This morning I left my apartment for 12 miles in Central Park. I left my compression socks at home because I had some blister issues with them last weekend during my 14 miler. I figured I would throw them on after an ice bath.
The run was fairly unremarkable. I took my time and walked a few of the hills in an effort to reduce the strain on my sore, irritated tibialis anterior.
The weather was great and I opted to wear my rarely used lululemon tank top. In my excitement to leave my apartment for my run, I neglected to put sunblock on my bare shoulders and after taking a nap this afternoon, I noticed the all-too-familiar tight ache of sunburn. (Note to self: your Norwegian and Scottish composition don’t allow you to run around in the sun without paying dearly for it…)
After my run I picked up the requisite post-run grub:
Mmmm everything bagel with cream cheese and a chocolate milk.
I hopped into a very cold ice bath (ice? cold? you don’t say…) and sat shivering for 20 long minutes while watching my Tigers perform miserably in game 1 of their double header. After getting out and warming up a bit, I took a shower and got cozy on the couch with a book (the baseball carnage wasn’t worth continuing to watch) and my legs reveled in the comfort of compression socks.
My ankle is improving but is still pretty tender and a little swollen. Along with the compression socks, I’ve been diligently icing and elevating and there’s plenty of rest on tap for the rest of the weekend. (Wooo, RICE method!) I’m hoping that with continued icing and treatment, a scaled-down weekday training schedule, and taking my long runs at a really easy pace, I’ll be in good shape for the River Bank Run and injury-free by the time marathon training rolls around.
1. Today is a great day because, I negotiated some time off and finalized an experiment schedule that helps me take said time off and still get the required work done!
2. Tomorrow I will run my 12 miler and enjoy the nicer weather before the massive amount of rain we’re supposed to get rolls in on Sunday.
3. My favorite time of day is the morning (once I’m up and moving) because it’s kind of a quiet, relaxed time. I like to give myself enough time to collect myself and get ready while enjoying a cup of coffee before heading out into whatever madness the day holds.
4. Sometimes you just have to splurge and buy yourself that cute top or those shoes. What good is life if you can’t “treat yoself” every once in a while?
5. A song that I just can’t get enough of lately is Away Frm U by Oberhofer.
6. My favorite accessory is my claddagh ring. My sisters each have one and it’s a nice reminder of the love, loyalty, and friendship we share.
7. My favorite thing about this week was Monday night when I had drinks with good friends at a rooftop bar. (I even spotted stars! STARS, you guys!)
I ran 14 miles yesterday. It is the longest run I have ever done. I didn’t write about it yesterday because in all honesty, the run was awful. Anything I would have written about it would have been negative and not worth writing and certainly not worth reading. A waste of everyone’s time. After having a day to think about it and reflect on it, I’m ready to approach it differently. So thanks for the offer Ryan, but I’m going to skip the whining and I’m just going to tell you what I learned from it instead… (You can still hold me if you want.)
No matter how you’re feeling during the week, you should never take that huge a chunk of time off from running…
I wrote about how “not into it” I was feeling last week and I was indulgent and took waaaaaay more time off than I should have. This meant my legs, while theoretically rested, were not primed and ready for 14 miles. This didn’t help my “heavy, tired legs” to be any less heavy and tired on Sunday. The very least I could have done was cross training and I didn’t even do that. Stick to the plan.
You have the power to change your attitude - you do!
In high school our warm up t-shirts for soccer my senior year said “attitude is everything” on the back. Simple message, but so. damn. true. My mindset last week was a very unproductive approach to training. I let myself wallow in doubt and frustration and mental defeat instead of picking myself up and forcing myself to look at how well I’ve been doing and at how much more I am capable of. Staying negative and doubting yourself becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Aspire to more, put in the work, and give yourself a little credit.
Stop relying so heavily on your technology. You use it as a crutch.
My Garmin dying at mile 5 yesterday was the cherry on top of my shit sundae… Ok, that’s a bit dramatic, but when I looked down and realized that the screen was blank and that it was no longer tracking my time and distance I was absolutely deflated. I need to remind myself that while it’s nice to get home and stare at a screen full of splits and to visualize how far I ran, it should not define a successful run. Completing 14 miles is an accomplishment and a screenshot on my blog of a time, distance and average pace doesn’t prove anything. Plus, what am I going to do if something doesn’t work properly on race day? That’s definitely not the time to self-destruct.
