Friday I ran the hilly non-hill 7 miler after work (after I did some upper body strength training and 30 minutes of intervals on the elliptical). Then I got to work baking my oatmeal awesomeness cookies for the Dana Farber Group run.
Saturday morning I got up early and went to Lexington for the Dana Farber group run. It’s so great to meet the new team members and see so many familiar faces from last year’s team too. Everyone LOVED my cookies and raved about them as they came and went from the water stop I was at. It was a gorgeous day out for a long run. I was kind of jealous watching them run their 12-15 miles. I couldn’t wait to get home and go for my own little run.
I got home around 1:00 and changed into my running clothes (only one layer of pants and two tops!). It was so nice out; almost 40 degrees and sunny. I felt great! I was even able to run negative splits and finish the last 3 miles of the run wicked fast. I got home and some of the snow in front of my condo had started to melt so I changed into dry clothes and grabbed my shovel. With another storm forecasted for Tuesday and Wednesday of this week I wanted to clear as much snow out of the street as possible. I shoveled for two hours. I moved two giant snow banks from one side of the street to the other side. Smashed up the ice and frozen hard packed snow under the snow banks and moved that too. By the time I was finished there was room for 3 cars to easily park on the street and I was friggin starving!!!! Needless to say, I went in took a hot shower, ate dinner, and fell asleep on the couch by 7:00pm.
Sunday I got up early to do my long run. It was a little bit cooler than the day before and cloudy; made me wish I did my long run the day before. Still not too bad out though, in the 20s. I started my run around 9:00am and wore my yaktrax because it was still below freezing and the roads were kind of slippery. I didn’t want to risk falling and hurting myself even though the roads looked dry for the most part. I couldn’t run my normal 16 mile loop because some of the roads are way too narrow because of the snow and I was nervous about crazy drivers and no space to bail if someone gets a little too close. So, I modified my 16 mile loop and basically did my 14 mile loop with a 1 mile out and back added on 3 miles into the run. I should have picked a better spot to do my out and back because the 1 mile section I chose was a giant hill. I basically ran all the way to the bottom of it and then turned around and ran up it. The whole time I was thinking, it’ll be a mile before I get ALL the way to the bottom of this huge friggin hill. NOPE. Ran all the way to the bottom to make it exactly 1 mile out and back. Then I just continued on my normal 14 mile loop. Took off my yaktrax for the last 4 miles and felt like taking training wheels off and riding my bike for the first time. A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!!! Here's the elevation profile:
Overall, the run felt great. I was thinking the whole time, I can’t believe I go out on my Sunday mornings and run 16 miles AND I love it. It still blows my mind that I use to hate running and now I run for 2-3 hours at a time FOR FUN! And then when I’m done I willingly submerge myself in a tub full of ice water for 20 minutes. If you asked me 5 years ago to do any of that I would have laughed at you and now I’m the one that gets laughed at when I suggest such activities to my friends.
After the run and ritual ice bath, I met up with a friend I haven’t seen in a long time and we had planned to go to Life Alive in downtown Lowell. It’s this amazing ‘organic oasis’ that we both love and I pretty much only go there when we go out for lunch or dinner together. We had been trying for over a month to connect and plans kept falling through and finally both of our schedules lined up. We headed out my door to go to Life Alive and talked about what we were going to order and how much we love it there and then we got there and it was dark and there was a sign on the door saying that they were closed on Jan 30th for an employee appreciation party! WTF???? What about customer appreciation? We were so upset we must have looked like two little girls that dropped their ice cream cones.
We went to another restaurant around the corner and it was AWFUL. Not just because we were still bummed about not having Life Alive, the food was gross, the service was slow (and the place was empty), and it smelled funny, like there was rotting food imbedded in the carpet. We both just barely nibbled on our food and DID NOT ask them to wrap up the left-overs. Then we tried a small coffee shop down the street hoping for a little dessert to redeem the horrible experience so far and it was closed too. Apparently there is some weird holiday in Lowell on January 30th that causes every business to be closed and no one told me.
To top it all off, the movie we wanted to see was no longer in theaters and we watched a movie on-demand called Vanishing on 7th Street (available now before it’s in theaters). It’s no wonder they released it on-demand first. It was horrible. Really slow and stupid with a lack luster ending that made it seem like they just gave up on the movie and stopped filming before the plot actually finished. We had some delicious homemade food and Newman’s Own cookies. But still the afternoon was pretty disappointing all around. Thank God for the company of my friend because the afternoon was such a let down that to experience it alone would have been wicked depressing. Together we could laugh about it and at least try to make new plans for another day when Life Alive would be open.