Last week, I got this revelation that I should do my long run on Friday. It seemed perfect: I would be recovered for the PI workout on Tuesday, everyone seemed to be running the Rutgers Unite Half on Sunday so I would have no company any day, I had off work but had work all day Saturday, I could do it any time of the day, etc., etc. And of course, it’s Friday. Anything difficult you accomplish before the weekend is a good thing; heck, I might even have a chance at being like a normal person this weekend! Not so fast. I did do my long
run Friday. But it was HOT. I somehow did not think that I’d have to worry about what time I started running in April…but summer said hello last Friday, and it started laughing in my face around mile 11. Looking back at the observed temperature, it was “only” 77 degrees, but the humidity was surprisingly sneaky and very much apparent. I chose a fun loop from my house, which put me at the store just after the eleventh mile, where I planned on picking up an 8 oz. handheld water bottle and an extra Gu. In the race, there will be Vanilla Bean Gu, so I took that on the run. I only had one during the 20 miler, and I knew in the race I would want more…so I took along an extra to see how my stomach responded.
Ever since Boston, my motivation has somewhat declined. I don’t really know why this is or if “motivation” is the right word here. It seems that for everyone else, the weekend is fueling a lifetime of motivated running. People who have never ran before are deciding to enter Boston 2014 for charities. But those last five miles of the 18 on Friday were ridiculously mentally difficult. At least, compared to my normal level of motivation, which is probably abnormally high. I admit it was most likely due to the heat, that day. I’m just being a bit hard on myself, My legs felt fine and I clicked off sub-8:00 splits the entire run, except for some tough hills around mile 7. I even dropped to sub-7:45 for a few miles here and there and felt totally fine. When I reached my house at last, my watch read 17.8. And I stopped. I had a mental battle with myself when I realized I would come up short on mileage. But end of story – I stopped at 17.8. And life went on. I was caked in salt and craving Nuun.
The aftermath: my calves were shot. Just really tired and sore, like I just ran a race. On Sunday afternoon, it seemed like resting caused more harm than good, because it stiffened up my muscles even more. So, I went out for a nice, easy 7 mile run on mostly trails, which did what I intended it to, at least immediately. It was one of those runs you do because you love running…not necessarily because it was scheduled. Sometimes those are just what you need; the run is the only escape from rambling thoughts, and you return not always with a revelation or a decision, but just with a sense of being a little more calm and empowered than you were before.