It’s the end of the weekend. This is my third consecutive weekend away. It FEELS SO GOOD TO BE HOME laying on my living room floor, wrapped in my softest blanket (that does smell a little like my dog), and sipping tea before bed.
Amazingly and unexpectedly, I ran 20 miles this morning!!
20 milers are par for the course in marathon training. So why was this one amazing and somewhat unexpected? Well, I have been really struggling with my motivation ever since Ironman. I felt slow when I ran and I just wasn’t into running for multiple hours on a Saturday or Sunday. Burnt out is probably one way to put it. My longest run to date was 13.4 miles, last weekend, before my friend’s wedding. It sucked, the running, not the wedding.
And then on Wednesday afternoon my throat started getting sore. Sure enough, it was a cold.
This weekend my travels took me to my parents’ house, which is in western MD. I arrived on Friday, attempted to work remotely and logged off at 3pm, which I did… for 3 hours. This cold was really not doing me any favors. When I woke up on Saturday morning, I felt terrible. I took a DayQuil and the situation improved slightly, but I decided to delay my run until the next day. This was risky because we needed to get on the road around noon so it meant running 20 miles, packing up the kiddos and getting on the road pretty fast.
When I set out this morning, I felt ok. I couldn’t make a bowel movement happen before I left, which is always risky when running outside of Central Park. Did you know there are 20 bathrooms in Central Park? Yup. Just one of the perks of being a NYer 😉
I knew getting in 20 would be tough so I decided to take it REALLY easy and make sure my pace stayed between a 10 and 11 minute mile. I was doing all of this on feel, of course, because I forgot my watch. Doh!
About 6 miles in and 3 miles from the nearest bathroom, I felt the urge to go. ugh. How long could I ignore this, I wondered. Turns out, just long enough not to pop a squat in someone’s front yard, but not long enough to make it to a proper toilet. Does a Kate shit in the woods? She did today, folks.
That was probably the low point of the run.
It’s always an adventure. And I always bring TP on my long runs, just in case.
From there, I kept my pace slow and steady. My dad was supposed to meet me somewhere between mile 12 and 16. He showed up just in time and we were able to run the last 4 miles together. It’s always nice running with my dad. He’s super tall and definitely does not have the build of an endurance runner, but he is always on a quest to improve (which I love & respect). It’s always interesting to hear what he’s tweaking. Turns out, he’s still working on increasing his cadence. I’m not sure I would have made it the last 4 if he hadn’t picked me up.
And I’m not sure I would have made it out the door at all had it not been for some major inspiration from my friends Danielle, Nicole & (of course) Michael, who kicked butt in the Berlin marathon earlier today.
So, should you increase your mileage abruptly like I did on a long run? Ideally not, but my instincts told me that my lack of running long was not due to inability, but rather due to a motivation issue. And I have enough experience, finally, to trust them.
Now that I’ve broken the long run barrier, let’s hope I can keep things in check for the next 6 weeks so that NYC isn’t a total bust.
“Just keep running. Just keep running. Just keep running.”
Here’s a photo from one of our boat rides on the lake this weekend. Have I mentioned how amazing it was to have my parents look after C&E this week? Even though they don’t live nearby, I feel super grateful for the help our family provides.<3