Running 16 Miles

This is now the longest I’ve ever run, and it hurt. I tried to get to a place where I could run without cars, and without hills. I settled on the D&L trail from Weissport up to and through Jim Thorpe, eight miles out, then back.

It was a good idea in theory, but heavy rain soaked the trail, so each step was like pushing off from a cloud. Add that up for a few miles, and by mile five or so my thighs were killing me.

I walked a few times, stretched, ran slower… nothing seemed to help. I was eating well, hydrated, warm – but the legs just weren’t having it today.

My Apple Watch also gave me problem, stopping my run at mile eight for some reason. I didn’t even know until about five minutes later when it vibrated and asked if I wanted to start a new outdoor run (it “auto-detected” my “new” run). This pissed me off, and I think I’m done with using the Apple Watch for actual training.

I almost ended my run with about five miles to go. Then at about four miles. Finally I found some momentum, though slow, and ran the last three or so miles.

Then my watch didn’t want to let me end my run, and instead wanted me to eject water or something ? We’re done here, Apple.

I keep remembering from the posts I read on Instagram, from pro runners, that one bad workout doesn’t ruin all the work you’ve done. I held onto that the last few miles.

Once home I showered and ate a little. My stomach wasn’t super hungry even after all those miles. I napped. The next morning, I felt fine. No stiffness, no issues walking down the stairs, nothing. So while the run might have sucked, it definitely built some fitness.

Objects in Motion Stay in Motion

I’ve seen this quote around a bit on social media, and finally got around to reading the full article, ‘I Am 35 and Running Faster Than I Ever Thought Possible.’

 There are a lot of things we can’t control right now, especially for women. Perhaps we choose running because we don’t need permission to do it — we can do it whenever and however we want. The roads are open. 

Lindsay Crouse

I’ve written this before; I started running after one too many rejection emails from jobs I applied for in my field. I couldn’t control those hiring descions, but I could run.

The rejections chipped away at who I was. Made me doubt my abilities. Questioned if I really knew what I was doing, or just got lucky.

Through running I found purpose, strength, and rebuilt my self-esteem. Ran my first mile in about 13 minutes back in 2016. Ran a 7:56 mile in an actual 5K race in 2019.

I struggled through my first 10 mile race in 2018 and had to walk a few times in the final miles. A year later my fastest times were the last two miles.

I had always thought that, at some point in life, most people become “who we are.” Our lives are built around whatever that is, and no matter what we might actually be capable of, this idea keeps us fixed in one place.

Lindsay Crouse

At 40 I was eating horribly, down the dumps, and not stoked on life. My pants didn’t fit anymore, and I’d have to go out and buy bigger jeans.

Now here I am, I turn 44 in a few months, and I’m down a few pants sizes, and fucking feel great. I’m in the middle of marathon training, just ran the farthest I’ve ever ran (14 miles), and I’m not even sore.

Nearing my mid 40s I guess I’m supposed to slow down, and buy bigger jeans. But as I’m able to today, right now, I’m going to keep moving.

Longest Run Ever

One week after a 12 mile long run on a treadmill, I did a 14 mile long run by way of two seven mile, hilly loops. Just over 1,000′ of elevation gained. Battled a head win on the back half of each loop, gloves that didn’t keep my fingers warm, and then it started snowing at about mile 12.

That was rough.

But little things kept me going. Seeing this house with the unique lawn display gave me a nice chuckle.

This was a long enough run to actually eat on the road. My coach (Grayson Murphy) suggested I eat every 45 minutes. On my second lap I tore open my second meal, the new KOFFEE from Spring Energy, and oh my goodness it was perfect. Tasting coffee on the final last quarter of my run was such a big mood booster. Sure, it’s got 200 calories and caffeine, yeah, but the taste alone perked me right up.

The hardest part was getting back to my car to grab my second water bottle, and then locking my car to keep going. Seven miles with cold hands was tough… then I had to do it again!

