Monday, August 1, 2011

90 Days till the Marathon!

I had an awful long run yesterday. However, I looked at my training calendar for August today, and right there, in big, bold writing, it says:

90 Days till the Marathon!!!

90 Days! 90 days till I get the privilege of running the Marine Corps Marathon with TeamUSO. 90 days till I can  say I've run 2 marathons. 90 days till I triumphantly cross the finish line. Hopefully this time without the crying :)

90 days!

With that in mind, my only goal in August is to be a bit more consistent with training. I was looking back over July's numbers this morning, and while I put in a fair number of miles, I was very, very sporadic. I NEED to be more consistent week to week. 

Also, since soccer will cease to be twice a week this month, I need to look into tempo/speed training. I've been subbing out two of my runs for soccer games, since I sprint back and forth for 90 minutes twice a week! That's speed work, right?

Finally, I've begun reading Haruki Murakami's What I Talk About When I Talk About Running. So far it's beautifully written and chalk full of running inspiration. I'll have a full report once I finish it!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Bonking the long run

Today, I bonked. I failed. I was taken out of commission by the naysayer that lives within my head.

I was on tap to do a 14 mile long run this morning. Normally, even though I am incredibly slow, I don't mind long runs. In fact, I kind of like them! I get into a groove, I get into a mindset, and I just keep going. Today, I just couldn't keep going. I knew within the first mile that this run was going to be tough, and it was all downhill from there. I kept having these very negative thoughts about running and my ability to run. I couldn't shake them. This negativity seemed to be battering me from all sides. I just kept circling variations on the following: I'm too slow. This is too long. My feet are going to go numb at any moment. My calves are going to cramp. Why is it so warm? What kind of runner are you. I can't do this.

My 14 mile run turned into a 6.5 mile walk. A brisk walk, but a walk nonetheless

I was defeated not my my body, which was not crampy or numb or dehydrated or underfueled. By all rights, this should have been a great run. I was defeated instead by my head and my heart, which is more discouraging than physical ailments

However, I am a runner. I am a marathoner. I just have to figure out how to shake this training slump I seem to have drifted into in the past few weeks, and I will be more confident in shouting those two things from the rooftops. Any tips on how to shake off runner's malaise and/or negative thoughts?

Thursday, July 28, 2011

10 Ways I Break the Rules

Generally, I am not much of a rule breaker. I genuinely like rules and structure. However, I saw this on Shut Up And Run, and decided to see which rules I just couldn’t seem to follow

  1. I wear gear for the first time on race day. And we’re not talking short 5ks here. I wore my compression tights for the first time during the 2011 Philadelphia Marathon
  2. I almost never ice anything. Ice baths? Too cold. Icing injuries? Only if it’s awful. For me, rice is a grain that is delicious when pilaf-ed.
  3. I sneak coffee into movie theaters. When I saw Harry Potter 7.2 I had a grande iced latte in my purse.
  4. I jaywalk like it’s going out of style. Maybe it’s living in Boston, but I will dart across the street at any old point as long as cars aren't coming.
  5. Even when I’m following a recipe, I’m not really following a recipe. One of my least favorite things to do is measure things.
  6. Connected to this, when I make that powdered mac n’ cheese I don’t add milk. I just put gobs of butter in it.
  7. I’m very bad at stretching or using the foam roller. Even though I know both will make my IT Band feel good, I can always find something better to do (like shower)
  8. I rarely turn in a library book or a movie on time. Late fees are the scourge of my existence. Thank god for Netflix.
  9. I eat way too many salty snacks. They are my downfall. I hope to counteract them with fruits and vegetables, but I’m not entirely sure it works that way
  10. I drink coffee and sometimes snack in bed. Yep. I’m that person. Sometimes you just need to lounge in bed and be lazy. Luckily, I was my sheets frequently

It was harder than I thought to come up with 10 things I consistently, unrepentantly do wrong! I’m going to take that as a good thing, and not as a “you’re kinda boring thing” ;)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Triathlon edition

Earlier in the month, I completed my first triathlon. Here are some more photos of that auspicious occasion:

I swam...but not very well.


I look very determined in this photo. However, I think I'm just very determined to get out of the water :)

I biked.


