Monday, January 23, 2012

The time it took over 3 hours to run 14 miles

It turns out driving 800 miles round trip to see your family in one weekend doesn’t leave a lot of time to blog. I’ll try to get better. I promise.

On Friday I went to spin, worked half a day, then hopped in the car for the 6-7 hour drive to my hometown in upstate NY. Taking a half day was genius, because instead of getting there at some time past midnight, and stumbling straight to the bed with my suitcase, I got there right around dinnertime. I met my dad and my sister for some delicious Indian food. After dinner, I had time to hang around my family’s pajama party for a few hours before lights out.

Because I’m uptight, I started my panic attack about how to get my long run in early last week. Last year, a long run attempt in Rochester in January yielded only 6 pathetic miles, because when the roads look like this midday, an early morning long run isn’t going to be very successful.

Snow makes running exciting.
So I called in the big guns. Kari and Kara gave me some expert advice when I frantically emailed them last Thursday. They recommended 14 miles (I’m only VERY loosely following my training plan, and not following it all regarding long runs, but rather letting my schedule dictate them). They also came up with the plan to try running outside, and switch to the treadmill if necessary.

I made it nearly 6 miles outside. The weather was actually beautiful, sunny with no wind or snow. My many layers (including an Under Armor coldgear base, which I highly recommend) kept me nice and toasty even with the temperature in the teens. The problem was that the sidewalks had a few inches of snow on them, and the roads were a mess of ice and slush. My shoes and pants were soaked within the first mile, so after doing a loop around town, I headed back to my mother's house. Luckily I'd thrown shorts and a t-shirt in the bag at the last minute, so I quickly changed out of my wet layers, threw on the new clothes, and drove to the YMCA to finish the run on the treadmill.

I hate the treadmill, so that tells you how gross the roads were. At least I only had to do 8.3 miles there instead of the full 14, and my feet were dry.

Only getting a sliver of my face in the picture wasn't an accident.
I don't have any official time or pace for this run, especially because I suck at the treadmill and hit the emergency stop at least 3 times per use. But I started just after 9am and with the slow going on the ice, combined with changing clothes and driving to the gym, I didn't hit the showers until nearly 12:30. The 14 miler took about as long as a 20 miler.

Once I was showered, my sister and I picked up our friend Melissa and headed to a cafe downtown, to do what this weather called for: sitting around and drinking hot chocolate. Or, in my case, an Aztec mocha, which is a mocha with chili pepper.

I spent many, many nights at that coffee shop in high school with my friends (I wasn't a partier back then). Random tangent: Any readers who have moved away from their home town may be able to identify with the feeling that when you go back, things are supposed to be exactly the same as when you left. Things like new Walgreens at a formerly empty intersection corner can throw you into a tail spin. 

Melissa is recovering from surgery on crutches, so I dropped off her and my sister, Darcy at the coffee shop and then left to go park. When I got back, I searched all over the sitting area upstairs trying to find them, but they were nowhere. I was totally confused because the only areas left were down a steep set of a stairs (crazy to attempt on crutches), or an area off to the side, but there would be no way they'd sit over there, because that was the smoking section. 

I was just about to walk downstairs when it occurred to me that there was no more smoking section. NY banned those something like 10 years ago. But my high school self remembered it that way, so in my mind that's how it was.

I just realized the rest of my pictures are all food, and they aren't even all the wonderful food consumed this weekend. What can I say, I'm a fatty.

Baltimore doesn't have Reese's McFlurries anymore, so when I found out Rochester still did, I really had no choice but to head to McDonald's Saturday night.
Maybe I can quit teaching and make money off a documentary about a girl who eats nothing but McFlurries for a year.
Sunday morning I went back to the YMCA. I knew I really should get some miles in on the treadmill, but I just couldn't bear to get back on it. Instead, I did 50 lame minutes on the elliptical. Better than nothing.

My mom made huevos rancheros for my sendoff breakfast (it's basically eggs and cheese on tortillas with this amazing tomato chili sauce), and yes I had to Google that to figure out how to spell it.
She's such a talented cook, she can make over-easy eggs for 6 people at once!
Huevos rancheros and fried potatoes - breakfast of champions

I always hate leaving my family, but bills gotta get paid, so back to Baltimore it was. I didn't even need a nap this time, and I barely even cried while I finished listening to Mockingjay. I took a break to visit my grandma in her nursing home at the halfway point of the trip, which I think helped. Side note - I didn't care for the ending to Mockingjay when I read it the first time, but the second time through I loved it. Thoughts?

Do you get upset when your hometown has the audacity to change things without your consent?

Each time we arrive in Ohio to visit my in laws, we have to extend the 8 hour drive so Eric can take a tour through town and make note of every new street light and change in font of a restaurant sign.


  1. What the hell is wrong with Baltimore McDonald's? (Yes, this is my takeaway from this whole long post) We have Reese's McFlurries here and they will mix in Oreos too if you ask nicely. It's like a peanut butter oreo orgy in your mouth.

    Wow, you ran over 8 miles on a ghetto treadmill. I ran 10 miles on a treadmill once, but it had like a touch screen and shit. Fancy.

  2. I don't really have a hometown per se so those kind of changes don't bother me. I did eat a McFlurry every day for over 3 months a couple of years ago - don't know if I should be proud of that. Always Smarties (like M&Ms) and that's definitely the best choice.

  3. Your mom looks like a really impressive cook! I have to cook over-easy eggs one at a time.

    I'm impressed you got the 14mi done at all. I did 14 last weekend that took 2.5 hours (no drive involved) because everything was covered in ice. Winter is special.

  4. I can get Reeses McFlurries right down the street. I'm starting to think my city is superior on the dessert front. I loved the ending of Mockingjay, but I think that's because I'm a little jaded in general. Seems like most people wanted a prettier bow at the end. And yes, my husband and his mother haul me all over town to see every new everything that has popped up. Which is extra annoying since his parents live in the fastest growing city in the country.

  5. I hated the ending to Mockinjay, maybe I will have to listen to it to like it.

    I love my Under Amour Cold Gear too

    Looks like you had a great visit with the fam!

  6. Um, I still live in my high school hometown, so it seems normal. However, when I go to the town where I grew up as a little kid, it freaks me out how much has changed (you know, in the past 16 years).

    I'm so proud of your run :). Also, I need an aztec mocha.

  7. I had a comment all planned out - and then read what Kara wrote about putting oreos in your Reeses McFlurries and can now think of nothing else....

  8. Now I'm distracted by oreos in a Reeses McFlurry too!

    Glad you had a great weekend at home and props to you for getting out there and running and then finishing your run on the treadmill!


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