A couple more weeks have been recorded into workout history. Sunday runs are getting longer and longer, and we continue to look for paths in the area that can accommodate our requirements of not being hit by cars, keeping a steady pace, not having to loop in the same circle more than three times, and no hills.
A few months ago, a friend and I ran a 10k without knowing anything about the course. I seriously had no idea what to expect and the thought of any potential hills certainly didn’t cross my mind. As we were lining up, the race organizer announced that we would all love this race because it was flat and fast-paced. Looking back, she was either well-versed in delivering dry sarcasm or had just driven the route instead of running it.
Either way, she had me fooled and I was really excited for the race to begin. And it did start out flat, just as the organizer had promised. Then we turned the corner and there before us was a hill. Gradual, steady, but a hill nonetheless. Oh yeah, and that hill continued for the duration of the race.
Now, overall, this hill wasn’t a bad one. I’ve run races with some killer inclines (hello, Boilermaker!), but the problem was that my expectations had been set, and that dumb hill totally threw me off. Riding in a car, I’m sure anyone would say that course wasn’t hilly. As a runner, that course was hilly. Again, it was one gradual hill, but it lasted five miles. On foot, that’s an eternity. If the course was reversed, it indeed would have been flat and fast. Maybe we all accidentally ran in the wrong direction that day.
Fall is well underway and the leaves have been sneakily falling off the trees for weeks. There’s something satisfying about long runs and hearing them crunch with every step. The crisp air actually makes spending a couple hours outdoors trying for a good pace time an almost pleasant experience.
Overall, I’m feeling motivated and on track. The current struggle revolves around food and how much I need. It’s obviously a lot more than what I’m currently eating because I’m so ravenous that I routinely wake up at 2 in the morning. To top it off, I have the worst snacks. The other night I started piling dry cereal and a lonely tomato into my mouth. Not at the same time, mind you, but it was pretty close. That dreadful combination wasn’t a pretty sight, nor was it a great snack. My plan is to stock up on items like peanut butter, crackers, hummus, and chocolate milk so that when I do need a snack, I have a little more available than what is so obviously a bachelorette’s failed attempt at being an adult.
I also would appreciate an Italian mother in my life. This week, a fellow marathoner’s mom cooked one of the most amazing meals I’ve ever had for me and a few other friends. Her motto was, “eat it all,” and I tried my best to appease her. I ate more in one sitting than I have in a very long time. The food was excellent and the conversation was great. Homemade tiramisu can’t be beat, but the smuggled parmesan from Italy almost topped it. I would love to be adopted into her family, but unfortunately, I’m a grown adult and she’s already back home. But, I can still dream. It was the first night I slept through in a while without waking up completely starving at a random hour.
This week I’m on the hunt for snack ideas that will refuel and sustain a body that is consistently punished with lots of training. Any homemade granola or other recipes that are healthy and filling would be greatly appreciated. I look forward to your feedback!
Photo above: Lauren, center, is flanked by a dedicated group of fellow half and full marathon trainees, who, after 12 miles, still manages to smile.
Photo below: Momma Lina (far right, closest to camera) flew all the way from Italy to cook the feast to end all feasts. For the first time since marathon training began, Lauren (third from left) slept through the night and did not wake up for an emergency 2 a.m. feeding.