I was on fire but then…and don’t go to TJ’s after a long run


Besides the fact that Charlie is basically not speaking to me right now, this week went pretty well.

You might even say I was on fire.


I was running well, eating salads with beans and eggs, vacuuming the whole house.


Vacuuming a house full of boys isn’t as easy as you think.  I basically have to use hands of a surgeon to gently place items such as these in a safe place or else hear about it for days, even weeks later, before I charge up the dirt sucker.  Years of practice, people.  It helps.

Anyway, there I am in the middle of my week, errands done, house cleaned, healthy food eaten, runs going well, youth track practices running smoothly, and then BOOM!  it all falls apart on long run day.


Because I have decided to run 22 miles on an 81 degree day.

Now this use to not be a big deal, but ever since Long Beach happened, I am a bit of a mess about this sort of thing.  Bad, bad memories.  I can’t even imagine what people who ran last year’s Boston must think when the temperatures go up and they have no choice but to run for 3 hours.  Maybe they are thrilled because it is a challenge?  Runners can be like that, you know.  We’re a strange lot.

So anyway, I tried something new today.  Just in case I wilted in the heat and wasn’t able to finish.  (I don’t like to quit.  It is not always healthy.)

Anyway, I started out really slow.  Really slow.   I shuffled.  I didn’t listen to music.  I got bored. 

And then with six miles to go I put the pedal to the metal and grabbed some tunes to keep me company.

I was able to push a decent pace for the last bit of the run, instead of walk/running 11 minute miles like I have done at the end of past long, hot runs.

But still.  I have my doubts about all of this marathon nonsense.   The long runs humble me and make me doubt everything.  Why I do this.  Why I am not suited for this.  Why. 

I have no answers.  I am okay on training runs below 15 miles.  I feel slightly confident even. 

But on these 20+ runs?  I feel like a loser, because everything can so easily fall apart.  Like you run really fast for 10 miles and then you feel like hobbling.  Or you can hobble and then run really fast.

So I did what any other sulking runner would do after stinking hot long run.

I went to Trader Joe’s and bought weird stuff.


I guess beer isn’t so weird.  But it wasn’t on my list either.


Oh Aloo Chaat how I love thee.  Whatever thee is.


Sadly TJ’s no longer carries my beloved salt water taffy.  I am adjusting.


Now I’ll go heat up my Aloo Chaat, put my beer in the fridge, eat some jelly bellies while I am waiting, and down some MSM in the meantime.

What is MSM?  I don’t know.  But the box says that it will make my joints feel good, and right now they don’t feel so hot.

So you see, this is how one gets into trouble at TJ’s after a long run.  It would have been much smarter to simply buy a bag of doggie treats to get back on Charlie’s good side.

Next time I’ll know.


  1. Kristin says

    I am with you about the long run! First off, I panic about it and worry that I won’t be able to pull it off (despite training and running 5 marathons)! I always start off slow with no music, worried that I won’t be able to finish if I push the pace early on. Then somewhere after mile 10, I try and pick it up because honestly, I just want to get it over with! I think it’s harder to run these alone. I may look into joining a running group in August to run these long ones in preparation for Chicago. Anyway, great job finishing 22 in that heat!! Well done!

    • Rebecca says

      I’m so glad you are running Chicago. It is on my bucket list, but I didn’t sign up this year because I hate training in the heat. I’m looking for one in December this year to give myself a break. I don’t know, I’m not sure how best to run the long run, but it scares me and makes me remember how hard the marathon really is! My husband has agreed to run at least part of my next one with me, so maybe that will help. Anyway, I hope we get to meet in Boston– seems like your training is going really, really well. I can’t wait to see how it turns out!

  2. john uk athletics says

    join the club. Thats why marathon running is tricky. Everbody has the same worries and fears from elites to amateurs. Prep and planning goes so far after that its down to the person and thats where the problems start. Self doubt is the curse of the marathoner. Fear and worry hampers performance and its only you can overcome that bit. The more you make issue the worse it becomes. You must condition the mind not just the body. Good luck.

    • Rebecca says

      Yes, part of the reason I wanted to stick it out was to train my head a bit better. I have loads of work to do in that department!

  3. says

    I can’t even wrap my head around a 20+ miler in the heat! I love your attitude about not quitting though. But, the heat is why I will never train for a early fall marathon and expect a good time because the heat/humidity in the summers are brutal in South Louisiana. I had several friends who ran Boston last year and actually managed to race really well, despite the heat because they were so used to training in high temps.

    Granted, I still hate running in hot weather. But, it is a fact of life where I live. On a positive note, we are getting a TJ’s in my town. Yikes, this could hurt my grocery budget:)

    • Rebecca says

      Yes, you are going to have to implement a new sort of self control with a TJ’s in your town. I love it, but I do take breaks from it every now and then to stabilize the old budget.
      Luckily our 81 is not half as bad as your 81. I grew up in SC, so I remember we had to run before the sun came up to survive the humidity. I am giving myself a break this fall because I don’t seem to do well training beyond 15 miles in hot weather. Who knows what Boston will be like this year, so I mind as well be prepared, right?

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