Love and Miles

Hope you all had a great weekend and that it was spent with your loved ones! It was bitterly cold up here in Boston, and I spent most of it indoors, but it was a special weekend! 

Some highlights:

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My handsome dinner date:

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At a great restaurant (Boston peeps, check out Bar Boulud if you haven’t already!), topped off with a delicious, unique dessert:

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More delicious food and family time out in the ‘burbs: 

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Followed by more delectable desserts:

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And hugs with my favorite puppy Rio and sis:

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And to balance the wine, desserts, and relaxation, I ran my final long run of the training cycle on a local indoor track. My training plan called for 16 miles, and given the sub-zero conditions outside, I decided to take it to the track instead of a treadmill. The track was 200m in length, so this amounted to a daunting 128 laps. It was hard to imagine completing this, and I only started convincing myself that I could about five miles in! 

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How I got through this run:

  1. There were many distractions at the track, including other runners, field hockey players in the center (I played in middle school and HS, so it brought back some fun memories!), and hurdlers. These were new stimuli compared to what I would have seen on a treadmill or even outside on my usual running loop, so they kept things interesting.
  2. I tried to focus on my form throughout the run, particularly my arms, shoulders, and stride. 
  3. I kept visualizing my upcoming race and that put a smile on my face!
  4. I listened to a newly-created playlist full of some motivating tunes, as well as a variety of great podcasts, including my old favorites: Running on OM, Runner’s Connect Run to the Top, and No Meat Athlete. I am really digging Julia Hanlon’s latest interviews on ROO- I’ve mentioned before, but check her out!
  5. My incredible boyfriend came to the track with me for extra motivation- can’t underestimate how much this helped get me through the miles!

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Additional track pointers I followed:

  1. Every couple of miles, I switched directions in order to avoid potential injuries caused by repetitious track running (driving asymmetry encourages injuries!). 
  2. Every 8 laps (1 mile), I made a check on a piece of paper I left on the bleachers, making it much easier for me to keep track of my miles!
  3. I placed my water bottle and fuel (honey stingers/GU) within an arms reach on the bleachers for convenience. 
  4. In order to avoid collisions with other runners, I generally stuck to the same lane throughout the run.

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It was so incredible to finish that run, and I am even more excited to tackle my race and the week ahead! I have some fun plans this week as well as a few training runs before heading out of town for the next weekend! What do you have going on this week?

How was your Valentine’s day weekend? Did you do anything special with your significant other/family/friends?

Have you run a long run on a track? Any tips that got you through the run?

Did you race/run/workout this weekend? How did it go on this winter weekend?

 

 

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51 thoughts on “Love and Miles

  1. Standing ovation to you for 128 laps in a long run! I’ve never done a track workout near that long, but I set goals/intentions for various loops (certain speeds, counting cadence, form, etc.).

    We celebrated Valentine’s Day at a Michael Jackson tribute concert; my BF isn’t a big concert goer, so it was a labor of love for him to stand around while my friends and I danced it up :)

    Happy belated Valentine’s!

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  2. 128 laps! Holy cow, that’s impressive!!! I did a long run on the track a few weeks ago, but the track was much longer (442 meters), so I think the mental aspect of it was easier.

    Valentine’s Day was fun. Neither my boyfriend nor I are super Valentine’s Day celebrators, but we like to go out to dinner, at least. We went to our favorite little Italian place and had dinner on Friday.

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  3. That’s awesome you did 16 miles on the track! I did my 9 miler on the treadmill–too cold outside! I always try and break up a longer run in my head and just tell myself I only have a 4 mile run and a 5 mile run–for some reason that helps make it easier for me. We had a low key Valentine’s Day with some pizza and bubbly :)

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    1. Pizza and bubbly are my favorite! Great job getting those 9 miles done on the treadmill! It’s soo tough to run for that long on the ‘mill! Spring is around the corner, so hopefully that is the last long run you’ll have to do inside!

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  4. I know that indoor track well :) I usually keep track of my miles on it by counting on my fingers, but I like your written check idea… I tend to forget which finger I’m on and getting messed up. I’ve also never run *that* long on the track – props!

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      1. I’m part of a local running club, but go for fun too. I’ve taken a few running classes that were held on that indoor track… wish it were easier to get access to it at normal times! I just can’t bring myself to pony up the gym membership there :)

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  5. I was going to ask how you kept track of the distance and wondered if your gps watch worked indoors.
    I was also going to ask if you got dizzy, but I guess changing the direction would help and it’s not like 200M is a small circle. Probably just overthinking things :)
    I spent way too much time on the treadmill on Saturday and on Sunday celebrated my grandmother’s 90th birthday with the family. Great weekend!

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    1. I was thinking of wearing my watch, but forgot it at home. Not sure if I would have had the best reception indoors though! I think my system worked fine. Yes, think I would have become dizzy if I ran in the same direction the entire time! Sounds like a great weekend! :)

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  6. Yes, the ridiculously long indoor track runs! I did my 14-miler on the local indoor track this past Saturday (I’ll probably have a long-overdue blog post partially about it myself later tonight… you’ve inspired me to maybe take a shot of my indoor track next time I’m running there).

