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Days 52-Long Run (18) and 53-Recovery #recipeforsuccess

After a swim workout; two, back-to-back speed workouts; and a rest day, mile 18 was upon us once again.  Is it just me, or are our long runs at this point only 15, 18, and 20 miles?  Who thought this up?

Due to the fact that I am a total creature of habit, a fan of regulated schedules/processes, and that I wake up about 90 minutes before I start running, I always set my clothes out the night before.  When I wake up the next day, sometimes I’m right and sometimes I’m wrong.  Today….I was right!!!  It was 54 degrees when we started and I was finally going to be able to wear shorts on a long run, not to mention a short-sleeve shirt.  Finally…this is the weather I love to run in.  I feel so much freer in the spring/summer than in the winter with all that bulky clothing.  Sometimes, when I am running unencumbered by excess clothing I even feel tall—all 5 feet and 1 inch of me!

Unencumbered running clothes-compression socks (which I am loving), shorts, short-sleeve running shirt and running sleeves-which can be removed if I get too warm.

I have described myself before as being “The Princess and the Pea” of running—I feel everything.  Any little thing that is out of place drives me crazy—from the bottom of my socks not being perfectly smooth to my shirt sleeve being twisted under my coat.  But most of all…I HATE when my hair is in my face, and this is generally why I look so attractive when I run (read with sarcasm)—because my hair is all pulled back and my very round face looks even rounder.  Here was the fashion secret to my hair being completely off my face.

Don’t act like you’re not impressed with this stylin’ style! How about how the hair bands match the color of my shirt? Niiiiiiice. What you can’t see from this view, is that I am also wearing a bright, electric blue head band.

So after our photo shoot, we head out the door on what turned out to be a really great running route!  I just have to take a moment to say, once again, that Christy P does such a great job of pulling our routes together.  This one had a lot of my favorite elements—urban environment, outskirts of town, country running, and, of course….hills!  Now, hills in and of themself are not my favorite, but I respect the hill and what it does for me as a runner.  It is great training!  And I feel like I am pretty good at running hills. I actually can pass people on a hill and not get passed by them on the way down.  This is the one time when I am able to actually monitor my speed and it works for me.  I must take a moment to give mad props to the craziest hill I have ever run over.  Lovingly referred to as Mt. McKinley, this road in Traverse City connects the east and west sides of the peninsula.  According to other bloggers in Michigan, “near the race’s midpoint, on McKinley Street, is a massive hill that doesn’t seem to end.  Once you get to the top, it’s even steeper going down the backside.”  The trade off?  The grand and sweeping views of the bay from the top whether you are heading east or west is so beautiful!

Back to today’s run.  For me, a lot of the “love” of running happens after the fact.  When I am running a 1:58 400, at that moment, there is no love happening.  I am exhausted—both legs and lungs burning.  But as soon as I finish, and catch my breath, I “love” that I’ve either met my goal or just been able to run fast.  In the moment, there is never a lot of love.  And today’s run was no exception.  I wasn’t NOT in love during the run, but I was crazy in love afterwards.

Some background….when I ran my first 25K several years ago, I could barely walk the next day.  My knees were in such agony and I was afraid that I would never be able to run a half marathon or a marathon.  So I started to do the run/walk training—after running a mile, I would walk a minute.  I did this during all my training runs and my long-distance races.  Eventually I changed it to walking every two miles, but that is still a lot of marathon race walking.  When I started running with Christy P in October I stopped walking, and amazingly I started running faster! So on all our long runs I no longer take scheduled/planned walks.  I walk on occasion, but I don’t spend up to 9 minutes walking during an 18-mile run, which I used to.  And the amazing thing is that I have lived to walk about it (This is supposed to be a play on words-I lived to “walk” about, i.e., I can still walk.  My husband didn’t get it, and the fact that I’ve explained it has perhaps made it lose its impact-assuming there was an impact to begin with.  I don’t know, I thought it was incredibly cute and witty).

It didn’t really hit me until Saturday, the day after the run, but I couldn’t believe how great I felt!!!  My right quad was a little bit sore but all-in-all it was almost if I never ran 18 miles the day before.  I LOVED it! This, to me, is the equivalent of the universal question, “What is the meaning of life?”  It was as if I have achieved a “zen” moment with my running.  Beautiful, and not that far from a religious experience for me.  To what do I attribute this success?  Well, a lot of things, really—loosing weight, running with confidence, running with someone who supports and encourages me, a more regular stretching routine, and…..ICE!! Well, ice baths to be specific.

