Cold. Dark. Run. Fast.

With all the recipes I’ve been posting lately, I bet you’re wondering if I’m actually doing any running. Well, the answer is yes! I had my second physical therapy session yesterday and while I’m a bit overwhelmed with all of the strengthening exercises I need to do everyday, my back is feeling much better.

I was feeling so good, that I decided to attempt a road workout with my running club. The Central Park Track Club meets every Thursday evening around 7pm to run road workouts. I like that the late start allows us working gals enough time to get to practice, but I’m always STARVING once I finish the run and return home (~9pm). Yesterday I decided to try something a little different. In lieu of my afternoon snack, I decided to have a small dinner before practice. Dinner #1 was eaten around 4pm:

I hit up the Whole Foods salad bar and filled a small container with romaine lettuce, heritage bean salad, bit of Morrocan turkey salad, a piece of lemon tempeh, and a piece of sweet and sour tofu.

Salad

I also had a slice of protein packed cheesecake. This tasted delicious and it was reasonably healthy, but it did NOT sit well during the workout. Note to self: stick to quick-digesting carbs before fast runs. Usually I have a stomach of steel when it comes to easy runs, but whenever I pick up the pace I have to be very careful. I try to stay away from yogurt, (too much) peanut butter, and eggs pre-race. All are a bit too protein heavy for hard efforts. However, these foods are great after racing or running fast since your muscles need protein for recovery.

cheesecake

Despite falling temperatures and some serious wind, the workout went pretty well!

3.25 mile warm-up (ran from my apartment, probably a little too quickly because I was running late!)
1.5 miles in 10:17 (6:51 pace)
.5 mile recovery
1 mile in approx. 6:48 – wasn’t sure where the mile marker was, so this is probably a little off.
.25 mile recovery
.8 mile in 5:20 (6:40 pace)
2 mile cool-down

Total: 9.25 miles

The faster intervals felt tough, but I had a good group to run with (BIG turnout last night!) and even led a few of the reps. Unfortunately I didn’t know where the mile repeat ended, so I think I made my group run a little long. whoops.

Back felt mostly good, left hip yelped a little bit during the .8 mile segment, but felt fine on the cooldown.

I was f-r-e-e-z-i-n-g by the time I got home and my stomach was not feeling great (oh cheesecake…), so I sipped on some hot  ginger tea.

tea

Eventually, I was ready for dinner #2: plain oikos greek yogurt, chopped apple, Tbs peanut butter, and Nature’s Path peanut butter granola (the best kind ever!).

Oikos

Last night I returned home to find a special delivery: Eat With Me t-shirts! My friend Matt has a great food blog that features mouth-watering photos and a special series on Italian food and wine. Take a look at his site and maybe you can score a shirt of your own – I hear there’s a give-a-way in the works!

Eat With Me

Love the back of the shirt!

Ask Me To Dinner

Check out my latest True/Slant article – Who stole my Boston marathon spot??

How do you motivate yourself to go running when it’s cold and dark?

  • gretchen

    nice mug, meg! 😉

  • Those are crazy fast times! I love it. Loved your Boston marathon piece too and I couldn’t agree more – even more it means it would take a monumental effort for me to ever qualify – I think that’s a good thing!

    I ran in 2F yesterday and loved it – it makes me go so much faster!! I focus on knowing that I’ll be warm in a minute or two. Plus running outside is my only source of vitamin d all winter!

  • haha…cute shirt! not as cute as you however! we need to catch up 🙂

    that cheesecake seriously looks so amazing! i am going home this weekend and might try to test that out on the family. if i do, i will obvs link back accordingly.

    yay for runs (not that kind) and moroccan turkey salad! i be wanting some of that! love you girl – have a great weekend 🙂

  • Jacqui

    When it’s cold and dark outside, I just think to myself “I never regret a workout, but I always regret skipping one.” Works wonders!

  • kate

    When it’s cold and dark…and it always is here in MN (-5 for my long run tomorrow morning), the running partner is a must. I will always get up if I know someone is waiting for me! I won’t even mention the cold weather running gear and how ridiculous I look just to keep warm, but I guess that’s why I run in the dark at 5:30am!

    As a born and bread New Yorker, I’ve really enjoyed your blog, makes me homesick in a sweet sort of way. Thanks a lot!

  • Love the blog! And sweet workout.

    The only way I can get myself out to run on days like today, when it’s 5 degrees and windy as heck, is to turn my brain off and just go. It helps that I run in the wee hours of the morning, when I’m not thinking at full capacity.

  • I workout indoors so thankfully I have sidestepped having to psych myself up to go outside. I like Jacqui’s comment above though. Applies to all of us!

  • Holy wow…that workout is AWESOME! I am ine awe! Total awe!!

  • I’m not too big on running in the dark, but I don’t mind the cold so much anymore- I tell myself it’s another kind of invigoration 😉

  • Ellen

    Wow, you are FAST, girl! Question for you regarding physical therapy. So my boyfriend tore ligaments in his knee playing soccer about 8 months ago, and it still hurts sometimes and just isn’t quite right. He was good about PT right after it happened, but then slacked off a bit. What’s the best thing for him to do now? thnx! Did he wait too long to get a full recovery?

    http://www.firednfabulous.blogspot.com/

  • Honestly, I don’t really run in the dark. I’m too worried about getting hit by a car.

  • Sounds like an awesome run plus you led some intervals!! Whhooop wwhhoop

  • I can never have dairies at least 3 hours prior to any running, so never mind a cheesecake (which looks delicious!). As far as winter running goes, the cold usually doesn’t bother me to much (from Québec but live in Cleveland now) so even when it’s 10degrees I’ll go out, very well bundled-up. But not in the dark: I’d probably get attacked here, so I need to fit the runs around mother nature’s schedule 😉

  • Any excuse to have two dinners is just fine by me 🙂

    I love running in the cold (probably because I live in year-long heavy duty heat)! But no running in the dark for me (no one walks around at night so I take my cues accordingly)

  • I love that your warm-up run is pretty much the length of any run I do these days. Your mileage amazes me. 🙂

    That protein cheesecake sounds and looks sensational. Topped with preserves = Perfecto.

  • Hey there!

    I live in NYC also : )

    Got to love Whole Foods salad bars–although it gets quite expensive! I’m impressed how little you got. I’m always piling it on haha

    xo
    Jocelyn

    http://peacelovenutrition.wordpress.com/

  • I usually load up at the WF salad bar – the only thing holding me back on Thursday was the thought of a running workout later that evening. Definitely didn’t want too much fiber in my tum for the fast intervals 🙂

  • Ellen – Not sure what the best course of action would be for your boyfriend’s knees. I go to Sports Medicine Chelsea (www.sportsmedchelsea.com) and have had a pretty good experience – maybe your boyfriend could make an appt with a doctor or PT to determine treatment options. Hope he’s feelin’ better soon!

  • Yeaaa!! Sweet shirt. Thanks for featuring it. I’ve been trying to figure out e-commerce and thus have taken a little break from blogging. More to come soon! Hope you had a great weekend.