I’m behind in sharing my long runs with you. I’ve dutifully followed my training plan, but not my blogging plan. Oops.
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.
- 1 banana, mashed
- 2 Tbs chia seeds
- 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- 1 scoop Vega Vanilla Chai Whole Food Health Optimizer
- 1/4 cup frozen blueberries
- a sprinkling of slivered almonds
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).
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?