I asked myself this question this morning, as I woke up horrendously sore and in a state of complete exhaustion. (I also learned that I was physically running in my sleep.)
In the past two days I’ve started a new commute to work via scooter (not a Vespa), and completed my first (and definitely not last) set of half-mile repeats for Connemara training. I haven’t done a lick of half-mile repeats since.. well I don’t even know when, so it’s been awhile. And those of you who know where I live know that there are long, slow, gradual uphills going to and from work on Park Avenue.
After those pesky half-mile repeats, His Lordship and I met with two of our fellow runner friends for beverages, and discussed the spring season. I don’t plan on PR-ing Connemara, but I intend to have a good race, and intend to be sore immediately following. And then our partner in crime and leader of the Irish pack started stating the inclination of the course. I grew weary.
“Miles 10 and 11 of the the half marathon are a constant incline. There are no breaks. That means mile 23 and 24 for the marathoners and miles 36 and 37 for the ultras.”
Great. So, back to my original question. Why do I do it? I guess for a few reasons.
For one, I love the anticipated weekend long run. The carb-loading on a Friday night, then hitting the pavement the next morning for 10+ miles. The hot shower, compression socks, sweatpants, and booze after. It makes for a heavenly Saturday. And even if you don’t do anything for the rest of the day, you still accomplished a hard workout.
It also gives me a sense of consistency and routine, which both myself and my insides need. But that’s another story.
And traveling to random places throughout the country isn’t so shabby. So far, I’ve traveled to Chicago, Louisville, and Queens (hey, it’s out of my borough) for races, and Arizona, Boston, and Fire Island for His Lordship’s. All of which have been exceptional times. This year’s race calendar has me heading to Tampa, Ireland, Roanoke, and Wilmington. Some of those are in combination with visiting family members and friends, but I dig traveling. And even though I will be most likely walking up those late miles in the Connemarathon, I’ll be drinking Guinness at the finish with friends, which makes it all worthwhile. Also, Connemar is giving me great training for Roanoke, which will be another uphill battle. (Way to go, Lewis.)
Oh, I guess I also do it for the fist pumping.
So, onward and upward—literally. You can find me in the Palisades in the coming weekends for some serious hill training.