Twelve mile training run

Brian and I babysat my niece from Thursday through Sunday, so I had to adjust my running schedule.
I put in an uneventful and slow 12 miles on. I woke up at 5:30 am to run on Sunday morning and left her home with uncle. I texted Brian to let him know I’d be home soon, and they were chillin:
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Last weekend when I did 10 miles, I was able to run the final 3 miles at almost 5k pace, but that was on a pancake-flat bike path. This run was on city streets, so I didn’t do as well. However, I got to do something special that almost never happens: run on the race course! Since the half marathon is a home race and my 2nd time doing this race, I ran a good portion of the course. I think it helped get me more in the mood for the race. Pre-run, I ate coconut chia pudding and one cinnamon bite with peanut butter. During the run, I ate two chocolate rice bites.

By the time I was done and showered, I only had time to grab an EAS shake to drink in the car (110 measly calories and almost no carb) because we had to drive her home (2 hrs) for dance class. I also packed a bag full of snacks which I FORGOT. So for the next few HOURS, I was miserable. Didn’t know if I should cry or faint. By 3:00, we had stopped at my mom’s house for a quick change and I inhaled a few handfuls of crackers before we had to jet off again to Easter dinner, where finally I ate a pound of braciole and a pound of pasta.

I can tell that the poor recovery had an effect on me because all day Monday I felt completely drained, and still slept like a rock both Sunday and Monday nights.

As for eating, I ate really well all week long, Monday through Friday. Then Saturday came along, we were busy, I had a kid to watch, and I ate nothing but carbs – waffles for brunch, pasta for dinner. I’m trying not to beat myself up over it but I wish I could find more balance instead of this all-or-nothing cycle I’m on.

I think I’ve mentioned before that I haven’t been “feeling it” this training cycle, and I haven’t been able to get excited about the upcoming race, or about my long run accomplishments. Now that I’ve run part of the course, and coming off all of the good Boston energy, I am a little bit more excited. But still, I wish there was more. After this half marathon on May 4, I am going to force myself to not even think about a half marathon and just focus on being better at the mile & 5k.

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Springy 10 miles

Yesterday I killed a 10 mile training run – my first double-digit run since the marathon. It went surprisingly well considering the rough days I had before the run.
On Friday night, my piano playing neighbor had a sing-along party. I’d fall asleep for like 30 minutes and be woken up to european college kids singing Imagine. Repeat until about 3am. Oh, and I had to be in at work at 6 am on Saturday. I pushed it to 7:00, but it was still rough. After a full 8 hour shift, I came home, took a nap, and then it was out to watch the Pacquiao fight. It’s a good thing he won because we were the only table full of Asians in that place. The night ended, as all “good” nights do, with a trip to Olneyville New York System. I don’t know if I can adequately describe the full experience but I will sum it up by saying that you ONLY eat hot dogs-covered-in-meat-and-onions at 3am, however probably SHOULD NOT eat it the night (morning?) before running 10 miles.
I got a little sleep and the sun forced me out of bed at 10. Pre-run, I ate two Feed Zone cinnamon bites and a little peanut butter, with some Starbucks instant coffee. It was a perfect day for running. Breezy, overcast, and already 60 degrees by the time I got to the trail. I even left my phone in the car and ran without any music. This is how I felt before the run:
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During the run, I ate two Feed Zone chocolate rice balls. My brother gave me  Cytomax to try and I couldn’t even stand the smell of it when I was mixing it up. but I drank 8oz of it at half strength during the run. It was barely tolerable. I’ll go back to Nuun or Gatorade. Or this:
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Anyway the run itself was really good. I felt good, it was a beautiful day, and I didn’t say I never wanted to run again. Was it the hot wieners? Who knows. It was 4 pm by the time I showered and cooked, and sat down to my first real meal of the day: made bourbon french toast. After eating “brunch” at such a weird hour, I had a small dinner of quesadilla with kale salad. Quesadilla on a low-carb tortilla has been my thing this week, possibly forever. The kale salad can go away though.april13_dinner

I must not have eaten enough yesterday because today I devoured a chicken pesto panini and felt guilty about it, especially after the french toast binge the day before. I’m stuck in this cycle of 5 days of clean eating, then eating all of the bread in sight. but let’s not get into that now.
I have one more long run left before a half marathon and I honestly don’t know if I will be able to PR because I haven’t been paying attention to times.  Considering how I’ve lost my motivation for running, if I don’t improve in this race I’m going to be really depressed. It’s not going to happen. It’s not going to happen.

Hello Sunshine

I’ve had a tough time with running since after the marathon. I haven’t been able to hit any of my normal paces for “short” runs. I usually do 12:20 on my 3 mile runs and for some awful reason I’ve only been able to do 13:30, my marathon pace, before getting out of breath and heart rate shooting up to 80%. Is it the sub-30 temps? General deconditioning? Too many layers of clothes making me not aerodynamic? (Kidding)

This weekend in RI & CT was the kickoff to 5k Season. Everyone was starting up with their St Paddy’s Day races and I was sad to miss them. Then I remembered I was going somewhere warm so I dried my tears and said peace out. I ran 6 miles while I was in Charleston. I didn’t being my phone with me and I was worried about getting lost so I just stuck to the road along the water, a straight out and back.