    Anyway, my local indoor track is 6 laps to a mile instead of 8, which actually does make a big difference, I think. I’m lucky to have it. But once you get into double-digit miles on it, it can get monotonous. The longest I’ve ever done on it was 16 miles just like you did. For me that was “only” 96 laps. Still quite a lot. But when I am training for early-spring races and the roads/paths are covered in ice in the Midwest, it can be a godsend.

    The scenery on the indoor track is different for sure. Sometimes it even differs from day to day. Once a year on a Saturday in January, the lower level of the fieldhouse where the track is located hosts a giant ping-pong tournament with literally 50 or so tables. I look forward to that day, because as I’m doing my laps I get a birds-eye view of tons of table tennis matches going on at once.

    Lastly, the encouragement from your boyfriend reminds me of my favorite sight I’ve ever seen at the indoor track. Last year when I was putting in a 14 miler indoors, I noticed two women running around the track at a similar pace to mine, with two men joining them for about half their laps, and encouraging the women and posting signs on the wall for them at other times, telling them how many laps/miles they had to go. I eventually began talking to one of the men. The two women were their wives, and they were running an entire marathon together on the indoor track! Outstanding.

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  7. 128 laps, holy crap!!! Wow, well if I had to, I’ll admit I would but it would be a last resort…it is absolutely pouring in Seattle right now and I would take that over the indoor 200 meters but given all that snow, ice, and insanely cold temps, I think I would take the track too, but still 128 laps…way to get it done!

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    1. Thank you so much! Rain is tough, but once you get warm you can continue. There’s something about sub-zero temps that making running outside a bad idea! Sounds like you guys had a good run yesterday with some warm temps (yes, 40-50 is BALMY! :)). April 16th will be here before you know it! Good luck with the workouts this week!

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  8. That’s a lot of laps Jane….

    Seriously well done. Sounds like you did very well in keeping you mind occupied yet free to explore.

    I have not done any significant track time, opting for outdoors or treadmill when necessary but I’ll be sure to utilize your advice when the time comes.

    V-Day for us was playing at home, the girls went out and got pampered and then I took Lisa out for Coffee and Canvas paint night.

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  9. Wow, 128 laps is a lot to wrap one’s head around! But when people day they can do 16 miles on a treadmill, that’s sometimes harder to believe. I’ve found any kind of running is possible if you want to get the job done, just like waking up at an early time is possible, and doing a certain distance is possible. The distractions of other runners and mid-field activity really does help. And yeah, your man is handsome, so him coming out must have motivated you for sure. Looks like a good weekend! And now you really are heading into your taper, so that must be kind of a relief (and a lot of excitement at once).

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  10. Hi Jane,
    Inspiring post! Love it! I do wish we had an indoor track. I resort to the treadmill sometimes.
    I listen to Running on Om too and love Julia’s style. I listened to her interview with Ian Sharman today.
    Valentine’s Day was my 50th birthday! It rained nearly all day here in the Pacific North West. My lovely boyfriend Peter and I went to Birch Bay just over the border from where we live in BC, Canada and I ran the Birch Bay Marathon. Running a marathon on a very wet day is soooo much easier than trying to get the miles in alone. Peter cheered me on from the roadside and had warm clothes for me at the finish. A great Valentines Day, a great birthday and a great way to get in the long run on a very wet day.
    Happy Running xxx

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    1. Wow, congrats on the marathon! Must have been tough in the rain but awesome that Peter was able to be there with you! Having someone there is SOO tremendously motivating!! Would you run the race again?
      Loved Julia’s interview with Ian Sharman- he is awesome! So great you guys live up in BC– I visited nearby Seattle this summer for the first time and had a blast. My BF and I hiked parts of Mt. Rainier as well as hurricane ridge in the Olympics. You must love the outdoor lifestyle of the PNW! I can’t wait to go back!

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      1. Jane, thanks! Yes, would definitely run it again. It’s a low key event with not many runners. There were 61 finishers in the marathon but the half-marathoners were with us for the first 10K. For a large chunk of the race I was running on my lonesome. But with running, anything goes!! It’s a lovely rural course.

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  11. Oh wow that sounds long! I’ve never run on an indoor track before, but use a treadmill when it gets cold…like this weekend. -2 with a wind chill taking us to -30. I was certainly inside all weekend!
    The best part of the weekend was watching the Olympic Marathon Trials. If only I could have one of those guys be my valentine! :-)
    I can’t believe that’s your last long run! I know I will be flipping out when I hit my last one!!

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  12. I did a track run last year for a charity. There was someone at the end of each lap punching our cards. Watching the punch holes accumulating was kinda fun but it was an outdoor track so I was also recording the laps on my running app.
    Kudos on running so many miles indoors. That’s hard!

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  13. Beast Mode!! Girl you go…128 laps!! Pretty sure I would not have had the patience for that!!
    Your Valentine’s Day looked great!! I ran the Mercedes Benz Half Marathon with my love for Valentine’s Day!!

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  14. Congratulations on the 128 laps! My goal would be a mile but I’m like a virgin when it comes to running! Actually, bc of that fact is why I’m commenting! You mentioned in your post that you “changed up you pace or your style of running” to help prevent injury. I need to google this bc I do t understand how to change how I’d run. I mainly do intervals (run/walk) but I’ll be preparing myself for a savage race for the summer and I don’t want to injure myself for lack of experience. Would you elaborate what you mean by that please? I’m eager to learn the ways!!! Thank you! And good luck on your upcoming race!

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