Ch-ch-changes

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.

Banana Bread!

Ingredients:

2 Tbs butter, softened

3/4 cup sugar

2 eggs

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)

Directions:

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:

San Fran Running

Bay Area XC Race Report

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!

  • AR

    I like how you talk about how much you hate morning runs then show that you had THREE of them in one week. LIIIEEEEEEEEEEEEES. 

    IF YOU’RE GONNA SAY THAT SHIT BACK IT UP. I want NO morning runs, more midnight runs. Related: It’s 11:12. GET ON IT, GIRL. 

  • Stella

    The Ferry Building! Think a bunch of artisanal markets, all under one roof; Scharfenberger chocolate, Golden West Fungi company, cheeses, cured meats, even caviar… A foodie must.

  • i heavily rely on coffee and diet coke too.  

    nice peak week!  i’d like to PR at boston too but i’m being realistic.  i much rather enjoy the experience without the pressure of a PR hanging over my head.  

  • Stephanie

    If you go to Napa (which you should) definitely check out the Mondavi vineyard, I was skeptical when we went but they have a great tour that really teaches you about tasting wine.  Also for lunch go to V Sattui and get the meatball and fresh made mozzarella sandwich, it’s AMAZING.

  • ErinCochran

    I completely admire your after-work runs. There is no way I could get in an after-work run….ever….because at that point I’m like “WHATEVER COUCH TV FOOD.” So the only workday runs I get in are on days when I can wake up at 4:15 to get some miles in. IT IS ABOUT AS MUCH FUN AS IT SOUNDS. But running that early has the huge added bonus of (1) no traffic, so no stopping at intersections! (2) no people, so no cigarette smoke and couples taking up the entire sidewalk, (3) cop cars slowing down to make sure I didn’t just rob something and am in the process of running away from the scene of the crime (hey hey Bed-Stuy!). I swear by my i360 headband for running in the morning – I get music and don’t have things stuck in my ears to prevent me from hearing all the rats scurrying in the garbage (they like to jump out in front of me when I run…yay!)

    If you ever figure out the laptop situation, let me know – I’m in the same boat there.

    As far as San Fran goes, I’ve been told that if you go there and you don’t get sourdough bread, you’re a big loser or something. So check out the sourdough bread.

    Hope Hot Bird was fun last night! I had every intention of getting some awesome internets meet-up action going on, but it appears that I have the flu, so I opted to pass out on the couch last night after a few episodes of Archer. It was good times.

  • MealsforMiles

    I actually have wondered how people avoid GI problems during nighttime runs, so thank you for answering that question 🙂 

    if you go to Napa, you must go to Quintessa Vineyard! It’s awesome. Cakebread was pretty good too. AND, Mustard’s Restaurant. Delicious. Have so much fun out there, Megan!

  • I’ve only been to San Francisco once and I don’t remember much except for the Ghiardelli store. And Alcatraz. It’s touristy, which I am usually not into as a native New Yorker, but it’s so COOL!. 
    Awesome job on your 22.5 miler. If you felt good after that, I’m sure the race won’t be a problem! Enjoy your taper! 

  • runnerskitchen

    I knowww, I’m a hypocrite this week, but I had to run longer on thurs morning, so that I’d have time to drink beer that night 🙂 priorities? I promise I sweared a lot when my alarm went off.

  • kim

    I live in SF and obviously I think it’s the best city EVER!  For baked goods, go to Tartine Bakery, Arizmendi; for pizza: Delfina, Little Star; for brunch: Serpentine, Foreign Cinema, Zazie; for ice cream: Bi Rite, Mr & Mrs Miscellaneous (across the street from Serpentine!); for booze: Jones, Bourbon & Branch, Burritt Room.  If you’re going to be over in Berkeley Jupiter has some good beer and live music on weekends.  Okay now I’m hungry. 

  • runnerskitchen

    I knowww, I’m a hypocrite this week, but I had to run longer on thurs morning, so that I’d have time to drink beer that night 🙂 priorities? I promise I sweared a lot when my alarm went off.

  • I roll over into bed between 10:00 and 11:00, even when dinner is at 9:30 because of late nights…not super pretty, but sometimes going to bed full helps me sleep.  I could use 8-9 hours for sure, but I tend to get about 7 on weekdays and then I sleep forever on weekends…which is why races and the prospect of children are trouble for me.

    I like the sound of ice-cream as a pre-run snack! I’m glad you’re not afraid of night-time running.  Some people think I’m “bad” for running in Oakland at any time of day, which is severely misinformed and insulting.  I want to hear more about your new job!

