Sunday, September 23, 2012

Crisis Averted

Friday night, my friend Kelly come over to keep me company while I carbo loaded and geared up for my big, first 20 mile run early the next morning. I made a delicious pasta for us with a homemade sauce (canned tomatoes, peppers, onions, garlic, spices, mmmm) with a side of garlic bread. I started laying out my duffel bag of running and eating-related gear. We were telling stories and making fun of boys. It was delightful.

Until I realized. That my perfect running outfit -- the one so wonderful and great that I had just dedicated a full blog post to it -- was at the laundry place. That closed an hour prior.

It was 8:15pm and I had no shorts and a sub-par sports bra.

What I meant to say:
"This is not an ideal situation. I am a bit concerned and upset by how things have progressed this evening. I'm also feeling a bit foolish as there is no reason I couldn't pick up the clothes between work and now. I simply forgot, and this is quite unfortunate."

What I actually said:
"AHHHHHH!!! &%$* $^%( %%^*  (*&(*%$#  LAUNDRY! *@#%  $#%#^ ^%$%^ RUNNING! &()$% #%^%  %^$^**#!!!!!!!!!!!"

Kelly sprung into action and calmly suggested we get in a cab while she looked up Lululemons that were open until 9. There are two in the city, and neither was picking up their phone. We put our bets on the Columbus Circle and were off on our way. A Lululemon emergency was uponst us!

We get there, and lo and behold my favorite Dart n' Dash shorts are discontinued. $^%$&  #&^*&!!!!!!!!!!!

Luckily, the patient staff helped me find an alternative. One that is also on the verge of being done for the season, but I found one of the last ones (and it was on sale!)

So, I bought the Speed Squad Short and just prayed that they would blindly work for the longest run so far of my life.

The short is dual-layered with a base tight to the skin and a looser short over it. Great stretchy waist-band that is very maternity-pant-esque (but in a good way!) Great pocket space and overall quite comfy.

Turns out, I like these EVEN BETTER than the ones in the laundry. Who knew. It was fate! But this isn't about the outfit today; it's about the fact that I ran 20 god damn miles.

Not cool, cat. I'm gonna tell my story anyways.

So, Kelly handled the situation (the "situation" being having a HOT MESS of a friend), and then I tried to get some rest. After the Great Shorts Debacle I was quite restless and having a lot of trouble sleeping or more than an hour at a time. I also had some really weird dreams that seem to be loosely based off the new NBC show "Revolution." [Speaking of: If the power ever goes out like that, I'm literally going to just load up on as much canned food as I can and keep a can opener and a knife on me at all times. And find a gun. And learn how to shoot a gun. These were the things I was worried about during my dream, and they seem to be fair points now that I'm awake.]

Okay, so finally at 4:45 I awoke and started my prep work for the run. I put on the new outfit (with trepidation). I consumed my English Muffin and Almond Butter. And I had a duffel bag full of useful things that I will detail for you here:

* Banana (for subway ride down to run start)
* Water bottle (for before and after)
* My Fuel Belt with one 8oz bottle of water and one 8oz bottle of Gatorade (which I would refill up at fountains along the route)
* 4 Gus (I only needed 3, but an extra for good measure is solid practice)
* Luna Bar (for no reason, but thought it would be good to have one on me)
* Extra shirt for after (I get stinky)
* Money, Metrocard, ID
* Phone
* Muscle Milk (it's important to have a good mixture of protein/carbs within a half hour of running long distances ideally at a 2:1 ratio. Muscle Milk is actually a perfect ratio, doesn't need to be refrigerated, and is lactose free)
* Turkey Sandwich (I was leaving my apartment at 5:45, running 20 miles, and not getting back until noonish! I need me a sandwich!)
* Pretzels (for the Sweating)
* Gatorade for after

That's a lot of stuff and weirdly almost all necessary. This is getting expensive!!

So we started in Brooklyn near the Bridge at Cadman Plaza. I arrived around 6:30 am (I get nervous about subways that early) and the warm-up for our run started at 7. By about 7:30 we were on our way to run 20 miles.

The route took us over the Bridge, around lower Manhattan and up the west side of the Island all the way to the GW bridge (I think that's around 170th St.) which got us to about 15 miles. We then turned around and retraced our steps the final 5 to end at around 73rd St (where the group had transported our bags for us).

The first 13 miles or so was honestly fine. I had my fuel belt and my Gus, and my training has more than prepared me for this distance at this point. Plus my new shorts weren't creating any sort of weird torture devise, which is always a plus.

Miles 14-17...were a little tricky. The girls I was running with and I kept stopping for water, and the restarting at that distance was a bit like restarting a rusty old pickup truck. It ain't pretty and it was hard to get the momentum going. But we pressed on.

Miles 18-20. Hm. How do I put this.... You know what? I think I'm going to just illustrate it instead:

Yeah, I got a little cray. I was in pain. Near delirious from hunger and need for calories and protein. And honestly was feeling freaking amazing. I think I went a little mad, and not in the angry way. In the straight jacket, "girl, somethin' ain't right with you" way.

But I finished.

And then I stretched and had me a muscle milk (mmm...muscle milk) like a MAN and then I ate a turkey sandwich like a LADY who EATS like a man. And then I hobbled home.

That's a lie, I stopped by a bar where friends were watching a futbol game. But then I went home.

Not done with the story yet. Because I got home and took an ice bath (which I described to you last year Here). And that sucked. But you know what didn't suck? Archie falling into the ice bath after I was done in it.

Did I take a video when I knew what was about to happen instead of saving him? Yes. Did I laugh at him? Yes, yes I did. Call, ASPCA, I dare you.

But my recovery did not end with the animal abuse. No, I then put on these sexy compression socks and took a 3.5 hour nap:
God damn, that's hot.

I'm still not 100% clear on the science behind this, but these are tight socks some people run with and some people use just for recovery. Pushes the blood back into the rest of your body, or something. It's like giving your lower legs a big hug. For a few hours. They seemed to help, so I'm willing to keep using them through Marathon Sunday to make my legs feel like happy sausages.

Today I'm feeling amazing. It's not that I'm not in pain. I mean, watch me walk down a flight of stairs and just see the pure comedy. But mentally I know that I ran 20 miles yesterday. Twenty. Doce. And we can all align that that's pretty baller.

They say if you can do 20, you can do a marathon. So evidently, this is happening! 6 weeks until showtime. On deck is a 13 next Saturday (child's play, son!), then a 17, and then one final 20-22 (ugh) before I taper for a few weeks.

Save the Date for Sunday, November 4th. Why? Now I know I am near prepared and that:


  1. SO PSYCHED FOR YOU! I'm training for a half on November 10 and was pleased I ran 7 today. You.. Kick. Ass.

    Also I would likewise video my cat falling in a bath rather than saving him.


  2. Congrats on 20 miles and a new pair of short! great job!

  3. CONGRATS! That is freaking awesome. Sincerely, totally and utterly.
    I was legit laughing out loud at your description of miles 18 - 20. Something similar happened to me between 16 and 18, except it was way more emotional (OMG I've been running for three hours) and the dazed bit at the end = too true.
    Thanks for this - you helped me realize that 20 miles is more managable than I thought. And PS compression sleeves rock. I cannot run without them anymore. Have you noticed a difference?