Before, During, & After
Happy Monday! How was your weekend? We switched things up a bit and did our long runs on Saturday this time around. I’m kind of a fan of the change.
The man had a more intense run on his training schedule—14+ miles of trail at White Ranch Open Space—and I did a solo long run of 9 miles at Wash Park and the surrounding neighborhoods.
I took this opportunity to document everything that happens in the hours prepping for a long run, scenes along the way, and how I decompress/celebrate afterward. Enjoy!
The Night Before
Friday was an off day for both of us, and with some absolutely fantastic weather, prolonged sunlight, and tired legs, we decided to go for a nice walk at Wash Park. That’s four miles of beauty, my friends, at a slower speed to take it all in. We watched the sun set before downing a bottle of red wine from our newly acquired Joy Wine & Spirits Wine Club membership and inhaling some Cosmo’s Pizza leftovers.
The Morning Of
Saturday morning we got up around 7:15 am and ate a delicious breakfast of scrambled eggs (we usually split 3 eggs between the two of us), coffee, and a piece of toasted homemade bread with butter. Thankfully we weren’t feeling the previous night’s red wine! It’s all about tolerance, folks. 😉 I also assembled some integral items for my run.
Nick left soon after that to meet up with the trail-running guys, and I folded the giant load of workout-gear laundry we managed to do the night before. Almost every piece of active wear needed a washing. I put together an outfit and then headed over to my place to relax and digest breakfast.
Upon arriving at my apartment, I got cozy on the couch and chugged water while reading mindset #1 of Travis Macy’s The Ultra Mindset. It’s all about the mantra: It’s all good mental training. The hard, difficult runs, the bad decisions, the under-preparation… every negative run is good mental training. Resilience and determination are a muscle that distance runners need to exercise well. It was the perfect section to read before running 9 miles without my favorite running buddy (who is always the positive voice in my head)!
I added some new streets to my route, including 1st Ave to University Blvd, running past the Denver Country Club golf course. It was gorgeous in the morning sun! The weather was (and has been) outstanding in Denver lately.
After passing Bonnie Brae ice cream (which, thankfully, was still closed at 10 am), I turned right onto Ohio back toward Wash Park… but not before stopping to admire the spring flowers. (As you can see, I tuck my loops into my laces to make sure nothing squirrelly happens with my shoes.)
I chopped my 9 miles into 3 legs. After the first leg (3 miles), I stopped to admire the lake, hydrate, and eat two Clif shot bloks energy chews.
Getting to fuel with these gummies is part of my (limited) excitement for long runs. It’s like the active, healthy version of Gushers or Fruit by the Foot. Whatever it takes. Nom!
I sat on the bench and ogled all the cute pups out for a morning stroll with their owners.
I also loved this plaque (along with the bench) dedicated to a loved one. What a great quote for the task at hand. It was time to get back at it!
Miles 3-6 were completed with a loop around the park (where I stopped to snap a photo of this gorgeous flowering tree!), and then I explored some of the neighborhood streets to the west (which included a lot of hills, which Macy inspired me to “attack”). Miles 7-9 were easily accomplished with another loop and then heading back home.
I finished with an easy-run pace of 10:22. I felt strong and positive, thanks to my new mantra, It’s all good mental training, which at one point I literally chanted softly to myself with each step.
Looks like I got some serious long-run sun on my legs!
I was craving something salty and something sweet post-run. Pickles and an orange to the rescue. They were delicious!
I usually soak in epsom salts after a long run, but the temperature was far too hot to make a bath sound inviting.
So instead, I did some laundry at the man’s house and cooked up a second breakfast (which we inhaled after our runs, thus no picture). We ate more scrambled eggs with sautéed mushrooms, green chiles, and more bread and butter (and more coffee, too).
And then I decided enough with the housework! The day was far too beautiful, so I headed to the pool to soak up some more sun and perhaps even out that weird runner’s tan!
For dinner, Nick and I had an impromptu date night at Taki Sushi. We walked there and dined in, eating tuna sashimi, a Kirin roll, and a Sex on the Beach roll. We washed it all down with a fresh, cold sake and kirin beer. It definitely hit the spot, and we were so into it that I did not snap any photos.
After that, we juuuuuust needed a little something sweet, so we walked to South Broadway for a tasty treat from Sweet Action Ice Cream. I’d never been there before but heard a lot about it, so one might say I was excited. We split the mocha almond fudge and crunchy peanut butter. This stuff was so thick and creamy that one scoop was enough!
On tired legs and full bellies, we walked back home and crashed in bed. Since we usually do our long runs on Sundays, it was a great feeling to have it under our belt and look forward to a lazier day before the workweek snuck up on us.