Posts Tagged ‘running buddies’

Happy Thursday, friends!

This week my running has been either one extreme or the other. On Tuesday I could not for the life of me get in one speedy mile and bagged a planned speed workout. Even though it was just one run, I immediately started thinking negatively:

OMG, am I burnt out already? Am I running too many miles too soon in training? Am I on the brink of injury?

Bahh. Sometimes I cannot stop this annoying voice in my head. It was still going on Wednesday morning when I set out to meet Megan, Lindsay and Ali (part of the sweat squad!) for a run. I was totally worried I’d be unable to keep up with them and feel like a big wuss.

I dressed in confidence-building gear (my favorite new I ❤ sweat running shirt from Ali’s fundraiser last week!)

I do heart sweat.

And set out for a three mile warm-up before meeting the gals. Once we started running together I finally found a grove and settled into the comfortable pace we set. My legs came alive as we chatted away the miles, and by the time I headed home I was hitting a sub-8:00 minute/mile pace and felt fabulous.

The power of running buddies never ceases to amaze me, and I honestly don’t think I would have had a great run had it not been for the sweat squad. Thanks, ladies!

I tried to continue the momentum into this morning with some tempo miles, and was kind of all over the place with pace:

  • 3 mile warm-up
  • 1 mile @ half marathon pace
  • 1 mile @ 10K pace
  • 2 miles @ marathon pace
Total: 7.3 miles, 8:30/mile average pace. Not exactly where I want to be, but it’s good enough for today.

Breakfast – cinnamon raisin sprouted grain toast, peanut butter, cream cheese and berries

Why I have not tried cream cheese on toast before is beyond me. Delish.

Hopefully I’ve squashed whatever rut I was potentially falling into, but just to be sure, I’m tweaking my training plan a tiny bit more. In addition to implementing cutback weeks, I’ve signed up for a few half marathons in the next couple of months.

Even though I’m not going to be racing them (DO YOU HEAR THAT KELLY? YOU ARE NOT RACING THEM. NOT EVEN A LITTLE BIT), I love the atmosphere of races and want to change up my long run routes a bit. I think it’ll help break up the monotony of training a too.

First up – the Bronx Half next Sunday. I’m kind of excited to explore the borough, which I’ve only ever visited for Yankee games.

I have a weird track record with half marathons during marathon training, and always injure myself immediately after I run them (and then do not recover in time for the marathon I’m training for).

Case in point: after the Manhattan Half in January, I developed a gnarly case of Achilles tendonitis that plagued me until mid-April and prevented me from running the Eugene Marathon in May.

So not fun.

I repeat: I will not race the Bronx Half Marathon. I will run at my long run pace with a few marathon pace miles during the last half. Hold me accountable, readers. Gotta keep my eye on the prize!

Question: Do you race a lot during marathon training or other training cycles?

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I was all ready to write about how exhausted I’ve been this week (which I guess is still kind of the case), but this morning’s run totally energized me. We had a big group this morning – Ali, Susan, Megan, Meggie, Maria and Tracy’s sister – and these ladies just invigorated me.

Pounding out the miles whilst chatting away, I forgot about the long week and overall fatigue I’d been feeling. Almost like it flew out of me as the miles passed, and by the time I waved goodbye to the gals I was so ready to take on the day. I heart running buddies 🙂

But seriously, this week has been dragging. Every day I’ve been all, “OMG it’s only Monday??” “OMG it’s only Tuesday???” and “OMG it’s only Wednesday????”

I also kind of think my butt may be partially glued to my chair at work. We’ve been super busy lately (aren’t summers supposed to be slow? I don’t think the PR world got that memo.), and that paired with a little thing called marathon training has made me exponentially wiped this week.

Usually when things get busy my routine gets pretty monotonous – run, eat, work, eat, work, eat, work/school, sleep. Repeat. Not because I’m that boring, but sometimes I just don’t have the energy to do anything else. And sometimes routine is the only thing that keeps me sane.

Plus, making weekday plans is tiring. Carrying through with plans? Even more tiring. Catching up on the Real Housewives? Mind-numbingly perfect.