Recipe for running success=cold water + four bags of ice

I had never taken ice baths until April of 2012 and those were in a very shallow shower.  This was going to be my first ice bath in a tub.

This is what it looked like on my face.  Don’t my lips actually look purple?

There was no way that this photo would be in focus. I could not keep my arms from shaking.

I was sooooooooo cold, well actually it was my feet that were cold, my legs didn’t feel too bad.  Although, now that I think about it, perhaps my legs were not feeling that cold only in comparison to how ridiculously cold my feet were.

I was so cold I was shaking uncontrollably. I have never shaken like that before in my life. Perhaps holding my iPhone over my lap and trying to text Christy P in a means to maintain some sanity wasn’t the best idea.

A photo so you can see how much water I was in.

A shot so you can see how cute my cat Soho is. She was very intrigued by the ice bath.

Oh!  The other supercalifragilisticexpialidocious part about the run is that I DIDN’T HAVE ANY CHAFFING!!  The Aquaphor worked wonders!!!!!  I was so pain-free during the run that I didn’t even realize until after it was over that I was pain-free.

Dear Running Diary: Today I fell in love. Hey, Christy P has the track, I’ve got Aquaphor.

And the beauty about no chaffing pain?  After a 15-minute freezing cold ice bath, I get to take a really long hot shower.  Don’t worry, I didn’t take any pictures of that event.

So after a chaffing-free, 18-mile run; a good stretch session; and a 15-minute ice bath, the rest of my Friday and Saturday shaped up like this:

Friday:

  • Drank two cans of Mountain Dew and ate two bagels while my friend Amy came over to chat for two hours about life.
  • Ate lunch at Mongolian BBQ and chatted about life for a few hours with my friend Jill.
  • Loaded up my car at Running Fit with a selection of goodies to take to the two Traverse City Running Fit stores.
  • Spent 4 ½  hours in my car driving up to Elk Rapids.

Saturday

Headed into Traverse City to deliver the goods to Running Fit.

But first, breakfast at the Green House Café with my dad for his birthday!

After breakfast, back to Elk Rapids to do some yard work on the rental property we own with Lynne and Dan. SHAMELESS PROMOTION FOR SELF-SERVING NEEDS: (Really? You are surprised by this? A blogger/person who thinks people are interested in their marathon training schedule and photos of their cat?) Here is more information about my sweet little summer rental cottage: Kristi's Elk Rapids Cottage Rental

And finally…wrapping my recovery day up nicely with a fun birthday dinner for my dad, who turned 69. That's him at the head of the table with his hands folded.

All-in-all, it was a pretty great weekend.  It started off with an 18-mile run, followed up with 4 hours of girl talk with two incredible women, and topped off with some wonderful family time.  I hope whatever shape your weekend took, it was a recipe for success with equal parts happiness (Again, my husband said, “If something is going to be equal parts, I am thinking it is equal parts happiness and equal parts something else.”  I told him that in my mind there are several different kinds of happiness and those were the equal parts for me, i.e., happiness with feeling good after a run, happiness with no chaffing, happiness with being with my family and friends.” I don’t know.  Maybe it’s just me?  No, it’s got to be him.  Right?)

Carry on friends, carry on.

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3 Comments Post a comment
  1. Christy P #

    Wheeeee!!!! So fun after the run. I totally get that feeling. In fact the post long run feeling is so inspiring that we are willing to be on our feet for 3-3.5 hours just to experience it ; ) Loving the experience, loving the experiments, loving training with someone that’s been through it all before. We’re more than 1/2 way through our training – maybe the rest will feel like the backside of Mt. McKinley?? If the answer is no, please don’t tell me yet. Oh and BTW, I totally got your “lived to walk about it” joke before I read the explanation. I loved it!!

    April 27, 2012
    • Ah, Ms. Perros….you always know so many of the right things to say. Without giving anything away, let me just say this…the backside of Mt. McKinley isn’t that great. And…how much do I LOVE it that you got my “lived to walk about it.” Yeah! I’m so psyched you are loving the experience. Doesn’t it just make you giddy for when we train together for our next marathon? Woo hoo!!!

      April 27, 2012

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  1. Day 60 of 112-Long Run-20 miles #hopespringseternal | Rise. Run. Repeat.

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