Friday, October 5, 2012

Midweek Training Update & Long Run

What Happened on Tuesday
Tuesday's attempt at my final long run of 11 miles had to be ended early -- it was actually a hilarious disaster of a run. It was raining really hard, but since I hadn't gotten the run in on Sunday, I was determined to make it happen. I threw on a light rain jacket and headed out.

The light rain quickly turned into a shower and I was drenched soon after starting, but I really didn't mind. I may or may not have previously mentioned the fact that I'm kind of a heavy sweater. Since I normally am sopping wet with sweat by the end of a long run anyway, getting drenched by the rain seems like a nice alternative.

However, being soaking wet meant my socks rubbed against my feet more abrasively, and I started feeling a nasty blister a few miles in. I still wanted to finish the run, but 4 miles in my iPod ran out of battery, so I had no way of knowing my distance and no music to distract me from the driving rain.

the park looked something like this, and yes, tourists were all covered in these
I finished one partial loop of Central Park (5.5 miles, including both Heartbreak Hill and Cat Hill) but decided I needed to just try again another day, since my right calf was starting to hurt and a disastrous long run as my last big run before my half-marathon wouldn't leave me feeling confident.

Mid-Week "Barre" Break
I took Wednesday off because of the calf pain and then Thursday morning I did a barre class at Exhale Spa (core fusion barre with Elisabeth Halfpapp, the co-founder of the method), but decided not to run home as I'd planned, in order to give my calf a bit more rest. 

I had received a free class offer after taking a yoga class at Exhale on NamasDAY, their free class day celebrating National Yoga Month. I liked the barre class alright, but it just wasn't as much fun as Physique 57 classes. I liked Elisabeth a lot, and she was very friendly and helpful. However, the class just wasn't as enjoyable to me in the way Physique classes are, and I also didn't feel as thoroughly worked over. Physique's position as my favorite "barre" remains unchallenged. Yes, barre puns, I know. Don't judge my love of puns.

Lululemon lovin'
On my way back from Exhale on Thursday, I dropped by Lululemon at Lincoln Square to check out tops for my half-marathon. I wasn't sure what I wanted, but I figured I needed something other than my tank tops since it's supposed to be in the 40s-50s on race day. The always-helpful Lululemon team pointed me to the run:swiftly tech long sleeve top.

how cute and flattering is this top?
Love at first sight. It's extremely comfy, dries quickly so that you're not left shivering in cold sweat, and is SO CUTE. I wore it on today's long run and it was terrific.

I have to give a huge shout out to the wonderful Lululemon team. As I checked out, they invited me to join the Monday night Lincoln Square Lululemon Run Club, and then after asking my shoe size, they gave me a pair of padded run socks free of charge, to use for my half-marathon! I am always so impressed by the Lululemon ladies and gents. It eases the sting of their (worth-it) price tags!

So, about today's long run...

Riverside Park with today's gorgeous sunshine
To sum up: Yayyy! I kept a great pace for myself (sub-10:00, which is my goal for my first half-marathon), I felt good, and the 11 miles weren't even that hard mentally, despite being by mself. So, what do I think made the difference?

The Proper Prep
Last night I made myself a really delicious dinner of quinoa pasta with kale, garlic, shallots, sweet potatoes, and shrimp. It was SO tasty and filling (I'll try to post a recipe for it). This morning, I ate half a cinnamon raisin bagel with coconut peanut butter, earl grey tea with some unsweetened almond milk, and a Clif shot gel 15 minutes before I headed out (and another halfway through).

I never felt my energy flag on the long run, despite my feet hurting. In fact, when the "400 meters to go" signal came on my iPod, I was able to really push myself for the last 400 meters. I'm going to do the exact same prep before my half-marathon on the 14th, only I'm going to try to drink even more water in the two days before because I think I may have been a tad bit dehydrated.

Foam Rolling
Foam rollers are amazing. I'm officially in love. I might have to name my foam roller so my love is less creepy (or does that make it more creepy?). I'm thinking Abe or George, something stalwart and dependable.

maybe I should call him Rome the Foam?
After Tuesday's aborted long run, my calves--the right one in particular--were really tight and downright painful. I spent Thursday night foam rolling and woke up without the calf pain I'd felt all Tuesday afternoon, Wednesday, and Thursday. Magic!

Fun Sightings
I'm a total dork who's always on the lookout for a celebrity when I'm out and about. It must be my small town roots -- I'm convinced that celebrities are everywhere in big cities! Since I keep my eyes peeled, 
I actually noticed one of my favorite TV and movie actors out power walking/jogging on the riverfront in TriBeCa: Victor Garber! He was the architect in Titanic, Sidney's father in the TV show Alias, the king in Disney's Cinderella that starred Brandy, and many, many other shows and movies. He's also in the upcoming Argo, directed by and starring Ben Affleck -- oh yes, he's best friends with Jennifer Garner and officiated her wedding to Ben Affleck. Ok, I know, I pay too much attention to celebrity gossip. Don't judge! Anyway, it was a fun boost around the halfway point of my run.

can't beat the Statue of Liberty for a view while running

I also had never run that far down in Riverside Park, so it was great to be in a totally new part of town for me. 

I'm ready for my half-marathon!
I was really happy with my pace for this run (~9:40/mile), especially considering that I had to stop for water fountain breaks rather than grabbing water from an aid station and power walking while drinking it, which I'll be able to do next Sunday. I felt strong the whole way through, even with some foot pain. I feel totally ready for the half-marathon now, and I have a prep plan!

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