Day 50: Sunday Chill-Day after a Long Run

It is 10:30am on a Sunday morning, and I am sitting up in bed writing in my journal. On my dresser to the left are an empty bowl with a spoon and an equally-empty large plastic cup, the remains of my breakfast. Said breakfast was approximately 30 ounces of Zipfizz, a sports drink I enjoy, and “Ambrosia,”* a delicious concoction so-named by my wife and generally consisting of oatmeal, peanuts, frozen banana, frozen berries, yogurt, Truvia sweetener, and cream (or recently, half and half).

The fan blows cool air in my direction, which I appreciate, as it is already eighty degrees. Our cat stretches out happily at the base of the bed. I feel as relaxed as she looks. Yesterday I ran seventeen miles, the longest run I have done so this year. It was one of my longest runs ever in total duration, over three hours and eleven minutes (I am purposely slowing down my long runs to prepare for the even longer training runs coming up, including a 29 miler!). The only runs that have been longer time-wise were my two marathons last year and a twenty mile training run.

This morning I feel the grogginess and reduced mental energy I have come to expect the morning after a long run. I am generally disinclined to do anything, and I appreciate not needing to. Experience has shown that I still feel delicate the day after the long run. That’s why I drank plenty of Zipfizz, which with its electrolytes and nutritional make-up has an excellent track record of helping me normalize after running.

I am relieved to have this day to chill out. I even moved a piano lesson to yesterday afternoon, although I don’t usually teach on Saturdays, because I wanted to make today as relaxed as possible. Before making breakfast, I went on a forty-five minute walk. Hal Higdon, my running coach for marathon #1, endorses walking as a form of cross-training. Since it is convenient, easy, and very low-intensity, I have eagerly embraced it, especially for Sundays.

It is now about 12:15pm. I sit at our table eating a huge plate of spaghetti with home-made sauce. The sauce contains diced tomatoes, onions, carrots, squash, and chicken. It and the spaghetti noodles are leftover from Friday, when I “carbo-loaded” before Saturday’s long run. Again, as I enjoy my meal, I appreciate the ability to relax.

My weekend long routine began last year while training for my solo marathon. Each weekend, I ran on Saturday and chilled out for the next couple of days. This was in many ways idyllic: I generally enjoyed not only the satisfaction of a successful run but also the tremendous pleasure of doing nothing afterward. With this year’s marathon training, I am intentionally planning my long-run weekends to be similar. Fortunately, I also have lighter running weekends in the schedule, which allow me more flexibility with the rest of my life.

It is now 1:30pm and I am enjoying chocolate and peanut butter ice cream as I fine-tune this blog post. My wife is listening to show-tunes and editing her pictures in the other room.

I enjoy the ease. All is well.

*Ambrosia is an adaptation of “The Cereal of the Gods” I wrote about some years ago.

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