Long Weekend and Discomfort

Saturday, an all day blogging conference. Sunday, an all day preparation and recovery for a long run. Fortunately, pizza provided the bookends for the activity-filled weekend.

Pizzeria Lola. Arugula, prosciutto, ricotta, mozzarella, garlic confit, wood-fired PERFECTION.

The 2015 MN Blogger Conference provided just the right motivation at just the right time for me to make this blog happen. Although not a registration requirement, it seemed only appropriate to have a semblance of a blog before trekking to St. Paul on Saturday, November 14 to learn all about this online phenomenon. My first conference of the type, it was inspiring to be among 300+ mostly local bloggers. However, similar to when I trained for my first triathlon this past summer, it was uncomfortable.

Rewardingly so. But just enough outside the comfort where you know how to swim (or create a blog and write), plodding alongside so many better-than-you swimmers in open water (or attempting to strike up conversations with new faces), and knowing there are transitions to make quicker, equipment to streamline your movements, experience to be had that only comes with time (short version of the story: web analytics). I came away from that conference with a few new contacts, a chance to catch up with current friends, and tips for moving  This is How I Run forward. I finished that sprint tri too.

A plate full of Bob’s Red Mill buttermilk whole grain pancakes, filled with banana and toasted seeds, cooked over a layer of hearty grass-fed butter, preceded my long run of the weekend. To be slightly more accurate, a brief nap to delay the run directly preceded the workout. Why delay what I love to do? Fifteen. The daunting number of miles on my training log and my definitive re-introduction into distance. Self-imposed intimidation! Finally, I packed up a slim Camelbak (no bladder for this run) with the essentials including ID, cash, keys, Honey Stinger chews, and a tiny water bottle that could hold just enough to wash down the chews. Conveniently, my iPhone 4S fit without any bounce in my running pants pocket, protected in a Ziplock bag. A playlist of Podcasts sounded particularly appealing to tick off the miles.

What a gorgeous Sunday in November! Boy was I overdressed! I knew I’d be moving slowly enough for the outfit (long sleeve lined in light fleece, thin running pants) to suffice, but a t-shirt would have been the more optimal choice on an uncharacteristically sunny late fall day in Minnesota. The unplanned route led me through downtown, Loring Park, Kenwood Park, and around the Lakes. As I was finishing my lap around Calhoun, and swung up to the Greenway, somewhere around eight miles I knew 1) I’d forget about only getting in 10 or 12 miles, 15 was my number and 2) my stomach had lost interest in this run.

Udi's Gluten-free pizza
Pizzeria Lola. Arugula, prosciutto, ricotta, mozzarella, garlic confit, wood-fired PERFECTION.

It was an uncomfortable few miles down the Greenway, but at least the sun was out, leaves were colorful, and I was still moving. Finally I reached my [uphill] exit and a couple blocks down the street I heard “HEY YOU!” To my delight, it was the beautifully friendly voice of my wife, who spotted me as she was driving home. Just the pep I needed to finish out mile 15.

Once home, I refueled with a cold glass of water/ginger/lemon juice. Then a cold-processed whey protein shake with berries and turmeric. The refueling continued through dinner, a 12-minute masterpiece of pre-made pizza and fresh kale.

That run felt like a marathon on my left leg. Two days later, it is still fighting through plenty of quad soreness. Bring on the turmeric.

Discomfort. The unexpected companion to an accomplished long weekend.

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