November 25, 2010

Something to be Thankful for...

...I finally got back out there. After my 20 mile death march, I knew I was burnt out. But I also think I was a little scared. Scared that some of these nagging aches and pains were something more. Scared that I would lose my fitness. Scared that I have a marathon in 2 weeks. With these fears came a lack of motivation, and so, I didn't run. For seven long days. And remarkably, toward the end of my week off, I found myself itching to hit the pavement. I was jealous when I heard my coworkers chatting about their recent runs. I even tried a couple of mornings. I had the best intentions, but when my alarm went off both times I let the mind games talk me into staying in my warm bed. Part of me knows this rest was much needed, both physically and mentally. But the other half of me, the part that has been training and racing for the better part of the past two years, felt a little guilty. How could I be taking 7 days off when I have a marathon to run soon? How can I run 26.2 miles when I had to hobble through 20? I know that these feelings are normal and will pass, and I know that many of my fellow runners can sympathize, but they still sucked.

This past Monday, I laced up my shoes. I had the day off so I started running in the afternoon when the weather was absolutely perfect - cool and crisp with a nice breeze. Dark rain clouds loomed but kept their distance. I intended to take it easy, but without looking at my Garmin I let my legs do whatever felt good, and good ended up being a little faster : ) I finished up 5 miles in 47 minutes, a little sore, a tad tired, but feeling refreshed at the same time. Afterward I even forced myself to roll out my legs on the Grid, and oh man, that was a good hurt!

Since I essentially took the weekend off from running I was hoping to get a "long" taper run in early on in the week. I am, after all, still in marathon training : ) So I took advantage of another day off on Tuesday and set out in the early afternoon for an easy 10 miles. I went the opposite direction on the bike trail than I usually do for my shorter runs and the change of scenery was just what I needed. I also wore my new Brooks capris and love them! Will have a review coming soon. The weather was, once again, perfect. The trees were a sight with their rainbow-colored leaves and the grasses were bright green thanks to the downpour we had over the weekend. A few miles in I was brought to a standstill when I spotted something moving in the middle of the river. A closer look revealed two deer, one big, one baby, swimming across the river! I almost didn't believe my eyes when they climbed out on the opposite river bank. Simply amazing.

I continued on with a little more pep in my step, passed William Pond Park, crossed over the footbridge, then turned around when my watch chimed 5 miles. I took a Gu and a salt cap when I got back to the park which gave me a needed energy boost for the last few miles. I was keeping up a pretty decent pace, and the time passed smoothly as I rocked out to the new Rihanna CD and some of my favorite Glee songs (most notably from the Rocky Horror episode). At one point I was belting out the lyrics to "Time Warp" while simultaneously gasping for breath! I kicked it up a notch for the final mile and finished with an average pace of 9:44 min/mi. I felt pretty good throughout and afterward, and man did I need a good run to lift my spirits.

brilliant. and such a fun song to run to!

Tomorrow my dad and I will be continuing a Thanksgiving tradition we started last year by running in our local turkey trot, the Run to Feed the Hungry. The race is huge, so it's hard to actually race it, but it's a great way to start off the holiday and have fun. It's a huge family event and benefits a great cause, too. My dad and I have been planning on doing the 10k (we did the 5k last year) but after checking the website tonight it looks like we may have accidentally registered for the wrong race! So we may be doing the 5k again after all. Either way I'm really looking forward to it : ) Anyone else running or racing before stuffing themselves silly tomorrow?
Happy Thanksgiving!


  1. Soo jealous of your father-daughter Run to Feed the Hungry! I've done it the past 6 years with my mom and sister and was really upset to miss it this year :( also, love the picture about Vegans ;)

  2. I've had to take a week off here and there due to injuries and the break has always been positive! Hope you're getting back into a groove :)