Monday, February 20, 2012

The (social) pitfalls of running

Training is exhausting.  Whether it’s the early wake up call, fatigue from a hard workout, the post-long run sleepiness, or just the cumulative effect of week after week of miles, runners are a tired lot of people. For some of us more than others, staying up late seems downright impossible. 

I’m confessing today that serious training makes me a serious party pooper (those close to me already know this fact). I want to go to bed early. I don’t want to imbibe excessively. I don’t want to eat greasy, gut-bomb food at 2am (or ever).  Does that seem unreasonable? Can’t we all just hang out/party/do whatever a few hours earlier to allow a decent bedtime?

I know that some folks can squeak by on 6 or 7 hours a night and feel fine. I know that my own body moans and groans and feels like a pile of rubbish if I get less than 8. With all that said, maybe it’s just the fatigue of marathon training that is making me especially lame-feeling. I ran more miles this week than I EVER have before! To celebrate, I think I will go to bed early J

How do you balance the rigors of serious training with your social life?

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Running (away from home)

I recently returned home from a glorious trip to sunny Davis, CA, where I was visiting UC Davis for graduate school. It was a truly delightful place! THEY LOVE BIKES!

UC Davis campus: heaps of bikes everywhere
Something here isn't quite right...
Although biking is clearly the pride and joy of Davis, I needed to sample their selection of running routes to keep truckin' along through marathon training. Predictably, I had to follow a few bikes to find the good paths. As it turns out, Davis has miles and miles and miles of bike paths all through the town. Score.

During the long run I realized how small Davis really is. I began my run along campus, and within, oh, 3 miles, I was out of town. Wait. Really? I tromped along 'country roads' on the loop I had mapped on gmap pedometer. It looked as though I would be running on real roads the whole time. Ha. 5 miles into my loop I turned onto Vineyard lane. It was a dirt road that was clearly on someone's private property (signs confirmed this).  I hesitated, and then ran on. After many miles of gravel roads, fence-jumping, and 'no trespassing' signs, I made in back into pavement-land.  Although this run was a far cry from what my teammate Tita experienced on one of her runs, I was still a little nervous that someone would drive up and ask what the heck I was doing on their property. Armed with two GUs and hotel key, I didn't have much to show for myself.  Thankfully, I was unbothered and left to retreat into my mind for a couple hours, soaking up as much vitamin D as I could.

Overall, I give Davis a thumbs up! Good restaurants, lovely farmers market, great university, AND, just a few miles down the road outside Santa Rosa, you can find handmade gems like this:

Considered bringing this guy home...