Monday, September 27, 2010

Sweet Sixteen

Saturday was a big day, filled with cupcake baking, running errands, and a date night among other things. But first I had to conquer sixteen miles. Lately though, I have been feeling like my life is beings stretched thin in all directions, and a long run was just one more thing I felt like I didn't have enough time for. I ended up working late on Friday, and had to skip my run that day altogether. By the time I left the office I was just totally drained. I decided a large bowl of coffee ice cream would be the perfect way to decompress. For one reason or another I ended up staying up way later than I had planned so when my alarm went off at 6am I was not in a good mood.

I did not have my usual Shot Blocks (Instead I had Gu Chomps from the Philly RnR race expo) and I had a minimal amount of Gatorade left in my apartment, and I was plain old just not looking forward to my run. Despite all those reasons, I left my house ahead of schedule, hoping I could fit in some extra miles before Team Challenge practice. Practice was being held at Mondauk Commons, which is a one mile loop trail with soccer and baseball fields in the center. I wasn't sure how I felt about running sixteen one mile laps, so I packed my Ipod along for the ride (and thank goodness I did).

Luckily as I arrived at the park, so did one of our wonderful coaches Dana, and we were able to fit in five miles (not sure why I was running at such a fast pace). The whole time I was feeling great until we stopped and I was hit with an intense wave of nausea - most likely because it was H-O-T and sticky out and I needed fluids ASAP. I downed my Gatorade and felt much better, ready to start round two. After a quick stretching clinic all the Team Challenge participants headed off for an hour workout around the park. My group completed five miles, which brought me to a total of ten. Not bad, if I could just get through six more laps I would be golden! And it was only 10 am.

I desperately needed my Ipod for those last six laps though. The first one was a bit slow, my legs were a bit sore from having stopped and rested, but after that I was warmed up and in a nice groove. The music kept me moving, and I kept drinking as much fluid as I could, did I mention it was HOT? I kept counting down the laps, four more, three more, two more, last one, only half a mile, home stretch, and before I knew it I was done! Not only that but I totally picked up the pace for that last half mile. When it was over, I felt that familiar feeling of disbelief. it's not that I am not confident in my abilities to run long distance, it's just the amount of miles is so great I always surprise myself when I complete a long run.

After a run like that, I would have loved nothing more than to go home and soak in an ice bath with some coffee, but that wasn't the plan. It was a long day of baking cupcakes, a few glasses of wine, and a dinner date with Boyfriend for some CPK (I had a BLT pizza - YUM!)

Quite frankly I am really proud of where I am in my training. Right now the only thing that stands between me and the marathon is eight weeks of training. No other races, no other goals, just training for the big show at this point. I have made it very far with out getting myself hurt, although last week was a bit of a disaster with work taking up so much of my time, but every now and again running is going to have to take a backseat as I learn to balance everything out.

The only thing I struggle with at high mileage is my diet. Up to 20-25 miles a week I can usually keep myself balanced out, I eat really well only treating myself to sweets or junk food every now and again. My usual rule with eating is eat what I want when I want it (within moderation) and drink a lot of water (it helps you feel fuller and hydration is good for you!). But once I hit upwards of 30 miles a week all I want to eat is ice cream and cupcakes. it doesn't help that I am on a big baking kick lately either. Do you experience intense food cravings when you get into higher mileage? How do you keep from going crazy and eating everything in sight? (As in Sunday morning, I woke up and ate two slices of pizza, a cupcake, a glass of chocolate milk, and an egg sandwich for breakfast) Help!!

xx Sara

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