For some reason I run on only two modes. Wake up early and start running before my mind can wrap it's head around what is going on, or wait until mid day when I had rested, eaten something and then let it digest. I know it sounds crazy, but for some reason I can't wake up mid morning and have the same kind of run I have early morning or mid day.
Although Saturday was going to be my last long run before my race, I agreed to meet Boyfriend, and his aunt and uncle for dinner after work. I would be meeting his cousin for the first time, in the year and a half we had dated. This may seem like an insignificant get together however Boyfriend didn't have many if more than one cousin he was close to. It was important. Family is always important. So when they broke out the two bottles of wine I couldn't resist a glass, even though it is strictly against my 'night-before-a-long-run' ritual. And when there wasn't any pasta on the menu that sounded good I got a salad, again totally against my ritual. But the food was good, the company better, and I was having a blast. We ate muscles in a delicious red sauce, bread, pasta and chick-pea salad, my dinner was completely oversized and I knew I was eating too much. Strike three - I never eat this much the night before a long run!
I knew I would be ok though. We would get home around 10:30 or 11pm, and I would go straight to sleep. Except when we got back to Boyfriend's aunt and uncle's house (where both our cars were) it was less that easy to make an exit. We sat down on the couch to chat some more. I looked at the clock and realized it was almost 10pm and we were not close to leaving, and the drive home would take at least a half hour. I could have decided right then to get up and go, that running was more important. But I didn't. I instead decided to email the coaches, let them know I wasn't going to be at practice in the morning, and stayed for another hour and a half, laughing and gossiping.
It wasn't until we left that Boyfriend realized how late it was, and I told him I was skipping practice early in the morning. I had no plan. But one thing I knew I needed to do this year was learn to be flexible with my training. My first two years I gave up everything for the chance to run a 4 hour marathon. I failed. And sometimes regretted losing so much of my social life. I realize now that I shouldn't have to pick one over the other, but I should learn to let them live in harmony. This is also the first year really training and being in a relationship, and as with any part of a relationship learning to be flexible is essential.
The next day I woke up rested, ran some errands, ate a perfect breakfast of bagel with peanut butter, drank some water and after letting it digest went on a glorious 12 mile run. I only stopped to drink some water and eat some shot blocks. I finished feeling fantastic, and even took an ice bath to ease my tired muscles. Had I run earlier in the day I would have had to break my run into two parts, I probably would have been exhausted and miserable. Sometimes things just work out for the best, as long as you keep an open mind, and learn to bend a little.