Well, I ended the month of January with my highest mileage to date: 136 miles. That's 24 1/2 hours of running!! And two new PRs to boot. Wow. I'm impressed with myself! :) I started the week with a congratulations and strict orders from my coach, Rhonda, to take it easy after my Half Marathon last weekend. So, I had a nice and easy recovery week. I had three short weekday runs, outside while it was nice weather (although it was dark). I got my first lower back spasm Wednesday night (super fun) and decided to make myself another massage appointment and take the next few days off of running. With my longest run ever scheduled for the weekend, I needed all the rest I could get.
I decided to do my weekly long run on Sunday morning (although I’m considering it Saturday for weekly stats) because I had a baby shower for my law school friend Claire on Saturday morning (see below). It was 20 degrees when I woke up on Sunday and we had at least 5 inches of snow that had slightly melted and refroze. The plan was to meet Jenn at Forest Park at 9:00 am for 15 miles! This would be my longest run of my life and I was pretty nervous. My longest run had been 13.1 (a few times) and I’ve always been dead at the end of that. I couldn’t imagine tacking on another few miles.
Jenn met me at the Forest Park Visitor’s Center that morning. This girl is a total trooper – she turned 30 on Friday and spent over 4 hours running 20 miles on her treadmill (b/c of bad weather)! Talk about impressive! I was so surprised that she did all that and still wanted to meet up with me and help me through my long run! Bless your heart!! Unfortunately, she showed up with a bloody knee from taking a nasty fall on the ice on her way there. The trails were completely covered with snow and ice and she had to run in the road and keep jumping onto the sidewalk when jerks wouldn’t give her any room and share. I really hate St. Louis drivers, sometimes. How hard is it to share the road?? But Jenn was a total trooper and ran the first 3 miles with me! Thanks again honey!
We were joined by Victoria, a former TNT runner whose training group didn’t show up to meet her. She was training to run the St. Louis Half Marathon and she ran the first 6 miles with me. After that, I was on my own. We had to run on the roads throughout the park and again, the drivers were not very generous. One car even went out of its way to hit a puddle and splash me. The sunshine finally made it’s way out around 11:30 and warmed things up (i.e. turned the ice/snow into slush), but the wind was still so cold that I was glad I had three layers of clothing on. My calves started cramping up around mile 12 and my hips were aching. I really wanted to walk the rest, but walking was more painful than running. And then I started running close to this woman with a little yellow lab puppy and I just watched that dog and smiled the rest of the way to my car. 2 hours and 47 minutes later I hit the 15 mile mark! Woo Hoo!!
I took Jenn’s advice and "treated" myself to my first ice bath when I got home. For those of you that don’t run, an ice bath is exactly what it sounds like…a bathtub full of ice water. It’s supposed to help with lactic acid soreness. So, I sat in the cold water and screamed while Ryan dumped in the ice and yelled at me (lovingly, of course) to "Suck it Up!" I can’t say whether it helped a lot, but it definitely couldn’t hurt as tight and sore as my legs felt.
In my non-running time this week, there was a lot going on. First of all, my law firm sent me to the St. Louis Business Journal’s Women’s Conference. I initially thought this was punishment for something, but it turned out to be a really great day. The conference was all about "finding your passion" and treating yourself right, following your dreams, etc. There were presentations on running your own business, managing your money, establishing a vineyard, becoming a writer, etc. And the guest speaker was Valerie Plame Wilson. Remember her? In a nutshell, Valerie was head of the CIA's counter-WMD unit, or senior operative working undercover to spy on WMD production around the world. After being asked to investigate the allegation, her husband, former ambassador Joe Wilson, wrote an op-ed piece in the NY Times pointing out that Bush lied in the State of the Union in 2003 about Saddam Hussein trying to get uranium from Africa. So Bush/Cheney publicly disclosed that his wife, Valerie, was a CIA agent, blowing her cover, getting our resources killed or compromised, all for political revenge. Scooter Libby, Cheney's chief of staff, was ultimately convicted of obstruction of justice and perjury for lying to investigators looking into the leak of Valerie's name, and then Bush commuted his sentence. She's currently suing them all in civil court. She spoke to us all about being a spy, CIA training, going undercover, being a woman/mother in a high security position, etc. Not only is she an amazing speaker, but she's pretty damn hot too! The first question asked in the Q&A after her speech was, "You're a blonde knock-out...how in the hell do you go undercover and not get noticed by people?" :) And I got an autographed copy of her new book, which I’m so excited to read it.
Saturday morning, I helped host a baby shower with my law school girlfriends, Alice and Lindsay for our friend Claire. Claire is the absolute cutest pregnant person alive! I was in charge of quiches and fruit dip for the party, which was good, but completely upstaged by the most amazing cupcakes I’ve ever had!! My compliments and thanks to Claire’s sister Kathryn, chef extraordinaire! I am a cupcake-junkie and I’m not lying when I say these were the best I’ve EVER had. I must get that recipe!! I thought the party was so much fun. It was so good to see everyone again, it's been too long girls! Very successful shower - and great job planning Alice.
And unfortunately, we've also been dealing with the hospitalization and illness of a very close friend. I'm not sure whether she'd want any information disclosed at this time, but please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers at all times. Please do not hesitate to let me know if there's anything in world I can help with. You're such a good person and you've been such a sweetheart to me, I'd love to be able to help out. I love you and hope you're feeling better soon.
Monday: 4.6 miles
Total: 27.1 miles