  • runnerskitchen

    this comment made me smile! i love that you’re my neighbor and actually, i never made it to hot bird last night. oops. i had a 7am flight this morning and thought i should be responsible :/

    if you have a chance, email me! runnerskitchen@gmail.com and maybe we can meet up in real life 🙂

  • I like all of Kim’s recommendations! And I’ll add: Toronado for beer, Monk’s Kettle for more beer and German-influenced bar food (soft pretzels!), Humphry Slocombe for craaaaazy ice cream, Flour + Water for pasta (and also pizza, but the pasta kills), and Mission Cheese and American Grilled Cheese Kitchen for, well, you can probably guess. 

  • AND if you go to Sonoma, city of Sonoma is nice (Girl and the Fig++) but if you can get to west county (near Healdsburg) and do some wine tasting along West Side Road, it’s awesome — very different, laid-back scene. OK done commenting on your blog now. 

  • runningseal

    Ahhhhhh so jealous you are going to SF! i have been wanting to go there forever. Have fun on your trip!!!

  • I think a lot depends where you run at night. Central Park is probably a bit more dangerous at night than in the early morning (just because a lot of people run it in the early morning but it seems like not so many at night). If you’re running around the city streets, though, I think nighttime is a lot less dangerous because there are more people out.

  • Courtney

    so lucky you get to go to Chez Panisse!! Restaurant Review plz!!!!!!!!!!1

  • totes jealous of your chez panisse reservation! i’ve actually never been to CA, but that place would be one of my first stops, for sure.

    i agree, evening running > morning running. i actually feel most energized for a run after a long day of work.

  • So fun to run with you in Central Park on Saturday!! Loved gabbing away about all things running, training, NYC, etc. Thanks again for meeting up! You’ll be great in Boston!!
    Have a blast in San Fran!

  • Nicole

    I told you this already, but in Sonoma, Gundlach Bunschu!!! Also for dinner there, Cafe La Haye or Della Santina. In San Francisco, anywhere on Belden Place (the street is cool, though the only restaurant I went to was B44).

  • You should go to Alysia Montano (pro runner)’s running club! Its on her twitter — 6 pm somewhere tomorrow — GO! That would be cool. 

    I also despise running before 7 am.

  • Scarlett

    I love your defense of late-night running. I live in Barcelona and work in politics so no matter how hard I try to be a morning runner, the cards are pretty much stacked against me. However, last night I got out and on the road at 10:30 pm which seemed crazy until I read yr post…

  • I’m more of a morning runner, but to each their own, yes? I get your side of it, though- running in the dark is running in the dark. However, depending on where you live, I imagine you deal with quite a few bar goers? That would annoy me to no end..

  • Amelia

    A few running/eating pointers from an East Bay native – Cheeseboard, the collective pizza place/bakery right across the street from Chez Panisse is an absolute MUST.  And if you are looking for good spots to go running, all of the East Bay regional parks (Wildcat Canyon, Tilden, Sibley, Claremont Canyon) are amazing.  Enjoy your trip!

  • Kristen

    Hi, I just recently came across your blog and I’m very excited to read more!

    I just had a question: How do you refuel after a night run? I’m a senior and soon a Master’s student, and I only ever seem to have time to run at 11pm. I’ve always been told not to eat before I go to bed, but I know that if I don’t have *something* I risk having my muscle eaten away.

    Any advice would be amazing!! Thanks for your time.

     xx

  • runnerskitchen

    Hi Kristen,

    I’m definitely not a nutrition “expert”, but I always ignore the rule that says you shouldn’t eat after a certain time. If you’re hungry and you’re body needs fuel, eat! Maybe try something light like a pb &j or yogurt and granola? You can also plan on having something small right before bed and then maybe a bigger breakfast when you wake up.

  • Kristen

     Thank you! 🙂 I’ll try these ideas out.

  • Yay! Someone else who cannot get out of bed to run. Last night I ran my tempo at 8pm. It’s not always fun and I can usually feel the exhaustion of the day in my legs, but its not enough to motivate me out of bed in the morning, especially in winter. In the summer, I can usually do it a few days a week … 

  • Grace @ Balancing Me

    I have to wholeheartedly agree that I think SF is the best city ever! (I may have a little case of the-grass-is-greener-on-the-other-side.)

    On a separate note, I personally think the time of day that you choose to run is a personal choice. Some people are just better at night (you). Some people are just better in the morning (Ali Feller). Some people are better staying in bed (me). 

    😉

  • runnerskitchen

    Oh god, I love my bed so much. Maybe even more than running…

  • girl i say way to get it done!!! whatever works for you is the training schedule you stick to. i personally love morning runs, but the weather is better in the evenings here for running so i struggle with that every summer

  • I also can’t get my ass out of bed to run in the morning. And I work near Madison Square Park, too…so if you ever are not running tempo and want to a run a slower run with me…

  • Gemma C

    That banana bread looks ah-mazing! I used to be a strictly morning only runner but over the past year or so I have begun to run at many other times of the day – sometimes ya just gotta compromise to run with company! I went to San Fran last year but was only a tacky tourist hehe I have a feeling you are looking for something a little more haute cuisine than clam chowder – fishermans wharf!