Sunday mornings are always pretty quiet in my house. I wake up earlier than Steph, usually spend some time on World of Warcraft before I get so hungry that I go in and bite her until she gets up so we can have breakfast. As much as our Saturday breakfast plans are set in stone (Breakfast @ Dmitri’s!) our Sunday plans are fluid. Sometimes we have eggs & bacon, sometimes waffles, pancakes or the like, or sometimes we both just have a bowl of cereal and piece of fruit and get on with our day.
This weekend we had a bag of æbleskiver (leave it to the Danes to come up with spherical pancakes!), that we had with powdered sugar and syrup. Plenty of carbs for the run I suppose!
Still, I felt like there might be some nutrients I missed (maybe some that didn’t take the form ____ose), so I had a banana and a gu an hour later while dressing up for my long slow run.
I shouldered on my Camelbak (which I wasn’t originally 100% sold on, but has worked really well for these 6mile+runs) and tucked my phone into my belt pouch and set off running. It’s been a series of melts and snows here in Michigan this winter, and while there was a fresh layer of snow from a snowstorm Saturday night, the sun was shining bright and it was an even 32°. I set out to the entrance of my neighborhood; I’ve been strictly observing warmups and cooldowns, even though it feels like I’m being cheated of ‘credit’ for running that extra distance. So after a 0.6mile warmup, I started to run west, with the idea of running through ‘downtown’ Belleville, and then along a road I hadn’t previously explored on foot.
I kept a slow pace, telling myself it was a long run, and that I can afford to take my time. Steph was in class, and I wasn’t hurrying back for any obligations. At first, it’s always hard to lose myself in the activity; I tend to be running a checklist. Shoulders loose, arms at my side, feet straight, don’t gallumph so hard, breathe easy, don’t run so fast, don’t run so slow, don’t breathe on your glasses, make sure you brought your key, check your GPS is running, check your pace.
Still, a little while in I do start to get in a zone, enough at least that I stop the needless checkboxing. I ran to the 5 points intersection, where some unfortunate guy had rear ended a pickup truck hard enough to collapse his front end. I would have stopped to see if he needed any help, but it was 15 feet from the police station, and, I kid you not, there was an emergency vehicle coming down every one of the 5 roads that meet at that intersection.
Running on, I crossed to Denton Road and ran a way I haven’t even been by car in probably 7 or 8 years. I didn’t spend too much time dwelling on my watch, and relied on the automatic notification from the watch to tell me when to turn around. I didn’t scout it out first on gmaps or anything, so I wasn’t sure quite how far I’d get before having to make my way back home.
Quite to my surprise, I ran to almost the intersection of Denton and I94 south service; I was nearly to the Diamondback Saloon! The Diamondback isn’t someplace you stop in at 2pm in the middle of a run (I’m sure it’s still sticky at that time…), so I turned around and headed home. Amazingly, the slight downhill of that area, combined with a nice slow start put a lot of wind in my sails for the run home, and I did the whole run in 1:18:13.
That means that I just ran 7 miles in the time I had targetted to run 6.2 miles when I set my sights on a 10k. I felt really strong during the whole run, and as the watch beeped to let me know I was “Arriving at BEGIN” (which sounds like a metaphor in of itself) I didn’t really dread that last 0.6 miles of cooldown. I cooled down with a sort of half jog, half walk through my neighborhood, and settled inside for some well deserved chocolate milk.
The first time I did 7 miles (as I mentioned last week) was during my 10k training and it nearly did me in; it felt like too much effort, I felt stranded and alone even as I came to the end of it. Last week and this week were perfect contrasts, and I guess the evidence of what 3 more months of training at 6 miles every Sunday can do for my fitness.
I am looking forward to 8 miles next week. I wonder where I should go?