Speed means diddly on long runs i.e., stop trying to PR training runs!!!
Trying to run long training runs at race pace is insane! Insane, I say! (There’s a reason it’s called race pace.) Trying to outdo myself in new distances can only lead to fatigue and injury. After estimating yesterday’s finishing time I concluded I ran about a 10:04 pace. Months ago I would have happily taken that! Just because I can run an 8:49 min/mile 11 miler doesn’t mean I should. My focus needs to be the mileage, not how fast I get it done. We’ll save the speed for race day and trust that everything I’ve done leading up to then is enough to give me the results I want.
You are so capable.
I’ve completed 3 half marathons and added a new distance to my repertoire. Adding an additional mile and a half should not will not be a problem. Beyond that though, I need to remind myself of how far I’ve come. From that first 3 mile race I ran, to completing the NYRR 9+1, to running two incredible races this year. I’ve succeeded so far, and I don’t plan to stop.
One thing I’m proud of myself for yesterday is my will to stay in the ice bath. It was freezing and more than once I found myself shivering while looking at my towel and thinking, “You can make this all stop right now. All you have to do is get out…” But I stuck it out to the point of numb and I’m glad I did. If there’s one thing that can be said about yesterday, it’s that I stuck it out.
1. Today is a good day because (it’s Friday!) I managed to do my hair in record time this morning, and because the weekend promises: beautiful weather, a 14-mile run (it’s going to be awesome), and the University of Michigan football team’s annual Spring Game.
2. The best thing I did all week was Skype for HOURS with my sister Laura on Wednesday night.
3. The current weather is cool but sunny and it makes me feel happy. (Any morning I can leave my apartment wearing my shades for the walk to the train station is bound to make for a great day.)
4. The best thing about spring is when seemingly overnight, all of the trees are colorful and flowering, and the sunlight pouring through my bedroom window when my alarm goes off in the morning.
5. A fashion trend that I’m dying to try out for spring is the mint green thing and colored jeans. (I just might go buy a pair after work today and maybe I’ll pick up some mint nail polish while I’m at it.)
6. A person who made me smile this week was Rob! He booked flights to New York to visit in early May. Udabes, RB.
7. The most delicious thing I ate all week was Easter candy! I have a sweet tooth, but I’ve been very good about not buying candy lately. (If I don’t buy it, it’s not sitting around for me to devour.) However, it was Easter so I allowed myself to indulge. Note: I’m convinced that Reese’s do, in fact, taste best when they are egg-shaped.
The Return of Baseball: Baseball is back! My Tigers are off to a good start so far and I’m excited to see what the rest of the season holds. (Cabrera and Fielder have already provided plenty of excitement.) Listening to Rod and Mario call the Tigs like only they can has really kicked my excitement for long, warm days and their impending return into high gear. (This Sunday it is supposed to be almost 80 in NYC!) To me, baseball means summer, and while watching my Tigers and newly-adopted NL team, the Milwaukee Brewers, on MLB.tv is great (thanks RB), I’m looking forward to going to the ballpark in a few weeks to catch both of New York’s teams in action.
Amazon Prime: Free 2-day shipping? Yes please! I order a lot of stuff off of Amazon (probably too much…) and if I can get it faster than usual for no additional cost, why not?! The Prime membership does have an annual fee of $79 but at this point, it’s already paid for itself. Plus, I get streaming videos and the Kindle Lending Library. (Certainly comes in handy as I don’t have a tv or cable…) What’s not to love?
Clif Shot Bloks: I know I mentioned these in a previous post, but I’m excited that I’ve found something that works for me. (I liked the orange flavor so much that I used the aforementioned Amazon Prime membership to buy a pack of 18.) I like these because they aren’t the strange consistency of Gu, I actually have to chew them - something one doesn’t do with Gu and perhaps the reason I have such an aversion to it - and because I notice a difference after using them.
