Friday, March 30, 2007

17 days to go...

It's been a rough couple of days. We are going to NYC tomorrow for the Memorial Tribute to Shelton, so yesterday, I spent the every moment I could between meetings, clearing my calendar and rearranging things. I moved up my 20-mile long run from tomorrow to this morning beause I know that there is no way that I will run a 20-miler tomorrow or Sunday.

This morning, I got up and felt good and rested. I got dressed and had breakfast - drat! no bread for my cheese bread! Darn. I usually have a slice of bread with cheese melted on top AND a serving of oatmeal right before my long runs - keeps me full and energized.

Since the car was in the shop (AGAIN - uh... 5th time but who's counting??? Not me, the Benz-girl that I am... nope.) so I had to take the Green Line into Boston to take the commuter rail OUT of Boston to get to Mile 3 of the Marathon course in Ashland. My math was a little off but I knew that by the time I hit 20 miles, I'd be at the Green Line and I could take it a couple miles home. I figured that today might be the day I am heroic and actually run 22 miles for a training run even though Joseph warned me against it.

While I was getting dressed, I had a weird feeling that the run wasn't going to be as good as I felt. Don't know why but the nagging feeling was there.

I went downstairs and Scotty the Contractor was downstairs.

Scotty says, "Going for a run?"
Yup. I'll see you in about 5 1/2 hours.
Scotty just looked at me, paused and let out a booming laugh. And he kept laughing. I thought to myself, "whatever... sheesh..." and just left.

I walked 10 minutes to the Green Line.
I took the Green Line a bout 30 minutes into Boston and got off at Copley.
I walked about 10 minutes to Back Bay Station.
I bought a ticket and waited around for 15 minutes.
I took the train about 45 minutes from Back Bay to Ashland.
So... let's see... that's about 1 hour 50 minutes of traveling out of Boston to START running.

Ashland is a new station and my first time there.
I got off the train and there were two municiple workers. I asked one where Rt. 135 was.
Worker 1 says, "Cross over the tracks and go up the driveway."
Ok. Thanks.
Worker 1 says, "It's a long driveway."
Ok. The other side?
Worker 1 says nodding, " Yup. It's a loooong driveway."
Ok. Thanks.
I start walking away, thinking to myself just how long is this driveway??

Worker 2 calls me over.
Worker 2 says, "You running the marathon?"
Yup. I'm doing a training run
Worker 2 says, "If you wanna wait, we are going to Hopkinton next, we'll give you a ride."
I tell him thanks, but I am starting at Mile 3 and running home. I just have to run 20 miles today.
Worker 2 says, "Ok. It's a loooooon driveway up to the road."

So, I cross over the tracks (3 flights up, a walk over the tracks, and three flights down) and I start walking UP the driveway. About 15 minutes of walking and I finally CREST the driveway. Driveway?? What the hell were they talking about? This isn't a driveway, it's a damn ROAD! ARG!!! I hit the crest and decide I have to start running... and so I start.

Things were going well until mile 10 when the wheels fell off. I got hungry. I mean, I got so hungry that all I could think about were FRENCH FRIES!!! The perfect food. Crispy... potatoes that are easy to digest carbs, salt, grease to fill my tummy and make me happy. Not a lot, a half a bag would do.

By this time I am in Wellesley. Every store I pass, I am looking for the Golden Arches. Nothing. I decide a Burger King or a Wendy's would do. NOTHING. And I decide a mom 'n pop fast food place is just as good. NOTHING! ARG!!! What the hell kinda town is this place??? I finally see a Whole Foods and I run over to the bread section. There I am in the middle of the Whole Foods in upscale Yuppie-ville, sweating puddles all over the floor, poking through the bread bin and finally settling on a beautiful croissant. Not exactly the same as french fries but it is bread and fatting and it will have to do.

Then as I walk to the register, I look over to the deli section and what do I see? FRENCH FRIES. And the sign says, "Canola oil, sea salt." YES! I run back to the bread bin and put the croissant back. Yes. Right back into the bin. And I grab about 4 french fries because these things are GIGANTICAL! Yikes. I pay. I leave. I chow.

GAH!!! What ARE THESE?? They are terrible. Leave it to stoopid Whole Foods in Stoopid Yuppieville to totally ruin something as simple and elegant as FRENCH FRIES! Do you think they were fatty? NO. Do you think they had salt? Of course NOT! ARG!!! I eat them anyway, I feel better.

After that the run was a battle between walking and running. I couldn't believe it. Even with all the oxygen in the world, I wasn't gonna make it any faster. At about 20.5 miles, I am finally at the Green Line. I hop on the train and ride 2 miles to Coolidge Corner. I get off and walk the rest of the way home.

I find out that I've had messages from
Cher and Joseph, both wondering where I am and why am I out on my long run for so long and did I just DIE out there? Even at my pace, it was exceptionally slow.

I called Cher and checked in and regaled her with stories of my saga. Then I called Joseph. I tell him my tale of woe. Woe is me!! Woe Woe Woe! Wah!!! I suck big time! I don't know what happened! I was so tired. The good news was that my pants worked so well that my hips on down felt great! No cramping or pain or sharp jabs in the usual places. The only issue I had was around my stomach beause the pants were so tight. More on that later... Anyway, Joseph asks me to tally up my runs for the week.

Joseph says, "How many miles have you run in the last week?"
Hmmm... 35 miles...
Joseph says, "No, not since Monday. In the last 7 days."
Oh. Hmm.....
Joseph says, ": Let me know when you get to 50..."
Wait... no sir! Not 50. I am counting...
Joseph is humming now... and says, "Okay. I'll wait.... let me know..."
Uh.... Hmmm... huh. Uh... 55.06?
Joseph says, "Yup. The problem is you ran almost 40 of the 55 in 2 days out of 7. "
Oh. Hunh. Well, strike me and blow me down... I was kinda speechless. Can you imagine? Jeez.

In light of all that... I've learned a few things.
  1. I can run 55 miles in a week and not break, get injured or die. This goes a long way mentally in my quest to do 50 mile weeks on average sometime this year
  2. Always make sure I have enough bread to have bread'n cheese for breakfast on Long Run day, because 2 servings of oatmeal ain't enough.
  3. And take a damn cab to the start of my run if Joseph can't drop me off via car. It's worth the $40 to get there without expending all my energy just getting myself to the beginning of the run!



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