I’m a little shocked I survived the BoltBus ride back to NYC yesterday. The trip took an hour and a half longer than it should have, probably due to the fact that the bus was being violently pelted by raindrops the size of my face.
But now I’m back and life has returned to normal.
I miss D.C. though.
I learned a lot this weekend while shacking up with Emily and her lovely boyfriend.
Perhaps you read about our run-and-booze-filled excursions already. But there was more to the trip than just running until my legs nearly fell off and eating until my stomach was fully expanded.
The weekend was such a whirlwind of running/eating/drinking/exploring the local Lululemon scene that I never really let it sink in that I ran 20 miles.
Oh I celebrated. Trust me, I celebrated.
Here are a few of the lessons I learned while traveling to D.C. this weekend with a handsome friend of mine:
1. No matter what the bus schedule says, you will not arrive at your destination on time. Even if you’re running 2 hours behind, the driver will still insist on making a rest stop. And then everyone will undoubtedly make a beeline for the McDonald’s or Burger King and return to the bus with the smelliest food possible.
2. Long running is better with friends. I split up my 20 mile run by dominating the first half with Ironman Emily and wrapping up the second half with my nice friend.
It definitely helped to have company, not only because I had no idea where I was going, but also because it kept my mind from counting down the miles and thinking other daunting 20-mile-esque thoughts.
I’d love to tell you that Emily was an amazing tour guide and that she answered all my questions along the way, but that was hardly the case.
I can’t believe she doesn’t know the exact height of Abe Lincoln, who sits atop his wondrous throne.
She did, however, manage to point out the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts and the Watergate Hotel…about half a mile after we had already run past them.
Strong work, tour guide. Really impressive.
3. I need to do some of my long runs alone. Yes, it’s nice to be able to rely on people to help keep my pace strong, to point out water fountains and to encourage me to throw more Gu Chomps down my gullet. But I fear I’m starting to depend a bit too much on my running buddies.
I won’t be running the Hamptons Marathon with a sweaty gal or handsome man by my side (unless, of course, either of you can make that happen, which would be fantastic).
I need to be confident covering major distances all by myself, since that’s what will go down on race day.
So I’m thinking my next 18 or 20-miler will be done alone. No counting on people. No moral support. Just me and my Brooks Adrenalines. Also, no stopping and taking photos.
4. Shake out runs are hilarious and fun. I love the day after a long run, when I get to run 4ish miles at an awesomely slow pace. There’s no pressure to be speedy and you have every excuse in the world (“I ran 20 miles yesterday”) to stop for water, puppy-petting or stretching.
Or, in yesterday’s case, photo shoots.
We did some dancing in front of the sad-because-it’s-under-construction National Mall/Reflecting Pool/place where Forrest Gump and Jenny had that special scene in the movie.
Emily’s hopes of getting cast in a third installment of Center Stage may have been slightly crushed yesterday.
Seriously though, shake out runs are fantastic. Sometimes they feel hard as hell, but afterward I almost always feel better and sufficiently shaken out. I guess that’s the point.
5. There’s an Albert Einstein monument. Who knew?
Well, apparently Emily knew. And she took me there. And it was awesome. I really like Einstein now. Thanks to the nice young gentlelad who took our photo and called me a tourist. Which I’m so obviously not…
6. If the man you are spending lots of wonderful time with gets along famously with the man your friend is dating, you will like him even more. This is a fact.
If you return to the apartment after your shakeout run to the find the two men drinking red wine at 10 am, that will not change the amount of like you have for them. It may even make you admire their breakfast of champions.
7. I need to take in more calories over the course of my long runs. I didn’t necessarily learn this, but I was told this. Emily scolded me in a very nice way. Instead of saying “You’re stupid and need to eat more or your body will collapse by mile 17,” she simply reminded me of her Ironman digestion/hydration/dehydration issues.
Noted. I will gladly take advice from an Ironman.
8. I need to practice eating my long run fuel while I’m running. I usually stop at a water fountain, rapidly chew the Chomps, snag some water and then continue on my merry way. But by race day, I want to have mastered the art of Running While Eating.
This skill will bode well for me if my dreams of a Half Marathon That Is Also An Eating Competition ever come true.
9. If you want someone to take your picture, just ask. Emily has mastered this skill. No one said no to snapping a few shots of us, despite our
scary sexy sweat stains.
10. Sometimes a trip away can do wonders for your sanity. I was unbelievably stressed out last week. Like, couldn’t-fall-asleep-at-night-because-I-want-to-stare-at-my-To-Do-list stressed. In the midst of planning what turned out to be a wildly successful fundraiser, I wasn’t able to focus and was spastic all the time.
After spending a weekend out of NYC with three people I absolutely adore, I’m feeling rejuvenated, refocused and pretty darn happy.
11. I am ready for the Hamptons Marathon. OK, maybe I’m not totally ready. I still have a few weeks of training left until September 24 arrives. But physically I’m feeling strong and mentally I’m all “Game on, Hamptons, I’m going to crush you.”
It’s a great feeling.
TELL ME: What lessons did you learn this weekend? Maybe you learned how to make something delicious. Perhaps you learned that you can (and did) break your 2-hour half marathon goal. Or maybe you learned that you are in love. I don’t know. All good things though. Now share more with me. Please.