It’s Sunday night, and I just completed my first >10 miler before the Brooklyn Half! This is most notable because last Tuesday I was running along on my commute to work, when all of a sudden I felt a pain in my knee that can only be described as blunt impact. It was so pronounced that I could barely walk! Luckily I have the good sense to run along the bus route when I’m commuting to Long Island City, so I made it to work on time, but I felt pretty nervous about having to bail on that run, especially when my job is so physical and requires me to be on my feet nearly all day.
The last few weeks my presence here at SR slipped a bit, and that was entirely due to going full time at work, finishing out the season of a television show. It was a huge challenge balancing 40 miles a week and 65-75 hours of working a week, but somehow I managed! Here’s how one of my weeks broke down. To give you some perspective, this was the lightest week I worked in terms of hours, by about ten hours.
Sunday: wake up late out of sheer exhaustion. Cram in 10 miles on my way TO the hash (instead of hashing) because I was too tired to make the 3:00 pm start and still manage to drop off my laundry. Try and fail to stay up late because I need to sleep late.
Monday: 3:00 pm call. UGH. Wake up at 8:00 and struggle to get back to sleep until 12:00. Get up and run 7 miles to Manhattan with a backpack on. Work 14.5 hours. Get home just before sunrise.
Tuesday: 3:00 pm call again, although with the promise of a shorter work day. Struggle to sleep a full six hours. Get up at 12:00 and zoom out the door to buy cat food and pick up laundry, because there won’t be any other time to do it this week. Out the door by 12:30 for the 6.5 mile run to work in Queens. Add in 3 x 800 on the McCarren Park Track on my way to work for a little speedwork and to bump up to 8 miles total. Work 9.5 hours (not bad! until payday rolls around…) and get home around 1:30 am.
Wednesday: 10:30 call time…could take the day off, but I’m concerned there won’t be time in the rest of the week. Struggle out of bed at 7:00 for the 7 mi. run to Greenpoint, Brooklyn…but somehow dilly-dally and make it there barely on time. By some miracle, we only work 10 hours and I make it home around 10pm.
Thursday: I say miracle, because today’s call time involves making it onto a 6:00 am van for a 7:00 am call time in Tappan, NY, on the New Jersey border. The van is a 40 minute subway ride away from my apartment. Clearly, I take the day off from running. Up at 4:30 am. Work 13.5 hours. Back in NYC around 11:15, hop in a cab and I’m home just after midnight.
Friday: Gotta make that 6:00 am van again…dammit. Up at 4:30. At work for what seems like forever: 19.5 hours. All at a muddy location, carrying heavy things up and down a hill much of the day…but learning a lot and loving it somehow anyway. Take a van back to the City, arriving sometime before 4 am? Don’t really remember. Get home at 5ish and realize I’ve been up for 25 hours just before I lose consciousness.
Saturday: Wake up around 2:00 pm, disoriented. Answer a coincidentally-timed call from Mom and when I hang up I can’t remember a word of what we talked about. Lay there for a long time, wishing I had the energy to clean my room. Order some takeout and work on Salty Running for a little bit. Realize suddenly that it will be dark soon, so get out the door for a quick 8 miler.
The next Sunday: Do it all over again.
So hmm…after four weeks of that, is it any wonder my body told me, “NO! I am NOT running today!” all of a sudden?
After the knee incident I took three days off (although I worked the whole time), and had a nice, easy run yesterday (Saturday). Today I decided to try my scheduled 13 miler, and there wasn’t even a hint of pain, other than the usual tightness that tends to crop up during a long run.
This brings me to two lessons: 1) REST IS GOOD FOR ME. and 2) MY JOB COULD BE CONSIDERED CROSS-TRAINING.