The newest issue of Runner’s World has a short-and-sweet article about the benefits of blogging for runners. (Spoiler alert: blogging gives accountability, motivation, and networking to those of us who don’t train for a living.) I’ve been fortunate to meet a lot of wonderful friends through blogging, and for a sport that can be very isolating and reclusive, running with a blog creates a lovely little clique in the best sense of the word.
Last week, I invited Emilie from One Mom in Maine to visit for a couple days, and she accepted, even though we’d only ever met for about 2 minutes at a race 3 years ago. There’s a bizarre kind of knowing when you follow a person’s blog, because it’s real life and it’s not real life. Regardless, we both knew it would be an easy connection. Plus, she brought me food and cooked me food and left me food, which is a pretty direct path to my heart. Somehow she knew how much I can eat, probably because she’s an athlete, too. I eat like a pregnant woman. Or a man. Truth be told, I eat like a pregnant man.
Emilie arrived with a big bag of delicious treats and a bottle of wine, and I knew that we would be friends forever. She blessed my kitchen with a jar of Nutella and introduced me to this healthy green fruit smoothie thing, and I now have an unhealthy addiction to both. At the end of last week, I thought I’d been retaining water from the prednisone until I realized I’m actually retaining Nutella. I gained 4 pounds last week. The night before she left, she cooked me a fantastic dinner and we talked running and tattoos, and then we watched the Olympics. She’s the perfect husband.
I suppose it could be surreal and weird to spend a couple days with someone you only know through web-writing, especially because a blog is still a persona to some extent, no matter how real you write. In real life, you don’t hashtag your identity or walk around with your stats on your sleeve. Hopefully. Real life isn’t sentence fragments with a clever use of strikethrough. Unfortunately. So when blog life intersects with first-person real life, mediated by Nutella and a green smoothie thing, it’s pretty cool.
On a more bland note, my training moves along. I logged 60.5 miles last week, and you know that half-mile matters, thank you. Sunday’s long run was a coup in mind and body because I hit my target of 16 miles with 8 of the middle miles at a 7:55. It took that kind of effort to burn off the Nutella. My legs are exhausted today, but I have CIM in 17 weeks, and I want my body to be a fortress. I have that on-the-edge-of-overdoing-it-and-getting-hurt feeling, so let’s just hope it isn’t a fortress with a stress fracture.
For now, my legs are pretty invigorated by Olympic “athletics,” as the Brits like to say (love that). The men’s 10,000 meters probably takes half the credit for my energy in Sunday’s fast miles. I just kept replaying Mo and Galen’s surge and elated disbelief when they beat that field. You don’t have to be a 4-minute miler to know how that ebullience feels when you meet an impossibly-hard-fought goal. It was completely and totally awesome to watch. It’s how I felt in Berlin in 2010 and in Chicago last year. When you factor in the triumph that is Oscar Pistorius, I don’t know how anyone with a TV could get through last weekend without going for a run. The women’s marathon was pretty good, but Mo, Galen, and Oscar were more or less the epitome of sport this weekend.
That said, I’m starting to develop Olympic fatigue. You can only take so much Higher-Faster-Stronger, I suppose. I know I reached my bra-over-shirt threshhold in the preliminary rounds of beach volleyball. But you know what helps?
Nutella, of course.