Prepping for a Long Run

Slowly, slowly, slowly I am starting to feel like my old self again. It’s been nearly 9 months since I injured my right hamstring and there were definitely times this year when I thought I might never get to do a long run or race again without pain again. Things still aren’t perfect – my right hamstring still aches sometimes and it resists a bit when I try to push the pace. BUT, it’s a million times better than it was in the Spring. In June I couldn’t run for 5 minutes without having serious pain. So it’s been a long road, but I think things are finally starting to turn around. Even though I’m signed up for the NYC Marathon on November 1st, I’m going to defer until next year. As much as I’d love to be running through the crowds near First Avenue and Tavern on the Green, I’m not ready to tackle another marathon yet. But next year? I’ll be there.

meganmarathon1

Ok, enough reflection! On to the food! I had plans for a long run on Saturday morning, so I whipped up a yummy pre-run meal Friday night. A few days ago NoMeatAthlete featured a wonderful pesto recipe on his blog. As soon as I saw all of that fresh basil, I knew I had to make some of my own!

Pesto ingredients

Megan’s Version – Homemade Pesto

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups fresh basil
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1/4 cup toasted pecans
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup parmigianno-reggiano
  • salt to taste

Directions:

  • Place basil, pecans, and garlic clove in food processor, process until a thick paste forms
  • Run processor on low speed and stream in the olive oil
  • Add cheese and salt and process just until combined

I mixed about 1/2 of my homemade pesto with 1/2 lb of penne pasta and a pint of cherry tomatoes. Makes about 3 servings. You can refrigerate the leftover pesto for up to a week. Mix it with some light mayo and use as a sandwich spread. Yum!

Pesto pasta

Pesto- Cherry Tomato Pasta with Grated Parmigianno-Reggiano:

Pesto, penne, and tomatoes

And for dessert – the last two oatmeal-pb-chocolate chip cookies with a dollop of nocciolla (hazelnut) gelato. Heaven.

Cookies and gelato

I was up bright and early on Saturday morning – around 6:30am (who am I???). After some coffee, I dug into my pre-run breakfast: a piece of whole wheat toast with sliced banana, peanut butter, and honey. Plus some more spoonfuls of pb straight out of the jar. When it comes to peanut butter before long runs, my brain usually asks “Is that really a smart idea?”, but my tastebuds always say “YES!”

Toast, Banana, PB

Luckily all of that peanut butter fueled me for a fabulous run! The weather was perfect (sunny and 60 degrees) and I was pleasantly surprised by my pace. I was a little tight for the first few miles, but after about 25 minutes everything loosened up quite nicely. I was feelin’ so good that around mile 6 I threw in a faster mile (7:45) and my hamstring didn’t give me much trouble at all. I ended up running 11 miles in 1 hour and 34 minutes (8:35 pace). Yahoo!

After chugging some water, I put my feet up against the wall for about 10 minutes (this reduces soreness and improves circulation).

Putting my feet up

And then I had some eats! I mixed some powdered sports drink into a glass of water, sliced up a HUGE honey crisp apple (seriously…the size was almost ridiculous), and had a lemon yogurt on the side.

Apple and yogurt

After a much-needed shower (lots of salty sweat today), I had a bowl of Kashi cinnamon Heart-to-Heart with pecans. And then another bowl 🙂

Kashi H2H

Now I’m off to attempt a nap – I’m headed to a benefit dinner tonight. I need some rest if I want to stay awake past 10pm 🙂

Have a great weekend!

Question: When do you feel most like yourself? When you’re out with friends? When you’re running? When you’re home alone with a glass of wine and a good book?

  • Maureen

    Hi,
    I love your blog! I run in central park and am finishing up my training for my third marathon (Hartford, CT which is on 10/10). I wanted to thank you for writing about SoulCycle!!!!! I went to their FREE class last night (I live on the west side and their west side location is PERFECT for me) and can I just tell you that I am hooked!! I also made the Montana Whoppers and they are awesome (I ate three of them for breakfast for post-run fuel. Who says a girl can’t have cookies for breakfast 🙂
    I’m wondering, do you have to be a super fast runner to join the central park track team?
    Maureen

  • that pesto pasta looks great! I love pesto but I’ve never tried to make it..i’m just trying to get into cooking…its helping me eat healthier! anyhow, i will for sure be trying that one soon…maybe even tomorrow? Ill let you know how it goes. thanks for sharing. glad to hear you’re feeling like your old self again!!

  • That pesto looks great! I wish I had a food processor to make some. You can also freeze left over pesto – If you freeze it in an ice cube tray you’ll have individual portions to use the next time you want to make pasta!

    Thanks for the tip about putting your feet up on the wall. I need to try that after my next long run.

  • That pesto looks delicious!

  • Great running and great eats!
    I think I feel most myself lying on my bed in my dorm at night with my laptop and my homework and the roomie is gone doing who-knows-what

  • The pesto looks awesome!