Saturday ended three weeks of build and I’m looking forward to this cut-back week: where you put “only” in front of the long run distance scheduled. We’re headed out of town and a quiet run without a face full of bus exhaust is a welcome change. I love Chicago, but damn.

The long run felt good. I succumbed to the familiar 3 mile curse and had to use the loo. The spider infested, dank, gray lakefront bathroom at least had plenty of paper. There were times during the run when, if I was on my own, I would have slowed to walk out of boredom, but my pace group kept me going.

The familiar started creeping back: calling out approaching bikers, stories about races we’ve done, trading training tips and tricks, running through a recent crop dusting…. That part I could have done without.

The best familiar part of training: coming home to stretch and having a dog get in my face wondering what type of game we’re about to play. I stopped stretching and messed around with her and realized how much I missed that part. Different dog, but still pretty great.