Let’s talk about Brooklyn…

In every training cycle there are workouts and long runs that feel nearly effortless, inspire confidence, and make you feel like you’re a bad ass.

Saturday’s 14-miler was definitely NOT one of those runs.

It could have been the gin gimlet and Corona I drank the night before. The accumulation of the previous week’s mileage. Or maybe the warmer than usual temperatures. But whatever it was, the run was difficult and I more or less felt like crap. The first 8 or so miles were run on the dirt bridle path in Central Park and then I headed West to the Hudson River Path. I was feeling sort of fatigued at this point, but figured I could bust out the last 4 miles at half-marathon pace. Meh. That didn’t quite happen. I ended up running miles 11 & 12 at a pace about 15-20 seconds slower than half-marathon pace and decided to just take it easy on the final two miles. I was mad thirsty, my legs were tired, and I was generally feeling cranky about my run. I’m not going to lie – this run was not a huge confidence booster. Unless some drastic change occurs over the next 2 weeks, I think I might need to run Brooklyn as a tempo instead of racing it at full speed as I originally intended. Ah well. At least I know I’ll be able to finish the race!

The splits weren’t as bad on paper (on screen?) as they felt at the time:

Anyway, enough of the womp-womp! This past weekend was generally awesome in many other respects. Sunshine, 70 degrees, Pancakes.

I’m usually not a huge pancake fan, but after reading about Gweneth Paltrow’s recipe in the latest issue of SELF magazine, I had the urge to whip some up. However, I made a few changes (1/2 whole wheat flour, skim milk, etc). And chocolate chips! The pancakes had a nice fluffy texture which was surprisingly considering the whole wheat flour that I used. I would make these again, for sure.

Sunday Morning Pancakes (serves 3-4 OR 1 Megan and 1 hungry Man-friend)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour, 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 organic eggs
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk (I made my own buttermilk by adding 1.5 Tbs white vinegar to 1.5 cups of skim milk and letting it sit for 5 minutes)
  • cooking spray for the pan
  • chocolate chips, strawberries, maple syrup for topping

Directions:

  • Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a bowl.
  • Whisk eggs, meltedbutter and buttermilk in another bowl. Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients until just combined. Don’t overmix or the batter will become tough!
  •  Put batter in the fridge. Go for a 4 mile run.
  • When you come back from your run, heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Spray with cooking spray and spoon batter onto pan (I use a 1/4 cup measuring cup to ladle out batter).
  • Cook until surface of pancake is covered with bubbles, about 3 minutes. Flip and cook the other side until golden brown.
  • Top with maple syrup. Devour.

The pancakes were just the beginning of my Sunday, however. After months and months of cold, windy, snowy, dreary weather (have I mentioned how much I dislike winter?!?), Warmth has finally returned to the Northeast and I am determined to enjoy it to the fullest. Leslie and I made a pact that no matter how hot and sunny it gets this Summer, we.will.not.complain.

I frolicked a bit in Central Park while drinking an iced coffee (a.k.a. life blood).

And then ate Bloomingdale’s frozen yogurt with granola for lunch. It tastes just like plain Fage 2%!! I’m convinced it is a nutritious meal choice. Don’t try to convince me otherwise.

The man-friend prefers his froyo to be of the chocolate/coffee variety. I had to help him finish his dish. (Someone needs to step up their froyo game, ahem).

The day of good eats continued at a guacamole recipe contest at The Bell House in Brooklyn. My lady friend Sofia whipped up a crazy delicious Indian-inspired guac and a big group of us congregated to show our support. I drank Brooklyn lager, sampled at least a dozen different kinds of guac, and hung out with a mix of running buddies, blogger friends, and college pals. Plus the man-friend. If I could pick an ideal way to spend a Sunday evening, I’m pretty sure this would be it.

Even better news?? Sofia and BT’s coconut-curry-raisin guac (don’t knock it till you try it) won the People’s Choice Award.

Holy Guacamole!

What are your thoughts on confidence boosting workouts/runs? Are the weeks leading up to a big race an indicator of how you’ll actually perform? Help.

  • Yay, Sofia! Wish I could’ve joined you ladies but glad you had such a great time. Those pancakes look fantastic.

