Tag Archives: chia seed

Feeling Loopy

I’m behind in sharing my long runs with you. I’ve dutifully followed my training plan, but not my blogging plan. Oops. ;)

Since I last updated you, there was a 17-miler, a 13-miler, and last week the New York Road Runners 18 Mile New York City Marathon Tune-Up run in Central Park.

I won’t bore you with a detailed breakdown of each (yawn), so let’s cut to the 18-miler, yes?

Set up like a race, it is meant to serve as a training run for the marathon (although some people run it as an end in and of itself). I was strangely nervous and excited beforehand even though it wasn’t a race race. But I also felt ready to run the distance. I was up at 5:00 am, fueling up with a banana topped with a peanut butter-raw cacoa nibs-sea salt mixture of goodness. It was too early for pictures, but I will say it was perfect.

And then I was off to Central Park for not one, not two, but THREE loops around the park. Hilly ones at that.

I don’t know about you, but lots of loops are not my ideal running situation. The only thing worse would be the treadmill. But I figured it would be good training to really tackle Central Park (again…and again…and again), so that when I reach the finish during the marathon (if all goes according to plan, that is), I will be able to dominate those final 6.2 miles. (If you’ve run a marathon before, feel free to laugh at this last statement.)

Anyway. Bring on the loops.

I had a new gel to try–a chocolate Clif Shot Energy Gel–and hit this up around miles 9 and 14. It was great. I like the flavor of the chocolate Gu a little more (it seriously tastes like brownie batter to me), but this was tasty, too, and with better nutritional stats. There’s no bad chocolate in my book.

And I brought my water with lemon/agave. There were water stations along the course, but I figured since I’ve been training with my own, I might as well stick with it.

The run felt great–and the loops weren’t so bad; it became a mental game of creating goals for myself and passing markers. It was also nice to be a part of a group of runners. Even though I didn’t run “with” anyone, I wasn’t running alone.

And guess what? I actually placed! In a race with 3,800 runners. Who knew? I was 8th in my age group for women.

This pace was a titch faster than my long run norm–and to be honest, my goal has been to slow down to reach a more reasonable “marathon” pace–but it happened. Clearly, I’m still finding pacing a bit of a challenge; having never run a marathon before, it’s hard to know how fast or slow I should be running my long runs.

Pacing issues aside, the run was fun. Afterward I stretched my life away in Central Park and enjoyed a chia seed recovery pudding I’d packed.

It hit the spot.

Chia Seed Recovery Pudding

DIRECTIONS:

Mash banana in jar (or bowl). Add chia seeds, almond milk, Vega, blueberries, and almonds. Mix and refrigerate overnight.

Grab and go on race day!

Also enjoyed: TJ’s Roasted Seaweed. It makes for a fabulous post-run snack because it’s nutritious and salty (i.e., replaces your lost sodium).

I’m a fan.

So what about this week’s long run? For the first time since I started my training plan, I’m dropping a long run. I was scheduled to run 19 yesterday, but instead opted for 13. Along with the extra recovery time I needed from the 18 mile marathon tune-up, I also had a busy week with school and was exhausted. And I knew I didn’t need the 19; I trust missing it won’t negatively affect my marathon.

So, I listened to my body. And I think it was the right move.

Would you rather run in loops or, also challenging, complete a straight there-and-back run?

Roasted seaweed: tasty or gross? 

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