I went for my long run this morning – nine miles. I almost didn’t go this morning as the forecast is a wee bit better for tomorrow morning. But, the weather was good enough today, Alan was fast asleep, and I had to get the run in at some point. I finally just told myself to suck it up and go. So I did.
The temp was in the mid 20’s which was almost warm compared to the temps we’ve been having. We got about two inches of snow last night, so I grabbed my Get-a-Grip traction aids and headed out the door. I was thinking of doing two, four mile loops plus a one mile loop to get my nine miles in. I started out and it was a bit grueling. The Grips helped, but it was still quite a workout. I decided to ditch the loop idea, knowing that a lot of that route wouldn’t be shoveled. I decided to head to a main shopping drag, which I hoped would be shoveled. About a mile-and-a-half into my run, I was going slow on the still not shoveled sidewalk when I saw a guy running in the street in the bike lane. “A ha!” I thought. Silly me, why don’t I run in the bike lane? So I took off my Grips and headed into the street. Aaah. . . that’s better!
I continued heading downtown and kept a good pace. I think I prefer running on the city streets as opposed to on the lakefront path. There’s more to look at and you are so distracted by trying to not get hit by cars (even when I run on the sidewalk) that the time really goes by quickly. I find myself not paying attention to how far I’ve gone or how far I’ve left to go. I just go. I see restaurants, buildings, and parks I haven’t noticed before. I run past places that are new lunch options. I take it all in, and just enjoy myself.
I don’t really get lost in my thoughts. Running kind of clears my head out. Just empties it. And like I said, I am too busy paying attention to traffic, bikes, potholes, dogs, and other obstacles to think of much else. I got to a point downtown and decided to turn around and head back towards home. About a mile later, I realized I was thirsty and could use some Gatorade. That’s when my new distraction was finding a mini-mart. I have to say, I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy to see a Walgreens! I went in, got some Gatorade and continued on my way.
In all, I went 8.7 miles, with a goal of 9, so I was happy with that. I figure the mile-and-a-half of running in snow makes up for the slight shortfall. When I got home, I was quite hungry. I had some leftovers from the other night’s dinner shortly after I got home. Two hours later, I was ready for lunch. I had a homemade steak-and-cheese sandwich and some side salads. That filled me up, for about an hour or two. That’s when I remembered, when you train for a marathon, you turn into a bottomless pit. If you don’t eat properly, you never feel full. Your body needs some serious fuel.
When I trained for the marathon two years ago, I trained with a running group. We’d do our miles and then head to breakfast. The amounts of food we ordered was obscene. Sometimes there would be so much food ordered that it almost didn’t fit on the table! When we were done, the plates were nearly licked clean.
I was able to get my appetite under control after lunch. I took Alan to work at about 2:30, came home, tried to take a nap, and then was in a really crabby mood. I was thinking it was because I was tired and didn’t get a good nap. Then I realized, once again, I was hungry. So I had a big bowl of fried rice which chicken which did the job. I perked up almost immediately. The crabbiness went away and I felt more awake. I am now thinking of popping a bunch of popcorn. That or make some banana bread. Or both!
So it begins, the bottomless pit. I have Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition and her Food Guide for Marathoners both which I really need to start reading.
All in all, it turned out to be a pretty good run. And I will continue to be the bottomless pit.