I haven’t really stuck to my training plan this week. I’m feeling a bit burnt out. My legs are tired and heavy and I’m not myself. Every day I’ve gotten home from work this week looks a lot like this:
I don’t have the willpower to get out and run. (It doesn’t help that my face feels like it’s about to explode with allergy-related sinus pressure.) *shakes fist at pollen and dust and all things that make me sneezy/itchy/runny/watery*
This seems kind of problematic given the fact that I need to go run 14 miles this weekend. I was so excited about this run on Sunday, and I will still do it, but I’m just not feeling these shorter runs during the week. I know I should force myself to go out and run, but instead I allow myself to indulge in lazy, loungefests on the couch.
Anybody else feel mid-training cycle burnout? What do you do to get yourself back in the game?
Lately I’ve been making a more concerted effort to cook. And not just cook, but to cook the things sitting in my cupboards. Sometimes it’s hard to cobble things together. Living on my own has resulted in my eating less meat than I used to,* and if I buy a package of chicken breast, I feel like I’m eating chicken for 2 weeks straight. Tonight’s dinner was an example of how a wonderful little meal can come together from a random assortment of things…
Quesadilla on whole grain tortilla (pepper jack cheese and chopped green pepper) with salsa and black beans and rice. It is delicious and there’s a lot left for my lunch tomorrow. Win-win!
*The reduction in my meat consumption is kind of an accident and happened gradually. I still love and occasionally crave a steak or a juicy hamburger, but I’m definitely ok eating meat-free meals more often.
I feel surprisingly great today after this weekend’s 12 miler. I wasn’t sore at all yesterday and though my legs feel a little tired today, I can barely tell I ran so far just a few days ago. This weekend will mark a new milestone (heh) for me… I will run 14 miles, which is, to date, the furthest I’ve ever run.
I’m beginning to get excited and nervous about tackling this new distance, as it will really serve as a gauge for my preparedness for the 25k. (If I can run 14 miles, I can definitely run 15.5.) I mapped out my run just to give myself an idea of possible routes. I’ll probably end up doing the same 2 loops of Central Park as this past weekend with an additional lap around the lower loop to bring me to 14 miles.
While Central Park is beautiful I’m going to need to find new running routes to avoid Central Park fatigue and boredom when I train for the NYC Marathon. For now it’s a good place to get my miles in because it incorporates hills into my runs. There are a few hills in the River Bank Run, but I will be well-prepared for them after tackling Harlem Hill week in and week out (sometimes multiple times). (It might also be good to get out of Central Park to avoid injury from spending too much time running on cambered roads.) Do any New York runners have a favorite place to run outside of Central Park while getting long runs in?
It was a gorgeous morning in NYC. Rebecca and I had planned on heading out for our scheduled 12 miles at 9:30 this morning, but I remembered that the Scotland Run was happening this morning so I asked if we could push it back to 10:00 to avoid massive crowds. (That ended up being a really good idea.)
It was perfect for running today. A bit windy for my taste, but I would definitely take this kind of weather for the 25k on May 12. We set out for 2 laps of Central Park which meant we had two separate encounters with Cat Hill and Harlem Hill. The first time up, Harlem Hill wasn’t so bad, but on the second pass my quads were on fire and my knee felt a bit tender. I was surprised by how quickly the first lap went by. Reb and I were trying to maintain a slower pace than our last long run. I’ve tended to go out pretty fast lately and I need to be sure to ease into runs so as not to run myself ragged.
I’m pretty sore now. I will probably spend the rest of the evening icing and stretching. (And eating, because I turn into a bottomless pit after long runs.)
Also, with each long run and the rapidly approaching marathon training season, nutrition on runs has become more of a focus for me. I don’t do Gu or Gu-like products well… The consistency doesn’t agree with my strange food texture quirks. I found that I do really like the Clif Shot Bloks though. (Thank you Moxy for saving my life during Grete’s Great Gallop with the gift of Black Cherry Shot Bloks…) This morning I stopped into New York Running Company at the Time Warner Center to pick up a few sleeves of Shot Bloks. I used the orange flavor today and actually really liked them and I think they will be my go-to for a while. Anybody have other flavor recommendations?
Central Park was packed tonight! There were huge running groups everywhere. It was awesome to see so many people out enjoying the weather and moving their bodies.
Sunday was a rest day and I didn’t run last night for no real reason in particular, so after two days without running I was really happy to put my shoes on and head downtown to Columbus Circle. I did my usual 3 clockwise laps of the lower loop with a pretty quick pace.
