Sunday, August 18, 2013

Week in Review

100 miles
5 doubles
18-mile long run
4 days in MD/VA/DC

Of all the 100-mile weeks I've run over the past few years, I can honestly say this is the one I'm proudest of. Not necessarily for the overall quality or quantity of miles, but for overcoming the challenges posed logistically, mentally and physically by my exhausting work and travel schedule. Many of these runs took place at sunrise or sunset, just before or immediately after yet another busy day on the road. And yet, paradoxically, I felt better on some of these runs than I have in quite some time. Thursday night in particular I had an amazing run along the C&O Canal in Maryland. I'd been traveling and working with my coworker Nora since she picked me up at 6:30am at my hotel. Twelve hours later we were finally finished for the day and headed back toward her house in Maryland. I knew that any run shorter than 90 minutes would put me behind the eight ball for my necessary weekly mileage, but at the time I could barely fathom jogging for 30 minutes. So, I resorted to drastic action. I asked Nora to drop me off at one of the locks along the canal and pick me up 10 miles down the road. I would have no choice but to keep putting one foot in front of the other until I reached our designated meeting place.

Maybe it was the unseasonably autumn-like weather or the change of scenery--I've run on this towpath, which starts in Georgetown, many times but never on this section--but within the first few steps I could tell it was going to be a good run. Countless times in the first 30 minutes I kept cautioning myself to slow down, anticipating the inevitable bonk that would deliver a powerful wallop to my weary body at any minute. But the faster I ran, the better I felt. At 50 minutes I finally allowed myself to release the brake and accelerate to whatever pace my legs dictated. I cruised comfortably through 10 miles in just under 65 minutes, feeling fresher than when I'd started and indescribably rejuvenated. This never, and I mean never, happens to me. More often than not the opposite is true, and I find myself slogging miserably through runs that should feel far easier than the resultant pace indicates. But on this night I honestly felt like I could've run forever, faster and faster, without a care in the world. I'd pay a healthy sum of money to bottle this one up, but maybe its rarity is what makes it so special. (Nah, who am I kidding...I could handle feeling this good every day!)

On Sunday, I capped off the week with a solid solo long run in DC. I'd spent the night with my bestie Jilane after--you guessed it--a long workday on Saturday, and I relished the opportunity to sleep in before heading out the door at the leisurely hour of 9am into an unseasonably cool, gray, drizzly morning in the District. I knew the general route I wanted to traverse, having done variations of it several times before, and the miles passed quickly as I clicked off the familiar DC landmarks. We capped off the morning with our favorite takeout brunch and homemade pop tarts from Ted's Bulletin before Jilane dropped me at the airport. Another crazy, eventful, productive, successful week in the books!

Mmmm Ted's poptarts: chocolate Nutella, blueberry cheesecake, strawberry, cinnamon sugar and PEANUT BUTTER BACON
P.S. If you haven't already, pick up this month's Running Times magazine with my seasonal training buddy and fellow North Shore resident Abbey D'Agostino on the cover! I first met Abbey on Thanksgiving last year when I crushed her spirit she jogged with a friend at the Gabe's Run XC race in Hamilton. We exchanged contact info there and have since taken to meeting for miles anytime she's in town on break. Although this summer that's been a few times per week, in characteristically humble Abbey fashion she didn't so much as mention that she would be the subject of a lengthy feature story (much less the cover model!) in this month's edition until it showed up in my mailbox at work on Tuesday. Naturally, I begged her to autograph it after our Wednesday morning run but she declined. Guess I'll have to find something else to put on e-Bay. But seriously, read about her story and amazing attitude--you'll be inspired!

I'm saving this for when she makes it to the Olympics--Rio 2016!