Doing a second loop was a trip. I got to say hello to some horses again, and make my way to the top of the same hills again. As I said earlier, I got to eat my coffee energy goo, and it was magical. On this loop I also tested out using a sports drink by Maurten (a recommendation from Grayson), and well, I didn’t run out of energy on this run, so I suppose it helped!

Won’t lie – the snow and cold hands, and being tired started to crack me, but I’ve read that smiling helps, even if you’re not happy. Just the act is enough to trigger something in your brain, and it works for me. A smile led to some laughing at the absurdity of all this, running with cold hands but somehow being okay with wearing shorts, eating coffee flavored goo, wondering how the heck I’m going to run 26.6 miles in March – ahhhh!

Then, it was over. I ran 14 miles, the most I’ve ever run in one day, in one shot, and I did it in 2:38 (Strava). Not fast by any means, but I need the time on my feet if I’m going to endure an actual marathon.

Deadspin Writers Are Back for the Super Bowl

So Dashlane asked the former writers from Deadspin to write a blog for Super Bowl Weekend.

But wait, a BLOG?!?! IN 2020?

I think we’ve had over 1,000 comments now on the site. It wasn’t supposed to go live until today, but then it got leaked last night. And after that happened, our traffic spiked so much that we had to get upgraded on WordPress to a dedicated server just so that it wouldn’t crash today.

Tom Ley, founder, CEO, and publisher of Big Cool Tom Media LLC

Just remember – all those social media posts are pointing to WEBSITES. Buy tickets, pre-order an album, read an interview, watch a video – they’re all on websites, and websites are still plenty relevant in 2020.

Social media posts come and go, QUICK. But the web sticks around forever.

And it’s just the CONTEXT of the web. When you’re scrolling on your phone it’s usually to kill some time, or unwind, zone out. Not saying these things don’t have happen when you’re sitting in front of your laptop, but serious work happens on the computer; coding, producing, editing, researching.

Just 53 Days Until My First Marathon

In July it will be four years since I started running. Since I started eating better and making the choice to get out the door every other day to go for a run. And now, in a few months, I’ll be attempting to run my first marathon.

Back when I started with the Couch to 5K app, I started off running for a minute. I looked ahead and saw run for five minutes, run for 10 minutes. How was I ever going to do that?

And now later this week, as part of my training plan (courtesy of my virtual coach, pro runner Grayson Murphy), I’ll be running 14 miles. Then next week it’ll be 16. Yikes.

I haven’t stuck with anything like this since learning how to play bass in my teens. Something that I worked on day after day, week after week. It’s something that I was horrible at (here’s one of my first 3+ mile runs back in 2016), trotting along at a 12:16/mile pace, and now I’m pretty comfortable with it (I ran the 2019 River Ramble 10k at a 8:36/mile pace).

All just by being choosing on most days to go for a run, ease off the cookies, and get enough sleep.

And it’s the hurt. The suffering. Like, I remember some of my races in the second half of 2019, really making the choice to just run faster. At first just for a smaller 5K, because I knew I’d only have to be uncomfortable for three miles, but then later for the 10K. To push into the hurt, sustain a pace, watch my breathing, stay focused and looking ahead, and then… actually hold a 8:30-ish pace? Me?

Mind you, no lofty goals for this marathon coming up. This is my first stab at this distance, and I just want to survive. It won’t be easy, or comfortable, but I want to suffer for all those hours. I already know it’ll hurt, but I’m looking forward to it.

The Unending Scroll

Well, if this doesn’t hit between the eyes…

Each night I lay in my bed beside my boyfriend with one eye closed against the pillow, the other eye open, and wheeled down Instagram’s infinite scroll. Each morning I woke up to my phone alarm and rolled over to tap it off and, if I had time, looked at Instagram half-asleep. I easily spent an hour on it a day — in bed, on the subway, or at my desk during lunch. Compared with the hours I spent elsewhere on the internet, it felt like nothing.

DAYNA TORTORICI

Catching myself more often, though, asking myself “why?” What am I gaining? Am I learning? Growing?

It’s far easier to pass the time on Instagram that it is to write (like this), or to create music, or do 20 minutes of stretching.

