Weekend (and early week) Recap: 18 Miles, Heartbreak Hill and I Got Drunk Off of One Glass of Champagne

Happy Thursday everyone! I will admit, I started writing this post on Monday morning. It had started out like this…

“This week is already promising to be better than last. The sun is shining, it won’t be dark when I get home from work and the massage I got yesterday has helped improve my state of mind and my ability to stand up without a hint of soreness. All good things.”

Well, this week has been good, but man oh man has it been busy. Crazy busy. But, we’ll get to that.

Saturday morning was 18 miles out-and-back on the Boston Marathon course.  I started out solo as usual, but at the mile 2 water stop I met two great girls from my team who were running just about the same pace I was. I decided company is always nice, so we ran together and started chatting. Turns out, one of the girls (Katie) knows some of my best friends who live in North Caroline. Knows as in was the Maid of Honor in one of their brother’s weddings. Small world, huh? It was great to meet an unexpected mutual friend and have something to talk about for the three and a half hours of hills. Lots and lots of hills.

As we ran we both shared stories about why we were running and how we were at least attempting to balance training with having a life. It was encouraging to hear that I’m not the only person who stays in on Friday nights, is too tired to go out on Saturday nights a lot of the time and gets teased by their friends for constantly saying “Sorry guys, can’t make it, training run”.

We couldn’t have asked for better weather for the long run this weekend. I realize that everyone training for Boston (or any race) this winter has been incredibly spoiled weather-wise. There was only one run in the snow, and one in a wind/rain storm. Compared to last winter where the snow mounds on the side of the Carriage Road were 7 feet tall, we have no right to complain. Saturday was low 50’s with a slight breeze. This amazing training weather does have me slightly convinced that race day is either going to be 90 degrees without a cloud in the sky or 50 and flooding rains. I’m from Massachusetts, we’re skeptical when we get too much good weather.

A few water and stretch stops, more than a couple stops waiting for traffic signals to change and a walk up the last hill on the way back (I hit a very frustrated wall), I think my actual time was somewhere around 3:32. I never pause my Nike+ while on long runs. I try not to pay attention to it, and if it messes up a couple splits when I stop for water or stretch a quad, well it is what it is. Overall, I was perfectly happy with my time. Jeff says long runs reflect about :90/mile slower than we will do on race day, and a 10:30/mi race day is fine with me. Would I like to be closer to 9:50? Absolutely. But for my first Boston Marathon, I’m not complaining.

While I love training on the course, the whole out-and-back thing is getting intense. Those nice downhills on the way out become torturous uphills on the way back. Thankfully, when we got back on Saturday, Coach Jeff let us know that this was the last out and back involving HeartBreak Hill we’ll be doing. He also said that this run was harder than the actual marathon will be based on the number and incline of the hills. Sweet?

Post run I decided to conduct a little experiment of my own. Now, being a good marathoner, I know the importance of the post race celebration. Food, friends and (most importantly)- booze. I’m a good trainer- I don’t drink unless for very special occasions, I eat right and I try to get my 8 hours of shut eye. But once I cross that finish line, I’m all over it. Realizing that 4 months of no drinking may decrease my tolerance all by itself; then add in the 26.2 miles I’ll be running before that, and I realized I may need to do a “sobriety check” on myself. So after my 18 miles, I went home, took a long hot bath to relax my muscles, and then popped a bottle of prosecco and poured myself a glass. It was pretty.

I figured one glass while I cleaned up, made myself lunch and relaxed on the couch would be nice. And it was very nice. It was also quite powerful. Turns out, Brittany + One Glass of Prosecco = Drunk. This could present a problem on race day when the post race celebration gets crazy. From now on there will be a glass of wine post-run. You know… training. It’s ok, Coach Jeff signed off on this plan.

The rest of Saturday consisted of very little food, and a lot of stretching. I went out for a little bit to get some shopping done, and maybe eat a cannoli. Ok, I went out for the cannoli and shopping just sort of happened. I need to work on eating immediately after long runs. Right now, I usually just eat something that night, go to sleep, and wake up on Sunday morning so ravenous that I eat more than any normal person should in a 24 hour period. Not the best practice.

This ravenous eating lasted through mid day yesterday (Wednesday). Monday night was beautiful, so I went for a 4 miler… outside… after work. It was incredible. 61, sun setting and the most hopeful “Spring has Sprung” run I’ve ever had. I was in love. I was even more in love with the crabcake, whole wheat pasta and green beans that I made myself for dinner.

I love when I have time to actually make myself a real dinner. I’ve been doing it every night this week and it makes me feel like a healthier person. Except when I end with fudge cake topped with chocolate chip ice cream. That does not make me feel healthy.

Aside from the running and attempted healthy eating, this week has been filled with crazy busy work days, yoga, attempts at spinning and not so patiently waiting for Peyton Manning to pick a team. I did find an interesting article today on Boston.com today, that actually suggested I should be “snacking” every 20-40 minutes while training. Really? 20-40 Minutes? Does no one else find this excessive?

Tonight I’m going for another 4 miles outside, even though it’s not nearly as nice as it was Monday. They can’t all be winners, but I guess I should run through it anyways.

How has your week been? Any fellow Boston-ers out there getting nerves yet. Maybe?

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