A Change of Scenery

Keep in mind, I’m writing from my bed right now. Last night I didn’t feel great, and it’s carried over into this morning. I woke up at 5:15 ready for a quick 4 miles, and the second I sat up I realized that the queasy feeling hasn’t gone away just yet. Back to bed, and working from home sounded like the ideal option. I leave for Florida on Friday morning. I’m not taking any chances here.

This weekend the team long run was in Cambridge. And Watertown. We also visited Boston, Brighton and Allston too. But Cambridge was my favorite. I’m a sucker for good scenery, and this run had plenty of it.

Oh Boston, you may have your flaws but you sure are pretty.

We met at the Publick Theater in Brighton at 8, and I quickly ate what I consider to be the breakfast of champions.

Picture of health right here

It was good to catch up with the team and see how excited everyone was about a run that did not include hills. People were a lot happier knowing that there wasn’t going to be a ridiculous incline for the last mile of this one. After the warmup, it was a little chilly so I kept my North Face on. BIG MISTAKE. I always seem to forget a couple key points when dressing for long runs:

–       We start at 8:30. It gets significantly warmer between 8:30 and 11am

–       It may be 30 outside right now, but I will feel like it’s 45 in about 10 minutes.

–       Sweatshirts are heavy, and any extra weight is not appreciated around mile 9.

I will eventually learn to remember these things. This just wasn’t the week it happened. But what did happen this week? I ran without music, for the first time in my life. Maybe it was the pretty view, maybe it was my desire for some peace and quiet, but for the first time ever I took the headphones off and ran with the thoughts in my head. It was amazing. I may do this more often.

I think one of my favorite things about running in silence is it didn’t give me any perspective about how far or fast I was going. I normally have my pace pretty set and in my head I can say “this many songs is this many minutes, I should be at this distance by now”. Without music, you have no concept about how far or fast you’re going. It’s one of the few situation in life where the saying “Ignorance is Bliss” applies.

The scenery didn’t hurt either. Running along the Charles past Harvard is one of my favorite runs in the world. It makes me forget about my usual less than loving relationship with Boston. It’s flat, gorgeous and there are so many other runners out there on a Saturday morning you feel like part of a greater community. It’s hard not to find smiling runners with this view.

Marathon training hurts, but the view makes it better

Now, I’m not quite sure where or when this happened, but I took a wrong turn or two along this run because I did not encounter a water stop the entire time. Normally, if I know I’m not going to have a water stop I throw a few bucks in my iPod case so I can stop at a store and grab a bottle of water. Not thinking this was a concern, I was cash and card less. This became a serious issue around mile 10. I was dying for a drink, and I was still 4 miles out from the base. I ran the last 4 fast than 6-10, simply out of thirst. Probably not the wisest move ever, but yellow Gatorade has never tasted so good.

This was the first week that the sore set in. I’ve been lucky with training so far. I can certainly feel the impact, but I hadn’t really been SORE at any point. After I got home from the run Saturday, that changed pretty quickly. I changed, took a shower, and felt like absolute junk for the rest of the day. I did make my new favorite post run breakfast though.

Love in a cup.

This weeks training is going to be a little different. I leave for Florida Friday morning, and I asked Coach Jeff how I should handle my long run. He told me that any mileage done in a 24 hour period can be considered a long run, so if I broke the 15 miles I had to do into 2 or 3 runs, it would still count. This means that Thursday is going to kick my butt this week. Seven and a half before work, seven and a half after. Eeep.

Have you had to change up your training schedule like this? How did you feel after? I’m slightly afraid it’s going to kick my butt, or afraid I’ll love it and next weekends 17-miler is going to seem even more daunting. Advice?

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