Mind you I found my run coach via Instagram. I find inspiring quotes from runner friends, which gets me out the door some mornings.

It’s just wild how Instagram has become my routine, my habit, my ritual. And not just for me, for so many others, too.

Screen Time

I meant to start this blog post an hour ago, but of course got distracted by my phone. A click here, a scroll there, and before I knew it, the time just rushed along without me.

Got me thinking of this whole idea of “returning to blogs.” A friend mentioned in an email (hi, Jay), about how we wouldn’t spend too much time reading long form posts and ideas from a ton of people, which I get.

I just remember way back when… early 2000s. Websites weren’t updated regularly, but MESSAGE BOARDS WERE. A lot of those music-based message boards were almost the frame work for social media; a main idea is post, and then below are the replies.

Just like… social media is today.

That’s why I started my first music blog. I figured why not put the message board on the front page? Along came some BLOG SOFTWARE like Blogger, and Moveable Type, and WordPress, and whammo. A post, then comments below it.

But now we follow 1000s of “blogs” (people, brands, news outlets) who all post something every four minutes, and there’s a never ending stream of content to consume. Always something to miss, and always something to catch up on after an hour away from our phone.

So no – I don’t think those posts from all those people and brands and news outlets will spread out again. I don’t think we’ll bookmark a bunch of blogs form our friends to see photos of their dinner, or what they’re watching on TV.

But… maybe that’s an okay thing? Maybe we don’t need to keep up, and know everything all the time? Like the friend I mentioned in the beginning of this post… we keep current via email, but current isn’t what he’s having for dinner, or what movie he’s watching on a particular night, and that seems okay.

Time with Creeks

A walk along the creek always does me good, getting close to water. I’m not much of a swimmer, not really a beach person. Just get me next to the water, though, and I’m content.

It reminds me of 2010, when I was getting ready to leave New York City. I had time to bike around to various parks on the water front, up and down Brooklyn. I remember my heart was troubled around that time, but the rivers helped me navigate. The East River heard a bunch of drama and never judged me for it.

Today, a small creek was enough. Just a casual stroll before lunch, in the cold, but it worked. Time in nature isn’t just there for the troubling times, but for the upswings, too.

Just Start Driving

I’ve been following Matthew Luke Meyer for a bit on Instagram (here). From his IG Stories I found out he likes metal, and he’s always pushing the posi vibes, so I guess it was just the universe at work.

He recently did an interview with Tempo Journal, and I love this part:

“[Without running] I felt that I was just riding along with life, not really sure where it was going. But running gave me a way to move into the driver’s seat. Every day I’m waking up with a goal, something I personally WANT to accomplish, not just something that I have to do. That’s translated into the rest of life.”

https://tempojournal.com/article/the-brightest-stage/

Those early to mid 2010s were not kind, mostly to my bank account and career, which of course seeped into my mental and physical space as well. An inbox filled with automated rejection emails from jobs I applied to, or the build up of some interviews making it to the 2nd interview, then the 3rd, then a video call, then…

So lots of rejection ate away at who I was. Maybe I wasn’t actually good at what I thought I was good at. I slept later. I ate more cookies. I packed on the pounds.

But then I started eating better. Bought a rice cooker, and ate more veggies. Then I had more energy, so I started running. That hurt like hell, but… I was I was in charge. I was in the driver’s seat.

That was almost four years ago that I started running. Stopped waiting for approval, and picked myself, and it has found its way into other aspects of my life, too. Even the bank account.

Schedule Yourself First

Some thoughts from a book I’m reading, Free to Focus:

If a doctors appointment or a work call is on your schedule, nothing interferes with that. It’s a commitment, and you’re offline.

So as a remote worker / remote worker / freelancer / knowledge worker (as I’ve been since 2006), I believe you must schedule times throughout your way when you’re unavailable. Offline. When that last minute ask comes in, nope – your afternoon is booked.

Your afternoon is booked for your sanity, your health, and your mental clarity.

See also: “Focus is the art of knowing what to ignore,” from James Clear.