Let’s talk about this week’s running for a moment. Side note: The best thing about having a blog is that I can be as narcissistic as I want. Anyway, the beginning of this week was light on the mileage, mostly due to a late night at work and unplanned rest day. As you might imagine, unplanned rest days make me act like something that rhymes with witch. Fun for all! But, seriously, it puts me in a bad mood. Luckily, I managed to post some decent miles later on thanks to a Wednesday double and a Thursday tempo.
- Monday, Jan 17 – 5 miles
- Tuesday, Jan 18 – OFF
- Wednesday, Jan 19 – 8 miles a.m., 5 miles p.m.
- Thursday, Jan 20 – 10 miles incl. 6 miles at tempo pace
- Friday, Jan 21 – 4 miles
- Saturday, Jan 22 – 14 miles
- Sunday, Jan 23 – 10 miles
- Total: 56 miles
Finally! A 50+ mile week. It’s been awhile. As in over 2 months.
So, Thursday night’s workout was a 6 mile tempo with CPTC. The route was one loop of Central Park, so it may have been 6.05 or something (if I actually wore my Garmin, I would know this, but I didn’t). I finished in about 42:37, an average of 7:03 pace if we’re calling it 6.05 miles. It wasn’t an awful workout, but it also wasn’t super awesome either. There was a 2 mile warm-up and then (approximately): 7:10, 7:00, 7:03, 7:20 (umm yeah), 7:00, 6:40 and then about 24 seconds for the last .05. Followed by a 2 mile cool-down. I was able to significantly pick things up on the last mile, so that was encouraging, but the prescribed workout was “6 miles at half-marathon pace” and 7:03 is not my half marathon pace. If I want to run 1:29:xx, my half-marathon pace needs to be 6:52, no slower. However, I was thinking about this and right now my 10k PR pace from December 2010 is around 6:50 (and honestly, that felt tough). Does this mean that my 10k pace should be faster? Probably. But still, I suppose expecting myself to run only 2 seconds slower than my 10k PR pace was a little ambitious for a workout. I finished the workout feeling meh and proceeded directly to a bar to make good decisions and hydrate with beer. I mean, what?
Anyway, Friday was an easy day. 4 mile lunch time runs are the best – I don’t have to wake up early AND I’m free to go home after work. Unfortunately, the time crunch always make them a little stressful.
In order to crack 50 mpw, I knew I had a big weekend ahead of me. NYC got a fair amount of snow, sleet, and freezing rain on Saturday morning and so my plans for a long jaunt in Central Park were foiled. Sure, I could have still trekked outside and got it done, but I know myself and I would have been miserable. The fear of falling on ice and breaking a bone, wet, slushy snow in my shoes, having to run 10 or 11 minute pace due to poor footing, Reynaud’s syndrome (a.k.a. numb fingers) – it’s just not worth it to me. I try not to do it too often, but every once in awhile a treadmill long run is just so much more preferable. I know some people hate the ‘mill, but as they like to say on Jersey Shore, “You do you, Imma do me.” I’m fortunate (or crazy) enough not to mind the treadmill. And that’s all I’m going to say about that.
So 14 miles on the treadmill…It definitely takes a different approach – mind games are necessary. If I start out thinking I need to run 14 miles, it can be too overwhelming and I’ll be defeated before I even start. Instead I break up the run into parts. The first 4-6 miles are always the worst mentally, but once I get past that, it gets a lot easier. I just keep telling myself “run 1 more mile and see how you feel”. And once I finish the minimum I’ve told myself I have to do (6 miles in yesterday’s case), I usually want to do more. It feels like extra credit or something. I also alternated between 2 miles at 8:00 pace (which is a teeny bit uncomfortable for me for a long run) and then 2 miles at 8:30-8:40 pace which felt much more relaxed. And I took a little break after about 10 miles to get a drink of water and switch treadmills. Then I only had 4 miles to go – nbd.
14 miles in about 1:58, ~8:25 pace
I ran another 10 miles today (Sunday) as part of my new “double long run” plan. The idea is to stack mileage over two weekend days and fatigue the legs. This should hypothetically mimic a longer run such as an 18-miler but with less stress on the body and more recovery time. I won’t do this when I actually start running 18-22 mile runs, but I’m experimenting a bit with this method now in the early training stage. In the past I’ve almost always followed a long run up with an easy day (i.e. 4 miles), but I’m thinking that stacked miles might produce some training benefits.
The goal for next week is to run around 60 miles total, complete a track workout on Tuesday, and not embarrass myself during Saturday’s 10k. Even though I don’t really feel “in shape”, I should be running under 43 minutes (let’s be honest, probably even faster than that), no excuses.
Are you still here? Or did I send you into a training log induced slumber? Since I’ve upped my mileage a bit, I’m also trying to be good about other parts of the training puzzle – adequate sleep, quality foods, less beer (let’s forget about the 3 beers and 4 hours of sleep that happened post-tempo run, ok?).
Part 1 – more high quality foods, less crap. Meet my new favorite thing – Mr. Kabocha Squash a.k.a. Japanese Pumpkin!
It is so sweet and delicious and I love it. Once I hacked it open, I rubbed the squash halves with olive oil and roasted it (cut side down) on a baking sheet for about 25 minutes. When it’s fork tender, you can even eat the skin. Yay fiber and beta carotene. I used most of the squash in a recipe based on Northern Spy’s Kale Salad. Very seasonal, very nutrient dense.
- 1 bunch of kale, washed, de-ribbed, and chopped
- 1/2 roasted kabocha squash, chopped
- 4 oz sharp cheddar cheese, chooped
- 1/3 cup walnuts, toasted
- homemade dressing – 1/4 cup evoo, juice of 2 lemons, salt and pepper to taste, whisked together
Mix everything together in a big bowl and voila! Easy meal(s). And since the kale is so sturdy, it keeps for days in the fridge without wilting.
Another thing I’ve tried to pay attention to this week are my recovery drinks. Now, if you ever see anything about a juice cleanse on this blog, it’s safe to assume it’s been hacked. That is so not my jam, BUT I did pick up a cashew milk juice by the Blue Print Cleanse peeps to drink post-long run: 300 calories, 7g protein, 5g fiber, and full of zinc (good for the immune system!). I liked it. I followed it up with a glass full of tart cherry juice and seltzer. Apparently tart cherry juice has been shown to reduce post-workout inflammation and muscle soreness. I need all the help I can get!
Alright, this post has gone on long enough. I’m off to go foal roll or something.
But tell me, what’s your go-to long run recovery drink?