What I’ve been waiting for

As I began my long run on Saturday morning, I started thinking about the Philly half (2 weeks!) and how badly I want to run sub-1:30. I’m nervous about this race, but I’m also excited. For the first time this year I finally feel hungry to race. I’m really glad that’s the case, because believe me – toeing the starting line when you don’t 100% want to be there is a recipe for disaster. A lot of people were bewildered by my decision not to run the New York City marathon this year. I had paid the registration fee, had a spot, wasn’t injured…why wouldn’t I want to run the race? I loved running through the five boroughs last year, but afterward I was mentally (and physically) depleted for a good six months. Throughout much of last Summer and Spring I felt burnt out and not excited to race. I’ve finally got that spark back and I can’t risk losing it before I race Boston in April. I need to avenge my awful Boston bonk from 2009. And after that? Will I run another marathon in Fall of 2012? Will I instead try focus on 5ks and 10ks? Will I take a break completely? I’m not sure…it’s difficult to predict how I’ll feel about running and racing six months or a year from now. But for the moment….running and I are in a good spot. For the first time all year, I feel I’m where I should be.

I’ve decided that the low-60’s are my sweet spot when it comes to mileage. It’s enough for me to fit in quality workouts and long runs, but not so much that I’m overly tired or sacrificing my social life. I’ll probably scale back to 50 miles this week and then 30-40 miles in the days leading up to the race. Last week’s training went pretty much as planned, although as expected I had to make a few changes and adjustments:

Monday, October 31- 5 miles, easy

Tuesday, November 1 – 8 miles w/ 4 strides at the end

Wednesday, November 2 – 11 miles, easy (and super early!)

Thursday, November 3 – 3 mile shake out in a.m., 9 miles p.m. including 6 mile tempo 9 miles p.m. including 3 miles @ marathon pace (~7:30) , 2 miles @ HM pace (~6:55)

Friday, November 4 – 7 miles, easy 9 miles, easy

Saturday, November 5 – 13 miles w/ 4 @ goal HM pace 3 @ goal HM pace (6:58, 6:53, 6:51)

Sunday, November 6 – Marathon Spectating! and 4 miles easy 6 miles at ~8:00 pace

Total: 61 miles

After my long run on Saturday, I met a friend for brunch in the West Village. I chose the scrambled eggs with salmon as my entree because I’m always looking for ways to get more Omega-3’s in my diet. I’m convinced that omega-3’s and vitamin D will help me ward off the seasonal blues. I’ve also heard that extra crispy french fries and mimosas can boost your mood….heh.

The rest of my day was spent hopping from one activity to the next, finally ending at a Guy Fawkes theme party in Brooklyn. The event itself was kind of lame (longggg wait at the bar + overpriced drinks), but I did score a veggie burger from the Urban Rustic cart on my way out the door. Now, there wasn’t anything super-awesome-amazing about this veggie burger, but the fact that I was able to score local, vegetarian food at a bar scores it a blog mention. Plus, I was really hungry and it was 1am, so it hit the spot. The Urban Rustic cart was also serving up grass-fed beef burgers, maybe I’ll get one of those next time!

The next morning, Sarah and I gulped down some extra-strength Peet’s coffee and headed out for an early a.m. run. I received the coffee as part of the Foodbuzz tastemaker program awhile ago, but I’ve been buying most of my coffee at shops lately, so this weekend was the first time I brewed it. I liked it a lot! I think I made it a little too strong on Sunday, but I finally nailed the correct ratio of grounds to water (2 Tbs for every 6-8 oz water) this morning.

The Cafe Domingo roast paired very well with my marathon-spectating breakfast of choice….

The dulce de leche donut from Dough in Brooklyn!

Oh my. I probably eat donuts once or twice per year, but when I eat them, I want them to be good. And this was good. The dough was stretchy and light and the dulce de leche and slivered almond topping was A+. This place is about a 10 minute walk from my apartment and I’m already plotting my next visit.

After a day of running, donut eating, and marathon spectating, I rallied myself for one final bit of Brooklyn fun: Salsa Slam 2011 at the Bell House!

My foodie friend Sofia, entered the salsa-making competition, so obviously I needed to be there to eat my weight in tortilla chips support her!

Sofia’s recipe was called “sweet heat” and was exactly that. Bonus: the recipe’s secret ingredient was inspired by a fun event the two of us had attended a few weeks ago…

I filled my plate with nearly 20 types of salsa and started dipping away. Salsa = vegetables = healthy dinner, right? Plus some Brooklyn lager to wash it all down, of course. We keep it local.

Big ups to Sofia and BT for winning the contest’s People’s Choice award. I had no doubt they’d pull it off! And if you’re lucky, they might even share the recipe on InsightfulAppetite. Stay tuned.

I had a really busy weekend, so now I’m looking forward to just focusing on work and running and sleep for a few days. I could use some quiet time.

