Happy Monday, runners & readers-
Holy smokes, can you believe the weather we have had this weekend? I trust many VT adventures were had and hope that your running shorts made their way out of the closet. I’m thinking of heading to Saint Mikes or UVM for “leg day” in a couple of weeks. Always a fun time. If you read last week’s post and were concerned by my poor running performance, I am happy to report that I am back on the training train. Choo choo!
Spring break, while not as relaxing as I had hoped, allowed for more flexibility in scheduling my midweek runs. As a busy person and a slow runner, not having to rush to, on, and from the run totally upped the enjoyment factor of training. It was complete me time and I appreciated…ready for this…every mile of it. My right ankle has been feeling stiff and hurts when I touch a certain part of it, but it didn’t bother me at all while actually running. I can handle that stiuation for now, but plan to pay close attention to any developments.
I traveled home to Wilbraham, MA this past weekend for a relative’s baptism. Greek Orthodox baptisms are wild! The child is dunked into a tub of (blessed) water, and goodness that part always makes me squirm. Baby Brooke was a champion and totally nailed the whole thing; the only time she cried was when she was being dressed. I had planned to run afterwards, but overate at the restaurant post-ceremony and decided to save my long run for the following day.
Twelve miles. I was very nervous about this distance, most likely because it was the most challenging training run I had last year while prepping for half of the VCM. The sun was shining and I felt strong, so I tried to let go of my last 12 miler and roll with it. After leaving the house, I realized I should probably head back and grab some sunglasses. I made it to the end of my street before realizing how cold my hands were, and called my dad (who was back at home) to see if he’d be willing to bring my gloves to me. In the process of whipping my new fancy phone from my hydration companion Nate, I dropped my glasses and stomped on them.
With squinty eyes and warm hands, I made my way through the center of Wilbraham and on towards Hampden, its sister town. This run brought me back in time and forced me to think about places and homes where I have spent many days. I ran by a middle school friend’s barn, and laughed about the time we ate Nerd Ropes and she showed me her mummified cat on the second floor. I passed another friend’s home, whose trampoline made the most comfortable star gazing spot. The town recently built a new high school, and while I passed the land where both the old stood and new stands, I didn’t get the same feeling in my sappy high school heart.
In June of 2011, two tornadoes touched down in Wilbraham. I haven’t spent enough time home since then to really wrap my head around the damage or the way that the town has changed. While a lot of the run was spent in a happy place, I couldn’t help but feel blown away by the drastic difference in the landscape.
So remember how cool and caring my dad is? He was a bit nervous about his hazard of a daughter running around the town, and decided to check in on me. He also saw that I had left one of my GU’s in the kitchen, and worried that I had meant to bring it along. I decided to bring just one with me, and took in about 3/4 of an orange flavored glob of a pouch between miles 7 and 8. Bobby F was also concerned about the “S curves” I was heading towards. After offering me a ride, encouraging that I choose another path, refilling my water bottle (I drank almost two bottles full…this seems like too much), taking my long sleeve and forcing me to take it back (just in case), he was on his way. I felt pretty lucky to be around my family this weekend.
Twelve miles came and went pretty quickly. Maybe not if you’re thinking of time in the traditional sense…like with a clock…but it felt nice and smooth and very manageable. I was happy to take my sneakers off when it was over, and am wondering if it’s time to get some new ones.
I’ve had my Saucony Hurricane 14′s since March of last year. Part of me is curious if new sneakers will help with the blistering, while most of me feels as though any “long” distance will create superficial foot discomfort. They make me feel a little tough, and as long as they don’t hinder my ability to walk comfortably, I am proud of my rough puppies.
After guzzling another glass of water and inhaling a delicious, dad-made sandwich, I hustled around the house and put things together before my trip back north. And, oh my goodness, I smelled terrible. After being insulted by each of my family members about my stench, I showered and continued gathering my things. My mother, in her effort to be caring, loaded up two huge bags with things from the pantry my family “thought I could use”, i.e. things they don’t want, and pushed them in my direction. Can you handle all of this love? It turned out to be a really nice weekend on all fronts, and I was happy to spend time with my family.
I hope to carry my training momentum with me through this upcoming week, and continue using the time running to clear my head and take care of myself. So how about this, running community? Why don’t you get out there and treat yo’ self. Take some you time, find your way outside, and get those stems moving. I’m thinking of joining one of the organized run groups for my long run this weekend, and am looking forward to meeting some new people…and the bagels at the end. Thanks for reading and enjoy your week!
Respect those bodies,