I had a nice, productive Sunday, which is all I ever want in a Sunday. After spending Saturday doing a quick upper body workout, cleaning the house like crazy for a realtor to do a walk-through (both the inside and outside of the fridge and the freezer), and making a couple trips to the supermarket, I decided Sunday was to be for two things: cooking and running.
It was expected to rain all morning and clear up in the afternoon, so even though I prefer to run in the morning, I also prefer to run with dry feet. So I figured I’d spend the morning preparing food for the week and then run when it cleared up.
I have fallen in love with meal prepping. Given my current two-hour commute and nine-hour work day, I don’t want to spend time cooking meals at night. Heat things up, sure. Cook, no. I also don’t like getting takeout. I’d much rather buy groceries and make my own meals. It’s healthier, it’s cheaper, I know what’s in it, I know how many calories everything is. It’s just better all around. Takeout is an ultra rare treat – like birthday cake, or wine, or feeling good about what’s in my bank account.
I made three salads for my Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday lunches (I usually make two or three at a time); cooked a new huge batch of chili (recipe coming soon!); and I finally made the Superhero muffins from Shalane Flanagan’s beautiful cookbook Run Fast Eat Slow. I was so happy with these and will write a whole post about baking them soon. I took a ton of photos. Altogether I think I was in the kitchen for four hours.
At 1pm, it was still wet outside and my weather app said it would rain until 4pm, and I thought what the hell – so I’ll get wet. I put packing tape on the inside of my running shoes to help keep my toes dry and put on my North Face rain jacket.
I got outside, and lo and behold… it wasn’t raining. It had stopped.
So I ran 10 miles.
At first I thought I might go 14 – I’m trying to slowly up my long run distance and the last two Sundays were both 13 milers. But since last week was a race and I know you should drop it down every so often, I decided to only do 10. It’s funny to be at a point in my life where I “only” run 10 miles, but here we are.
It was unseasonably warm – no need for a hat or gloves. I only wore one base layer under the jacket, and the jacket came off somewhere in mile 4, tied around my waist for the rest of the run.
I felt good and strong – I wasn’t even sore that evening or the next morning, which is when I am writing this. Maybe I’m getting used to more mileage. I also ate a decent amount that morning so my muscles were fueled.
I can’t eat too much before a run, but I find that a small carb-heavy meal a few hours before helps keep my energy up. That morning’s breakfast – about 6 hours before the run – was half a bagel, a sliced banana, and a tablespoon of almond butter. Exactly what I ate the morning of last week’s half marathon.
Then while cooking, I ate part of a carrot and, a few minutes after they were out of the oven, a Superhero muffin. I should note I made these muffins half the size they called for. Mine are 144 calories each.
That’s all I ate, then went running at 1pm and felt great. I also had three Clif Bloks during the run, even though I probably didn’t need them – honestly I just like ’em. I wish I could eat them like candy all day long.
I realized I was dressed like Dieter from Sprockets so I took this dumb pic after I got back and made it my run pic.
I feel good at this pace. I’m honestly not sure if it’s an “easy” pace or a “marathon” pace, and I’ve been trying to feel what the difference between the two should be. I’d like to get to a point where it feels just as easy at a 9:00 pace, and I can sustain that for, oh, I don’t know, 26.2 miles? We’ll see if I can accomplish this in the next nine months.
Confession: I know my only goal for my first marathon should be to finish it – like, I know this intellectually – but secretly, I would love to run a sub-4-hour marathon. Shh. Don’t tell anyone. But I’m going to try to do this in November.
I have nine months. I’m going to need a lot of Superhero muffins.