I didn’t spend a single day at home during Marathon Minus Three Weeks. I missed this furry little buddy.
I was in Boston for work this week. (again!! I love Boston.) Boston in November is a bit of a weather-gamble, but we got lucky to be in town during a week that was about 10 degrees warmer than average.
Total Miles: 42
Monday: 7 miles easy @ 10:20/mi; hip strengthening work
My easy pace was quicker than normal from a combination of a) being amped from my half marathon on Saturday, b) being amped because I love Boston and love running in Boston, c) running late for work, and d) running perhaps a bit faster than I should have.
My leg pain flared up again a bit and I spent some quality time with the foam roller. Huge shout out to the Financial District Hilton for having a full assortment of foam rollers in the gym. This seemed to help.
Tuesday: 9.5 miles // miles 4-5 @ tempo pace; 6 x 1:00 @ 10k pace w/ 2:00 jog recovery; core work
My plan was to run 10 miles, but I was running late for work again and had to cut the run short. The theme of running too fast continued on this run. During both the tempo pace and 10k pace portions of the run, I looked down at my Garmin and found myself running about 0:30/mile too fast. My splits don’t clearly show it because the too-fast segments were offset by stoplights and hills. I attribute this poor pacing to the causes listed above.
After this run, I started feeling the mystery leg pain in my right leg – not severely, but enough to make me aware of it. Fan-f-ing-tastic. More foam rolling and core work are clearly needed.
Wednesday: Rest day
Thursday: 8 miles // miles 4-7 @ steady state
This run was supposed to be 7 miles, but I got lost by Boston University campus and it became an 8 mile run. In other noteworthy occurrences, I nearly got run over crossing Massachusetts Avenue when I finally found a recognizable landmark (the bridge to the Charles River Esplanade) after getting lost by BU.
Continuing the week’s theme, I ran too fast. In addition to the causes listed above, it was the same temperature as the rest of the week, but with a nasty wind chill that I didn’t dress for. Faster running = warmer body. Getting lost definitely slowed me down and moderated my split times to about the pace I was supposed to run (9:00-9:20/mi). I actually cut through a BU building (did not run; brisk walk) at one point because I was so lost.
Friday: unplanned rest day; hip strengthening work; travel to New Orleans
I had a 4 mile easy run on the schedule, but I started feeling symptoms of a cold, and it was nearly freezing and rainy outside, so I just decided to rest up for my 19 miler on the schedule for Saturday.
I went straight to New Orleans from Boston (via LaGuardia, which by the way, has a super nice Delta terminal). We had dinner at Mr. B’s for our friend Randy’s birthday, and it did not disappoint.
I booked a room at the Roosevelt Hotel for the weekend with points. I got an upgrade to a suite, a points rebate, two free cocktails, and the room was so nice. I’m now a huge fan of this hotel.
Plan: 19 mile long run
Actual: 17.5 mile long run @ 11:14/mile
File this one away under “it’s not always your day” long runs. I had every intention of just going slow and steady, since I still felt a little cold-y, but I was super excited because Jeff found me an awesome route to run. Around mile 5, the pain that crept into my right leg earlier this week (was originally left leg, but that seems to have gone away) really came in with a vengeance. The streets and sidewalks in New Orleans are pretty rough, and I got to the point where I didn’t want to land on my right foot anytime I stepped off a curb/pothole/etc because I really felt the hip/upper thigh pain with every downward step. Running on the dirt on the streetcar route along St. Charles for part of the run was probably really helpful.
The run was fine and I enjoyed taking in the scenery until mile 15. This was basically the only hill in the entire run, an overpass over I-10. I was almost to the bottom of the overpass when I tripped and fell and got some pretty nasty New Orleans street grime in my scraped-up hands.
Sidebar: There was once a time in college when I went to happy hour before quarterbacking a flag football game. I got tackled by an overzealous Zeta and hit the ground pretty hard, no doubt a result of slow response time. I started crying in the most unattractive way possible. My friend Haley came over to see if I was ok, and upon realizing I was totally fine, she started laughing hysterically at my ridiculous sobbing. I realized how absurd I looked, and my sobs turned to heaving laughter.
I basically relived that moment lying face down on the side of the road on my long run, minus having Haley physically there to laugh at me (her cheer was there in spirit, and it was infectious). Once I recognized that I was basically in the same position with the same unattractive-crying as in that football game, I mustered a little laugh, got up, and kept running. I stopped at a gas station to wash my hands, drank a Gatorade, and resumed the run.
The run was going slow but OK until I arrived in a residential neighborhood and felt a call from nature. I slowed my stride a bit and hoped to find a business to patronize/use facilities. Before too long, I couldn’t even jog without feeling like I was going to involuntarily answer the call of nature. I’d walk, try to jog, have to stop immediately.
By this time, I’d been running for 3 hours, I was a mile and a half from being done, and the prospect of walk/jogging the final 1.5 miles seemed ridiculous, especially with my hands in need of some serious antibiotic ointment. I called a cab and that was that. Best $11 I’ve ever spent.
I took the best shower of my life (the shower had not two but THREE shower heads), and Jeff brought me a muffuletta from Central Grocery. Post long run food is the way to my heart.
After a much-needed muffuletta coma, we went out, watched football, and spent the evening bar-hopping the French Quarter and eating po’ boys.
I think we stayed out until 1 or so – I did flame out earlier than the rest of the bunch, but it was still a respectable showing.
Sunday: Rest day; travel to Atlanta
I woke up at 10:45 and missed breakfast, so we had a delicious lunch at Mother’s. Jeff and I split the combination platter (jambalaya, etoufee, red beans & rice, collards, and potato salad) and the house special po’ boy, the “Famous Ferdi Special.” This isn’t something I would have ordered without direction from Jeff – it’s a ham and roast beef po’ boy sitting in roast beef gravy. It was PHENOMENAL. I ate it mostly with a fork and knife. I can’t even put into words what made it so good, because I don’t even like ham, but please please do yourself a favor and get this sandwich if you go to New Orleans. The combination platter was excellent as well, especially the jambalaya, but given a choice I’d have to rate the Famous Ferdi as #1.
For “dessert” we went to the French Quarter and had Frozen Irish Coffee from Erin Rose, also excellent. We spent the afternoon walking around the Quarter, popping in bookstores and art galleries and bars, witnessed an attempted robbery, then headed to the airport to go back home.
I love New Orleans. I haven’t eaten so well in YEARS. It’s easy to bounce back from an awful long run when there are so many wonderful things to do and eat with wonderful people.
I’m not certain of it, but I suspect that running at faster paces than normal in Boston contributed to my awful long run. It’s so tempting to give in to adrenaline and run as fast as you want, but I’m coming down off the adrenaline rush and am rededicating myself to “easy days easy, hard days hard.” Last week I rededicated myself to core and hip strengthening work, and I managed a total of 3 days doing hips/core this week, which is
meh better than normal. I wonder what next week will bring on the rededication front?
(This is a no-brainer by the way. I will rededicate myself to not eating like a trash compactor. Other possibilities: updating my blog timely.)
All right guys, help me feel better about all my bad habits. Let me know about all those good habits you keep having to recommit to.
PS – I’m thankful that Thanksgiving Day is a day that allows for the suspension of all self-control or good-habit-forming. Live it up with your friends & family, and smother everything in gravy! I know I will!