A couple of months ago I noticed that my running mileage (totaled weekly in my running journal) was approaching 1000 miles. I thought at the time, "maybe I can make 1000 by the end of the year." Nice goal, yes?
Well, apparently I was mathematically challenged, because I easily hit 1000 miles shortly thereafter. So then I put all my math talents to work, using both my fingers and toes, and a piece of paper and pen, and by adding, subtracting, dividing by 12, etc., determined that in fact I could get to 1200 miles by the end of the year, simply by averaging 24 miles a week for the rest of the year. (And that would take me through December 30, leaving December 31 to theoretically make up the difference, if there wasn't too much to make up!)
Better yet, of course, if I could manage more than 24 miles a week on a few occasions, that would leave me a cushion in case of bad weather, illness (heaven forbid), or the holidays somehow interfering with my running schedules. (Or if it turns out my math was wrong. But how could that happen?)
So today, the Friday after Thanksgiving, seemed like a good opportunity to log in a few extra miles. My body certainly could use it, after taking in way too much food yesterday. And with a day off from work, and no other commitments to draw on my morning, I could run as long and slow as I wanted.
The best thing about having a day off from work is that I don't have to run before the crack of dawn—I can have a bit of a lazy morning in bed before I hit the road. (Is that really the best thing about a day off? Why, yes. Not getting up at 6 a.m.—for whatever reason—is sublime. And still being able to go running is just the icing on the cake. Yes, I am slightly deranged!) Anyhow, I lounged around watching the Today show until 9 a.m., when channel 5 switched to coverage of the Seattle Macy's holiday parade. That is when I meant to get up...but a little channel surfing landed me on the Montel Williams show, and I was compelled to watch (with the doctors from TLC's show Big Medicine, and some of the people on whom they have done bariatric surgery—all positive, no horror stories or anything.)
So, at 10 a.m. I finally dragged myself out of bed (still morning, mind you), and dressed in running clothes. No need to wear my fluorescent green reflective running jacket at this time of day! Cute clothes it was, plus a hat, gloves, sunglasses, phone, ipod, and a bottle of water. After downing a pre-run breakfast of seven chocolate espresso beans and a mini breakfast cookie, I was out the door by about 10:15.
It was still briskly cool out, but amazingly sunny and bright. Just perfect. My body, however, felt a little less than perfect. The Thanksgiving workout at the Y yesterday (samplings of aerobics, cardio kickboxing, step aerobics, and spinning—all things I do not do regularly—primarily because I hate each one more than the other—) had left me stiff in the quads and a little sore in my sensitive Achilles tendon. I'm pretty sure it was the jumping jacks (part of the kickboxing routine) that did the number on my ankle. I actually felt it yesterday during the jumping, but didn't want to wimp out of the jacks since they were the one part of the kickboxing routine that I felt fairly competent doing!
But I kept it slow and easy and headed west on my usual weekday route, up to Grand Avenue Park (still undergoing work, but I ran through anyway) and north on Grand. My plan was to add at least a couple of miles to the route on either or both ends. By the time I got to where Grand turns into Alverson, I felt good enough to keep going north as far as Legion Park, and through the Arboretum (that was my first extension). Then I headed south again, veering onto Colby and following it downtown. I kept going through downtown, all the way to 41st (my second extension).
I turned around at 41st and from there back it was a party, since it was pretty much downhill all the way to QFC. I let the slight downhill grade help me pick up my speed, and by the time I got to Broadway I was in the zone. As usual once I’m in the zone, I felt like I could run on forever (that feeling usually only occurs when I am about to stop—perhaps it’s psychological). But I was over eight miles at that point and I really did want to get some bananas at QFC and a latte at Starbucks! So I stopped to shop and then walked the rest of the way home. Even the walking was great, with the sun shining on me, music in my ears, and the best latte ever in my hand.
I finished off the morning with a long hot bath (trying to recuperate my quads and ankle) and a midday breakfast of oatmeal, cottage cheese, and fruit. (My special recipe: Mix together ½ cup cooked steel cut oats, ¼ cup wheat bran, about ¼ cup hot water, and ¼ apple, chopped, plus lots of cinnamon—heat in microwave 2-3 minutes until apples are tender. Stir in ½ cup or more thawed raspberries and blueberries, a packet of Splenda—because the berries are quite tart—and ½ banana, chopped up. Then stir in ½ cup cottage cheese. Top with a spoonful of ground flaxseed and a few chopped walnuts. Delicious! And tons of fiber and other good stuff.)
I had to drive my route later on so I could get an accurate mileage count. The total distance was nine miles, including the walk home from QFC. (Of course I’m going to count that! I was on my feet, wasn’t I?)
(Then I spent a couple hours lying in bed watching a marathon of What Not to Wear. Hey! I could say I did a marathon on the day after Thanksgiving! While drinking a latte! Take that, Katie Holmes!)