Last night’s 8 mile tempo run went decently, but my goodness it hurt! Cardiovascular-ly (is that a word?) I was strong, but my legs are certainly feeling the effects of marathon mileage and were quite heavy. The goal was to run about 7:30’s (marathon pace) for the first 4 miles and then drop it down to 7:00 (half-marathon pace) for the final 4.
The first 4 mile loop was run in 30:28 and then I ran it in 28:34 the second time around. The second loop was almost 2 minutes faster, so I was happy to see that. Mile 7 was slower than I would have liked (wicked headwind on that side of the park), but I think it was an important lesson for racing. In long races like the half and marathon, you might not feel strong the entire time. There may be miles where you begin to doubt yourself, where you feel slow and tired, but I think it’s important to remember that even if you have a bad mile or two, you can still come back and rally for a strong finish. So much of distance running is mental and when you start thinking negatively it can be really hard to remain focused. Of course these long tempos provide physical benefits, but I also think they’re good practice for the mental aspects of race day. Getting used to a certain amount of discomfort and practicing positive thinking are just as important as strong quads.
One of the things I like best about this workout is that I can compare it to previous times. For example, last night’s run was faster than my February 2010 and April 2010 efforts, but a little slower than my August 2010 workout. Given that yesterday was a lot warmer than usual (66 degrees vs 45 degrees), I think that definitely affected my time a bit. When I finished, I was covered in sweat and salt, something I hadn’t experienced since the early fall. I chugged a bottle of water and a chocolate milk on the subway ride home, but still felt kind of sick for the remainder of the evening. Probably due to slight dehydration. Ah! That nauseated, depleted, whole body ache…I haven’t felt that in awhile! Isn’t running fun?!
Anyway, I’m basically on track in terms of my mileage plan for the week. As of Friday morning, I’ve got 52 done. The original plan for tomorrow was to run 20, but since the NYC half is next weekend, my coach strongly advised against it. I want to have a decent race and running 20 this weekend would probably deplete me too much. Instead, I’m going to run 14-15, easy. Sure, it’s less than I planned and my long run last week was only 12, but I’ve been running high mileage, so I’m not too worried. After next weekend’s half, I’ll have one more chance to run 20+ miles before the taper. Here’s hoping that goes well!
In other news, I have a product review for you! A few weeks ago, chef’s diet delivery service contacted me about trying out their product for a day (free of charge). I immediately dismissed the idea – did these people read my blog?! I’m not a girl who diets or calorie counts. I run a lot, I eat a lot, and so I thought “thanks, but no thanks.” But then I read my friend Katie’s review and I thought..hmm all of that food looks pretty good! And at the time I was working a lot, running a lot, trying to maintain a social life, and often just eating something quick like a veggie burger for dinner. I figured I’d give this company a shot, for the convenience factor if nothing else.
My meals for the day were delivered overnight in an insulated cooler bag. Everything was packaged really well and came clearly labeled. When I first read the menu, I was a little skeptical of all the meat- polish sausage, turkey pastrami, tilapia…for a girl who is mostly vegetarian at home, this seemed a little much. But you know what? All of that protein kept me pretty full and it made me realize that my diet is probably a little too carb/fat based and that I could use some more protein. Even though the meals kept me pretty full, I knew it wasn’t enough calories for me, so I supplemented with a few extra things: hot chocolate with whole milk with breakfast, homemade cafe au lait with my afternoon cookie, some ravioli while I was babysitting, etc.
Check out the meals:
Breakfast: Steel cut oats with dried fruit, nuts, and maple nut cream (I have no idea what that is, but it was DELICIOUS). Plus a hot chocolate from a nearby cafe.
Snack #1: Polish sausage with celeriac salad
Lunch: Turkey pastrami, lettuce, tomato, and mayo on rye bread with coleslaw and a pickle.
Snack #2: lemon cornmeal cookie with my own homemade cafe au lait.
Dinner: Grilled tilapia, roasted fennel, aztec wild rice pilaf, 1/2 tomato, and my own tart cherry juice-seltzer on the side. I like to drink this mocktail after tough workouts – tart cherries can reduce inflammation and speed muscle recovery. Yayyy.
Also, holy protein, that was a lot of fish.
My overall impression of the meals was very positive! Everything I ate was tasty and fresh, something I didn’t expect from a delivery service. There was a decent amount of vegetables and the selections were mostly seasonal – celeriac, fennel, cabbage coleslaw, etc. My only concern was the lack of dairy and fruit, but I guess since the menu changes daily, they might show up on other days. I also would have liked to see an ingredient list and nutritional stats. But anyway, would I purchase this service for myself? Well, since I am currently unemployed and have the time to cook, not right now. But if I suddenly found myself super busy with work and some expendable income, then perhaps. It’s certainly a lot healthier and tastier than a frozen meals or fast food!
The give-away for the Kate’s stash bars is still open until Monday, but in the meantime, I’ve got another contest! Larabar has been receiving some positive press lately (most notably on an episode of Biggest Loser) and to celebrate they’re going to send a reader 4 Larabars (2 each of peanut butter cookie and cherry pie).
To enter, leave a comment telling me what you’d do if you were unexpectedly given $100. I’ll choose a winner next Wednesday morning (March 14). If I had an extra hundred bucks, I think I’d buy a soda stream so that I could make my own seltzer at home! It would save money and be more environmentally friendly.