  • This post discussed three of my favorite things: iced coffee, froyo and guacamole. I’d like to high-five you just based on this.

    I ran 7mi yesterday at 11:35 pace, so, yeah… Bad runs are definitely discouraging. Especially having a few bad ones in a row, which has been my case.

  • I remember doing a 10 mile run maybe 3 weeks before my half marathon that was just awful. I was in pain and cranky the whole time and it totally shot down my confidence to the point where I was questioning my ability to finish the race! But I made it through that run and ran faster than my goal on actual race day (under 2 hours)! That half marathon was my first race so I don’t have very experienced opinion but I don’t think you should worry too much about it. 🙂 I’m sure you’ll do great!

  • I think all of those factors you listed (ramping up your mileage recently, the warm weather, the alcohol the night before) probably all just worked together to make you not feel great…I wouldn’t use it as an indicator of your fitness or racing ability at this point at all! We all have runs like that sometimes. They stink, but I find it best to learn what you can from them and just move on!

    My favorite confidence boosting workouts are tempo runs – for some reason I love holding myself back in the beginning then being able to speed up for a sustained period of time. I always feel awesome coming back from them, and I don’t get as focused on them as I do on my splits for track workouts and such.

    Love the pancakes and the pledge for accepting the warm weather – you’re right, it’s a million times better than the terrible winter we had this year, and it’s not something to take for granted!

  • mmm, pancakes. I’m not sure I believe any particular run is a deciding factor in how well you’ll race, but also think a whole lotta that is mental. So if something is a confidence booster, then that can work a bit in your favor.

    yay for a fun weekend. Also, I hate my hair in that pic and I’m down for a Weds a.m. run! 🙂

  • Those pancakes look ridiculous! So good. And FroYo is absolutely a healthy treat. No doubt. A guacamole tasting sounds like the best thing ever.

    That sucks you felt so crappy on your run, but bravo for sticking to it and getting 14 miles in. I know how you feel about getting nervous before a race if some of your pre-race runs haven’t been too hot. I was feeling pretty nervous before my recent 10-miler race cause I was having a hard time breaking in my new sneaks. (New Balance Minimus) and just wasn’t getting in the distance I wanted to. but I ended up PR-ing, go figure.

    You know what helps me? This is gonna sound super cheesy, but if I’m ever beginning to feel that running is becoming too much like “work” I’ll go out for an easy 4 or 5 miler with no ipod, watch, garmin, or anything and just enjoy being outside. Cheesy, yes, but it works for me. Good luck!

  • Anonymous

    iced coffee, froyo, and guac are all pretty delicious. clearly, you have
    good taste! 😉

  • Anonymous

    thank you for the vote of confidence! sometimes i think i just need to hear
    it from someone else. and congrats on running your first race!! that’s
    really awesome.

  • to answer your question: earlier training runs don’t seem to be indicators for you! you always seem to rock races you are least confident about, at least that’s what i’ve been reading on the blog lately. you’ll be fiiiine. *pat on back* (says the runner no more).

    you are awesome. thank you for coming and bringing jess (and reuniting me with her) and mr. manfriend. love you guys. RAISIN THE ROOF!!

    PS i haven’t tried this forty carrots stuff and it looks phenom. let’s make a date.

  • Anonymous

    haha, i actually looked at that photo and thought about how nice your hair
    looked. seriously! it’s very shiny and bouncy. wednesday, usual place, usual
    time. it’s a date 🙂

  • Anonymous

    it also took me awhile to get used to the NB minimus – i’ve still only worn
    them for runs of less than 7 miles. do you notice a difference in your
    stride? i’m trying to decide if i should save them for tempos/races or
    incorporate them into everyday training….

    and i think i need to run “watch and Garmin-free” more often. too often i
    get down on myself for not running a certain pace, that i forget to just
    chill out and enjoy the run!

  • Anonymous

    dude, i will go to 40 carrots with you WHENEVER you want. however close at
    like 7 or 7:30pm on weekdays (lame), so weekends might be a little better.
    the plain seriously tastes like thick, creamy, Greek yogurt.

