Last week I had a fantastic SLR. This week was a very different experience.
Noticeably this week has been rather quiet on the blog front, which signals a packed schedule that had me arriving home too tired, or otherwise, to sit behind a computer for another hour to blog. Though it leads to a day without a post, it reflects my twenty-something life of leaving work to head to a happy hour with friends and recount the experiences and gossip of the past few days.
This week was no exception. Wednesday through Friday all included post-work activities that lingered for hours into the evening. Unlike last Friday when I climbed into bed around 9 PM, I awoke this past Saturday with far fewer hours of sleep clocked. Feeling particularly hungry in the morning, I downed a protein bar at 630 before rushing off to Fleet Feet for a 10-miler.
The week’s SLR was a challenging out and back course from the store, up Mass Ave, then up Wisconsin Ave until just passing the Maryland border. The key term of the course was “up.” During the five miles out, the elevation gradually increased, essentially making the first half of the run an extended hill climb. Despite having run up and down hills earlier in the week, Saturday was tough; add in the high humidity and I was feeling the struggle as early as the second mile.
Complicating the run further was a less than comfortable stomach pains. They were enough of a factor that by the halfway point in the run I had to make a pit stop at a Starbucks, which led to my separation from my morning running companions. The stop was long enough that I never managed to catch back up with the group, so I ran the five miles back to the store solo.Feeling slightly better after the stop, the downhill return allowed me to pick up my pace and avoid having to pause again for a hydration stop. In the end, I finished the morning with an average pace of 8:43/mi for 11.42 miles. Though it definitely was not my finest run, I am happy with the pace, particularly since a good part of those miles were spent climbing.
Although I made it through the run feeling OK, I felt less than stellar when I returned home. What I have deemed the culprit: my early morning protein bar. With 20 grams of protein in the bar, I thought it would be suitable in the AM since I woke up with a growling stomach. Ultimately, however, it just left me unsettled as my body did not have time to digest all the protein before running double-digit miles. So while I won’t be eating anymore high protein bars pre-run, it was a learning experience that alerted me to the needs and sensitivities of my training body.
But even with a less than perfect run in the books, I was not going to let it hinder a day that included seeing Billy Joel at Nationals Stadium. One of my former roommates and I bought tickets to the show earlier this year, and on Saturday evening it finally came time to see the Piano Man. Asked to define the concert in one word: AMAZING.
After waiting months to see, he did not disappoint. He finished up his set with the classic “Piano Man,” and then returned after nearly five-minutes of the stadium applause to play other great hits, including “Uptown Girl” and “Only the Good Die Young.”
It was pretty good crowd for a Saturday
And Billy Joel gives us a smile
‘Cause he knows that it’s him we’ve come to see
To forget about life for a while