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My goal of last week was a mere collective 20 miles. As of Friday, when I packed up my amazing gift-to-myself Lululemon carryall and headed out to Fire Island, I had run just 18.

The breakdown:

Monday: 40-minutes of strength training and 23 hours and 20 minutes of being cranky about not running

Tuesday: 5 miles around the lower loop of Central Park

Wednesday: 3 miles along the East Side

Thursday: 8 miles through Central Park

Friday: 2 miles and 30 minutes of strength training

So there’s your 18. I was worried that this number would be final; there was no guarantee that I’d muster the energy to run at all this weekend on Fire Island. For one, I had never been there before and was unfamiliar with the terrain. But the other, more important and perhaps obvious reason that I anticipated having to forego any type of weekend run (a rare occurrence) is that I was highly doubtful that 2 nights at the bars would leave me in any condition to wake up early and exercise.

I nevertheless brought my Asics along with me, figuring that I’d be completely pissed off at myself if I hadn’t and then decided that I did want to run after all. The moral of the story: If your sneakers are staring back at you from the side pockets of your carryall, you’ll probably get the desire at some point to run, even if it’s not very far. Always, always, always bring your sneakers with you.

As expected, the weekend was, pardon my potty-mouth, an absolute shit show (there really is no other way to describe it) from the start, beginning with Penn Station, otherwise known as the worst place on earth. I probably hate it as much as I love Central Park, which is really saying a lot.

The trip out to Fire Island didn’t get any better, easier or less sweaty, but fortunately, I stocked up on mini Sutter Home bottles at the train station. If nothing else, these ultra classy beverages would at least dull the pain of having to stand sticky shoulder to sticky shoulder for all of 2 hours.

What a relief it was to finally get to Ocean Beach and pull up to this.

Like I said, I’d never been to Fire Island before, and the only way I can describe it after spending a weekend sharing a twin-sized bed cot with my best friend is that it’s a lot like sleep-away camp. Because there are no cars allowed on the island, it’s basically just you, the beach, jungle-like pathways, over-priced iced coffees and an abundance of SOLO cups. That, and hordes of deer.

I doubt I need to go into too much detail about Friday night; I think we can all assume that it was a poor choice to open a bottle of red wine at 3:30 am after returning home from the bars, and that on Saturday, I didn’t do much more than this.

Or this.

Or this.

4 bottles of water and 5 Advil later, and I was ready for round 2: Saturday night. Again, details aren’t needed.

To my total surprise, I woke up on Sunday morning feeling relatively awake, and like 2 weekends ago when I went out to the farm, I was dying to sweat out all the crap I had put into my body during the previous 36 hours.

On the trip was my running partner in crime (that is, when we don’t flake out on our planned morning excursions), CB, who also thought that a short shake-out (as in, shake out the wine, beer and liquor) run wasn’t such a bad idea. As our friends went off to sit by the water and top off their tans, CB and I put on our running clothes and set off to check out the island.

From the beginning, it was pleasant as can be. The exclusion of cars on the island made it so that the only time you had to look both ways was to make sure there were no deer in the way, and so we wandered for about 3 miles with total ease.

We started off on a short boardwalk along the bay…

…incorporated a little beach running (which left my calves insanely tight)…

…took in the flower-filled pathways…

…and otherwise just got lost, never straying too far from home.

Overall, I logged 3.5 miles before showering and meeting up with the girls for another 30 minutes of sun, and then packed up and caught the ferry and train back to Manhattan so that I could be back early enough to vacuum (a must), do work and generally get my life back in order.

With those final 3.5 miles, I actually managed to achieve my relatively tame goal for the week, which was to run a grand total of 21 or so miles. The only thing I didn’t accomplish was yoga, which — especially if I’m going to increase my mileage again this week — I really, really, really need to get on.

That brings us to the now, also known as the first week without a trip planned at the end of it in nearly a month. After getting out of town more than 3 weekends in a row, I’m itching for a couple of weekends of nothingness and sleep. I’ll also finally be able to get my long runs in on the weekend, rather than squeezing them in to my Thursday pre-work routine.

Without rhyme or reason, I’m going to go ahead and say that, after cutting back to 20 due to piriformis pain, 30 miles is again my approximate goal for the week in order to build endurance for September’s half marathon. 30 miles and a yoga class. Or at least a few pigeon poses from my living room floor. We’ll see what the schedule allows.

  • Do you ever scale back to prevent injury occurrence or a pain flare up while training for a race?
  • What are your weekly running goals?
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