Last night my family came into SF and we celebrated my dad’s birthday at one of our favorite restaurants – Presidio Social Club. The food was excellent, as always, the wine went down far too easily, and the company was perfect. Happy Birthday Dad!
This morning I got myself up at 5am and was out the door by 5:40am.
The goal? 17 looooong miles.
I should back up.
The one thing I hate about marathon training (yes, there really is only one thing I actually hate) is that long runs take up 2-3 hours of a weekend morning.
Which means I have to sacrifice:
- A delicious breakfast and a homemade almond milk latte (being ravenously hungry and having this after a run is different than sleeping in and deciding that pancakes need to happen on a given Saturday or Sunday)
- time with boyfriend
- THE REST OF THE DAY (I’m sorry but if you can run 17-20 miles and then have a productive day and still make it out past midnight for dinner and drinks? You are not human.)
Conundrum, I know.
So this week, I had 17 miles on tap for the weekend. Not even remotely going to happen. Saturday we have all-day plans and Sunday I was not about to have 17 miles hanging over my head and prevent me from sleeping in. No way, no how.
It had to be done on Friday.
So I decided I’d get up before the sun and run my little heart out for ~2.5 hours (it ended up being 2:40 – stopped at Starbucks and stopped to meet a few friends – I don’t stop my watch when I stop during training runs. Guess what? No one’s stopping the watch for you during a race.)
Hence the 5am alarm. After a 3am battle with a mosquito – entirely my fault. We have an incredible custom screen now in our bathroom and we haven’t seen a mosquito in well over 3+ months. Last night as I cleaned out the kitchen to make room for our juicer (YES), I took out the trash. And left the front door open. As I walked back in I noticed a bug fly in with me, but couldn’t find him for the life of me. (And in ~700 sq feet this usually isn’t too difficult).
He made his presence known in the middle of the night. And then he swiftly lost the battle with boyfriend.
But moving on.
I had a cup of French Pressed Blue Bottle coffee (the Nespresso tends to be…. loud and at 5am, I figured the least I could do was spare boyfriend a jarring wake-up call) and a piece of GF toast with vanilla almond butter (give or take the majority of the jar at this point), 1/2 sliced banana, cinnamon and honey. Then ate the other 1/2 of the banana. This is becoming a ritual.
I slapped on a light-up snap bracelet (really – the cyclists tend to get a little peeved when you forget to illuminate yourself on early AM runs) and hit the road. I’ve been opting to not use my Garmin on long runs lately for a couple of reasons: 1) I’m too damn competitive with that watch 2) I’d rather not know my pace and run by feel and 3) it’s bulky.
A friend (thanks Nicole!) recommended the Strava app. I downloaded it and haven’t looked back – it’s EXCELLENT. And it doesn’t have the annoying voice telling you when you’ve hit each mile marker, what your pace is and what your total time is. Sorry but on a 17 mile run, I really don’t care that I’ve hit mile 3. #soulcrusher
I did a 2-mile warm-up then met up with my friend Lauren for a 3-mile run. She’ll say otherwise but I basically forced her to wake up in the 5am hour to run with me. THANK YOU friend
She dropped off 5 miles in to get ready for work and Jaime joined me for another 5 miles of chatting and catching up. BEST WAY TO RUN. Hands down.
5 miles later (and 10 miles in for me if you’re keeping track), Jaime dropped off and I decided to run 3.5 miles out towards the ballpark and 3.5 miles back to not tax myself too heavily mentally. I didn’t bring any fuel because 1) I’m an idiot and 2) I tend to abide by the under-fuel on training runs so that when you fuel during races your body performs much, much better. It works for me. It may not work for you. FUEL early and often. Do as I say, not as I do.
13.5 miles in I had hit Starbucks on the Embarcadero and was in serious need of water and calories. My sweat mess self burst into Starbs, chugged 2 cups of water and begged the barista for a honey packet. I inhaled it and it made all the difference in the world as I pushed home to finish off the 17 miles.
The whole run I was dreading the up-hill into Fort Mason. For whatever reason, that hill just gets to me. I mean it’s long. And it’s steep. But I totally overcomplicate it. The hill was literally the easiest part of my run. I had done 16-ish miles on flat, flat ground and the hill gave my legs a much-needed reprive.
I got to my intersection, looked at the app and saw… 16.7 miles. ARE YOU EFFING KIDDING?
A quick loop around the block and 17 miles was mine.
And so was my weekend. All before 8:30am.
Long runs are certainly possible on weekdays – plan ahead, get enough sleep, DO NOT HIT SNOOZE and mentally force yourself to finish them.
Besides, you’re already getting up early on a Friday – whats an hour (or 2 in my case) earlier?
Weekends are for sleeping my friends. And pancakes.