A 12.5-Mile Run and a Serious Downward Spiral

I thought I did everything right.

Following Friday night’s Hot Figure 4 class, I was feeling great. I met Noah and his friends out for a couple of drinks – keeping it to that: just 2 glasses of wine over the course of the night before heading home for a solid night of sleep.

Waking up on Saturday morning refreshed and sober was a wonderful feeling, especially after 2 weekends of hungover Saturdays. With Noah still passed out, I got out of bed, slathered a delicious apple with heavenly peanut butter, finished up a little work, and headed out for a very, very welcomed run.

Thanks to rain and a sudden urge to strength train, I hadn’t hit the pavement in 2 days, which, for someone who tries to run every day and usually succeeds, can seem like centuries. Naturally, I felt great from the moment I stepped out of my apartment door and was totally stoked to be soaking in all Manhattan had to offer.

The plan was to meet my cousin in Central Park and to see where the morning took me from there. I’d have been happy with 5 miles total and was very much willing to go 8, but as the morning went on, the miles poured in. By the end of it, I had crushed 12.5 miles before the clock had struck noon.

Here’s the breakdown:

And here’s the close-up view of Central Park, since you can’t really see the doubled-up laps from space:

Miles 1 and 2. Oh my goodness running is the most awesomest thing in the world. I can’t believe how amazing I feel after 2 days off. Maybe I should take rest days more often. I probably won’t though.

Miles 3 and 4. I met my cousin, DAM, at mile 2 and spent the next handful of miles slowly making my way around Central Park with her. We were less talkative than usual, probably because we had just had dinner together a couple nights earlier, but we were very much enjoying the morning.

I hadn’t run with DAM in a while (being a lawyer makes you busy or something, whatever), but it was kind of nice to have my weekend partner in crime back. For this reason, miles 3 and 4 were quick and happy, despite fending off Cat Hill’s famous claws.

Miles 5 and 6. This basically takes us around the first lap of the reservoir. We contemplated several options for the day and settled on the reservoir since her knees had been bothering her, which was totally find with me – mine were kind of creaky too. The first lap actually felt slow; but that’s probably because we were moving really slowly. As usual, there was nothing speedy about our stride.

Miles 7 and 8. Rather than head south on the west side to hit up the lower loop of Central Park, we decided to take it another lap around the reservoir. I’d never done that before, since I typically avoid double dipping on the same paths. I had actually been wanting to circle around the reservoir for a while, though. Some days, I feel like I could spend hours running around that beautiful body of water – even on a foggy, cloudy, muggy morning like Saturday.

Miles 9 and 10. After finishing up our second lap of the reservoir, DAM and I made our way down to the 72nd Street entrance where we initially met up. At that point, I got a text from TC, who was running on the East Side of Manhattan up to Carl Schurz park.

I was feeling pretty awesome and wasn’t ready to end my run yet, so I texted back that I’d meet him there in 20 minutes. I dropped DAM near her Upper East Side pad and kept on trucking, meeting TC on the East River.

TC was wearing his Oscar the Grouch sweatshirt as usual. (Photo evidence from two weeks ago. Sorry dude, proof was needed. But that’s what you get for wearing a lime green fleece on a warm spring day.)

On the (literally) bright side, the obnoxiously vivid hue also makes TC easy to spot. Once we met up, we headed north another half-mile or so on the Upper East Side, then turned around to take the path back south.

Miles 11 to 12.5. These were tough. Whereas running felt pretty effortless during the previous 10 miles, the last 2 of the day were (naturally) really challenging. I began to wonder whether it was even smart that I was doing it, but no matter. It’s not like I’d regret those last 2 miles. Having TC there to push me distance-wise with his endless optimism was definitely appreciated.

That brings me to Sunday – the beginning of my serious downward spiral. Remember that trail run I was really, really, ridiculously excited about?

Of course, I woke up in the middle of Saturday night drenched in sweat. A few hours later, I opened my eyes to a 101.5-degree fever and a massive headache.

Lemme give it to you straight: I was heartbroken. I had even gone out to Long Island the night before our run to make sure that I got a good night of sleep, and so that Noah and I could wake up slowly, grab coffee and snacks, and head out to Cold Spring Harbor well-prepared and with a sound mind.

Within seconds of rolling out of bed, however, I knew that Noah’s and my pre-planned trail run wouldn’t be happening, and I felt even worse for dragging him all the way out to Long Island for nothing (except a short rib dinner that had been stewing for 2 days, so at least he had that going for him).

So yea. I know that there will be other opportunities to check out what trail running is all about, but still. That sucked. And yes, I’m still chillin’ in bed. Fortunately, I have Saturday’s run to think about, the hope that I’ll be fever-free and back out there soon, and a copious spread of juices and tabloid magazines to get me through the day (best boyfriend ever). For now, I’ll probably just be resting and napping and attempting to eat the rest of my 2nd Avenue Deli matzah ball soup.

On that note, my To-Do list for this Tuesday is too simple to elaborate on. All I want is to rest and stomp the heck outta this fever, which is why I’m making a small change to my weekly agenda. This week, and perhaps in the future, we will be moving on to Wish List Wednesdays – because wish lists sound like a lot more fun than to-do lists anyway.

  • What’s the farthest you’ve ever run on a whim?
  • Miles 5 through 7 are consistently my favorites. 11 is always difficult. When running for distance, when do you usually hit your stride and when do you hit your wall? 
  • Have you ever had a fun excursion planned that you couldn’t follow through with? Were you bummed or did you start planning for the next one right away (or both)?
  • What’s your best and quickest remedy for the stomach flu?

7 thoughts on “A 12.5-Mile Run and a Serious Downward Spiral

  1. Sorry you’re sick and missed your trail run! Wish there was a quick remedy for the stomach flu but I guess you just have to ride it out.

    I don’t know that I have favorite miles during a run. I will have to start paying attention to see which miles I enjoy the most. That’s a great question!

    I have had to drop out of more planned runs than I can count due to small nagging injuries or the occasional whopper.

  2. Oh that sucks. 😦 I would have been heartbroken too for sure!

    As for stomach flu remedies, plenty of rest, ginger ale (Canada Dry if you can take it/have it) and water. Try to nibble soda crackers when you can manage it, and if Advil won’t take your fever down, try Tylenol. Usually only one of those two will work for people for their fevers, not both. Hope you feel better soon!

  3. Figure 4, running I love your blog but…I don’t run far on a whim. My whim’s sometimes shorten my long runs which makes me feel lame.

    • If my whims shortened my runs, I might not be sick still! Rest and listening to your body is never a bad thing (or so I hear).

    • Map My Run for the iPhone. It’s great because I was going home and manually inputting all the info; now it maps it for me as I go.

  4. Pingback: Going Greenbelt: 5 Things I Wish I’d Known Before Trail Running « Will Run For Glitter

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