13: The number of miles I ran between Thursday and Friday. (Also, the number of candles on your cake when you officially become a Jewish adult, but that’s neither here nor there.)
13 miles, as of late, isn’t usually anything to write home about, but for whatever reason, to me — this week — it most certainly was. I never run 13 miles between 2 consecutive weekdays. 5 miles is typically my cap Monday through Friday, and so when I do run back to back, it never adds up; unless I run back to back to back, or back to back to back to back. You get the point.
I suppose it’s somewhat of a preservation thing. For one, I feel as though, since I love to run every day or as often as possible, if I keep it to 5 miles, it’s far enough to satisfy my passion while short enough to avoid muscle overuse. On the other hand, it’s also a viable means of time conservation; if I actually had more than 50 to 60 minutes a day to work out, I’d be a much
crazier happier individual. I don’t, however, and 5 miles fits perfectly into that time slot.
With weekend plans to head home for my parents’ anniversary (happy 37th, mom and dad!), to then head further east to my best friend’s house in wine country, and to then make it back to my hometown in time for my nephew’s 2nd birthday, I know there is little chance I’ll be able to squeeze in my longer run for the weekend — 8 miles — the number I had arbitrarily picked out and wanted to run in preparation for the Philly Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon in September – without feeling stressed.
Why 8 miles? Well, let’s see. When training for an event, I typically try to switch my weeks up, planning a longer, between 7.5 and 10-mile run one weekend, and a shorter yet harder (adding hills or quickening my pace) run the next.
2 weekends ago, with about 2 months to the race, I should have run 8 miles if I were actually on any regimented training schedule (I’m not, and you can read more about that here). Instead, the perfect weather and company of Noah inspired me to log 11, basically putting me at the perfect place on my imaginary schedule if the half marathon were, well, this weekend.
I suppose there’s nothing wrong with being ahead of schedule, but since I’m somewhat in better physical shape than I had anticipated, I’m now most worried about pre-race burn out. Therefore, 8 miles for the week seemed long enough to maintain the mileage while short enough to prevent boredom. Because — and hear me out, those of you who haven’t run a half yet — if you can run 8 miles, you can absolutely run 13.1. It’s just 5 more miles. NBD.
At any rate, the breakdown of my 8-mile “long” run of the week goes something like this.
Pre-run: Ugh, I am so tired. Why did I drink last night? Let’s just get these 5 miles out of the way. I’ll probably be so sleepy that I’ll black out the first half of the run anyway and really only have to concentrate on the way home.
Mile 1: I feel surprisingly good for the morning after 3 glasses of wine. Maybe I really did fuel up right with that extra portion or 3 of bruschetta.
Mile 2: Still feeling nice, and somewhat confused. I thought it was supposed to be humid out today. Stacy, you might want to take advantage of the smidge of dryness in the air. That doesn’t happen often in New York City. Usually, the skies just look like this.
Mile 3: F-it. I’m running the 8.
Mile 4: How do I always forget how beautiful the reservoir is? I love it here. Why is the water green? Why do I like pavement more than gravel? Why is this 80-year-old man passing me? Time to pick up the pace.
Mile 5: Phew, passed the half way point. Water break. Let’s get back on pavement; I’m sick of this soft-surfaces-are-better-for-your-knees crap.
Mile 6: Why do I remember this part of the run being uphill? I must be delirious. Maybe I should have eaten something before running 8 miles in the morning.
Mile 7: Ah, the bottom loop of Central Park. Home. Man, I am getting really tired. Who decided 8 miles was a good idea this morning again?
Mile 8: Home stretch. Just concentrate. One foot in front of the other.
Usually I run back to my apartment on 5th Avenue, but on Thursday, I decided to switch it up and take Park for the wide streets and lack of foot traffic. It’s crowded, but with less tourists and more I-work-in-a-big-fancy-bank type of people; and you know they don’t want to bump into you all sweaty and such.
Then came Friday.
Friday’s 5 miler was somewhat of the same old song and dance, but I knew that I wanted to cover those last 5 miles before the weekend — you know, just in case I didn’t run at all. It also topped off my goal of 25 miles for the week ahead of schedule, actually taking me to a total of 28.
The official breakdown:
Sunday: 5 miles in the country with a giant mile-long incline to start.
Monday: 5 miles around the lower loop of Central Park.
Tuesday: 5 miles around the lower loop of Central Park.
Wednesday: 60 minutes of strength training despite the perfect weather.
Thursday: 8 miles around the reservoir and lower loop of Central Park.
Friday: 5 miles around the lower loop of Central Park.
Here’s to the weekend and all of your planned runs, whether they’re long, short, rainy or sunny, humid or dry. Just get out there and do it. And then be sure to drink some wine and eat some birthday cake.
- Do you ever get a “running x miles was a bad choice” (but not actually) kind of feeling?
- What was your favorite workout of the week?