Chicago in pictures.

May 31, 2011 at 5:10 pm | Posted in not-running | Leave a comment

Spring sprung in Chicago.

We saw an architectural landmark.

And LOTS of art.

Had deep thoughts.

Behaved like tourists.

And went to a baseball game.

A fun little getaway to a fun little town.

Hi honey, I’m home.

May 27, 2011 at 4:08 pm | Posted in running, weekend | Leave a comment

Well! That was an adventure. I had hoped to post yesterday, but we didn’t get home from Chicago until 4:30 am (major flight delays), so I was kind of a waste of space all day. But here we are, part one of two posts on the last week. This one is the running edition.

Saturday morning was a crazy gorgeous perfect day for running. I met up with some buddies at 7:30 and we zig-zagged in and around Central Park to cover 11 miles. My legs were 2 days-rested and I felt really excellent. I needed a good long run like that to give me a little confidence. We weren’t super fast (plus we stopped for water and for street lights), but it doesn’t matter. 11 miles done in an hour and 56 minutes.

When I came home, I discovered some not nice things had been happening inside my sock.

It actually doesn’t really hurt, but it is seriously fugly.

Fast forward to Tuesday in Chicago – I did plan on a bit more running, but sleeping got in the way (and I’m not at all sad about that)! I managed to get out for one morning jog along this great stretch of waterfront.

In my minimal sneaks (much more convenient for packing)!

It was really lovely. The wind was pretty intense on the way out, but it was smooth sailing on the way back in. I ran for about 35 minutes. I don’t know how far I went, but it doesn’t matter – I was just shaking out my legs and enjoying the scenery. It’s fun to see a new city through the eyes of a runner.

Last night we did our usual Thursday run. It was so muggy and hot! I can’t believe summer is already here. It seems like just yesterday I was whining about the cold, and now it’s time to whine about the heat.

I wore new BLUE RaceReadys. I’m living on the edge.

I felt pretty yucky, but I got through it. Only 9 days until the half! Just one big long run left. I must admit, I’ll be relieved when training is over. But I’m excited about the race.

Chicago part 2: the photos is coming soon! Please stay tuned.

Have a wonderful holiday weekend! I hope you are doing something fun to celebrate this incredible weather. Beach, anyone?

My kind of town.

May 20, 2011 at 7:54 pm | Posted in not-running | Leave a comment

Off to Chicago for a few days!

Don’t worry, I packed my running sneakers.

Source. Source. Source.

Ode to almond butter.

May 19, 2011 at 8:08 pm | Posted in food | 2 Comments

And now, for something new.

I’ve been thinking about fuel. And while I don’t think this blog will ever be a place where I post my three meals each day, I do think fueling is a huge part of running – and life! – so it deserves some attention.

I’ve told you before that I have the same breakfast every day during the work week: a slice of seven grain toast with almond butter, a banana dipped in almond butter, and two hard boiled egg whites. I try to hit the protein pretty hard in the a.m. This breakfast is probably setting me back about 500 calories, but it keeps me full for a long time.

Oh, almond butter. My love.

Since I don’t eat meat or fish, I have to plan protein consumption carefully. It usually comes in the form of nuts, beans, tofu, or eggs. (I DO think, though, that Americans vastly over-estimate the amount of protein they need each day, so I’m not going crazy over it.) Anyway, I LOVE almond butter because it’s good fat and protein all in one (plus deliciousness of course!). Almonds have more nutrition and less fat than peanuts, which is why I go AB over PB. And natural is the only way to go. (This means that there’s no crap in it that makes it possible for you to store it at room temp – it has to be refrigerated.) Your AB only needs ONE ingredient – almonds. I like to have salt in mine as well – my favorite brand is Trader Joe’s creamy AB with sea salt. Ingredient list: almonds, sea salt.

When I need quick fuel before a run, it usually comes in the form of AB – either a heaping spoonful on its own, or slathered on some toast. Before a longer workout, I’ll have a banana with AB and possibly a piece of toast too, if it’s a great distance. It keeps me full without feeling heavy, and gives me the energy I need. Sometimes before a short run I’ll just have fruit – or, if it’s first thing in the a.m., just water – but usually my buddy AB makes an appearance. It’s the perfect food for me.

What’s your go-to pre-run snack?

No presents for me.

May 18, 2011 at 6:13 pm | Posted in running | 2 Comments

I sort of did it. I’m not sure if it’s present-worthy, though.

Once again I draaaaaagged myself out of bed to run. (What happened to the days when I used to pop up at 5:30 a.m.?) I hit the treadmill approximately 45 minutes later than I intended to. After a little internal negotiation I determined that 35 minutes would be a worthwhile run while still potentially leaving me enough time to get to work more or less when I’m supposed to.

