wasn’t until I was about 7 miles in that I realized running to the Marathon Sports in Wellesley would mean running up Mildred. Mildred was apparently the nasty great aunt of a former TNT runner, who nicknamed the crazy hill just east of where they trained at the Wellesley Community Center. Any time the group headed left from the parking lot to take on the hills, it meant that upon returning to Wellesley, they would have to make the trek up Mildred. Naturally, everyone hated it, but the coaches reminded the team time and time again: at least you only go down it on race day! The route I chose for Tuesday meant taking on Mildred around the mile 9/10 mark. I wasn’t amped, but it brought back good memories, nonetheless.

Turning back after Wellesley felt good and, in my head, the return route didn’t seem so long. I knew that all of those hills I coasted down on the way out would probably chew me up on the way back, but I knew it would only be 3-4 miles of torture, followed by a slight downhill to home base.

Honestly, it’s hilarious just to recount this compared to my Debbie Downer attitude last Sunday.

All in all, it was fine. I made it up and over Heartbreak and back through the BC campus. I threw in a loop of the Chestnut Hill Reservoir (flat, flat, flat!), dialing my pace down to 8:30 knowing how close I was, and made it back to the start in about 3:13. That averages out faster than I expected and I suspect it is somewhat skewed, somehow, but since I am aiming to run joyfully, gratefully, and with the best possible attitude ever, I’m not dwelling on it.

As usual, the fine print includes that about an hour post-run I was viciously sick. This happens over and over again and I really need a solution. Tragically, eating cannot be the solution. I cannot look at food post-run. Maybe I should try chocolate milk? I limped to the yoga mat (post-round 1 of… just trust. It was bad), literally folded myself in half and sulked for the train ride home, and planted myself in the fetal position on my couch until it was an acceptable hour to pass out (read: early).

I am home free – tapering!