What was the best part of your weekend? If you ran the New York City marathon, congrats!!! It was so much fun cheering you on.

  • AR

    Can we please run together before Boston? I could use some of your energy… 

  • Ali

    1. YES, Sofia! She won! So awesome. And that salsa all looks amazing. I demand to sample the winning recipe ASAP, side of Mmmsauce.

    2. SO glad you’re feeling great heading into the Philly Half. I’ve loved following your high mileage training and am ridiculously inspired by your commitment to this race and your social life. You impress me. Wish I could be there in Philly to scream for you as you fly by, but I’ll be yelling from afar.

    3. If I don’t see you soon, I’m going to be pissed.

  • sarah

    Weekend highlight was sleeping to the dulcet strains of your radiator.

  • Anonymous

    my favorite was when the radiators gurgled at 5am and i mistook it for the coffee maker. sleepover party this winter/spring with Angry Runner?

  • AR

    TELL ME WHEN TO BE THERE. You’re also invited to my Oscar party if you want to treck north. ;p

  • Yay, I’m so glad Sofia won! 

    I can’t wait to stalk you when you crush 1:30 in a couple of weeks. <3

  • Anna

    Omega 3s and vitamin D for seasonal blues, good to know. I’m definitely prone and even if it’s just an old wives tale, an increased intake certainly wouldn’t hurt.

    It was great to see you again on Sunday! I think my fave part of the weekend was housing all those salsas.

  • Sounds like a fun wknd! I loved watching the NYCM on TV – can only imagine how fun it must have been spectating in person.
    PHL half in two weeks. You’ll be great – glad you’re feeling awesome and have found a mileage sweet spot! Lets hope the weather is in our favor – I’m all confused about what to wear. 

  • Erin Cochran

    Have you had the blood orange donut at Dough? Absolutely insane.

  • sarah

    I insist on a duet between Megan’s loud-ass clanking radiator, the coffee, and AR. Backup vocals will be me and Kristan bitching about something unimportant.

  • sarah

    that’s a trio whatever

  • That salsa event looks amazing. I could eat salsa every day and on just about anything.  

  • you are the awesomest. yep. thank you for your undying foodie support, even if that means bizarre tortilla chip-overdoses multiple times a year in awkwardly empty hipster bars. MAD LOVE.

  • RunTheLongRoad

    It was so much fun watching the marathon on TV!!!!  Yay for the Philly HM!  2 weeks and counting!

  • How is the 20th like… tomorrow? We ran 11 miles on Sunday and it was SO nice for both Colin and I to have a great run. Usually we trade off and someone is feeling less than stellar, but it was nice to just crank out the miles. 

  • There have definitely been medical studies showing that crispy french fries boot mood and such. I’m sure of it. 🙂

    Thank you SO MUCH for cheering! I forgot to comment on the last post, but thank you , also, for all of your insider tips. Bringing toilet paper = clutch.

    Excited for you for Philly!

  • My favorite part of the weekend was that my mom visited me at school! We went on an awesome run on one of my favorite trails in D.C. and got to spend a lot of time at Eastern Market. If you ever travel to DC you should go. It’s one of the best flea/farmers markets ever and there are so many free apple samples you can literally make a whole lunch out of it without even buying anything! I also enjoyed tracking people who were running the NYC Marathon online. We checked the runner tracker website every half hour or so. It made me want to run the marathon so badly! Maybe next year…

  • I saw on Twitter that you were at the Bell House for the salsa event and I was SO jealous! Though I suppose I can’t complain – I had a blast spectating the race 🙂

  • Nice running, friend! I feel the same way about donuts. I don’t eat ’em often, but when I do they better be bomb.I looked for you in BK but clearly I’m not good at spotting people. A man dressed as grapes kept obstructing my view of spectators, also. See you soon, I hope!!

  • You always find the best stuff to go to…share with us your amazing ways of finding such things!  Sofie’s salsa looks tasty…

    It was great seeing you in Brooklyn, especially since I thought I was going to miss you since I couldn’t remember where you said you’d be.  Hearing those screams were great!

    Good luck in Philly!!  I might make it down that way, and your high mileage inspires me to get mine to creep up there.  I hear we’ve got a spring marathon to train allll winter for and I bet we both might need a little extra motivation on those cold, dark days!

  • Best part of my weekend was definitely watching the marathon. It’s the first time I’ve ever been down to spectate, and I can say that I’ve caught the NYCM bug. I loved that the entire race was just one big celebration of running, and I can’t wait to do it next year!

    I’m glad you got your spark for racing back. I know what you mean about struggling through that. I felt that way after the National Marathon in March. I raced a lot after the marathon, but it was hard to find the drive to really push myself to my limits. The weird thing is that after running MCM, I feel more excited about racing than ever (despite the fact that my body is pretty tired). I’m looking forward to a couple of months of rest before I kick things back up for Boston. I hope the next couple of weeks of training go well. Can’t wait to see how you do in the Philly Half!