But monotony can also result in a pretty cranky (and yeah, boring) Kelly. Especially when LuAnne’s new single gets stuck in my head.

So I’ve been trying to balance chill nights with other activities, usually involving eating. Which is never a bad thing.

Tuesday night my friend Kelly and I met at Blossom, another awesome vegan spot in Chelsea.

Sweet Potato Rolls stuffed with shredded coconut, jicama, carrot, red and yellow peppers, scallions, and avocado, with an almond ginger dipping sauce

Blossom Greens mixed greens, sweet cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, jicama, carrots, tamari-toasted pumpkin and sunflower seeds in a ginger teriyaki lime dressing

Vegetable Mezze Plate roasted fennel, brussels sprouts, sweet potato puree, sautéed kale, and tri-color cauliflower, accompanied by spiced quinoa

I was kind of bummed they didn’t have any carrot cake (because vegan carrot cake is my favorite!) but the Blossom Cheesecake was a decent alternative

The service was terrible, but Kelly and I had lots to catch up on so we didn’t mind that much. And it sure beat a night on my couch involving crazy Ramona mainlining pinot grigio.

Question: Do you consciously balance chilling out with other activities/plans? I’m a ridiculous planner, but sometimes I think I’m too anal about scheduling “chill time.”

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Wahoo – I’ve got the day off today. And, I’ve already finished my long run for the week – 15.5 miles in the books with the usual route through Central Park, Riverside Park, and a finish again in Central Park:

‘Twas a lovely morning again, and I wish I could say I felt as great as the previous couple of long runs, but oh lord, this one hurt. I definitely could have used an extra day (usually do long runs on Saturdays, but I’m traveling this weekend and wanted to get it out of the way). My IT bands and knees are seriously cranky, but it’s done and I did start to feel better after 90 minutes or so. Hoooray!

I ran this one alone, but must say some the best runs I’ve had the last few weeks have been with company (Megan, Nicole, and very briefly, Shelby, to be exact. Yay for new running buddies!).

This is kinda different for me – since I started running I’ve largely been going solo on all of my runs. And really, I’ve always loved it that way. I like the “me” time, the ability to think freely and thoughtfully without interruption, the generation of new ideas that only comes along after plodding along for a few hours, and the feeling of such an individual accomplishment that comes after finishing a tough run or race.

Also, I’m selfish.

I’ve always thought of running as my thing. MINE. It has helped me through life’s trials and tribulations tremendously, and probably had a hand in saving my life not too long ago (we’ll save that one for another time). Over the years, running has become something so dear to me that the idea of sharing it with anyone was a bit scary.

I’ve always had a problem with sharing 🙂

The creation of Meals for Miles a few short months ago and the realization that there are a whole bunch of great, fun runners out there like me helped change my mindset about running having to be such a solo activity.

During a recent run with Megan from Runner’s Kitchen I was amazed at how quick the run went by, and how much fun it was to have someone to chat with. And Cat Hill? Didn’t even notice it – AMAZING!

Now I get it.

One of the greatest things about running that I’ve been overlooking –  the ability to share the experience with other runners that love it just as much as I do! The thought of enjoying many miles of fun conversation, camaraderie and company during these tough couple of marathon training months makes me 🙂

Anywho, all this talk of running is making me haaangry. I fueled up for the long run last night with a delicious black bean, corn, tomato and avocado salad with cilantro and lime juice and an Ezekiel sprouted grain tortilla.

I made a big batch over the weekend to make for quick and easy dinners during the week.

So delicious, quick and easy to make! Find my simple recipe here.

The salad was followed by my favorite snack – Greek yogurt with PB & Co. Dark Chocolate Dreams peanut butter. I used TJ’s Greek yogurt, which is pretty thick and delicious.

And added a little granola for crunch.

This always hits the spot!

I’m off to the western part of the state for fun-filled weekend of old friends and fam. Plan on a future post involving my 95-year-old Italian great-grandmother and her out-of-this-world lasagna, meatballs, sauce…oh my. 🙂

Question: Do you run with buddies? Alone? What do you prefer?

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