I look very angry in this photo! I hope I don't look this angry every time I get on the bike!

I I was dying.


Wow. This photo. I was in pain, and I really had to pee. Can you tell I just wanted to cross the finish line?

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Jim Kane Sugar Bowl 5 miler - DNS

For only the second time in all of the years I have been running I DNS'd a race that I had registered for. The Jim Kane Sugar Bowl 5 miler was held on Thursday, but as I'm sure you've heard, we're having a little weather problem here in the Northeast.

Because this is held on a Thursday the start time was at 6:30pm, when the approximate temperature outside at race time was 1,503,432 Kelvin. Which is just too hot for me to do anything but fan myself in an air conditioned room. To be honest, with all of the heat advisories that have been issued, I expected the race to be cancelled. However, the email came through at 3:00 pm that the race was still on, and that plentiful water would be available.

At that point, I looked at the bag with my running stuff in it. Looked at Intellicast. Waffled on whether or not it would be a good idea to run in a heat index of 103 on a course that has minimal shade. Asked people if it was a good idea. I made lists. I said, Yes I shall do this! Then changed my mind. Then changed it back again. Then eventually, I decided to bag it.

All within a 30 minute time span.

I love race t-shirts. I love the energy that comes with running on a timed course surrounded by a bunch of other crazed runners. I hate not doing things I've already payed for.

However, above and beyond all of those things, I hate heatstroke. And that trumped all the other factors.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Fun Food Friday

I guess it was actually fun food Thursday, but I like alliteration, what can I say? I took an impromptu rest day yesterday and decided to stretch my culinary muscles instead. I have produce delivered every week from Boston Organics, and the last couple of boxes have had an abundance of vidalia onions, carrots, and leafy greens.

While I had never cooked with kale before, I am quite the onion carmelizer, so I experimented with some herbs from my little herb garden, some of the veggies from the delivery, and my very favorite blend of carbs. It turned out to be really, really tasty!

Here's the recipe for pearl couscous with carmelized onion, kale and carrots:

2 c chicken or vegetable stock
1 cup Trader Joe's Harvest Blend (or you could use plain old Israeli/Pearl couscous)
3 carrots, grated
3-4 (or maybe 5) stalks of kale
4 garlic cloves
Coupla sprigs of thyme,
5-6 basil leaves
handful of oregano
1 large onion,
Olive oil
Parmesan cheese

1. Slice onion into half-rings. Heat 2 or so tbsp of olive oil over med-high heat until ripply. Dump the onions into the oil and stir to coat all the onions in oil. Add a bit of salt and pepper. Lower heat to med-low. Stir occassionally until onions have changed color and most of the liquid is gone. Add a couple of splashes of liquid to the onions to carmelize more and deglaze the pan. This time I used wheat beer, but vinegar, wine, madeira, sherry, or port would also be good. At this point you should be stirring a lot. The onions are going to thicken up. This is good. Keep stirring. The total carmelization process takes about 25-30 minutes, onions in pan till deliciousness.

2. During the beginning of the onion process (when there is less hands-on stirring involved) I de-ribbed the kale, roughly chopped the garlic, shredded the carrots, and roughly chopped all the herbs (I used fresh cause I had them on hand, but dried would work in a pinch...har har).

3. Bring a medium sized pot of salted water to boil. When it comes to a boil put the kale leaves in it and poke them till they're submerged. Let them boil for about 5 minutes and then drain them. Run cold water over them in the strainer, squeeze them until most of the water is out and then chop them real good.

4. By now the onions should be basically done. Remove them from the heat and put them in a bowl. DO NOT WAS THIS PAN.

Here's most everything ready to go:

5. Using the unwashed, quite delicious onion pan, add the 2 cups of stock and bring to a boil. This is going to add even more of all those delicious onion flavors to your meal. When it comes to a boil add the Harvest Blend/couscous, garlic, herbs, and a bit more salt and pepper. Lower the heat and cover. Simmer for about 5-7 minutes.

6. Okay, after uncovering, you're going to add carrots

Simmer this for 2 or so minutes

7. After that add the kale and the onions. Stir it all together, and simmer until liquid is dissolved. Then turn off the heat and grate some Parmesan cheese over the top