A Weekend Full of Labor: 8 Accidental Miles from Philadelphia to Manayunk

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Given how much Noah and I traveled through the summer — from Croatia to the Catskills, from St. Louis to Lake Michigan, from New York to Philadelphia (several times for the last one), Labor Day provided the opportunity we had been waiting for to sit back, relax, and watch an ungodly amount of TV. And it was about freaking time, too.

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(Sea Bass came along for the ride, teaching me a thing or two about cat naps along the way. Nice work, gate. Keep sleeping and stuff.)

After legitimately refusing to go out on Friday–trading the bar for a quiet dinner followed by an early evening in bed–I woke up feeling refreshed and revived on Saturday morning (as opposed to hungover and miserable). Man, it feels good to be a grownup. (Fair warning, the rest of Saturday was not as refined.)

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Saturday, we kicked off the morning with a brief bootcamp workout in Rittenhouse Square led by one of Noah’s Wharton colleagues. It was cool and crisp and perfect outside, and I was glad to get the workout over with 1) before the humidity, which hit the city on Sunday, and 2) prior to a day of college-esque debauchery.

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After watching the first good Michigan football game in about seven years, we went to night one of Made in America, a great little (re: 80,000 people packed) concert that’s basically in our new backyard. To put it in perspective, the main stage was right in front of the museum, which is an 8-minute run from my front door.

The concert itself was a lot of fun, the crowd patriotically clad in head to toe red, white and blue. There were stars and stripes and glittery temporary tattoos everywhere. The air was filled with the scent of Old Bay-coated french fries. And Kanye headlined. Yeezus, did he kill it from start to end. I was also pretty stoked to finally witness one of his world-renowned rants in person.

If boot camp didn’t kill me, then being on my feet at the concert all day, drinking multiple 20 oz. cans of Bud Light, most certainly did. On Sunday, being the natural masochist that I am, on tired legs and aching calves, I convinced Noah to go out for a run.

The goal was to keep it light. 5 miles from our apartment in Center City to a little town next door called Manayunk — also on the Schuylkill — was all that we wanted to accomplish. And that would have been perfect, had Manayunk actually been 5 miles away. Instead, about 2.5 miles into the run, just as we passed the spot where I usually turn around on weekday mornings, Noah was all hold up, we need to stop. 

Why, you ask?

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Just at this point, we saw a sign for Manayunk; the town was 4.8 miles from where we were, for a total of 2.5 + 4.8 miles of running. Now, I’m not a mathematician here, folks, but based on my calculations, that was the end of our short, easy run.

I should add that Sunday was incredibly hot, muggy and drizzling; not September-like weather at all. Fortunately, the run itself turned out to be exactly what we needed. Long. A little exhausting. Very much a stretch both physically and mentally — especially after a day of fried food and booze. But perfect.

With most of you folks — Noah, my husband, included — smack in the middle of fall marathon training (he’s running New York City, in case you hadn’t heard), I know that 8 miles is laughable. The old me — the one that ran a handful of halves in a year’s time — might have overlooked the mileage too.

But to the me of the last couple of years, 8 miles felt like a real accomplishment. It is a real accomplishment. And I was proud of what I did — especially when the last couple of years have been limited to 5 miles or less (thanks, body, for breaking down every time I train for a race).

In truth, I doubt that this 8 mile business will become a thing; it certainly won’t be a habit. It was, however, nice to know that I’m still capable of more than I think I am, and that I can achieve more than I set out to in the first place.

Tell me: When’s the last time you pushed yourself beyond your limits? It doesn’t just have to be running-related (though kudos if it is)!