Veinte Tres

Today’s Happy Note: Completing the third longest run of my life!

(photo credit goes to Ada)

So. Today. (Hint: “Veinte Tres” means 23 in Spanish):

I have eaten multiple pumpkin smoothies.

I have spent most of the day in bed (but wait!  Some of it was productive because I was cuddling with USB!)

My hips and ilio sacrum are not happy with me.

I have a headache.  And I have to pee.

BUT most importantly I FINISHED.  More accurately, WE finished.   Yup, I had a special friend to do this run with!


Seriously, this run would not have happened (or I would have wimped out by mile ten) without the lovely Miss Ada. She was a lifesaver.  I always forget how nice it is to run with someone.  We chatted, motivated each other, and just generally collaborated.  It was spectacular!  She even knew a really fun route that I have never done before: we went down the West Side of Manhattan, along the Hudson, around South Street Seaport, back up the East Side to the Brooklyn Bridge.  We then crossed the Brooklyn Bridge into Brooklyn then came right back into Manhattan on the Manhattan Bridge (such creative names, really genius).  Then we continued up the East River to the Williamsburg, crossed that into Brooklyn and continued North in Brooklyn towards the Pulaski Bridge.  We crossed the Pulaski into Queens, ran to the Queensboro Bridge, and made it back into Manhattan.  We then followed E 61 street to Central Park and headed Northwest to West 72nd.  We ended at 72 and Broadway.

Total: 23 miles.

Time: About 4.5 hours (we did a few breaks)

That description probably makes no sense if you don’t live in NYC.  You can get a rough idea of the layout of the bridges and the boroughs from this map:

One of the best things about this run was that a lot of it followed the route for the NYC marathon (which is officially less than three weeks away!!!!).  So now I feel like I have more of an idea of what to expect in the outer Boroughs.  Yay!

Overall, I was really happy with this run.  I had already run 46 miles this week so my legs were pretty tired (I ended up with 69 miles — easily the highest weekly mileage of my life).  And you know what?  They still performed.  They still worked.  They were sore in some parts and creaky in others, but they carried me through.  Thank you, legs.

The last five or so miles were tough, but not undoable.  They could have been much, much worse.  I am right on track to make my goal of covering the whole 26.2 in just under 4:30.  🙂

I think I did a good job listening to my body in terms of food today.  I ate what I wanted, when I wanted.  And most of it was pretty clean, delicious, simple food.  Some of today’s epic eats (FYI: this is most definitely not everything I ate!):

I ate toast with PB and banana (I have discovered I can eat a small amount of PB before running) before starting.  I ate one package of shot blocks during the run and two diluted gatorades (bought one during the run).

I find myself insanely thirsty during long runs — like, I drink five or six bottles of water thirsty. Is this weird?

This cheddar and spinach panini was FREE.  And it was tasty.  A winning snack, in my book.

Many of these (leftover cookies!) were consumed.

I made a delicious dinner for USB and I.  The above was for both of us.  I am very poor and only own one plate.  I know, sad.

I cooked salmon with peanut/maple/ginger sauce, roasted cauliflower, and steamed delicata squash topped with cinnamon and avocado.  It was all really good but I only wanted a few bites — most of the avocado, some cauliflower, some salmon.  I have leftovers.

USB is 29 years old and has NO idea how to cook.  It’s kind of cute, actually.  I’m teaching him.  He is a very good learner and is quite useful in the kitchen!

I saved room for dessert a few hours later though.  This was a pumpkin/peanut butter/banana smoothie topped with more PB, chocolate chips, and a crumbled cookie.  It was epic.  That is all.

Lots of exciting things on the horizon this week:

-How I Eat Post

-Therapy Thursday

-Something involving bacon, I suspect (I have been craving it obsessively lately)

School is pretty light this week, which will be a nice break.

See you all tomorrow night!  Thanks for being in my life, bloggies. 🙂

Almond Butter Adventures

Daily Creativity:  Yoga totally counts as a creative exercise, right?  I went to a 90 minute vinyasa donation class today and I mostly follow along with the teacher, but do my own poses or variations when I need to.  I think this stimulates my thinking/creative parts plenty.  So I say it counts. I’m running out of ideas for creativity.  Anyone have any ideas?

Yesterday’s very random drawing experiment.