  • when i am jobless and bored in approximately one week, i can meet you for
    lunch during the week if you can escape the office? hehehe.

  • Anonymous

    true story – eating froyo for lunch during the work week is on my summer to
    do list. just let me know when you’re free!!

  • Meggie

    I tell myself every time I get 40 Carrots that it MUST be healthy or all those Upper East Side ladies who lunch wouldn’t eat it.

  • i am such a huge pancake fan. you can come over here and make those for me anytime!

    i think confidence boosting runs are great. provided you get them. i don’t think they’re the biggest indicator of performance. but since so much of running is mental i’ll take any advantage i can get!

  • Rsilverman8

    Whenever I’m in NYC I do forty carrots twice a day.. especially if the flavor of the day is peanut butter. this stuff is NO JOKE. CRACK.

  • Anonymous

    Agreed!! The peanut butter flavor is my favorite 🙂

  • Two words: training run. Or, really, three words: $50 training run. With a boardwalk part at the end.

  • Lacey Hebert

    lol i am seeing those paltrow pancakes everywhere!!! and as far as confidence boosters, track workouts are my #1 booster. i think it also has a lot to do with timing. you have been trying to get back into the swing of things i think and you may just need more time til you feel great! it’s tough with the pressure of the upcoming race. i’ve been feeling really good lately and it’s really nice to feel like i’m getting faster finally at my own pace without the pressure of a date to hit.

  • Cute dress!
    And I haven’t made pancakes for myself in soooo long! How did I let this happen??

  • Blah, I feel you. I have been getting through my runs lately, but haven’t been feeling as awesome and fresh as I usually do before races. Guess this means Brooklyn won’t be a PR, but not a total bust, either. It’s so hard to tell sometimes, feeling crappy can be deceiving!

    Cute dress, also 🙂 Loving the NYC sunshine this weekend and all the delicious eats. I definitely need to go to Forty Carrots more often, I’ve only been once (the horror!) Guess we’ll have to do that AND 16 Handles!

  • I believe you are as well prepared for your race as your best run in the 1 month prior 🙂 its a nice philosophy. Part of my reason is that when I have a bad run, there seems to be no rhyme or reason to it. Lately, I’ve felt almost exclusively stellar, and runs have been awesome. Earlier this year (jan/feb) I was feeling awful and slow — and (with your advice, among others) I started eating more iron. Things went straight up from there

  • I have bad runs a lot- I think it’s the fact that it is so hot here in Fl because I had an awesome run Sunday morning and it wasn’t a coincidence that the temp was lower than usual! Those pancakes look delicious!

  • Kelly’s hair always looks awesome. But why does my face look so red and shiny? I’d only had half a beer at that point!

  • Anonymous

    haha, my face is also red. when i drink even one beer, i get the asian
    flush.

  • Anonymous

    that’s a good philosophy! i like it 🙂 here’s hoping i have a good run
    asap….

  • Pbrown

    why or why did you mention the food gawker site??? :o) it’s awesome and I too can spend countless hours, well, gawking!

  • I usually don’t use how I run the week or so prior as an indicator. I always know that I run stronger and faster on race day because of the electric race engery in th air.

  • That breakfast looks AMAZING! I will have to try that recipe shortly – I’ve never made pancakes from scratch, and I am in the mood for them now 🙂

    Your splits look amazing. You’re going to do great!

  • Anonymous

    I had to make some adjustments to the original recipe – for some reason I
    found the measurements in Gweneth’s recipe to be off. I ended up adding
    about 1/4 more flour. Let me know how they turn out if you make them!

  • After a good month they were finally broken in – it was aggravating, but after finishing my first 10-mile race in them, I loved them. They definitely changed my stride a bit (for the better). Also, I have to focus on stretching out my calf muscles a lot after longer runs in them. I may also only use them for speed workouts and switch back to my Nike Free 3.0’s for longer distance, but we’ll see. Let me know what you decide!

  • I have a recipe for oatmeal pancakes that my mother begged off the chef at one of our favorite restaurants. I must give it to you – they are amazing.

    It was great meeting you too — and I will let you know if I end up making it to that Brooklyn bakery lecture next Weds!…