Sunday, August 19, 2012

Two ends of the spectrum

If you only take one thing away from this post, let it be that my sister updated her blog with her baby story, and even better, all sorts of adorable baby pictures! I wouldn't hold it against anyone if you abandoned my boring running talk now to go look at that instead.

Also, as I strive for accuracy here on my blog, I wanted to address some of the comments that I got a few weeks ago saying that my life was "exciting". Yes, there was that one weekend that included a triathlon, a wedding, and meeting my new nephew/BFF/favorite person ever. But here's a look into my most recent Friday night, which is far closer to a typical one in my world.

Yup - living the high life, right here.

Now, my weekend wasn't boring by any means. I sampled this new kind of chocolate from Trader Joes on Thursday, and got hooked on it. Sounds gross, tastes amazing. Too bad I already ate it all.  Salt? Good. Pepper? Good. Chocolate? Good.

Everything tastes better when eaten in a leopard print snuggie.
As for the most exciting part of the weekend, I'm sure we can all agree on that one.

My friend Kristin brought it right to my door for me. Life does not get better than that. Eric and I both had to work last night, so we are super excited to watch it together tonight.

Naturally, this begs the question that I'm sure is on the forefront of all of your minds. Which Hunger Games shirt do I wear to commemorate such an important day?

After much deliberation, I choose the Girl on Fire shirt for Saturday, and the Peeta/Finnick one for Sunday. I may work in a casual running store, but I thought promoting skinny dipping might have been crossing the line.

With that settled, let's discuss some running. When I tell people I'm training for a 50 mile race, a lot of times they want to know how far I run for my long runs, expecting something like 35 or 40 miles. Which would make sense, given that most people train up to or at least close to the distance of their target race (ex., for a marathon you'd run up to 20 or 22 miles before the race). Ultra running can be tricky though, because most people can't just run 40 miles on Saturday and be ready for another tough week of training on Monday (or at least, I can't). There's a fine line between getting in high mileage, but not making it so high that the recovery time hinders you. Also, most ultra runners are regular people with jobs and families and things to do, so running for 10 hours  straight every Saturday just isn't realistic.

To compromise, the ultra plans that I'm following have each long run followed by a long-ish run, usually 8-12 miles, the next day, so you are still getting in something close to 30 miles on the weekends, just not all at once.

I decided to mix things up this week and do my planned 20 miler on Friday morning before work. Ashley recently posted about how she's been doing that during this training cycle, so I figured I'd try it. It was supposed to storm Saturday morning anyway, and I've really been struggling to get up and run while it's cool(er) without a specific deadline to make.

It ended up being great. I woke up at 3:30, started at 4, and enjoyed the first few hours in the cool darkness. Even when the sun came up, it still was far from that hot, torturous, I'm going to melt you into the sidewalk feeling. 

I took the run at a nice, slow pace (10:08) and even had the energy to bike to work when I was done.

Of course, the school year hasn't begun for the kids yet, so I didn't really have to talk to anyone or act professional. I could get by doing tasks like taking about 900 of these stacks

Foot provided for size reference
into this.

And turning this hot mess

into these. 

I'm not sure I could handle doing the long run during the week when I actually have to supervise kids using all this stuff, on top of, um, teaching all day. Time will tell. 

But when Saturday morning rolled around, sleeping in until 9am felt amazing and was well worth it. I went over to the other side of the running start time spectrum and lounged around drinking coffee and reading until noon, when I finally did my 10 miles. 

Which would you rather do on Friday night - a crowded, wild bar or reading a book? I'd like the middle ground, drinking wine with Eric and some friends at home, but that wasn't an option for me this week, so it's not an option in this blog question either. 

What's the earliest you've ever woken up to run?

What weird food combination do you love?


  1. If I got up at 3:30am to run, I'd be straight up napping on the floor instead of organizing. I mean, I didn't even get up that early today or run, and I'd still rather nap than organize. I guess the main point here is that I hate organizing stuff.

    You should just tell people you run 40 miles every Saturday. We don't want everyone to know that 50 mile training isn't completely nuts, that's how we keep the races small.

  2. That Trader Joe's chocolate is definitely repackaged Taza. We can only hope that they start carrying the salted almond discs at Trader Joe's because those are really, really awesome. Mmmmmmm salt.

  3. I've never tried a long run before work but it would be sweet to have a free Saturday morning. I can't imagine not having that post long run nap though! That chocolate sounds a bit gross but I'm sure it's good. Actually, I'm convinced they add crack to everything at Trader Joe's because everything tends to taste amazing.

  4. As much as I love salted dark chocolate, I think I have to draw the line at pepper. Although...fresh black pepper on strawberries is seriously delicious. Honestly.

    I did a long run before work once (granted, "work" is from home) but I couldn't hack it. I was exhausted and miserable the whole day.

  5. I go to work at 630 in the morning so I don't do long runs on work days. I only work three days a week though so it is pretty easy usually to fit one in somewhere!

  6. my friday nights are pretty tame anymore. even when i go out, i'm home early.

    i've been known to get up at 4 and run. you got me beat!

  7. 5 is probably the earliest I've gotten up to run and that was only once. Thank goodness I work from home!

    What I'd prefer to do on a Friday night varies. If Allan is out of town I'd much rather stay in and read a book but if we have friends in town then out we go!

  8. I'm down with salt in my chocolate, but I'm suspicious of pepper. Mostly because I don't really like pepper that much.

    I get up at 4:30 AM to be at my running group on time on Saturdays. It sucks mega nuts. I need to start getting up that early on weekdays to get my mileage in, but being injured means I've been sleeping until 5 since I can't run the higher mileage.

  9. my friday nights are almost always pizza, tv, wine, and internet lurking.

    did I just admit that on a public forum? shit.

    Also, I ditched your blog immediately once you said "cute baby pictures." HARRISON. IS. SO. CUTE. gah.

    (but I came back)

  10. So glad the mid-week long run worked for you! Doesn't it make Saturday morning so much better?

    My ideal Friday often involves a movie on the couch, wine and take out. To be honest, Saturday night often looks like that too. This weekend was not like that and it took ALL of Sunday for me to recover. I'm too old!

    I'm good with salt and chocolate, but not pepper. Ew.

  11. How sad is it that I spent a good amount of time trying to figure out what book you're reading. Obviously, I'm the nerd that would rather stay home most of the time than go out. Sadly, Mike is the opposite. His life is so hard.

    The earliest I've gotten up to run is 4:45. You're my hero for that 20 miler!

  12. Earliest I have gotten up is 4 am but usually it is to make it somewhere to run at 6 or 7 am. But still, I am up. Much like the Triathlon this past weekend, I was up at 4. I actually never ran over 14 miles in my life when I did my first marathon. I had picked up some weight training that helped tremendously. No, it didn't help my cardio obviously, but my cardio isn't what suffers in long runs. Its my muscles. My back, my arms, and may legs. So I found by doing a little bit of circuit training, I could cut down on the running, and actually become a faster/stronger runner by incorporating weights.

    As for snack combinations-I love dark chocolate with a little chili pepper in it. Or sea salt and almonds. I have a weird obsession with twinkies though.

  13. Being an OCD organizer, I love what you've done with your classroom. I need a rocking chair in my office!

  14. I wake up at 5am 4 days a week for running, but haven't really gotten up much earlier than that. I'm also not good for much other than chasing my daughter after a long run, so work...oh wait, that is my job.


Thanks for commenting! Comments make me probably more happy than they should.