This morning marked my first double digit run since training for the half-marathon in the spring. At this point in my running life, I don’t face the same apprehension compared to how daunting those two numbers paired on my calendar screamed at me: TEN MILES? 11 MILES? And so on.
My goal was an easy ten miler, but getting out the door and to that mileage proved to be more of a challenge. Let’s start the story from yesterday morning. Regardless of the various tricks and threats Aaron and I have imposed on the cats, their cries begin promptly between 4:45 – 5:15am every day. During the week, it doesn’t interfere with our sleeping habits as much since I tend to set my alarm for 5:15am. But, on Saturdays and Sundays, unless there is an airport run or race scheduled, I don’t want to see 5:15am.
Alas, yesterday morning I found myself downstairs, scooping cat food into their bowls at 5:23. blinking into the morning. Aaron made his appearance just a few minutes later, and thus our Saturday morning officially commenced. It turned out to be a great day – we did our house chores, removed more “things” from our lives via a thrift store donation, and toured a new housing development in East Durham (Ashton Hall) that sparked our strong interest. With all the excitement from the home, we spent the afternoon researching instead taking our naps. Then, it was time to prep for Oktoberfest 2013, an annual Bavarian celebration by our friends Paul and Lara. I planned to contribute two vegan dishes to the crowd: a beer “cheese” soup and avocado potato salad.
I will be the first to say that I did not succeed in my beer “cheese” soup making. I should have tried to make the recipe for the servings recommend FIRST instead of doubling it off the bat. Oh, and then I should have read the directions more carefully since I realized at the end that the almond milk was still sitting on the counter instead of in the soup. Here is what it should look like (note: there are no pictures of mine because after the party, it ceased to exist):
The other dish turned out better, still not as good as other potato salads present (yes, salads. I should have stretched my creativity a bit – oh well! Who doesn’t like potatoes??) In lieu of mayo, this recipe called for avocados in order to create that creamy texture:
Outside of my culinary challenges, the evening was just lovely. A lot of awesome people gathered to laugh, eat a ridiculous amount of food, and drink multiple, sessionable homebrews, from a pilsner to a saison to an IPA to a gose to a marzen – delicious.
Despite my reputation involving my early bed time, Aaron and I stayed until almost 11, and then took some interesting route home (darn you GPS dependence!). After crawling into bed around 11:40 and even feeding the cats upon arriving home, one might assume that morning wake-up call would be slightly delayed, even until 6am.
At 5:08am, Milo demanded our presence in the kitchen by crying outside the bedroom door. I had forgotten to run the vacuum cord back underneath the door for our “loud noise” response system, so I simply plucked him up and put him in a separate room. At 5:45am, I ended up in the kitchen, peeling away another lid of Nature Balance, feeling the limited sleep. With a little food, coffee, and Sports Center, I left around 7:45am to hit the American Tobacco Trail on one of the most beautiful mornings we have seen for some time in North Carolina. It was a balmy 55 degrees Fahrenheit at the start, and it remained cool for the entireity of the run.
So, back to the run: yes, I did 10 miles. And I did two more. Maybe it was my desire to prove to my tiredness, to prove to my jumpy stomach (always exciting on the running trail!), to prove to my sneakers in need of rapid replacement, or maybe it was because it was so freaking nice out that I opted to make today’s run 12 miles. It was not my prettiest run (are any of them pretty?) but I did it. And that’s what makes it good. I thought about that quite on the bit during the last few miles. At first, I could hear my mental voice giving my body a hard time. And then I heard myself forgiving my body for not having a good run. Not having a good run? I hoofed out 12 miles on a Sunday morning. I hoofed out at all on a weekend morning. It wasn’t my fastest run, but that was not my intention this morning. I enjoyed running through the tall pines, signaling greetings to other runners, and taking in the first breaths of fall weather. Therefore, it WAS a good run. I saw the image below on Pinterest, and I certainly think it sums up all the text I put into this post: