On I went, out of the wood, passing the man leading without knowing I was going to do so. Flip-flap, flip-flap, jog-trot, jog-trot, curnchslap-crunchslap, across the middle of a broad field again, rhythmically running in my greyhound effortless fashion, knowing I had won the race though it wasn't half over, won it if I wanted it, could go on for ten or fifteen or twenty miles if I had to and drop dead at the finish of it, which would be the same, in the end, as living an honest life like the governor wanted me to. -Alan Sillitoe, "Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner"

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Going the Distance

My weekend schedule called for 8m on Saturday and 11m on Sunday.  Since I kind of turned the 8m into 4m on Saturday, I decided I'd cheat a little and do 13 on Sunday.  Specifically, I'd do the last 12 miles (in mixed up order) of the NYCM course, including the Queensborough Bridge.  Mike was game, so we set out in lovely, cool Sunday morning weather.  A nice relief from the crazy heat of this summer.

I originally looked grumpy
but Mike told me to smile.
This run was tough.  First off, the hills (like 5th Avenue) are exactly as bad as you've heard.  They've covert; they sneak up on you.  Second off, the bridge?  A BEAST.  I hated it.  We went over it and then back, a stupid, stupid mapping decision on my part that I regretted.  Mike was a hero and just charged up it both ways, while I whined and held back and cursed silently.

I'll admit: I was damn glad when this run was over.  We (okay, mostly me) put the "slow" back in "long, slow distance."  Partly that was starting later than we intended and having a laidback attitude about it, partly it was taking more breaks than usual (buying water, finding a plastic bag for my cell phone when it started raining, bathroom breaks), and partly that was the stop-and-go nature of running on city streets.  But mostly it was just me being really, really, really slow.

Willis Ave. Bridge. I'll
admit; I'm sad the gong
didn't sound.
The course I mapped was just over 13.  Due to some detours, we ended up running 15 - by accident.  We had to take a few detours, like finding the entrance to the pedestrian walkway on the Qboro Bridge or taking the wrong walkway leaving the Bronx and running an extra 6 blocks or so because of that.  Poor Mike had 17 on his schedule and had to keep going after we parted.

My sister/coach called to check in Sunday afternoon, and I told her about my weekend.  She was disappointed that I didn't do a cool down after the race, but she was downright irritated that I ran 15 instead of 11 on Sunday.  "By accident?  NO.  If you said you ran 11.6, that's an accident.  You don't accidentally run 4 extra miles!!"  I'll admit; I'm impatient and want to be running more.  I confessed to scheduling 13m to make up for Saturday's truncated run ("You don't get to 'make up' miles! They're gone! You just keep to your schedule!!"), but I swear that the extra two were an accident.  I certainly wasn't about to walk home from the Bronx once I realized that I was at 13 miles and still two miles away from my house.

So, it's back to the schedule this week for me, which means I'm about to leave on my 10m run.  Sort of back to the schedule - I blew off yesterday's run.  Not sure why.  It just didn't happen.


  1. Hahaha! Glad I'm not the only one that tries to squeeze in extra miles. ;) Bad girl, bad girl!

  2. i struggle with that too but now realize its just not worth it. i am petrified of injurires. just trust the training.

    oh and i have before grossly miscalculated runs and done like 4 extra miles. happens ;)

  3. I think you're being too hard on yourself, we both whined and were slow at different times!!

    It terrifies me somewhat that I can't cram for the marathon as I tend to do for other deadlines I have.

  4. I agree with you all - squeezing in extra miles, miscalculations happen, and not being able to cram :) Marathon training is fascinating...