Running Commentary: Equal and Opposite Reactions


As I write this, Im sitting on a plane, en route home to Minneapolis from San Francisco, where I was on business all week. It was a great trip out West–sunshine, perfect temperatures, a Giants game, shopping with some girlfriends, and oh yeah—we got a lot of work done, too. For a business trip, it was an A+.

Health-wise, however, my marks are not as good: An inventory of the past few days includes a lot of unhealthy food, alcohol, late nights, and not enough vegetables or workouts.

However, theres one thing I did do right, and thats lace up my shoes and explore one of the greatest cities in the world on foot. Tuesday morning, I popped right out of bed and hit the pavement. Id mapped out a run before I left home and was pretty excited to try it out. From my hotel, I ran to the Embarcadero, a street in San Francisco that runs along the water, all the way to Giants stadium, and back to my hotel. Forty minutes of running, 20 minutes of walking, with a brief break in the middle to take pictures of the truly stunning geography.

A Delicious Run
The trip started out on the right running feet, but things quickly went downhill from there. There were meetings. There were pastries, bagels, and dinners. And cocktail hours. And desserts. And guacamole. And champagne. And hotdogs. And somewhere in there, I lost track of my good intentions.

Im now on the plane home, realizing that for the first time in the past 6 weeks, Ive experienced the valleys that hide between the peaks of training for a marathon.

Last Saturday, I peaked–I ran my longest run ever, nearly 10 miles–around three city lakes (Calhoun, Harriet, and Isles, for those who are familiar with Minneapolis). When I got home, having run nearly 10 miles without stopping, it may have been one of the proudest moments of my life.

Tuesday morning, running along San Franciscos beautiful shore, with the light breeze cooling my face and the sun bronzing my shoulders, I peaked. Id made the healthy choice to get up early and run, despite being tired, and that led to a day filled with good choices (and after our heavy dinner, I elected to go back to the hotel and go to bed rather than to continue on for after-dinner-drinks with the rest of my comrades). Somehow, somewhere, on Wednesday morning, I lost my way.

But like most of my runs, its a dichotomy–for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. If I learned anything over these past few days, its that I like my new lifestyle where I eat healthy and exercise frequently, go to bed and rise early. Im eagerly awaiting our touchdown so that I can start fresh again—a whole new week, a whole new batch of calories to either eat or burn, a whole new route to run.

The late nights and tempting foods may have pushed, but Ill push back harder (I just ran 10 miles – I can do anything). Id choose a plate of broccoli over a burger right now, hands down, asparagus over alcohol, fish over French fries. While Im excited to get home to my boyfriend and my dog, to snuggle in on the sofa and relax, Im even more excited to hit the grocery store, prep my food for the week, route Saturdays run, and put my body back to work at what it does best: taking care of me.