A Break from the Solo Run

I’ve been doing pretty great about keeping up with my running and training since I’ve been back in New Jersey. Val and I are here visiting family and friends for the holidays so I wasn’t sure how much I’d find the energy to get out for all the runs I’ve wanted to when time is so limited before we leave. Luckily, it hasn’t been an issue. I’ve hit the track twice. I put in a 10 mile tempo run with a negative split (finishing the second half of the run faster than the first half). And I ran a 16 miler with Val’s uncle which I’ll get into shortly.

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It’s been great spending quality time with those we’ve deeply missed.

Saturday night was when the left image was taken and of course they decided to order in from a new Thai restaurant on Main St. in Metuchen. What made it even worse was that the host said they could cook several enticing dishes without fish sauce making them completely vegan. Knowing we’d be eating dinner rather late (7:30-8pm) and that I had to be up early for a long run, I opted for white rice instead. White rice?! Not brown rice? Nope. I knew white rice would be easier to digest and I knew my body could use that energy much more readily in the morning.

friends3  So white rice was my carb-intake and Olivias vegan coconut macaroons provided the fat. 🙂 Wonderfully delectable, Olivia!

I called it a night while Val went out with friends after dinner and tea…and more wine. I enjoyed a nice dinner, stories, and laughs with family and friends and I knew I shouldn’t be tiring my body out even more and then asking it to run 20 miles without proper sleep so I know I made the right call for my overall well-being. I got right into bed and about 6 hours later I was up for a run.

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Up at dawn and felt great! If I wasn’t feeling it, the last thing I’d do is grab my phone for a quick pic, so you know I’m not lying!

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I wasn’t running this run solo, though, which is how I’ve run all of my long runs for well over a year. In fact, I’d say 99% of my runs have been solo runs. It’s not that people don’t like me…I just don’t like them! Kidding!!! I think I’m just training so often which makes things a bit easier when I only have to rely on me. But this run, what I thought was going to be at least 20 miles, was going to be a dual effort with Val’s uncle, Tim. Tim is set to run the Watchung 50k on 1/9/2016, his first ultramarathon, and wanted me to join him for a long run. He forgot he had to meet someone in Connecticut by a certain time so our 20+ mile run was altered to a 16 mile out and back route that to us to the top of Washington Rock before we turned around.

What was so great about this run was how FAST it went. I don’t mean that we took the run fast, because while we went faster than we would have if we had run 25 miles or so, we didn’t run at a pace thatprevented us from conversing. What I mean by “fast” is that the 2+ hours flew by thanks to the great conversations we had throughout the run. We talked about family, work, our fitness goals for next year and everything in between. Before I knew it, we were approaching the point that would bring us to a 1 mile ascent up to Washington Rock and present us with a beautiful miles-long view of New Jersey before us. Too bad the iPhone 4 he brought with us couldn’t capture any pictures that would do any justice to the beautiful view we had.

It was a very welcome break from the solo run that I usually run and I’m glad I had the accountability there as well. Had I not have had plans to run this long run with Tim, I likely would not have wanted to run more than 10 miles in the 30 degrees we ran in. Heck, I probably would have just woken up to coffee and Val’s mom making us breakfast and there would have went my hopes for a long run.

Moral of the story: It may help to break away from the solo run every now and then. The runs go by quicker when you’re with someone. One of you is likely to have a stronger run (Tim thanked me for pushing him especially up the 1 mile hill and during the last few miles when I like to finish strong). And lastly, the accountability  that comes with planning to meet up with a running partner or group really helps on the days when the weather is just downright crummy. I wrote a post not too long ago about this last benefit as one of the ways to help one stick to their fitness goals so feel free to check it out if this aspect interests you.

 

12 In the beginning of our run we were greet by 4 deer and with a mile and a half left, 4 wild turkeys graces us with their presence. Funny enough, 4 turkeys also decided to cause Val’s family’s dog to bark incessantly while we were having breakfast. Maybe we should have just played this lucky number and perhaps won it big that night. “And tonight’s Pick-6 lottery winning numbers are: 4. That’s it!” Ha! I wish.

4 We kept it real classy for our coconut waters after our run. I have no idea why Tim grabbed wine glasses for our postrun hydration beverage, but I wasn’t upset that he did.

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All hydrated with water and coconut water meant that I could enjoy several cups of my favorite morning delight. If we were keeping it classy with the coconut water wine glasses, then we kept it real fancy with the espresso machine.

 

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Val’s aunt knew the way to our hearts. Kasha (buckwheat), shitake mushrooms, and avocado was on the menu for the morning. Then they opened the bag of everything bagels and my heart beat 5x faster. Then I saw peanut butter and my heart beat 10x faster than that. 

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Did you get a good look at that breakfast meal? I’m salivating just staring at that food! Plant-based and incredibly delicious…and nutritious.

Well, that’s that. Are you a solo runner? Do you ever divert from being the lone runner you’re used to? If so, what is that experience usually like for you?

Happy Running!

 

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