Weather was perfect: 60 degrees and sunny. This is my “OMG I only have to wear a t-shirt & not 4 layers did clothes & gloves” face:
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Starting on the stone paved sidewalks and cobblestones got a little technical.
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Once I got on the dirt path and then along the sea wall it was smooth sailing.
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Living in RI, I am lucky that running along the water is part of my regular route (brag). However, this never gets old:
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Winter needs to hurry up and GTFO.

Sunday workout: Interval run

This weekend’s prescribed run was to do six 800m repeats with 2 minutes of walking in between. I was really proud of myself for powering through each interval portion at a pace of 10:40/mi, faster than what I could run for a mile. The total distance including the walks came out to about 3.75 mi, and then I jogged it out to hit 6 mi (which was not part of the instructions). Boy was that a struggle!

Even though my total overall pace was extremely slow, I felt totally drained. I finished my final mile at a pace that was barely faster than walking. Then I spent the rest of the day feeling completely wiped out. It’s surprising how just pushing myself for those intervals made the run so hard especially when I think about how I felt during my 9 miler last week. Last week, I ran farther and faster and finished feeling great. I still count this week as a success because I’m building up towards improving my mile pace.

I was in Connecticut so back at home, my mother had a treat waiting. She caught on to the fact that I like coconut water after my weekend runs so she bought me a fresh coconut! I felt like I was dying, so coming home to stick a straw in a cold coconut was like an oasis in the desert.

coconut water

Next weekend will be the big 11 miles – the longest run before the race. I’m trying to psych myself up instead of freaking out about it the whole week. After that, I’ll have a week of short runs and then the big day. I’m a little bit off off my official training plan by running in a half marathon on the week that I’m supposed to do a training run of 13 miles. And the training plan actually goes up to 17 miles so I would continue to do two long runs after the race, then be ready for another half marathon after that. Yikes. I’m really not trying think about 17 miles.

Long Run, Long Sunday

Wow; when I set goals, I set goals. Today was the 9 mile run on my training plan and I survived.

On Saturday night, we made waffles for dinner (more on that tomorrow).

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I considered ordering the Mayweather fight on TV or going out to watch it, but then I realized I would be up too late and it would screw up my running plans. I also didn’t want a cent of my $75 going into Mayweather’s pocket, haha.

Sunday morning was nice and cool, so I was able to sleep in (relatively) til 8. Summer runs stink because when it hits 80 by 10 am, you have to be out the door early. So glad we are now in the “golden season” for running. I had breakfast of chia seeds + coconut milk plus a half waffle + almond butter. We drove to a new place to run, which is another mental boost for me.

Warren, RI bike path

Running near the water never gets old. What was nice about this route was the scenery changed as I got into the bay, then again from the bay to the ocean marshes, then even closer to the ocean with the smell of salty air. It’s amazing how one path can take you through multiple ecosystems, different worlds supporting different types of life. Could be a metaphor for life, right?
Warren, RI bike path

There is no filter on this photo, just a straight iPhone pic. Gorgeous colors!

The run itself was simply excellent. I tried to do it without headphones, but I struggled. As soon as I put the music on, everything clicked. Through the rest of the 9 miles, my pace was on point, my breathing was good, and I felt great at the end. My last mile was my fastest! I felt on top of the world and the endorphins were in full force. I ran at my half marathon goal pace, so I hope I can keep it up for the next 4 miles in training.

Usually after a long run, my blood sugar drops really quickly and I need to eat something immediately/within 20 mins or else I’d get shaky. I didn’t get that intense feeling after this run. I don’t know if it was because I switched to Stinger Chews instead of Clif Blocks, or the chia seeds, or because my body is just adapting better. When we got home, I drank a little juice and ate the other half of my waffle just to be safe.

After we cleaned up from the run, we even walked over to brunch which is about a half mile away. Despite my snack, I was really hungry by then and commented that they should have appetizers for brunch. We split this vegan donut as our appetizer.vegan donut

For brunch, I did not go all out as I might have before. I got the two poached eggs and hash, except the “hash” was roasted cauliflower instead of potatoes. So healthy, so paleo.sundayrun6

It was so good. I never thought to use cauliflower as a breakfast hash, and I will definitely do it at home. Looking at that small plate, I thought I was going to still be hungry at the end but surprisingly I was full.

We walked home and I got to work on my kitchen chores. I used some peppers to make hot sauce. My lemongrass, basil and sage were done drying so I jarred those up. Then I made  eggplant dip:eggplant caviar

I also tried to bake eggplant slices to make eggplant lasagna but I sliced it too thin and ended up with crispy eggplant chips instead. Some people eat them as a low-carb chip substitute but it seemed too bitter to me. I salvaged the few soft pieces, layered them with pattypan squash  and jarred sauce and have it baking in the oven right now. I have a feeling it won’t be tasty.

I can’t believe the ridiculous amounts of food that has been produced in the past 24 hours. Yesterday after work I roasted all of our red tomatoes, so I’ll add them to tonight’s dinner, and Brian turned all of the tomatillos + a few peppers into salsa.

If this eggplant casserole doesn’t turn out well, I am tempted to just eat pasta and jarred sauce or order pizza because I am pooped.