Thank you, Delta Airlines

…for canceling my Thursday flight out of NYC.

Wait, what?  Canceled flights are pretty much a universal annoyance, right?  But flying to Nashville at noon on Friday instead meant that I did not have to do a 20-mile run at the crack of dawn in a strange city.

Instead, I did a 20-mile run at the crack of dawn in NYC.  And wow, it was a beauty.

Yes, that’s another phrase that’s never passed my lips:  I enjoyed my long run.

I don’t know if it was the perfect weather (60s and cloudy when I set out at 6:15 this morning), the fact that it rained last night (damp bridle path = much better than dry, sandy, dusty bridle path) or what.  But I finished my 20-miler (20.11, to be exact) in well under three hours (2:53) and even managed to throw in five miles at marathon goal pace (MGP) at the end.

Although this is my tenth trip through this whole marathon-training shebang, I’ve never really enjoyed the long-long stuff.  20 milers have always ended with a constant vigil over my running watch, shuffling at a snail’s pace on stiff legs and counting the minutes until I could stop.  Today there was no such agony.  While I was tired at the end (of course) and happy to be done, I wasn’t dying to stop.  I actually had a smile on my face.

This might go down as the best long training run I’ve had.  In a long while, anyway.  Yay-hoo!

And now that we’re in Nashville?  I’m doubly glad that I didn’t have to run long here because it’s seriously hot as balls.  Over 100* for sure.  Our hotel is gorgeous though:

I think it used to be a train station.  Or something.  And our room has the tallest ceilings ever.  Pretty jaw-dropping when you’re accustomed to life in a shoebox!

Time to take the compression socks off (I was mocked extensively by the hubs for wearing them on the plane) and get ready for the evening’s activities!  Happy weekend, y’all!

Today’s EAT: Today’s long run recovery food has consisted of: yogurt with PB&J, a ham sandwich from Starbucks (and a venti iced coffee), some of the hubs’ Chicken McNuggets and fries, and a McD’s soft-serve sundae.  Eating healthy is so challenging while traveling!  Looking forward to a real meal tonight!

Today’s DRINK: Red Gatorade.  Haha.  Will there be wine later, though?  You betcha!

Today’s RUN: I was so thankful for my Garmin on today’s long run.  Seriously, I’ve only had the thing for a week and I already don’t know how I lived without it.  I’ve always resisted them because I didn’t want to be a slave to a gadget, but I actually find running with it very liberating: no need to plan routes in advance, really.  No fretting about pace or whether I’m getting all of my miles in.

And, I can overload you guys with data like this:

I promise not to post giant images of my garminated runs daily.  Heh.  But I just have to pimp this one because I’m so happy about how I managed the pacing.

The route was: my apartment up to CP via 96th st (~6.5 miles), one loop of the Res and two of the north bridle path, then back home the way I came.

The beginning miles were slow.  I think I was still half asleep until mile 7 or so, when I finally got up to the park.  Once I was on the Res, I settled into a nice 8:30 pace: nice and smooth.  The 7-something MGP pickups on the way home were kind of impromptu, but I’m so glad I did them!  It’s a huge confidence booster to know that I can run sub-8 minute pace fairly comfortably after running for more than two hours.

A little frustrating that those early miles drag my overall pace down, but that’s life.  I’m getting old and it takes me a while to warm up, apparently.  (Also, I’m pretty sure that waking up five minutes before departure, throwing on a dirty tank top, and stumbling out the door while still yawning is less than ideal prep.  I still hate mornings.)

As far as fuel, I tried out Gu Chomps this week and kind of liked them.  I ate through one package (200 cals) during the run.  I liked being able to take little bites here and there (and without having to stop) as opposed to choking down a whole packet of gel.  No tummy issues today – win!

Also smart fueling?  The three beers and two slices of pizza I had at midnight last night.  You think I am joking, but I’m not.  That’s all carbs, baby.  I think I’m going to start always incorporating a second dinner before bed on long run eves.  (I could probably skip the beer in the future…but hey, it didn’t seem to hurt me today!)

Anyway.  I have written a novel about my long run, so I’ll shut up and turn it over to you guys:

Today’s QUESTION: Are you running this weekend? Best of luck to everyone who’s tackling a long run or a race!

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18 responses to “Thank you, Delta Airlines

  1. What a fancy hotel!

    I plan on running early tomorrow morning. I’m training for Hood to Coast (2 weeks away). But want to avoid the crushing heat if I can…

    I wish I had a Garmin. 😦

  2. My runs are absolute jokes in comparison to yours, but I have a 6 mile 1/2 marathon training run planned for Sunday morning. I am from the south so it will be hot as hell I am sure.

    How did you get the image of your garmin stats into your blog? I have tried to do that a couple of times and I just can’t figure it out.

  3. oh no for canceled flights! but glad the LR worked out for you! and what a swanky hotel. lucky you 🙂

  4. I would love to run through NYC — I bet that was such a beautiful and interesting run.

    That hotel is beautiful, enjoy your time there!

  5. I’m on my “running vacation” – enjoying my pick-as-many-or-as-little-miles-as-you-want Saturday runs before my marathon training begins on 8/23. Awesome run, congrats on the pick-ups!

    I have the same question, how did you upload the stats, I can’t get mine to work either!

  6. i love that you wore the compression socks on the plane! that’s awesome.

  7. Been following this blog for a while, love it!
    I’m running Chicago, too! It’s my second marathon and first attempt at the BQ (fingers crossed). I’m in Corral C. My 20-22 miler is tomorrow morning, hope it goes as rad as yours.

  8. YES, I always have my best LRs after huge feasts and a little alcohol the night before… even though I always feel sick the night before from eating so much 😉

  9. Amazing times. And I am so impressed by your room/hotel in NYC. Whenever I stay there, I end up hitting all my body parts/luggage on the walls, ceilings, sinks – the rooms are soooo small.

  10. 1. I think this is the 2nd or 3rd Delta airlines mishap I’ve heard of in the last coupla weeks. Mental note-do not fly Delta to Chi-town.
    2. Hubs shall not mock the compression socks. I so plan on wearing my compression calf sleeves on the flights to/from Chi-town.
    3. Awesome job on the 20. I did 20 yesterday and I don’t think I would have been able to hit any MP miles at the end (then again, Mr. Garmin seemed very confused yesterday-he went crazy on the summer streets)
    4. Once you go Garmin, you can’t go back.

  11. Congrats on the awesome long run! BTW, what are you using software wise for the Garmin? Is that through Garmin Connect?

    That hotel looks amazing! Enjoy the wine! 🙂
    CJ

  12. Ahh this is why I read running blogs. It pumps me up just to read about how well that long run went. And what a great finish! Thanks for sharing the stats — this garmin contraption sounds wicked fun.

  13. Sounds like you had a great long run – nice work! Enjoy that gorgeous hotel and your stay in Nashville.

  14. wow solid work on the 20. I agree that pizza + beer is the greatest LR fuel there is. carbs + carbs? Yes please.

  15. I think you already know how I feel about pre-long run carbs – pizza and beer (and mac and cheese!) all the way. Woo. Glad you had a good 20-miler, can’t wait to run with you this week! =)

  16. Just a beast of a run. Nice to get that 2o spot under your belt in non-hellfire conditions. So glad you are digging the Garmin.

    Nice pics of the hotel. Hope the trip was fun!!

  17. Amazing job! Wow what a great run : ) Know anyone running NY?

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