Sheesh. Took me a while to get to this one, but I want to keep up the streak.
Sorry for that, but I spent a total of 24 hours in an airport this past weekend with a very energetic 3 year old. I was not about to try to eke out a blog post.
According to Hal’s training program, we were supposed to run:
- Monday: rest day
- Tuesday: 4 miles
- Wednesday: 7 miles
- Thursday: 4 miles
- Friday: rest day
- Saturday: 14 miles
- Sunday: cross training
The first 4 miler was a quick one in the neighborhood on Monday. I was planning, at this point, to get my 4-7-4 in on Mon-Tues-Weds. So I took this one easy as a recovery run from our longest run ever! on Saturday.
Tuesday, I decided that 7 miles is just too long to run by myself; plus, Adam has to fit his runs in somehow too. So I stayed home while he ran, and made plans to meet Ginger on Wednesday morning.
We met at our usual Coffee Pot Bayou for the Pier loop. I was feeling really tired, and this run was a bit of a struggle. We took it easy and stopped for water at our favorite cold water fountain, which helped a lot. Our run started at 5:15 am, so the entire run was really desolate, dark and lonely. Strange for the most popular running route in the area – but we were definitely out earlier than most everyone else.
Thursday, I traveled to Wisconsin. My flight was scheduled to arrive at 1:00 pm, and I knew the weather was hardly topping 70, so I was planning to get a quick 4-miler in before I started drinking margaritas with the family. Instead, I spent 8 hours at O’Hare airport, trying desperately to get on any next available flight to La Crosse. Taming a bored, tired and crabby 3 year old until our flight finally left at 9:30 pm.
Needless to say, my 4 miler happened instead the next morning – which was fine since it was a balmy 52 degrees. Absolutely perfect running weather, and I ran fast.Now, Friday was a tough day. We went out on the river, had a big dinner. I really, really wanted to have a few (more) beers with my dad and brother. I wanted to enjoy the day and not worry about whether I was hydrating enough or eating right. But I knew I had 9 miles planned in the morning and even though that’s not a terribly long distance, I’ve learned that neglecting it always backfires. So, I stuck to just a few beers scattered throughout the day and a whole lot of water.
I woke up early to get my 9 miles in on Saturday morning, before we started our anniversary celebrations. It was a cool, foggy morning and I was feeling awesome. I can’t get over the temperature and how perfect it was – I guess I’m just so used to 80° at this hour. It was in the 100′s when we visited in July, remember? This run was awesome.
I chowed down a banana and my fuel belt was loaded with both water and Gatorade. I wasn’t quite sure where I was heading, just that I was going to follow a paved trail that meandered away from my parent’s place toward my old elementary school. It was really foggy. At some points, I could only see a few feet in front of me. They’re apparently adding on to my elementary school. It’s still just as lovely, set against the bluffs and trees, with plenty of green space and very little traffic. An idyllic setting for a school, I think. Someone had chalked motivational messages along the running path. Very sweet and of course, I had to stop for a photo. I ended up winding through my old neighborhood, snaking around the neighborhoods between it and where my folks live now until I found myself exactly where I needed to be: one mile from home with exactly one mile to complete. I literally hit the 9 mile mark as I entered their complex. While the travel was a total pain, running in the cool weather was a break I really, really needed. I’m starting to question this whole process – whether I really enjoy running at 5 am, for such long distances and in such hot weather. I know that I’ll see this program through, but these cool runs were truly a refreshing change of pace. So, see ya later La Crosse. I’ll miss ya for at least the next two months as I continue training, Wisconsin. You can keep the rest of the year, though. I’m not interested in the below-zero stuff you’ve got going on in January. Week 8, I’m coming for you.