The run was great, but I’m realizing that the blisters I’ve been plagued with are more of a problem than I originally thought. As long as I’ve been running I’ve gotten blisters on my right arch. I have double layer socks that work wonders, but I’m still susceptible to blisters on long runs. I currently have 3 blisters of various “ages” on my foot. One is currently a callus, but after my long run this weekend, a new blister has formed underneath it. (I’m holding out hope that the rest of them just callus over as well…)
I was fine for the first 3-3.5 miles, but it became a bit of a nagging pain as I continued. Now, I know my feet will never be pretty, but I would like to have healthy feet and I would like to be able to run without having to worry about hobbling as I near the end. Does anybody have thoughts or recommendations? Has anybody else had problems with blisters?
Since I did my long run yesterday, I have had today to do whatever. I. want. That generally consisted of sleeping in, cleaning up my apartment, and doing/folding the obscene amount of laundry I had accumulated. To top it all off, I had a lovely little Skype date with my friend Woo. What a fitting end to my day/beginning of my week.
I was just informed by one of my best friends that because she planned on being in Grand Rapids for the River Bank Run anyway, she thought she might as well run! She signed up for the 5k! I am so excited!
It’s still over a month away (41 days to be exact) but I am getting really excited about the River Bank Run. I apologize in advance because I will probably write about this race almost daily until I run it on May 12…
I think the most exciting thing for me right now is the fact that this will be the first time anyone in my family will be at a race of mine. All three of the half marathons I have run have been in New York (2 in NYC and 1 in the Hamptons) so making the weekend trip out hasn’t exactly been feasible. It will be incredible to have my parents waiting at the finish line and familiar faces posted up along the race route.
The thing that makes this different from other long races that I’ve run is that I’m comfortable with the distance. A 25k is a little more than a half marathon (duh), but I know it’s completely within my ability so it’s easier to be excited about all of the extra stuff that goes along with running a big race. Even though I’m returning to my old stomping grounds, it feels like a destination race, only I get to reap the benefits of home-cooked meals, familiar and comfortable accommodations, and friendly faces. Not to mention, I will be able to celebrate Mother’s Day with my momma, and my baby sister (not such a baby anymore - eeek!) will be going to her senior prom so I can see her all fancied up. (I got a sneak peek of the dress and it’s gorgeous!)
My mom is even excited for the race. She excitedly told me that much like the NYC Half I ran last March, the RBR will have the SMS runner tracking and GPS that she used to follow me as I wound my way through the streets of New York. She told me the other day that she was proud of my running prowess. It made me tear up a little bit. She and my dad have already carved out time in their busy schedules for the NYC Marathon in November. I’m so lucky to have such a supportive family! So excited to show them my little world of running!
After a crazed end to my workday, I’m feeling a lot like this:
I was going to come home and be all kinds of productive, but instead, I’m going to sit on the couch and watch the Red Wings and drink my oversized, crappy beer and love every. single. minute of it. Cheers!
Today’s Tunes on Repeat Brought To You By: The Civil Wars
I’m in about 5 kinds of love with this album. It has been the perfect soundtrack to my laid back Friday at work. (You can buy it on Amazon for $3.99!)
I’ve got this friend I don’t think you know her She sings a simple song It sounds a lot like his Oh I’ve got this friend Holding onto her heart Like it’s a little secret Like it’s all she’s got to give
Maui Jim Punchbowl Sunglasses: I got these sunglasses as a birthday gift from RB and they’ve already gotten a lot of mileage. (Thanks for looking out for my eyeballs RB!) From sunny New York days spent wandering the city to sunbathing by the pool or on the beach in Tampa, I’ve worn these babies almost every day. The lenses are amazing and I love the blue accent inside the frames!
Signing Up For Races: (See my previous post…) There’s something so satisfying about receiving a race registration confirmation email. Spring and summer are just not as exciting without a few Saturday and Sunday mornings devoted to running around with a few hundred — and in some cases, a few thousand — like-minded individuals.
Direct Flights to Grand Rapids: When I fly home I generally fly into Detroit because it’s less expensive, but I’ve been fortunate enough to find reasonably priced nonstop flights from New York into Grand Rapids. (Just booked flights for the River Bank Run, in fact!) This shaves a good 8 hours of drive time off for my parents and means I have 4 more hours to spend with family and friends in West Michigan.