Coerced and Cajoled

Listen, I am going to be straight up with you – even though I enjoy running and want to be a better runner, getting myself to a do workouts (and long runs) is still REALLY hard. I know there are people who can’t wait to bust loose some mile repeats or 400m intervals, but honestly that is not how I feel at the end of the work day. I think part of my trepidation stems from the fact that I do workouts with a bunch of really fast people, so if I run slower than usual, three dozen other people are going to know all about it. Most of the time running with others is a good motivator. I know I definitely push myself harder when I’m not alone. But after sitting at a desk for 9+ hours, the prospect of running 9-13 miles, in the dark, with a good portion of that at a difficult pace is…well, daunting. And since I live in Brooklyn, by the time I get home and finally (finally!) chill out with some dinner, it’s 10pm. You can see why when 6 or 7pm rolls around, I just want to skip the whole thing.

Yes, I realize I’m whining, but I guess my point is – if you don’t excitedly dash out the door for workouts or even just a regular run, that’s okay. You’re not alone! The thing about running is that you have your ups, and you have your downs. Some runs or races are absolutely amazing and leave you with a high. Other times, it’s a struggle just to get out the door. I think if you run long enough, you’ll experience a fair share of both.

So did I get myself to the team workout yesterday? Yes, yes I did. Did I try to get out of it in every way possible first? Yup, did that too. First I bargained with myself…”Well, if I skip tonight’s workout, I can just work extra hard on Thursday. That’s a good trade-off!” I pretty much decided to bail and so g-chatted some Brooklyn running buddies…”Heyyyy, how you feel about running easy in Prospect Park later?”. Alas, that didn’t work out, so I made myself go to the gym. I usually feel more motivated once I change into my running clothes, lock up my stuff, and head out the door. But guess what?? The trusty masterlock that I’ve been using for the past 4+ years decided to break on the spot. “No biggie, I’ll just store my valuables in a gym lock box.” Only problem was…I didn’t a quarter. And the seven people I asked in the locker room also did not have quarters. $%^&!! I was within seconds of just bailing on the whole process and going straight home, but luckily (unluckily?) a nice gym-goer found a quarter in her bag.

So I locked up my phone and wallet and headed out on my warm-up. The workout was held on the reservoir and even though I read the workout about 12 times, it still left me feeling a little confused. However, I figure some workout is better than no workout, even if I screw up an interval or two, right?

The workout was 3 x 1.6 mi loops of the reservoir with the following intervals at 5k pace (~6:40/mile): 1000m, 400m, 400m, 1200m, 400m, 5 x 300m at 3k pace (~6:30/mile). Recovery between each interval was about 400m. Since the start and end points were a little fuzzy (um, have you ever tried reading the mileage markers in the dark?), I didn’t time anything and just ran hard. Did I feel awesome? Um, not really. After months of marathon training, 5k pace feels like an all out sprint. But I sucked it up, got myself to the workout, and finished it. Sometimes that’s all you can ask of yourself. Unless you’re Kara Goucher or some sort of super human running machine.

9 1/2 miles, a quick shower, and 50 minute subway ride (oh C train, oh you) I was home. After some legit dinner food , I had the last of THIS:

I was going to take a better photograph, but…I really just wanted to curl up in bed, eat some ice cream, and finish watching The Help. I promise this iphone photo does not do my homemade munchies ice cream justice. It’s no secret that Ample Hills is my favorite ice cream shop, so this flavor is inspired by them. It’s not QUITE as good, but close. And it costs way less than $8/pint.

Homemade “Munchies” Ice Cream

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup peanut butter (Skippy or Jif would probably be best, but I used a “natural” kind and it worked fine!)
  • 1/2 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup malted milk powder
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • munchie mix-ins: pretzel m&ms, chopped peanut butter cups, chocolate covered pretzels, handful of Ritz crackers

Instructions:

  • First things first, make sure you chill your ice cream maker bowl in the freezer for a good 24 hours before starting this recipe. I keep mine in there 24/7, so I’m always ready to make ice cream.
  • In a kitchen aid mixer (or large bowl + hand mixer) combine peanut butter and sugar until smooth. Add milk, malt powder, and mix on low for about 2-3 minutes. Slowly stream in the heavy cream, vanilla, and salt until everything is integrated – make sure the sugar is dissolved.
  • Pour the cream mixture into your ice cream maker and process for about 15 minutes. Once the ice cream has come together, slowly add in m&ms, pretzels, pb cups, and crackers – you don’t want these to be chopped TOO finely, so turn off the machine before that happens.
  • Transfer ice cream mixture to a shallow tupperware (makes for easier scooping!) and pop in the freezer for another hour or so. You could also eat the ice cream right away, but it will be more of a soft serve consistency.
  • Note: In the past, I’ve made a custard (eggs + milk + cream on the stove) as a base for my ice cream. My current egg-less method was a lot easier, took less time, and still tasted pretty great. If you’re all about eggs in your ice cream (it does make it taste extra rich), check out my 2010 recipe for peanut butter ice cream.