It didn’t feel great. I spent much of the first 20 minutes trying to figure out ways to cut the run short. But in the end, I went the full 35. Yes, I was supposed to do 45, but since I skipped the last two tempo runs (both of which were supposed to be 40 minutes), I guess I can give myself a pass on that, since it would have been a big jump. And 35 minutes of tempo running is certainly better than nothing. (I ended up covering 3.76 miles for 9:18 pace – I know I am sometimes that fast outside but for whatever reason I am much, much slower on the treadmill.)

So, here we are, just two and a half weeks before race day. I’m feeling a little discouraged and a bit disappointed in myself for letting my training slip so much. I know that I had good excuses for every run missed, but now we’re nearly at race time, and I know I haven’t done my best. I also think I may have sacrificed my time goal.

What can I say? Every time I sign up for a race I think this time it will be different. And then every time life gets in the way. Running is my hobby, and at the end of the day, it sometimes has to play second fiddle. I do my best when I can. I got up today and gave it what I had. That’s the most I can hope for.

Rain, rain, go away.

May 17, 2011 at 6:56 pm | Posted in running, weekend | Leave a comment

In case you haven’t personally witnessed the deluge, I’m reporting to you that New York City is underwater and has been since Sunday! Here’s the weather report for the rest of the week:

 

It’s annoying in general, but especially for running. It was fully monsooning on Sunday morning when I got up to attempt a 15K. It had to be a no-go. I went back to bed. (I can’t believe I missed another long run, but I’ll get into that a bit more another day.)

So, this morning, it was pouring again. I took to the treadmill for a short run with incredibly fresh (4-day-rested!) legs and I felt great. It was next to impossible to drag myself out of bed, but just a few minutes in I was so glad I did. It almost even made me look forward to the run I have scheduled for tomorrow…

TEMPO! I swear, I’m going to do it this time. 45 minutes.

If I really do it I am totally buying myself a present.

Another one in the books.

May 13, 2011 at 6:26 pm | Posted in running, Thursday group | 4 Comments

Clocked the Thursday five last night in 49:29.

Wore the “big” sneaks and they felt a little weird! Looking forward to going longer distances in the New Balances.

I’ve been feeling a bit apathetic about running this week – I’m sure you can tell. What can I say? The momentum ebbs and flows, as with anything else in life. Next week will be much more exciting, I promise!

Until then.

Did you see?

May 12, 2011 at 6:42 pm | Posted in running, Thursday group | 2 Comments

The sun is shining! Another glorious Thursday.

Join us for a run, tonight at 6:30 pm. The meeting spot is the benches at 61st Street and Central Park West. All paces welcome!

Those first few miles.

May 11, 2011 at 7:24 pm | Posted in running | Leave a comment

 Something I always forget about running is that it gets much easier after the first few miles. I realized this again last night when I went out for a short run – just as I started to really feel comfortable, it was over.

I think this is one of the things that makes it so hard to become a runner – it takes a long time to feel good. In the time it takes to build up to two or three miles, you never really feel great. But I promise, once you’re beyond that point, you’ll feel just fine! Of course, not every day is great (hello, Saturday), but in general you can rest assured that things will get much, much better.

Even though it took a bit to get things going, my run last night was nice – another success in the “barefoot” sneakers! 3.4 miles in 32 minutes.

I used them again this morning for speedwork on the treadmill – 9 x 400 at 7:41 pace. For some reason it seemed extra hard today, but I got it done. On track for this week so far!

(Get it??? On TRACK??? I’m hilarious.)

5 x 2.

May 10, 2011 at 1:23 pm | Posted in running | 2 Comments

I am lazy. I didn’t want to go to the trouble of mapping out a new route for my 10 miler on Saturday morning, so I decided to do the 5 mile loop in Central Park twice.

It was a beautiful morning.

But it was not a good run. Running the same hilly loop twice was not my best idea ever. I was so tired after the first 5 miles that the next 5 seemed insurmountable. I seriously considered quitting multiple times. Especially since the loop starts and ends at my front door, and it would have been very easy to peel off at the halfway point!

Even Fred couldn’t motivate me.

But I imagined how horrible I would feel if I didn’t finish, so I made a compromise – I would just do whatever it took to get through, even if that meant stopping at every water fountain and walking. (Thank goodness the fountains are on again!)

 

I walked up cat hill on my second loop (mean old cat), and I also walked one of the three monster hills on the west side.

In the end, I still finished 10.3 miles in 107 minutes, so my pace was fine. I even suspect that my time might have been slower if I hadn’t given myself those hill breaks.

In any case – it sucked, colossally, but I did it. So that’s that.

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