Every weekend I say to myself, “Hey, self, you should blog on Saturday or Sunday or something, that way you don’t have to spend Monday just recapping your weekend, because that is probably not interesting for many people.” And then the weekend goes by, and it’s Monday morning, and there was no weekend blog.
And so today I bring you Ali’s Weekend Recap, in some sort of numerical order list form: 10 Great Things That Happened This Weekend.
1. I made exciting future plans. The lease on my apartment is up March 31, which is crazy because I kind of feel like I just got there. I have loved living on my own and am so glad I spent this past year being all independent and stuff. On Friday afternoon, I marched into my landlord’s office all ready to negotiate a few things, and the meeting went perfectly: He gave me a one-month lease extension (though he told me “not to tell anyone” because he “never does things like that”), and now I will not move out until April 30.
And then I will have a new roommate in a new apartment.
His name is Brian and he has presented me with several great reasons he’ll be excellent to live with. Number one on that list? “I can fix things,” he told me. I’ll take it. Sold! Let’s shack up, B. (And yes, I realize that April 30 is the day after my potential running of the Eugene Marathon, and no, that doesn’t scare me at all. Totally calm.)
2. I celebrated those plans with drinks and cookies. After the lease un-signing, Brian and I went out to dinner and a handful of drinks. We ventured to Insomnia Cookies in hopes of securing the perfect melty bedtime snack, but then this happened:
TRAGEDY. So we took a detour to Fairway, bought frozen cookie dough and made cookies ourselves in the toaster oven. Brian “cooked,” I had a dance party and I went to bed feeling pretty dang excited about springtime.
3. I ran long. Well, 12 miles long, which in my skewed little post-marathon training head no longer even seems to qualify as a “long run.” It’s weird how that happens. But I set out for 12 miles on Saturday morning, and it went well. Nicole (“Mrs. Coach Cane”) and I talked on Thursday about doing my long runs at a much slower pace — and many of you have commented recommending the same thing — so I wanted to cruise through those miles hovering around a 9-minute/mile pace. That didn’t happen at all.
I really need to work on slowing down on these runs and being OK with it. I realize that part of being good at pacing isn’t just about being able to speed up — it’s also about knowing how to stay in control and slow down. So that’s that.
4. I ran with friends. And I blame them for the speedy last few miles of the run. Robin, Lindsay, Susan, Megan, Baker — rude. So you know how when you meet up with friends for a long run, you expect that it will be all laid back, casual and slow, so you can talk about current events and chafing and stuff? Well yeah, it was laid back and slow for these people. But oh that’s right, these badasses are in a slightly speedier bracket than I am, and they’re all currently training for the Boston Marathon, which they all qualified for, no big deal. I kept up fine, but it wasn’t the slow run I had anticipated.
Still, the run was fantastic. There was a huge turnout for the New York Rogue Runners (yes, Rogue, not Road) hot chocolate run. The run was going to be five miles, starting at the 72nd Street Transverse in Central Park and running down to City Bakery in Chelsea. Naturally everyone threw in an extra seven to 15 miles beforehand — spring marathons are in the air! — and the weather was perfect for a long run. Cool, sunny, wonderful.
We knocked out five miles along the West Side Highway and I gasped for air and everyone else was all, “This is easy and fun, OMG running, yay, Boston Marathon, my marathon pace is 6:10, I pace Ryan Hall sometimes, blah blah blah.” I think that’s how the conversations went. That’s how I remember it. Overall? Stellar run. I loved it.
5. I drank the best hot chocolate of my life. I had never been to City Bakery and I want to go back immediately. This hot chocolate was serious. It was creamy and came with a giant marshmallow.
The food was also good, even though, as usual, my post-run appetite was lame.
6. I went out with Lauren and her bridesmaids in style. “Style” means catered food from The Palm, a limo joyride around New York City and drinks at The Palace Hotel. I’m excited and honored to be a bridesmaid in Lauren’s wedding, and on Saturday night we had a bridesmaid shindig so we could get together and chat about all-things-wedding.
7. I ran short. In fact, I ran short in shorts. I slept in nice and late on Sunday and didn’t run until almost 2 pm. That is very late for me. But the plan was for five recovery miles, and it was wonderful. I went for a little jaunt around the Bridle Path and the Reservoir, I kept things nice and slow and I saw tons of cute dogs.
8. I played co-host with Brian for a Superbowl fiesta. He had a few people over to his apartment to watch the game (“watch the game” = eat and watch the commercials for me) and chow down. I helped. I set stuff up, I cut the cheese (insert second grade joke here) and I served drinks throughout the night. I also wore sweatpants because I’m so fancy. But we had a great time, Brian made some killer meatballs and sauce (from scratch — another reason I know he’ll be an excellent roommate) and it was nice to lay low with good friends. I went to bed way too full and very, very happy.
9. I cleaned up before going to bed. I know, I’m such a party animal. Cleaning made my list of “10 great weekend things.” But one of the best tricks I ever learned from my ever-wise parents was to clean up after a party the night of the party. You don’t want to wake up the next morning in a boozy haze and be faced with a filthy kitchen. And so, I cleaned.
10. I slept in. Mondays are non-run days. That used to be a problem. Now I think it’s a great way of life. So while the rest of you were out running or spinning or whatever, I was in a warm bed, enjoying some quality REM-cycle action.
Successful, fun weekend? I’d say so.
Lastly, here a few things for you to read:
- Want to know the big secret to becoming a faster runner? Coach Cane has it.
- Matt Duelka is one of Coach Cane’s runners, and he’s really fast and I think he’s a seriously talented runner. That’s why I love this piece he wrote about being a “real runner.” Because no, you do not have a run a marathon to be considered a runner. That’s insane.
- My fast friend Lindsay wrote this post about working hard and playing hard. Lindsay is proof that you don’t have to surrender your social life in order to be a hardcore, fast, diligent runner. You can do both, and you can do both well.
That’s all for now.
SHARE YOUR WEEKEND HIGHLIGHTS, PLEASE: A race PR, perhaps? Did your team win the Superbowl? Or maybe the highlight of your weekend was seeing Madonna stumble around during the halftime show. (Yes, it was a good show, fine, but only because of the last song. I realize Madonna is “older” and yes, she can still perform. Was it the “best halftime show ever?” Absolutely not. That distinction, in my mind, forever goes to the Aerosmith/Britney/’NSync performance. But those dance moves in the first half of Madonna’s performance were awkward and painful to watch. The dancers killed it, but the lip syncing and the cartwheeling made me feel weird.)