I will return later this week/weekend with less crankiness and a fun give-away. Happy Leap Year!

  • Holly

    I hear ya! I am the same way. It’s hard to work all day and then run. Some blogs I read they talk about running up a storm daily… but then… oh wait… you work part time or you are a student.

    Different ball of wax!

  • I’m surprised I didn’t run into you on the reservoir last night… my sister and I did a night run in the park (my first eva!) and threw in a reservoir loop just for kicks. We both agreed that we wouldn’t be out there running if we were alone. Power in numbers, indeed (for better and for worse).

  • AmandaRunsNY

    I have never had an inch of desire for an ice cream maker…until now.  All I’m thinking is, how soon can I buy one?  And I really hope they aren’t too expensive because I don’t feel like not buying one is an option.

  • Anonymous

    you should check out goodwill or craigslist! might be a good way to get a cheap(er) ice cream maker 🙂

    actualllly, i just found this posting for the same ice cream maker that i have (but for less $$): http://newyork.craigslist.org/brk/app/2871012377.html

  • oh man, i had so much dramz with the custard-making attempts – yesterday i basically cooked scrambled eggs and had to start over, and round two i barely cooked the creation at all. and the ice cream came out icy. these are legitimate problems.

    oh, and you write so often about struggling to get your head into these tough workouts/long runs, but you always do it at the end of the day. you’ve got some serious willpower, girl. high five. 

  • that’s the one i have! my mom got it for me at a yard sale in the country (er, catskills) for ten bucks. best gift ever.

  • I’m the same way about evening workouts. I currently only do it once a week for 3 miles with coworkers…if it was more than that I’d be more whiny about it! When 6 pm hits, I just want to go home, eat dinner and veg…

    Ice cream looks yummy!

  • Meg

    YUP.
    Also: ample hills is great!

  • Gemma C

    Long hard runs can be super overwhelming. i tend to try and do mine in the morning before work that way you are outta bed, out the door and running before you even have time to procrastinate. but then you have to sacrifice running with friends as not everyone is so enthused about getting up early to meet for a run.  Homemade ice cream is awesome, my most recent delicious creation was toasted coconut. everything was right about this ice cream, the flavour, the texture, the colour. complete win!

  • That ice cream sounds amazing. I would like a big bowl of it right now to get me through midterms week. 
    I definitely know what you mean about long runs and hard workouts. It can be so daunting to know I have 18 miles or a scarily speedy workout ahead of me. I just try to remind myself that I CAN do it and that in an hour or three, it will all be over and I’ll feel so good about what I’ve just done. 
    Either the way, the fact that you do go out and run after work, (and you manage to do it for 60 or 70 miles a week!) is super impressive and shows how much willpower you do have. Nice going!

  • Oh, it’s good to know that I’m not the only runner who sometimes has to really drag themselves out the door after a long day at work. Ice cream is totally a good deal at the end of it 🙂

  • When I feel unmotivated to not drag myself to run now (well, back when I was running), I wonder how I’ll ever do it when I’m a resident. At least we all know we are not alone!

    I want that ice cream. ASAP.

  • Anonymous

    Good job getting the workout done. I personally really don’t like running on the reservoir. It feels so slow to me.

    I love that you are ambitious enough to make ice cream. When I lived in France I used to love the lavender ice cream they had there. Maybe it sounds weird but it was so good. If I made ice cream that is what I would make, because it is so hard to find here. I actually located it in one small place in the LES but they have it on rotation. Maybe I would add some pieces of chocolate to it too 😉

  • Anonymous

    my head is spinning just reading that workout! Nice work getting out there – I can’t imagine running at night because I think I would talk myself out of it 99% of the time. And, i didn’t even know there were mile markers on reservoir? heh. 

    Homemade ice cream in bed with a movie sounds like a perfect end to the day 🙂 

  • Here is something embarrassing. I bought an ice cream maker last summer and STILL HAVEN’T USED IT.

    It’s supposed to be 75* here today…sounds like just the excuse I need!

  • Alison

    I hope your week gets better!  Running and working full-time are a tough combination.
    Let me just say that I love your blog…as a fellow runner who likes to eat and likes to read “healthy living” blogs, it’s really refreshing to see a girl who runs fast and eats something other than quinoa and oatmeal with chia seeds everyday.

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