Please excuse the hair.  Rain makes my hair even more unmanageable than it usually is.  No long run today; still pouring.  Yoga was a good workout though.  I think I did my best headstand and forearm stand ever today.  I’m going to try and get out early to run tomorrow even though I know it will be pouring.  I’m going to be travelling most of the day so I won’t have another chance.  Oh Michigan, how I’ve missed your cold, flat greenness!

Funny story: at Trader Joe’s today, I was looking for the flax almond butter and like five employees told me they don’t have such a product.  I kept insisting that they did, because I bought it a few weeks ago (picture evidence here), and they were like, no, we only have flax peanut butter.  Finally someone came and said, “oh yeah, we do have that, but we’re out.”  It wasn’t like I was angry or they were, it was just funny.  Also, note: NEVER go to the NY Trader Joe’s on a Sunday afternoon.  When I realized they didn’t even have the AB, I hightailed it out of there to the UWS WF instead.  Much better choice.  I ended up acquiring a perfectly tasty jar of AB there, although it wasn’t my favorite — Maranatha — because that stuff is so expensive.  Seriously, 12-18 dollars for a jar????

Awesome oatmeal this morning:

That’s kashi creamy vanilla instant oats with a banana, lots of water (these oats absorb a ton of water and get very, well, creamy) 2 TBSP AB and 2 TBSP chocolate chips.  So nom nom nom.  I really want to think of a candy bar to name this after, but I can’t.  Sort of like a Snickers maybe, only with a banana vanilla flavor too?  Hmmmm…All that really matters is its degree of deliciousness.  Which was a perfect 10.  Clearly.

Alright, I have to clean, fold laundry, and pack for tomorrow.  It’s going to be a pretty busy/exhausting day — run, work, therapy, lunch, travel to airport, fly (don’t ask me why my flight from NYC to Detroit must go through Philly), home at midnight.  Ick.  Oh well, my family, and the possibility of a new blender, is definitely worth it.

Question: What’s your favorite yoga pose? I like half-moon, pigeon, and headstand!

PS — go check out the BSI Carrot roundup over here!  My omelet is in there  somewhere 🙂

Yoging II

Today’s Mini Goal: Since I only have one class tomorrow and I’ve already finished the readings I am going to get a head start on the rest of the week’s readings and assignments.  I am normally a major procrastinator, but I’m working on taking baby steps away from that.  Hopefully this will help!

Before I start, major congrats to Meghann on her amazing running accomplishments this weekend!  Wow!

LONG to do list today but I got through almost everything!

The day’s “blah” stuff included studying, cleaning, laundry, cooking, grocery shopping, and email catch-up.  Now onto the more FUN and HEALTHY things!

Today was another yoging day (see the original Yoging post here).  I just realized both my yoging adventures have been on the last day of the month.  Weird.  Maybe I’ll have to make it a tradition.

I headed down to Yoga Shala around 11 for the donation class.  I really like their studio and would like to support it more — and many other studios around the city too — but honestly, at $15-$20 per class, I really can’t afford to.  Sad.  ‘

Today’s yoga class was the perfect combination of relaxing, breathing, challenging, and strong.  I love the teacher, but I am totally blanking on her name.  We ended up doing a lot of leg poses like chair, warrior, and down dogs.  I thought this would make the run, which I set out on directly from the studio, really tough, but it actually didn’t.  It kind of felt like a brick triathlon workout, a la Caitlin.

When I first started yoga I couldn’t do even a single chatturanga without falling on my chest.  Now, I can do them through a whole vinyasa class pretty easily.  My arms have gotten so much stronger.  I can also consistently get into side crow now!  I love how we can see immediate, noticeable improvements in our yoga practices.  And the best part is that since it’s our own practice, we don’t have to be able to do the same things at the same time as everyone else!  Some days I can hold a nice, tight headstand for 10-20 breaths, others I fall flat on my back after one.  I love how yoga is always changing us.

After my happy little class I set out to run!  The plan was sixteen miles.  My legs felt very heavy for the first two-ish miles and I was mentally/physically struggling and then something just clicked.  All the sudden I felt like I could fly — it wasn’t an effortless sort of flying, but the effort that I put in felt amazing.  I used the Garmin again and it worked spectacularly for most of the run, with two serious hiccups: at various points during the run it just sort of deleted my mileage.  The first time it did this it missed at least a mile, based on my pace calculations.  I looked down at the watch, saw 52:00 and thought, “great, since I’ve been flying around a nine to nine-thirty mile, I should be at about 5.5 miles, give or take a few tenths.  Nope.  Garmin said 4.45.  I was quite peeved, but just added a mile on (mentally) from there on out and finished at 15 miles, assuming that it was actually 16.  And just so you don’t all think I’m one of those crazy people who insist that I’m going way faster than I am, I timed the next mile (from 4.45 to 5.45) and it took me exactly 9:30.

