Thursday, November 14, 2013

Return of the Running Commute

One of the traditional (and valid) pieces of advice to marathoners is that no running that you do in the final week before the race is going to help you on race day.  What helps you on race day is the months of training before then.  Usually in that final week, you just run some maintenance miles and work on locking in that "race pace" again.  If you do something that final week to "make up" for weeks or sessions you missed, the best that can happen is you show up tired and sore on race day (and obviously, the worst is that you get injured and can't even show up on race day). 

But that's the wisdom when you're training for a goal race. 

But for something like the marathon this weekend where I don't give a crap about my time (aside from not wanting to be out there in misery for 5 hours or something), I've decided traditional wisdom can be disregarded at will.

So today marks the return of my running commute! 

One way only, and insanely convenient today.

Last night was our big work dinner and as expected, it was at a steakhouse.  It involved many many bottles of wine AND mixed drinks (yes, two for me, ugh) at the bar while we waited for our table.  I probably only had about 1 bottle of wine, but either way, there was no way I could drive home -- well, actually, I couldn't even if I hadn't had a sip of alcohol because I didn't have my car. 

I drove to work yesterday morning, got a ride to dinner with a colleague, and then got picked up by my sweet husband after dinner. 

And that means I had to run to work today to get my car.  It was so nice to do that again.  My stats as of my last running commute in mid-September before we went to Europe for the marathon were that I had run to work 115 times out of a possible 147 commutes this year.  And a vast majority of the 32 that I missed were because I decided that a post-work commitment was a higher priority than a running commute (alumni events, etc.).  All told, there were fewer than 10 days where I drove or got picked up because I just didn't want to run -- bad weather, sore, lazy, whatever -- as opposed to putting another event as a higher priority. 

Anyway, those 115 runs were such a staple in my week.  Since I've been back from vacation, as previously detailed, I've had so many excuses about why I wasn't running.  The first week back was staying so late at work every night that it would have significantly delayed bedtime (plus, I was out of shape and didn't want to add the miles too fast, a sure recipe for injury).  The second week back was my sprained ankle at boot camp mere hours before I had planned to do my first post-marathon running commute.  The third week was the trip to California (so those days weren't an option anyway).  Last week, I was sick with the plague.  This week is our big audit, and now it finally worked out for a single day.  I didn't want many miles today anyway.  I figured some rest in advance of Sunday's marathon is a good idea.  And then with the car logistics for dinner last night, it was key not to have to drive home after all that alcohol.  So the stars were aligned perfectly this morning.

The things that struck me -- it's about 1 billion times cooler out than it was in September.  The construction areas along the commute have changed.  Houses under construction have made massive progress.  There seems to be more vehicular traffic and fewer pedestrians.  The park cities real estate market seems to still be good -- nothing that was for sale before is still for sale. 

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