10 Foot Pole

NYC Marathon Training Week 10.

Miles: 29.23 Runs Skipped: 2

Things all got put into perspective this week, the second full week of school. Last week I decided that any run over 6 miles would have to be done after school. Sure, it’s hotter, and my legs are tired from standing in school all day, but getting up when the first number is 3 is just not going to happen. That is a sure way to derail this training plan and guarantee that I start skipping runs. And staying healthy enough to get all the runs in at a decent time of day is proving hard enough.

Case in point: this week, I had a scheduled 8-miler on a Tuesday. I told Dear Hubby that he and the kids would have to eat dinner without me and I took off around 6 p.m.  The run was great, the sunset was beautiful, and I felt like a total BADASS for running 8 miles on a weekday. When I started this plan, 8 miles was the long run for the week. Although, sometimes you have to make sure you don’t dislocate your shoulder patting yourself on the back.

Jessie's Girl
Jessie’s Girl

Wednesday came, and still riding my ‘I”m a Badass-Mother-Runner (BAMR)” wave, I went with the Hubster to see Rick Springfield in concert. Yes, that Rick Springfield. This was my Mother’s Day present from May – and at age 43 I am still a fangirl. The concert was awesome, our seats were awesome, Rick jumped into the crowd in my section, and at age 66 he is still awesome. I definitely had more adult beverages that a normal week night (ya know, none) – but they put my beer in a cup with a lid and gave me a straw: Adult Sippy Cup. How bad could it be?

Adult Sippy Cup
Adult Sippy Cup

We didn’t get home until after midnight – a good 2-3 hours after my normal bedtime, so a morning 6-miler was out of the question. No worries, I would run after dinner like most Thursdays….nope. The crash came on so sudden, that within 10 minutes of picking up my kids at school I was under my covers and snoring. I slept for a solid 2 hours. I never did quite wake up after that, so I decided to listen to my body and I pulled the plug on a non-optional run for the first time this training. It made me feel like shit – physically and mentally. I looked at my husband that night and said: something’s not right. I was sound asleep before 10 p.m.


When the alarm went off on Friday, my throat was ON FIRE. I forced myself to swallow and it hurt. It took me about 2 seconds to pull the plug on Friday’s run and get another hour of sleep. By the time the regular 6 a.m. alarm went off I had completed a full body check-in and started to fear the worst: strep throat. I can usually set my calendar for the first infection, and with everyone at new schools this year, I’m living in a 3/2 petri dish with a pool. Luckily, my throat was only red and irritated, and I immediately felt better with a little salt water gargle and DayQuil.

Which was good, because I had an 18 miler lined up for Saturday morning. I had such good luck with last week’s 17 miles that looped my house three times, I decided to stick to the same route. I got up, ate, and was out the door by 5:30 a.m., coming back to the house to refuel at mile 6 before anyone even woke up. It was so much easier to mentally digest 3 LOOPS rather than 18 miles. The only minor snafu was a fall at mile 14 when it was light enough to realize the tree I had run past 3 times had giant spikes on it. I’ve never noticed before, as it is usually dark and I’m staring at the sidewalk trying not to trip. Well, I should stick with sidewalk-staring, because I fell so hard on a giant crack in the sidewalk that was even marked with fluorescent paint so it could be seen…. As I sat there checking myself out and crying a very nice couple pulled their car over. Apparently my fall had been so spectacular they wanted to make sure I was ok. I was honest with them: “I’m ok, I am just really, really embarrassed.” They laughed and offered me some towels. It was nice to see some smiles.

The real reason I was crying had nothing to do with falling, or being embarrassed. When I fell, I stopped my GPS and it said that I had only gone 12 miles. I was crying because I wasn’t sure I had 6 left in me. How the HELL had I only gone 12 miles? WTF was I doing? I just wanted to stop running.I made myself stand up and told myself to walk for a bit. Walking would be ok right now, just move. I turned my GPS back on — and magically I was NOT at mile 12, I was just over 14 miles. Four miles I could run, four miles is cake, four miles is a warmup before work. I did have to hopscotch sides of the road to search for shade and pop into CVS when I ran out of water, but I got those 4 miles done, and kept up running my intervals the whole way. That was big for me. I actually could see me running 20 miles in a few weeks. Up until these last two weeks, I couldn’t imagine touching that distance with a 10-foot pole.

My ice bath outfit -- complete with chicken hat.
My ice bath outfit — complete with chicken hat.

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