recovery & the agony of the 10-minute run

Today was the first day I've gone for a run in nearly four months. 

For someone who usually runs six days a week, and takes one month at most to recover from an intense training cycle, this is insane.

But I've had little choice.

If you've been following my other blog you know I recently had to rework my eating habits, which had been causing constant illness and affecting the training for a marathon I ran in June. Getting sick every other week caused a lot of stops and starts in my marathon training, which meant the 16-18 weeks I'd originally had to work with became 12 weeks. Then 10. There was not enough time for me to start over from scratch, so I stupidly continued on building mileage, going from 5 mile weeks when I was sick to 35 mile weeks, hoping that the stress on my body wouldn't be too much. I was already disappointed that I wasn't going to be sustaining any 60 mile weeks, which I had hoped while setting my training plan. I didn't want to cut any mo…

through the eye of a runner [part 1]

I wake up early, but not too early. 

The click of the light above the stove and the rickety splashes of water coming to a boil are comforting to me, signifying routine as I rinse yesterday's grinds out of the French press. I spread almond butter over my toast and add a dash of salt, sitting to enjoy my breakfast before I get dressed.

It's a beautiful morning. 

I notice this while drinking my coffee and again as I tie my hair up and secure loose tendrils with an elastic headband. It's hot pink and matches my running socks. My shirt is black and reads "STRENGTH IS BEAUTY" in large white letters. Often passerby have commented on it.

Once I would have tucked a couple Gu in my running shorts, but I've become pickier. With a paring knife my grandmother gave me, I slice open three dried figs, slip pinches of pink Himalayan salt into them and squeeze them back together. I pull two honey sticks out of the cupboard and tuck them into my sports bra.

Nothing is on my schedule…

The Undeniable Importance of Running Long

If you're a runner, chances are at some point you will experience the beauty of the long run.

This particular run gets a lot of nicknames, my favorite being LSD ('Long Slow Distance', people, come on...). Most runners do these on Saturday or Sunday, getting their biggest mileage out of the way on days when they don't have too many other obligations. Trust me, spending all day at work after a two-hour morning run is not always the easiest.

I love long runs. The easy ones where I'm flying and I run without any need for music, just the rhythm of my feet on the ground... The ones where I'm cramping and struggling and I forgot to bring fuel and it feels like years before I get home- then I feel like I've conquered something. The times where I forget I'm running at all and get lost in the activity.

Each long run is it's own experience, for better or for worse, and I love them all for different reasons.

Sometimes it's fun to run with people, but often …

The Runner's Reading List

Inspiration is necessary if you are going to be a runner.

Especially in distance running, where the limits of what you can achieve are largely dictated by your mind. There are plenty of ways to inspire yourself to run, especially these days with social media, where you can follow anyone from Shalane Flanagan to other runners in your neighborhood to see what they're up to. You can check out running blogs like this one, join a running group... I mean, the list goes on.

Still, I've always found the best way to stay inspired is to delve into a good book.

There's a surprising amount of running literature out there, from the classic "Aerobics" of the '60s to stories about teenagers on high school cross country teams, modern get-fit-now plugs and musings on running as a form of meditation. Really, there's a ton of writing about running out there. Whether you want something scientific, contemplative or adventurous, there is somebody who has written something like…

Why I Run

If you're a runner,  people who don't run will ask you why. Always.

"Wait, you do that for fun?"
"Why would you do that to yourself?"
"I HATE running!"
"What kind of masochist are you??"

I've found, after many failed attempts to draw the uninitiated into the world of running, that the best response is to just laugh and shrug. I never really knew why I ran- why expect anyone else to understand? Sometimes, when people have asked me seriously, without the incredulity of a non-athlete, I've tried to come up with a real answer. For the longest time, I couldn't.
I began to wonder if that was a bad thing.

Did the fact that I didn't know why I was running mean I shouldn't be running at all?

I tried to write about it but it always seemed forced, full of cliches...

Until the year I finally figured out how to answer. 
The winter of my 17th year was a dark one, physically and emotionally. My last high school season of cross countr…

Welcome to Thursday Morning Run Club

Hi, and welcome to Thursday Morning Run Club!

Why Thursday?

Think about it.

Every other day of the week already has a reputation.

Fridays are reserved for parties and nights out, Saturdays for recovery and sleeping in.

Sundays? Long runs and most organized races, time spent at home preparing for the week ahead or heading outdoors.

Mondays are the days we splash coffee over our faces and pretend to be awake, which makes Tuesday the first real day of the workweek.

Wednesday's already got a nickname: Hump Day.

But Thursday? All Thursday has to offer is really the oft-repeated refrain, "it's almost Friday."

Thursday morning is ordinary, perhaps the most mundane of descriptions we could give to our days.

Let's change that,

Because for runners, Thursday is just like any other day. It's a day to get up and run.

Thursday is the definition of average, the daily grind... it could be perceived as monotony, yes, but it is also practice and repetition that can change you. …