“Endurance is not just the ability to bear a hard thing, but to turn it into glory.”
I have putting off my weekly long run for the past two weeks, so this morning I knew it was time to bite the bullet , get my butt in gear, and up my mileage. The recent heat wave has taken a toll on my motivation to work out, especially with the sporadic use of air conditioning at my local gym. With the plan of a three-day road trip to Tennessee looming, it was now or never; and putting it off would only make for an incredibly stir crazy car ride.
I’m the type of person who goes through what could best be described as withdrawal symptoms when I don’t get in a good work out too many days in a row. For this reason, I was dreading the idea of being cooped up in a car for days on end with little opportunity to even get out and stretch. I was hoping that a long run would” get the wiggles out” and make the drive more bearable.
Initially, I wanted to get in 10 miles, which is the furthest mileage I’ve achieved to date. However, given the involuntary three-day hiatus ahead of me, I figured “what the hell, may as well push it to the and try for 12 or more.” With no functional GPS device at hand, I decided I would try to run at least two and a half hours and hope it was more than 10 miles. I woke up with the determination necessary to accomplish the task, but, admittedly, significantly less enthusiasm. As much as I LOVE running, I have to confess that the idea of doing it for anything more than an hour feels a lot like work and more than two hours brings on an all out sensation of dread. In order to prepare myself for the long, arduous task ahead I opened the fridge and scoured for something that would not induce vomiting in the sweltering heat.
I have tried countless pre-running meals from cereal to yogurt, to protein shakes, to fruit, and even salad. Generally. I find the result the same. Within 30 minutes of starting a run, my stomach is growling and my focus goes to mush. That is unless I am running with my boyfriend, Adam, in which case, I’m already starving by the time we set out due to the additional amount of time required for him to get ready. (He runs on California time…I could afford to be more like him) So all that being said, I reached for the cannoli pie. Yes, cannoli pie…breakfast of champions! I rationalized it as follows: it was loaded with calories, and there were carbs, dairy, and even chocolate. How could it be a bad choice? Besides didn’t I deserve it for all the hard work and torture I was about to embark on? I mean I practically already earned it, right? I had a piece with a glass of water and headed out the door.
I ran to my favorite park and stuck mainly on the trails. Surprisingly, the cannoli cake stayed down. In fact, I felt pretty good, and remarkably made it through over two and half hours of running without so much as a rumble in my stomach. I think I may have found my pre-long distance run meal (just kidding…sort of) I was also pretty pleased to find all my training was paying off as, even in the heat, the run felt significantly easier than my previous 10 mile run. So, I am now halfway to my goal of running a marathon, and I owe it to the cannoli pie.
When I got back home I had salad and humus for lunch, partly out of guilt for my indulgent breakfast. Then a few hours later when my stomach was growling again, I went back and had another piece of cannoli pie and savored every bite.