The rain that was supposed to start Sunday morning looked like it was holding off until the afternoon, which was good news for my long run. I would’ve run in the rain, but was happy not to. I really hate wet shoes.
Although, after watching the Boston marathon this morning (thank you live streaming), I really should never again complain about it being too wet outside to run. Also, how great was it to see Desiree Linden be the first American woman since 1985 to win Boston?! Between Shalane Flanagan and Linden, it’s been quite the year for American women marathoners. Not to mention me, as I’m running my first marathon this fall. So, all three of us, really. Me, Shalane, and Desiree. All of us equally on the same level of accomplishment, skill, and success.
Back to my long run. There was a time when I wouldn’t even dream of running the day after a 5K race, but the more training I do – heavier weights, more strength building, longer and faster runs – the quicker I recover and the more I seem to be able to handle. My legs were a bit weary from Saturday’s race, but the kind of weary that movement would actually make better, not worse. Running almost felt like it’d be a good stretch. A shakeout. Besides, I just wanted to run.
I’m slowly increasing my long runs each week to get back up to where I was pre-hiatus. Two weekends ago I ran 6 miles; last weekend 7 and 8; this weekend seemed like a good time for 9.
I don’t want to make any big leaps in distance like I did a couple months ago, when I went from a half marathon back down to 10 a couple weekends later, then two weeks later up to 14. There was too much time between 13 and 14, and that’s when my knee started bothering me. So from now on if I increase distance week to week, I’ll do it a mile at a time. Safety first, my friends.
Also, I’m in no hurry – the NYC marathon is still 7 months away.
It was a lot colder on Sunday than the balmy temps that had me in a tank and shorts on Saturday. I can’t believe I’m still wearing a hat and gloves in mid-April, but here we are. At least the plush sock-mittens have been washed, dried, and banished to a cold weather clothing box until what I hope is next winter.
The most significant thing about Sunday’s long run was how insignificant it felt. Again, comparing the present to the past, I remember as recently as last summer when running 9 miles was a huge deal – so close to the magic 10, which was also a momentous occasion when I hit that for the first time. For the longest time before that, running 7 miles felt like an incredible accomplishment. There were a few years I was stuck at 6, mentally unprepared to push myself further. Before that, running 5 felt like a major victory. At one point, 3 miles was all I could manage – I remember in my mid 20s when I didn’t even understand what “5K pace” meant because my 5K pace was my easy pace. And even before that, I was happy to be able to run for 10 minutes straight without stopping.
Nothing happens overnight. Except, I guess, the night.
In fact, yesterday’s 9.48 miler felt shorter than usual because I cut out half a mile from my 10 mile route, which I’ve done many times. So it actually felt like I took a shortcut.
As I run through Northport these days, I am already starting to miss the roads. I’ve loved running here. I’m hoping that after I move to the city I’ll be able to make it back here every few Sundays for a long run. I’m glad my sister still lives here. So I guess at some point I’ll have to break it to her that I’ll be visiting every few weeks. I hope she makes pancakes. Mmm, pancakes.
Speaking of food, I had lunch with my high school friend Erik on Sunday afternoon. We went to Skipper’s, the same place I had that huge burger with my dad a few weeks ago. Guess what I ordered on Sunday? Yep, another burger! This was the “Skipper’s Burger,” smothered in mozzarella and mushrooms. I’m glad Erik likes to talk because all I wanted to do was say “mm-hmm” as I shoved it into my face. Damn. It was a good burger.
I also had a bloody mary. I used to love bloody marys and this was my first one in a couple of years, maybe? And probably my fourth or fifth alcoholic drink in the last year and a half. I never drink. I usually just don’t care about alcohol. I think the last drink I had before this was a glass of wine on Christmas Eve. But I don’t know, something about this day – the day after a fun 5K and seeing my former teacher, running 9 and a half miles that morning, seeing my high school friend, the burger – it just felt like a good day for a bloody mary.
It was a good day for a lot of things.