I survived week one at my new job! Although, in retrospect starting a new gig, peaking in marathon training, and preparing for a trip to California all in the same week was probably a questionable decision. I haven’t been sleeping much and basically just trying to keep my head above water. Thankfully, the week is over and I’m going to be able to scale back the running next week (yay marathon taper). But damn, I’ve been a little stressed. Especially for a girl who doesn’t necessarily love change and un-predictability…
Anyway. Listen. I f–king hate to wake up early. I apologize for the language, but dragging myself out of bed before 7am is probably one of my least favorite things (besides doing laundry…). But before I begin my diatribe against sunrise, let me preface this by saying that occasionally I DO get in some morning miles. For example, I did some speed work on Monday morning. The R train nearly made me late for my first day of work (excellent), so I was the girl sprinting across Madison Square Park from 9:27-9:31am, leopard print flats and laptop bag in tow. Alas, 1/2 mile at 5k pace was not exactly the mileage I had planned for the day. I left the office around 6:15pm, but then I had another meeting from 7:15-9:45pm. I’ve been picking up some extra work whenever I can (babysitting, freelance stuff, etc) because 1) New York is expensive and 2) I’ll be paying student loans until I’m 35+. Obviously, it is not ideal to be working full time, training for a marathon, and doing part time work on the side, but them’s the breaks. By the time I left my meeting and took the subway back to Brooklyn, it was after 10:30pm and I still needed to go for a run. So I did. I’m hoping I can figure out something better in the future, but with longer work hours and no gym membership for the time being, my runs might get a little weird. I’d love to figure out a way to re-incorporate the run commute into my routine, but there are quite a few logistics I need to figure out first (i.e. I need to take my laptop to work with me everyday and running with my mac book pro is not an option). Le sigh.
Now, no one has actually asked me these questions, but I’m sure some of you might be thinking them. And at least 67% of you think I’m crazy. You’re probably right. ANYWAY:
1) Why don’t you just get up to run in the morning? Aren’t you super tired at 11pm? Please see previous statement about my morning thoughts. I HATE waking up early. And living in New York isn’t really conducive to early bedtimes. The earliest I will get home from work is 7pm (lolz lolz wishful thinking) and I usually don’t eat dinner until 8 or 9pm. I suppose if I were to go to bed immediately after that I’d get enough sleep to wake up at 5:30am, but that’s just not going to happen. I try to maintain a pretty active social life and that usually means a few late nights per week. I am pretty sure I need more sleep than most people. Ideally I’d get 8-9 (or even 10!!) hours every night. When I run higher mileage, my body just needs more sleep.
2) What do you eat before night time runs? Do you ever have stomach issues? Honestly, I am lucky to have a stomach of steel. For example, on Monday evening as I was headed to the subway, I decided that a McDonald’s ice cream cone would be a great pre-run snack. And it was! I even added a little hot fudge because it’s basically like GU, right?? I let that digest for about an hour and honestly it didn’t bother me at all for those 5 easy miles. In an IDEAL situation, I probably would skip the ice cream and eat more on this type of schedule: 9am breakfast, 1 or 2pm lunch, 5 or 6pm big snack (maybe something like a oatmeal cookie + latte or a fruit + yogurt parfait), 10pm small dinner (grilled cheese, salad with veggie burger, etc). The key is the big snack at 5 or 6pm. I suppose some people eat dinner at that time, so you can call it dinner #1 if you want!
3) Aren’t you scurrred you’re going to get attacked or raped or mugged at night? No, not really. I mean, sure anything could happen, but I can’t live my life in fear. I try to stick to well lit roads, I don’t wear headphones when it’s dark, and honestly – the streets are a lot more desolate at 5:30/6am than they are at 10pm. I will get a slew of “BE CAREFUL YOU CRAZY GURL” tweets when I head out at night, but no one seems to think twice when I head out on a dark, pre-sunrise run. I’m not saying one time of day is better or safer than the other, just that night time running seems to be misunderstood.
Also, I drink coffee, lattes, and diet coke like my life depends on it. I can’t officially recommend a dependance on caffeine, but it helps.
And as much as I love sleeping in, sometimes it’s just not possible. In fact, I was able to get myself out bed before 6am three times this week. That still doesn’t mean I liked it. The past seven days:
Sunday, March 18th – NYC Half Marathon in 1:32:50, 16.5 miles total w/ warm-up & cool-down
Monday, March 19th – unplanned .5 mile sprint at 9:30am, 5 miles at 11pm
Tuesday, March 20th – 7 miles at 6am
Wednesday, March 21st – 8 miles at 8pm
Thursday, March 22nd – 10 miles at 5:30am, 4.5 miles at 8:30pm
Friday, March 23rd – OFF
Saturday, March 24th – 22.5 miles
Total for the week: 73.5 miles
This training cycle’s longest run is OVER! Let the tapering commence! I admittedly did not prepare super well for today’s 22-miler. For example, I “hydrated” primarily with coffee and wine the day before. So was this run super fast? No. But did I feel decently strong and have great company?? YES. Big ups to Sofia, Shayne, and Leslie who ran with me for the first 9 miles and then Kate who ran with me for miles 9-18. I only ended up running the final 4 by myself. I picked it up during the last mile and ran a bit faster than my goal marathon pace (7:29) and it didn’t feel too bad. I’m hoping that with proper rest, hydration, and fueling I’ll be able to average 7:45 or so pace for the whole shebang. That won’t be a PR, but considering the craziness of the past few months, I’m okay with that. As much as I’d like every training cycle to go perfectly, to have every race be a PR, to have a great attitude 100% of the time…that’s just not possible. So for this Spring’s marathon I’m trying to be realistic and shoot for sub-3:30 (rather than a PR of 3:17). Will I run faster than 3:30? 3:25? I hope so. But I’m also trying to give myself a realistic target. Stay tuned! T-minus 3 weeks….
In other news, I baked some banana bread earlier this week to 1) de-stress 2) use up the container of sour cream in my fridge and 3) get in some fruits + whole grains. Banana bread totally counts as a fruit, fyi. Because I say so.
2 Tbs butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup Sour Cream (I guess you could also use fat free yogurt or something, but it will be less delicious.)
1 cup mashed fully ripe bananas (about 3)
2 cups white whole wheat flour
1-1/2 tsp. Baking Powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 Tbs granulated sugar + dash of cinnamon (for topping)
Heat oven to 350ºF, butter a 9″ loaf pan.
Beat butter and sugar in large bowl with mixer until well blended. Add eggs and sour cream; mix well. Add bananas and combined dry ingredients; mix just until moistened. Don’t overmix! This will make the batter too tough.
Pour batter into loaf pan, sprinkle the combined Tbs sugar and dash of cinnamon on top, and then bake for about 55 minutes. Cool completely. Gently run knife around edge of pan and tap the bottom to remove the bread. Cut into slices. Spread with butter or peanut butter and EAT.
I’m headed to San Francisco tomorrow morning, so I’ll be MIA for a bit. To occupy yourself you can read recaps of last year’s SF trip:
ALSO, tell Jacqui and I what we should do when we’re in town. We’ve got a reservation at Chez Panisse and tentative plans for a Napa/Sonoma trip, but if you know a spot we should check out, I want to know!