Sunday, March 9, 2014

The day I ran into a parade

One of the things I have learned during the time I have been a "runner" (you know how I feel about that word...) is how to listen to my body.  I have definitely become more in tune with the needs & health of my body and muscles.  I have also learned when NOT to listen to my body.  I was a mediocre athlete my entire life because I never pushed myself hard enough -- when things start to hurt or get hard, I backed off.  Through running and working up from running for 60 seconds to +60 minutes, I've learned that you often need to push past the initial discomfort.  And still, every Monday, Wednesday and Friday when my alarm goes off in the mornings that I am planning to run, my first thoughts are still, "Ughhh... I want to sleep more!  I don't want to get up!"  I now know you often need to push past the pain and ignore the voices in your head in order to get better.

Yet, there is a limit to that.  You need to know which pains to stop for and which pains to push through.  I've become much better at listening to my body and knowing what it needs.  This morning I planned to get my run done earlier in the morning before having to do some work, however, when my alarm went off this morning I could tell right away that my body needed more sleep.  With two overnight flights in 36 hours, adjusting to different time zones, and busy days, my body needed more rest than I had allotted for it.  So, I decided to sleep for 2.5 more hours rather then spend them running and when I woke up later, my body thanked me for it.

I got my 14-mile run in later in the day and the change in plan actually made for an enjoyable run.  I explored Barcelona by foot, just winding down streets that looked nice to me.  I carried a water bottle with me that I occasionally filled up at the water spickets along the road (have I mentioned how much I love Europe??)  It was also an exciting run for me because I was able to run outdoors in a tank top for the first time in months!  I actually got a bit sunburnt on my chest, believe it or not.  The run had a lot of starts and stops, waiting for lights to change color and dodging people and also stopping to take some pictures.  Scenes from today's run included the Arc de Triomphe in Barcelona!

However, the highlight of my run most certainly occurred at about mile 9 when I ran into a parade!  And when I say ran into, I literally mean I ran IN TO a parade.  All of a sudden I turned a corner and there were swarms of people, the road was blocked off, and there was a parade going on in front of me!  I stopped for 15 minutes or so to check out the parade because the colors and outfits and music and dancing were just so exciting!  

I was a little nervous to stop mid-run because it's usually not good for me to stop and start midrun, but it isn't too often that I am in Barcelona and happen to catch a parade so I did not want to miss out on the experience!

I finished off the last 5 miles and completed the 14 mile run in a little under 2 hours and 30 minutes, with my half marathon time being 2:19:58.  It was a great run and way to explore the city.  I am excited to do more runs over the next few weeks as I really was able to imagine myself running in Paris today.

Relaxing post-run wasn't too bad either as I checked out the hotel's rooftop lounge/bar.  It had an insanely beautiful view of the city and great, relaxing place to hang out with coworkers.

Walking around later on, I also resisted the urge to get a pre-dinner ice cream and eat lots of junk after my run.  I am lucky that one of my coworkers is also a blog reader and after I mentioned I wanted ice cream she reminded me of how guilty I would feel later and it really helped to remind me what is most important to me.  And that, right now, is being in shape for the marathon!  

With that in mind, for the 2nd day in a row I followed the business travel rule I've put in place until the marathon -- which is only one glass of wine a day, and with a meal.  I realized that when I have even one glass of wine, it makes it so much easier to be lenient with the decisions I made around food and eating, so I want to just limit the wine and do the best I can.  For dinner, I had a number of appetizers and then at the scallops and vegetables for dinner, all of which I felt good about.

It was another great meal and exhausting day, so I am heading to bed.  Happy start to your weeks!

P.S.  I saw this advertisement in the Metro and totally loved it.  The runners out there know this is far too true for many of us the night before a race.

1 comment:

  1. What a great post! That parade looks like a ball, definitely worth the stop. Hope you are having fun!