The weekend started for me with the last summer half-day Friday we get for work. :::Sigh::: It was fun while it lasted.
To enjoy the day, mourn the passing of summer, and celebrate the beginnings of fall (my favorite season!), Kelly and I sat outside our favorite neighborhood joint and enjoyed our first Sam Adams Octoberfests of the year.
|Hello lovelies. You make it much easier to say goodbye to summer!|
Now, Kelly brought up an excellent point. Should one be drinking beers when one has an 18-miler to run tomorrow?
The correct answer? Probably not. My answer? As long as you drink plenty of water with them (and while you run), you're good to go.
Training is, has been, and will continue to be a very important part of my life. But it's not the only part. And I think with all these years and years of training, I'm learning more and more to balance the two and to have a bit more fun with it. Back in 2011 when I started training for these shenanigans, I would get incredibly nervous every single Friday for my Saturday runs. I'd really stress myself out! I still have my moments now and again where I get some butterflies before I start, but I've learned to make them more butterflies of excitement versus butterflies of terror and fear.
So what do you need to be excited instead of scared? Here's the list:
1) A good route (that I know includes bathrooms and water fountains!)
2) My fuel belt, stocked with water, gatorade, more gus than I need, a credit card, my ID, money, my keys, and my cell phone (oh....just that?)
3) Good clothes that I know will work (i.e. not chafe me awkwardly and will hold up to the sweating)
4) A stellar running buddy
College roomie Jen is an excellent candidate for #4, and she did not disappoint for this, the longest run to-date of the NYC Marathon (Alleged) training season.
I had planned out that good route I mentioned which would bring us from my apartment, down the East River, over the Queensboro bridge, into Queens for a hot minute, over the bridge to Roosevelt Island, circle the island twice, and then back. Phew! It's a good route that is mostly flat except for being able to practice the dreaded Queensboro, which we will hit on Marathon Day (maybe) at mile 16-17 before entering Manhattan. It's a loooooong slow incline, which makes it a doosie!
|View of the Queensboro bridge from Roosevelt island|
The day was incredibly humid, but we muddled through by taking it slow and steady, having lots to catch up on to distract us, and stopping often for water refills (as I was loosing liquid at an impressive pace).
|Hey, cool lighthouse!|
|Obligatory Roomie selfie (with my fancy PMC hat)|
If you've never been to Roosevelt Island, it's worth a try! You can get there via the F train or the tram (or via running...) for those of you in NY.
I haven't been in over a year when I did this route for the first time with Team For Kids. Something new since I've been before is the FDR Four Freedoms Park which opened in October of last year.
This park resides on the southernmost tip of the small island (less than 4 miles to run around) and is a monument to FDR and the four freedoms he spoke to in his 1941 State of the Union address.
I thought it was a lovely park and I love the four freedoms ideal (as shown etched on the stone in the picture above) that the park stands for. We stopped a bit to be tourists, and Jen and I really enjoyed it as a fun, unexpected surprise.
After the run, I refueled on bagels and Gatorade, stretched, and took a long nap next while Archie looked on.
|Enjoy your nap. I'll sit here and stare and wait. Don't mind me.|
I weirdly woke up, 18 miles and 3+ hours done, feeling fine. Like, just slightly sore but not as incapacitated as I usually am for these types of endeavors.
Maybe it was the slower pace or the nice long nap or additional stretching...or maybe the fact that I know my childhood bff Diane was arriving any moment for a visit!
|Diane and I on the 3rd of July this year in Boston. This is basically us in a nutshell.|
While here, we did a lot of eating mostly in the Asian genres (she has lived in both Japan and Korea, so I look to her to expand my food horizons!) and maintained our tradition of late-night Karaoke singing along with some of my other pals.
I like to do the private room Karaoke with a small group because I will not sing in a public forum. I know I'm not necessarily the "greatest" singer of all time. Close. But not the greatest.
However, once I get in that little room and get that mic, I'm like:
And then I'm like...
We also did unlimited Sangria brunch on Sunday. So basically I ran and then we ate and drank and ate and drank and ate and drank....forever.
Now I am watching one of the great movies of our time while I gear up for a short week ahead.
Next post will be after I run my 10th (Ah!!!!) Half Marathon in Plymouth next week.
Archie and I (yes, he is a Jewish cat), wish a sweet and happy New Year to those celebrating! L'Shanah Tova!