But despite the minor technical snafu, I was still feeling really good.  It was just one of those days when my legs clearly wanted to be running.  I felt like without this run, they would have been angry at me!  I did almost the entire thing along the Hudson River waterfront and it was so perfect.  Temps in the 30’s, a sprinkling of wind, sea birds making their sea bird sounds, rivers of melting snow, wonderful little wave patterns in the bays.  Speaking of birds, I have officially seen a robin, a cardinal, and a blue jay on various runs in the last week.  Spring is most definitely on its way.  Hooray!  This is one of the best bonuses of being a runner: you get to see the seasons up close and personal, and you come to notice all the little details that foreshadow the transitions from one season to the next.

Every time I looked down at my watch between miles 5 (ish) and 13, I was cruising along at paces ranging from 8:45 to 9:45.  I was so happy with myself.  I was occasionally in the low tens, but I quickly made my way back down again.  I am normally not this fast on long runs at all, so I was really surprising myself and having fun with it.  I knew I would finish well under my 2:45 goal.  I had half a clif bar between yoga and running and the other half around mile 6.  I also had a bag of dried berries and almonds that I munched on at approximately miles 9, 12, and 14.

At 13, I suddenly and totally hit a wall.  Not a wall like “crap, I’m tired but I can still maintain a pace just a bit slower than this”, but a wall like “crap, my legs won’t move and I’m running 12 minute miles.”   I have never experienced this during a long run.  At.  All.  Sure I’ve gotten really tired and slowed down at the end plenty of times before, but it was never quite this bad.  Not sure if I was insufficiently fueled or just tired from yoga or if my unusually fast pace was taking a toll.  Whatever it was, I told myself to just suck it up since it was only three miles left and I certainly wouldn’t die.  Admittedly, the slowness wasn’t entirely my fault; I was running into a very gusty headwind and for a while it was even hailing in my face.  I was also running portions through snow/slush/ice and my left hip started hurting really bad.  But I’m not going to complain because overall, it was a good long run and definitely helped boost my speed confidence.

Okay.  Too much running talk.

Food talk:

I’ll let the pictures talk today.  I really wanted to record everything I ate to make sure I wasn’t over- or under-fueling, so there are a lot of pics.  I think I did a pretty good job, although it’s almost impossible to replace 2000 burned calories, and I don’t aim to.  For an endurance athlete of my size, it’s totally fine to not make up all the calories I’ve expended on a really long training day; my body has a bit of “extra”, so I’m not worried.  With that said, I certainly tried to consume lots of nourishing things for my hungry, worn-out body!  At the same time though, I will admit I had some disordered-eating thoughts, like “OMG, Caronae, are you really going to eat a whole 250 calorie clif bar?”  Um, yes, self, I’m in the process of running 16 miles, so I am going to eat that whole clif bar if you don’t mind!

Breakfast: soy chai latte, diet lemon snapple (hey, I was really thirsty and not in the mood for water), and 7-grain bagel with pb and coconut.

Yoging snacks: clif bar and berry-almond mix (I’m out of gus).

Post-yoging: toast with PB, pb, and banana, pb pretzels, and chocolate raspberry sticks.  Mmmm.  Oh, and in that mug is plain soy milk with about a teaspoon of maple syrup stirred in.  This is one of my best kitchen inventions ever.  The flavor combination just works wonderfully; smooth, nutty, sweet, creamy — all at the same time!  Probably works with almond milk and regular milk too.

Afternoon tidbits: gala apple, granola nubbin.

Dinner: steamed broccoli, massive pile of random veggies topped with spinach, vegan dumplings with white cheddar (paradoxical?), cornbread, and lamb burgers.  Lots of delicious food that made my belly happy.

Dessert: raisin bran crunch (a bit too processed, but I was randomly having a very serious craving for it), chocolate chips, plain soy milk, and chunky PB.

So there you have it.  My eats.  I probably had a few more chocolate chips and bits of PB thrown in there, but that’s pretty much everything.

What are your favorite meals to eat on the day of a long run?  If you’re not a runner — which, btw, is fine by me! — what are your favorite post-workout eats?