Wow-what a week. And it’s all thanks to this little guy above which I used for the first time yesterday.
But, let’s back up a little. I didn’t use my new friend on my first two runs this week but they were pretty great. Tuesday, I did my tempo run at the gym and it was the best tempo I’ve run. Normally, I do 4 miles running between 7 and 7.5 mph. This time, however, I was feeling really energized and strong and I ended up doing 5 miles between 7.3 and 8 mph. 8!?!?!?! Whoa-that was fast. I wish I had triple-knotted my laces cause I kept gettin really nervous that I was going to trip over them when I was running that fast, and I really didn’t want to fall off the treadmill, especially when a cute guy was running next to me. Hehe. Thankfully I didn’t trip (phew!!) and powered through it for an awesome tempo. I felt great after, not tried, and super excited to finish up my tofu for dinner.
Thursday, I did a hill run and was also planning on doing 4 miles. Once again, however, I felt incredibly strong and energized and kept going till I did 5. When I do hills, I do 1/2 mile flat then 1/2 hill (between 3% and 5.5%) till I’m done. They’re harder runs than tempo runs (for me at least) and I don’t normally look forward to them (in fact, I kinda dread them), but this one was fun! Tackling those hills were a blast…and I left with a new excitement to do my weekly hill runs.
But, this was all nothing compared to my long run this past Saturday. Truthfully, I was incredibly nervous about this run. I was scared that I was going to get dehydrated again, and my love of running would somehow be lessened greatly. So, I was going to be prepared-super crazy out of control prepared. I started drinking tons of water Thursday so I was well hydrated and drank countless Nalgene’s full on Friday. I also ran a little errand on the way home from work Friday to Jack Rabbit, my favorite running store in New York. I decided I needed a way to stay hydrated while running long runs, especially now that the weather is getting warmer. So, as much as I didn’t want to buy it cause I kept thinking they look super dorky, I sucked it up and bought a fuel belt. That’s what you see above. For those who don’t know what they are, you wear it around your waist and each bottle holds 8 oz of water (or gatorade, whichever you prefer, it doesn’t discriminate). I was nervous how it was going to feel around my waist, if it was going to bother me or the weight of the water was going to weigh me down. I ran up and down my hallway Friday night (well-my 6 space between the kitchen and living room-not really a hallway) seeing how it felt and it really bothered me. My arms were rubbing against the bottles and it felt odd. I was sure it was going to be a disaster and I was going to toss it into the East River the second I started running. Was it going to fail? Was I going to be miserable? I dreamt about it that night-no joke.
Saturday morning I woke up to beautiful weather. It was supposed to be rainy with thunderstorms but I was pleasantly surprised by the sun and warm temps. I got ready and lingered for a long long time, running back and forth in my apartment testing out the fuel belt again. It was even more annoying with the water and I was pushing back and pushing back leaving cause I was so annoyed. The fuel belt was East River bound, I was sure of it. But, I had to suck it up and get on the road-well, path. I decided to not run on Central Park cause I needed a change of scenary. I decided to run South along the East River, across the Brooklyn Bridge and back, around the tip of Manhattan, up the Hudson River, across 21st street and back down the East River to my apartment at 5th St. I was nervous but excited for something different. And by 9 am…I was off!
I had a surprise meeting me when I went outside that I missed from my window. Along with the sun, was thick fog. How fun!! Running in sun and fog??? Oh yeah-how fun. I ran right next to the East River and the river was entirely covered in fog and thus the path was quite foggy too. I couldn’t see that far in front of me which was a blast. Looking ahead to the Brooklyn Bridge, I barely noticed it, but did notice that it was covered in fog as well. I was looking forward to that part. I got a little lost getting up to the bridge and ran around for a while when a policeman finally pointed me to in the right direction. When I got onto the bridge, I noticed a girl running behind me right away. The bridge was uphill and I was struggling a bit and was sure that she was going to pass me. She didn’t and when the hardest part was over, she ran up beside me and said that me running pulled her up the hill! How fun! We chatted and ran with each other for the rest of the bridge-she’s training for the New Jersey marathon May 4 (her 7th!!!) and has run the Brooklyn Half several times. She gave me great advice on it and it was really fun running with her. I didn’t even really notice I was running while we were chatting! Thanks random girl on the bridge! She continued into Brooklyn and I turned around and ran across the boardwalk back to Manhattan. Oh-and running in the fog across the Bridge was pretty darn cool-a very unique experience.
The rest of the run was just as pleasant. The fog slowly started lifting and more and more people came out to run on such a wonderful day. I got to see tons of great things around the city as I ran by them-South Street Seaport, Battery Park, the Statue of Liberty, the Meatpackign district. It was pretty cool. And along the Hudson River, there are beautiful paths and lots of trees and flowers. Very well done and picturesque to run along. By mile 9 or so, I was tired, and my legs were dragging, but I knew I would finish without a problem. I still felt strong and I still had energy left. And I was drinking my water regularly. Oh-and that fuel belt? I forgot about it within the first 30 seconds. It didn’t bother me at all! And it didn’t end up in the East River, which was probably a good thing, and a good thing for my wallet. I drank water from it regularly from the end of the Brooklyn Bridge and on and I’m sure it helped me finish strong.
When I got home, I felt wonderful. Talk about a runners high! To finish such a long run so strongly and to have such a blast the entire felt wonderful. And I had no signs of dehydtration-I was tired but in a good way but not exhausted. And no cramps/nausea/awfulness. Just excitement! I was raving about it all day to everyone who stood in my path. Well, not everyone, but I talked my roommate’s ear off for a long time about it. And when I mapped it when I got home, what was supposed to be a 12.5 mile run ended up being about 13. Yup-that’s basically a half marathon. Wow.
Overall, seriously the best week of running I’ve had in a long time-maybe the best I’ve had since I started training. To have three really strong runs in a week is pretty rare, and I needed it. It boosted my confidence back up (I was so frustrated after last week) and got me excited about running again. Woo hoo!!!
Less than 3 weeks til the half. And you know what? I can’t fraking wait.