I took a break! More from blogging than from running. But now I’m back. Hello!
I wasn’t planning on running the week after the hot ‘n hellish Brooklyn Half (which I can’t believe was only four weeks ago). Last year, I think I took two days off from running after the half. This year, this ol’ body needed more. I needed a reset.
Naturally, I got a mild cold right after this year’s half, my body’s way of telling me to JUST STOP RUNNING FOR A WEEK YOU IDIOT. It never felt like a full-blown sickness. It was more of that on-the-cusp feeling of being sick – the kind that usually creeps up a few hours before you know the next several days will be spent under a blanket next to a pile of tissues. For three days, I felt on the verge of getting sick. By Thursday, I started coughing up phlegm in the mornings, which always happens after I’ve had a stuffy nose for a few days. It was just as well. If I’m not running for a week, I might as well get a dumb cold out of the way.
I felt well enough to do some kind of “workout” each day, as I hate taking full days off. Maybe if I were laid up in a hospital I’d take a day off. But if I was well enough to walk my dog, I was well enough to do some yoga. Last fall, I discovered Yoga with Adriene. What a treasure trove of yoga. She’s got it all: Wind Down Yoga, Yoga for Runners, Yoga for Stress Management, Yoga for Loneliness, Yoga for Gardeners – name the situation and/or profession and she’s most likely got a yoga routine for it. So I did some yoga, I did some light weight-lifting, I walked my dog, but I did not run.
By Tuesday – ten days after the half – I felt good enough to get out there again. Not only that, I actually wanted to. I was still feeling a touch run-down so I decided on just one mile that day. That’s it. I added in some drills and strides at the end and videoed myself, hoping I could tweak my form based on what I looked like. I don’t know if it helped. I also don’t know if “tweaking my form” is even a good idea.
I didn’t run the following day (just an upper body workout), then ran 3.4 miles the day after that. I took one more day off from running, and then ran 7 miles the next. From there, I started to get back into a regular groove.
Wednesday, June 5 was the first day of Harriers workouts after a two-week break as well as Global Running Day, a “holiday” that really only caught my attention because the Harriers were planning on bringing coffee and donuts for a post-workout snack. I knew I made the right decision when I joined that team.
The workout was short: 6 x 400 at 10K pace. We ran along the flat stretch on the east side of Central Park. After some drills and strides, I had a donut – my first “treat” since the day after the Brooklyn Half, as I’ve been trying to eat super clean lately. I figured Global Running Day was a good excuse to deviate. Also, it was a plain donut, which is actually my favorite kind of donut. I don’t need all of the donut bells and whistles. I like the taste of donut. Just give me the donut.
NYRR was holding a special 5K in the park that morning, and it started right after we were done with our workout. So we watched a little of that.
It turns out the Harriers had brought many more donuts than the runners ate (go figure, some runners are health-conscious) so we walked to the finish of the 5K and stood there handing out donuts to strangers. At least, Mirjam and Daniel did while I stood around and took pictures.
That was a fun day.
From there, I’ve mostly settled back into the swing of things, with one exception: I’ve slacked on my lower body strength training workouts. I can feel the difference lately – my legs feel weaker. I noticed this considerably during June 8th’s Mini 10K, for which I have not yet written a recap but plan to very soon. I also did not hydrate properly for that race. Trust me, I’ll get into it when I write the recap. It wasn’t pretty.
I’ll write more about this in my Mini recap, but the evening before the race, I went down to NYRR’s Run Center to see the one and only Deena Kastor be interviewed by Carrie Tollefson. What a treat! I sat in the front row and got to meet Deena afterward. She was so sweet. Wow, what a thrill.
Other than the week following the NJ Marathon and the week following the Brooklyn Half, I’ve been averaging anywhere from 20-27 miles a week. That’s it. I know I’m not currently in marathon training so this mileage has been fine for this down period, but I’m going to start ramping it up next week. And I need to: two weeks from tomorrow is the 5M Pride Run (for which I am currently on the hunt for rainbow running attire), and then Team Champs is a month after that. And then training for the 2019 TCS NYC Marathon will start at some point. I’m so excited to start marathon training again. I love following a plan and having a big goal race.
Nutrition-wise, I’ve been having a pretty easy time eating “clean” because I’ve rediscovered the frozen fruit section at Trader Joe’s. That’s pretty much all I snack on lately. Frozen fruit after lunch, then a homemade “sorbet” after dinner: one frozen banana, about 6 oz. of frozen mangoes and berries, and 1/4 cup of unsweetened coconut milk. I put it all in my blender and top it with chia seeds. It is very delicious and filling. And way cheaper than store-bought sorbet!
Writing-wise, I’ve got some blog posts in the works: my Mini 10K recap, my Northport Downhill Mile recap (which I am running tomorrow!), and then a post about my birthday – only significant this year because I am advancing up an age group. I have feelings about that. (Spoiler: they are good ones.)
Finally, my dog MacGregor has been doing great. Here he is wearing my new Harriers hat I just picked up for rainy days and dog walks. It doesn’t exactly fit him.