Long Run Sunday in 2 Parts

It wouldn’t be Sunday without The Long Run.

Last Sunday, we hosted a group run with Hoka over at the Pineridge trail and did a 5 mile loop. I went to work feeling pretty good after the run and thought fuck yeah I’m going for another run later, so I did. A 9 mile day in 2 parts. Maybe the best I’ve ever felt putting in the miles for a long run.

Repeat for a second week. Long runs are still kind of scary to me, and I have the most success completing them when I take frequent rest breaks, so it makes sense for me to chop them up right now while I am still rebuilding mileage and trying to avoid too-much-too-soon syndrome.

I put in 40 minutes on my trusty out-and-back dirt path this morning after I’d had a chance to eat an English muffin and clean out the plumbing with coffee. I’ve been thoroughly enjoying the recent abandonment of my Garmin. Running is so blissfully simple without it.

Intermission: work at the Roost from noon to close.

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The handheld and lil Huma gel. Mangoes is the best flavor.

Then part two. Another easy run along the Power Trail for roughly 30 minutes. I didn’t even keep a timer on this one. I’ve just done the route enough times to know. The only problem with running after work is the heat. I was so hot biking home that I knew I didn’t even want to wear a tank. I also wanted to take water, but I know that wearing a waist pack bareback is a recipe for serious chafing and general questioning of life choices. So I grabbed my Nathan handheld despite the fact that I had earlier today talked someone OUT of buying one at the store in favor of buying a *more expensive* waist pack because, as I explained to him, handhelds are big heavy bricks.

My first experience with a handheld was a horrible Amphipod that I threw away during the run because I hated it so much. For some reason I later bought a Nathan (I think it was the thumbhole. I am a sucker for all things with thumbholes.) I used it once – during a hike in Yosemite. And then today.

I only filled it 75%, and for the first half of the run, I hated it. I had to crank the strap down so tight my hand started swelling, but with all the bottle sweating and palm sweating I was quite certain it was going to torpedo right off my wrist if I didn’t strap that sucker down. Things improved after I had drunk more than half the water, because the bottle started to decompress to the shape of my hand and was less burdensome. But what is the point of setting out with a handheld that is only 25% full? Hence why I never use one. Not to mention at that volume you also encounter the dreaded “slosh.”

The other motivation behind the handheld was phone towage. I don’t normally run with my phone (sorry not sorry), but I wanted to take some pics for ze blog.

Colorado blue skies.

Colorado blue skies.

Post run: obligatory peanut butter and honey sandwich and Sunday phone chat with Dad. Dinner of black bean and hominy posole, which is also what I had for lunch, and which may or may not be responsible for all the recent tooting and acid reflux.

And I wonder why my esophagus is setting off fire alarms.

And I wonder why my esophagus is upset.

Also, this happened today:

We had the USATF Outdoor Champs playing on the TV at work, and it’s crazy how I still get nervous watching track meets. Fun to fangirl Kate Grace (am I even allowed to use that term as a mere Oiselle stalker from afar?) I have rooted for Jenny Simpson ever since Rob made us watch her interview after she collapsed during the NCAA Cross Country Championships in 2009 (I think his intent was to teach us Division III athletes to stop complaining about having too much on our plates). And I would like Mary Cain more if she hadn’t sold her soul to AlSal….

That’s it. 6:15 am comes early. On to a fresh week of running.

Why running logs cramp my style.

The only running log that was a running log before I bought it failed me miserably.

I need more than two and a half lines to write about my runs. And on the days when runs are really crappy, I need a lot of room to draw accompanying doodles of poo. My strength training sessions aren’t easily categorized into reps and sets anymore; rather they consist of a stringy list of phrases like “side-lying hip adduction” and “3:00 SL balance on BOSU ball” and a bunch of tally marks. I start to shrivel up as soon as I open the pages of a $20 runners’ log and see three blank lines for weekly goals and little smiley faces to describe how each workout felt. Occasionally things are just that simple, but more often than not several margins of space just doesn’t cut the mustard.

This particular journal I had also included a cute little line for “Nutrition”. After struggling to fit a day’s analysis of my food choices and the impact on my running into two inches of space, I started recording a week of meals in a separate notebook anyway! And this was not even the same notebook I was currently using for trips to the gym to count aforementioned BOSU ball marathons.

Point being: I need more space.

When I suspect injury, my log receives a whole list of things to do for a week. When I have a good race, my log gets a play-by-play. When I don’t run for three days, my log serves as a great place to word-vomit about how life got in the way. When I eat ravioli and try to run 1.5 hours later, there’s a lot to talk about.

I also would like to keep track of my running nutrition a little better, because I like to think I am a saintly vegetarian running around on kale frittatas and quinoa trail mix, but in reality I am hurting for grocery money and some days lunch means pounding three peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in 10 minutes. Here are some examples of today’s food encounters.

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3rd breakfast

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Not poo. Lentils in unfavorable light. Maybe poo in the morning.

 

 

Who gives a fuck?

A long time ago, I thought about starting a blog. It was during the semester that I took a leave of absence from Oxy, and I toyed with the idea just to have something to say about what I did with my time off. I even considered using a blog to platform my senior comprehensive, but that never took off.

I have thought about blogging from time to time since, but I could never pinpoint what I would want to blog about, or most importantly, why. Why? Who gives a flying fuck?

Well, I’ve discovered my reason why.

When I was 11 years old, I started keeping a regular journal that stayed regular until I went to college. I documented some hugely pivotal life events and years of adolescence without knowing why, not to mention without having any idea what would unfold. For some reason, maybe because I grew up drooling over fictional pioneer diaries and Little House books, I always expected that, naturally, a lot of people would read my diaries one day. And it’s not that I embellished anything for this imaginary audience; I was militaristically protective of my journals. They were the brutal honest truths written by a teenager who was struggling with a lot of fears, and jealousies, and hardships.

This is a new place for me to track my runs. I might be overdoing it. But I probably thought the same thing when I introduced myself and my entire family (cats included) to a blank piece of paper just to record (daily) how many Crazy Bones I had amassed and how many times George and I had forced our parents to play the Backstreet Boys CD on repeat while we ran around the house like crazed baboons. Eventually, life unfolded around passing-fad toys and boy bands.

Most recently, my current form of diary is my activity log. I started it last fall to keep track of my base mileage until I was ready to convert to a super-duper, no-mercy, real-deal runner’s log for my foray into super-duper, no-mercy, real-deal marathon training. (Where did that go? Too much too soon caused a lot of crying and necessitated throwing away the rainbow to success run log because it was a soul-stealer.)

As I am nearing the end of blank pages in my current, more humble run log (a scrappy spiral bound notebook) I am considering a new, dynamic space to keep record. Obviously, I have been a natural blogger since the ripe age of 12 when I had the grand idea to start saving trinkets in the pages of some of my journal entries (stuff like pamphlets from crappy school plays, funny newspaper clippings, and even a leaf or two). There are no goals here other than to keep a training log, but I can bet it will eventually be accompanied by trivial musings that may or may not have anything to do with running (but will probably have to do with beer, scenery, food, or cats – per my Instagram). It’s all just stuff I like.

Always ask why, but in a passive way. For now, it just is, and the real, meaty answer to why won’t arise until a long time from now. And it might be ugly, it might be beautiful, it might be apparent to no one but me. I am the one who gives a fuck.

P.S. I started using Strava too, because a blog doesn’t make any sense.