The day after my first ever 15 mile run last Wednesday, my legs were feeling pretty sore. Let’s just say walking hurt. This is slightly unusual for me since I haven’t felt truly sore from running in a while — I guess the new distance did the trick. I was home in NJ from Wednesday night until Sunday where you have to walk up stairs to get to the bedrooms, which didn’t help the situation (15 miles = easy smeazy; 1 flight of stairs = painful). By Friday my legs were feeling a little better (baby steps!). A good friend of mine from elementary through high school who now lives in the town next to where we grew up had taken Friday off from work so I somehow managed to convince her to go to a yoga class with me. We went to a new yoga studio a few blocks away from my parents house. The class was supposed to be $20, but when we got there we discovered that your first class is free (score!). The yoga class was slow and just what I needed to stretch my limbs out.
Friday night my family cooked in together and enjoyed some homemade cocktails and wine. Dinner was delicious — shrimp in green sauce with saffron rice and string beans. The BF and I honestly don’t cook much, so I always appreciate a home-cooked meal. It was wonderful spending time with the family and lots of laughs and catching up. By 10pm I was kinda beat and typsy, that’s when my brother thought it would be a good idea to snap a photo of me to post on facebook (brother’s never change!):
Saturday morning it was time to get my run back on. I have to admit my legs were still a little sore — apparently I don’t recover quickly — but that wasn’t going to stop me. Luckily my sister-in-law is training for the Philadelphia Marathon and she was home with my family as well, so I had a running buddy! Now, my hometown is anything but flat, which is why I chose to do my long run on Wednesday. I was afraid to run in NJ due to hills. I still wanted to bang out some good mileage, though. After some searching on Google, I can across Loantaka Park that has bike trails that are relatively flat. I remembered biking there as a kid, but the park totally slipped my mind!
Around 9:30am Saturday morning my sister-in-law and I set out to drive to Loantaka Park for a run. She was planning 8 miles and I was planning…as many as I could do?
I was a little surprised when we set out on the trail and my sister-in-law put on her headphones, telling me how she can’t talk when she runs. Talking to someone helps me run and distracts me for a few miles — oh well, so much for a running buddy. We ran close together, but we not “running together.” I kept my headphones off for the first 5miles, focusing on taking in the new scenery:
We passed a few horses, some walkers and bikers, all who kindly wished us a “good morning” — now that’s something I’m not totally used to with living in NY. Every once and a while you’ll pass a fellow runner who will acknowledge you exist, but that’s about the extend of interaction, except for those few memorable and rare occasions like the one Katie experienced durring her 20 mile run. I also spotted some swans bathing in a large pond and tons of squirrels and chip munks running around.
I love my sister-in-law, but it was a little strange for me to be running next to someone, but not “with” them. I mean, it’s fine if you’re running with someone and you stop chatting along the way because you’re tired or run out of things to say, but not acknowledging each other at all is strange for me. I guess everyone has their own running habits though!
Around mile 4 I was getting tired so I decided to head back. My sister-in-law said she was going to continue on for 5 more minutes and then turn around. If only finding our way back was that simple…Loantaka Park consists of multiple paths. On our way out we ran past a big ponder that had a very muddy trail around it. I wanted to avoid the pond on my way back so I foolishly tried a different path. Yeah, bad idea. Somehow I got turned around and completely lost –ironically enough, my sister-in-law, 5minutes behind me, did the same thing! We ran into each other completely lost. I was glad I found her so I was at least not wandering the woods alone, but we still had the problem that we were BOTH lost. Luckily we were able to find a road and thanks too good old GPS on our Droid phones, we found our way back. Seriously, what did people do before smart phones? I guess they clocked a lot more mileage trying to find their way home…
Honestly if we didn’t get lost I probably would have stopped running around mile 5. However, at that point I just wanted to get back to the car so I continued on and completed 7miles, I think at least. My Garmin was not picking up any signal at all so I’m going based off time and my average pace (around 10:10min/miles). Also, despite my legs being sore, I didn’t feel like I was running extremely slowly. Not to brag, but I was impressed with myself for being able to bang out 7miles after a PDR two days prior. Maybe not the smartest recovery plan, but none the less, I was happy :-)
I have to say the change of scenery was really nice on this run, but after a while I got a little bored of seeing more of the same pretty trees with leaves changing color — I guess I’m just a city girl at heart. This scenery is more my cup of tea:
I took this picture about a week or so ago while I was running with Kristine (she’s in the picture!) along the East River one soggy morning. The sunrise and rain made it so pretty I just had to take a shot! I didn’t stop running to take the picture, though, so yeah, it’s a bit fuzzy haha. Photographer, I am not.
Now I’m watching The Biggest Loser where they’re talking about running a marathon by the end of the season. If they can do it, so can I!
Oh and I’m also happy to report that 15miles, and two 7 miles runs later within a week, my hip is feeling good!!!! Little to no pain, that’s the way I like it :-)
In my next post — What made my Monday Happy! Keep a look out…
QUESTION: What’s your routine after a long run? Do you run the next day or take a few days off to recover? Do you enjoy running in a city or the suburbs or rural area better?