Friday, July 9, 2010

The Last Long Run

At 7 p.m. I'll head out for my last long training run, the 20-miler.* The program I'm following recommends treating the 20-mile race like a dress rehearsaleat what you'll eat, start when you'll start, etc. But when I found out how hot is was supposed to be this week, I told my husband I'd probably just do my 6 a.m. thing.

"Yeah, but what if it's that hot the day of your race?" my husband asked.

I stared at him. "Are you seriously suggesting I choose to run in this oppressive ridiculousness when I don't actually have to?"

"I'm just saying it might be good practice," he said. "Plus this'll give you a chance to get used to running as the sun's going down."


"And if you pick a loop around the house, I can bring water down and cheer you on."

I sighed. As much as I hated to admit it, the man was talking sense, so I said goodbye to my dreams of one last run from Winthrop into Nahant and decided the 20-miler will be done in five laps around my 4-miles-and-change loop.

So here I sit, obsessively checking the says it's 86 now and with 82 projected for 7 p.m.—and praying for a quick thunderboomer to ride in like a knight in shining silver lining and chase away ten degrees or so. I'm not holding my breath.

But I may be procrastinating.

All right, all right. In a few minutes I'll wrap up here and start to get dressed. I'll prep my iPod and HOLY MOTHER OF THOR, I JUST REMEMBERED BY IPOD'S NOT ACTUALLY CHARGED!!! Excuse me one teensy moment, would you?

Please imagine 60 seconds of annoying Muzak.

That's better. Tunes are charging as we speak. But holy crap was THAT a near miss!

And though my nerves at the thought of twenty miles tonight make me want to stay right here chatting with you all a while longer, I should probably go make sure everything I need is gathered and ready to go.

And hey, I know the vast majority of the world is already deep into the whole Friday-night-thing, but if you do happen to see this, take a second to wish me cool breezes and second winds.

And with that, I'm off. Or at least off to get ready to be off.

Catherine Elcik is running her first marathon to raise money for a scholarship fund for Grub Street, Inc, an independent writing center in Boston, MA. Sponsor the run (and quite frankly, her second wind) at

* The training program I follow suggests training up to 20 miles before tapering off in the last couple of weeks before the marathon to rest. There are programs that argue that your training runs should include at least one run that's the full-length of the marathon, but most of those programs are also designed to improve speed. The program I chose is designed for the marathon rookie. Plus, I like the idea of running my first marathon for Grub, and if I ran 26.2 miles before race day, it would be my second marathon.


  1. I wish you cool breezes and an easy run! P.S. I would LOVE to know your favorite marathon music choices, please.

  2. You read my mind. At the end of the week, I'm publishing a list of the 100 songs on my marathon list (though I might lose a few given last night's run). Plus I'm cuing up an all-music week while my husband and I are in Seattle...