When a Run is the WORST

I read a lot of running blogs. Most of these are written by people much faster and seemingly much more put together than I feel in my marathon training. It’s hard for me to imagine that they ever have a run that goes a horribly as my last long run went on Sunday; however, when I look back through their archives, I’m reminded that even if their idea of a bad run is at a pace I couldn’t imagine in a million years, the feelings appear to be the same.
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Recap: Week 1 (June 10 – 16)

Just to catch up, here’s a brief look at my training thus far.

Well, I had been weighing my options as far as choosing a training program for the marathon. I looked at online programs, my good buddy Hal Higdon, and read a million recaps of other people’s accounts of training for their first marathons. In the end, I decided that adding a little bit of meaning to my miles would be a nice way to ease my way into the rigorous schedule that training for a marathon would require. After speaking with a few of my friends, I made the decision to run with Team for Kids. TFK is the official charitable organization of New York Road Runners, which I’m happy to support. NYRR has guided me through miles and miles of training always being there with their water stations and brightly colored corrals, not to mention all the medals and t-shirts, so it’s awesome being able to give a little back to the organization that has given me so much. In addition, TFK is a great organization. The money raised by Team for Kids members goes toward New York Road Runners youth services which provide free or low-cost school- and community-center based health and fitness programs to children who have little to no access to regular physical activity. These programs currently serve nearly 100,000 children each year in more than 400 schools and community centers in New York City, nationally, and in Africa. I mean, come on, who doesn’t want to support fitness programs for kids??

Anyway, so on Friday, June 14, I made the commitment and clicked the registration button. Shortly thereafter, I received my first email stating that training had just begun! Thinking I was going to be doing a 16-week plan, I thought my training wouldn’t begin until after the 4th of July, but nope, it looked like my first official run of marathon training would be a 5 miler on Saturday, June 15.

So, Saturday afternoon, while spending a beautiful day in Spring Lake, NJ with some of my very favorite choir peeps, Tully and I took off in the bright summer sun for 5 miles. Shockingly, hydration IS important to feeling good when you run. After about 2.5 miles, Tully and I had to circle back by the house to take in a little water and salt (potato chips are good sources of sodium, right?) I finished the final 2.5 without my canine buddy, and was thankful the back half of the run felt much better.

So, that was it. 5 miles in my first week of training. Not a shabby place to start.

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Travel Day Trauma

Has it really only been a week since I was lounging around on the shores of Lake Michigan? It seems like ages ago!! This week has flown by in a blur of flights, running, Kleenex, NyQuil, catching up with friends, Harry Potter, and the 100th performance of Sister Act. Not too shabby a week here in the city.

So, I last left you after Nick and I were stranded in the O’Hare Airport after our flight from LGA was delayed by a faulty weather radar. Not that I minded being deplaned by a mechanical issue, but it was beyond aggravating when we did finally arrive in Chicago.

To back up the trip, we left Astoria at the lovely hour of 4am (what?) and arrived with time to spare to our gate. I bought trashy books and magazines as I’m prone to do on vacation, and we settled into our seats a little loopy due to our early departure. Across the way from us, I recognized a friendly face! It was my pal Jason, who was traveling cross-country to load in a show for which he is the tech director. See, even New York City can be a small place in the early morning hours at LGA.

In any case, we finally were called to board the plane, and after MUCH confusion, we realized that there was an entire group of people on our flight that maybe won a contest if it was their first time to fly EVER. Seriously, I’ve NEVER seen such ridiculous chaos getting onboard a plane in my life, and I that is after spending two years touring the country for work. I mean, you know how they have that obnoxious red carpet loading zone for the first class fliers? There was this entire tour group of like 30 people standing in that line, and spilling over into the regular loading lane effectively blocking all entry to the gate. So, they begin calling boarding by groups, and it’s like no one has head of that before. The gate agent is having to explain on the PA how to look at your ticket for what group number you should be boarding by. It was so ridiculous. After much tussling and a group of seven breaking us up, Nick and I finally got on the plane.

And you would think that would be all, but of course not. We watched hysterically as people full on carried their luggage horizontally down the aisle of the plane, stopping completely when the overhead compartment just above their seat was full. There was no movement when the flight attendant told them there was space just a few seats down, “No, my seat is here. This is the space for MY bag.” Just so funny. Finally, two off-duty attendants had to step in a direct traffic. Who are these people on this 6am flight to Chicago?? The best part was that in some amazing scheme to throw off everyone, this plane’s rows were numbered 1 – 11, then 20 – whatever. There was this random woman just roaming the aisles looking for row 12. Insanity. Nick helped her out by telling her it was probably in the back of the plane. He’s helpful. I imagine my grandmother telling misbehaving kids on a flight to “go play outside.” HA.

In any case, after the most insane boarding process ever, we taxied out to the runway, only to sit for an hour, then returned to the gate, sat for another hour, and finally had to deplane because of a malfunctioning weather radar. I was fully already on the phone with United by this point, but as Nick and I returned to the gate area, we couldn’t help but think og what were all those other people going to do? They are going to think this is what flying is like all the time!! Amazing.

We finally were put on another plane, which naturally had to taxi for hours before taking off. I imagine it taxied just long enough so that when we touched down in Chicago and SPRINTED through the terminal, knocking kids over and pushing our way onto the bus, we arrived at the gate just at 10:03, which is when our flight to Green Bay was departing, and the gate agent was all, “you were supposed to be here 10 minutes ago.” I was like, “no, we were supposed to be her like 4 hours ago, but obviously that didn’t happen either.” Ugh, we had no choice but to take the 1:30 flight, which put us into Wisconsin a full 6 hours later than scheduled. Boo!

But, as you read earlier, Nick and I wasted no time getting into vacation mode at the Chili’s in the terminal, enjoying our Sam Adams at 11am. Love.

Next up, the actual vacation!