On Fuel and Recovery

I will be totally honest with y’all. This weekend’s run sucked. It was long, and slow, and while the weather was fantastic, my legs were just not in the mood for a five miler through the hills of North Texas. Yes, I measured and there was a hill that had a 62 foot incline over the span of a mere .8 miles. 

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I may be a little bitter because I hate running hills so much and there will be zero hills in New Orleans so I don’t see why I should be forced to run on them at all. Okay maybe I’m a lot bitter about this.

In all reality, the major suckitude of my run this weekend was my own damn fault and I know it. In a rush to get my run done and over with (and head out to get my Christmas shopping done with my friend Pamela), I failed to properly prep for my run. Which means I went out without eating breakfast or even having a glass of water. Oops. It did not help that my dinner the night before consisted of sushi, and while super delicious and full of protein, not ideal for carb loading before a run.

As a result my legs felt stiff and heavy and did not want to move. My knee was aching and it took a lot longer than usual to loosen up. Lesson learned, breakfast is good, carbs are good. Right. Fuel. That thing I keep talking about.

Luckily I did make it through, as hard as it was. I guarantee you if I was on the treadmill I would have quit, but one perk of running outside is that if I want to get home eventually, I have to finish my run. I got home and chugged a protein shake and felt instantly better. It was magical and just proved that all I needed was to fuel up properly.

Partly as a result of my poor nutrition before my run, my legs and feet felt beyond stiff for the rest of the day. I was coming to the realization that I would have to ice down every muscle from the thigh down if I wanted to walk on Monday.

And that’s how I ended up in my first ice bath.

Which was kind of magical. I mean it hurt like hell. Like holy hell it was COLD. And it took me forever to warm up afterwards, because well, I had just submerged the lower half of my body in just-above-freezing water for twenty minutes. But I felt amazing the next morning. Very minimal stiffness in my calves, zero pain in my feet or knees. This may become a Sunday night ritual for me.

RSOTW: Today’s song is What You Know by Two Door Cinema Club. It speaks to me mostly because of the opening lines:

“In a few weeks I will get time
To realise it’s right before my eyes
And I can take it if it’s what I want to do
In a few weeks I am leaving, this is starting to feel like
It’s right before my eyes
And I can taste it, it’s my sweet beginning

6 weeks until New Orleans.

On Absence.

You ever have one of those weeks where you start going, and before you know it, the week is already gone and all the little things you love to do in your spare time have just fallen by the wayside?

I’ve had one of those weeks.

I’ve actually had a few of those weeks all strung together.

In typical PR style, this fall has had me running around like a crazy person. Don’t get me wrong, I love my job, I love what I do and I am finding time to fill those extra minutes each day with the people I care about as well as the usual meal prep/workout/training programs.

Oh yeah, training programs.

Last time we talked, I had just wrote about taking up running again. Well I did, and I made a big decision last week.

I will be running in the Rock ‘N’ Roll New Orleans Half Marathon in February.

New Orleans Half Marathon

I’ve got a sweet training guide, and awesome support community including the newly-returned-to-blogging Allison, my cousin Erin and of course, Adam. (Shameless linking because two of them have awesome blogs of their own.) As well as amazing friends and family who I hope will still be around in February after hearing me talk about running nonstop for three months. (Sorry in advance, y’all.)

If you are a long time reader, you know I come from a big, tight-knit family, including quite a few cousins. Four of us are within a year and two weeks of each other, and these four are going to be running together for 13.1 miles.

(For the record, here’s the order: Julia, Erin, Michael and Kelly.)

I know. It sounds insane. In fact, when Erin first approached me with the idea, I laughed for probably about five straight minutes. Me. Run in a half marathon???? You’ve got to be kidding. I can’t even run 3 miles. 

But then I thought about it.

For a while.

Work picked up again. We signed on a couple new clients and I joined boot camp again. For a six  month commitment this time. About two months in, I thought about it again. And I thought. I wonder if I could do that…. 

It’s really curiosity that is fueling me. Along with my competitive drive. My inner drive to push myself and see how much I can take before I completely melt down? Yeah, That’s a line I’ve been happily walking since high school.

In typical Type-A fashion, I have an Excel spreadsheet with a training plan that incorporates boot camp (and the all important rest day) and it is taped to my fridge. Yes, I am that girl.

I’m still eating clean, though I am increasing my water intake as well as letting myself indulge a little more often now. I mean hey, I am now working out 6 days a week.

Tonight will be a “quick” 3 mile run, and hopefully the park I love will have dried out from the week of rain.

I’m still struggling a bit at the 3 mile mark. But I’ve scheduled about 2 and half weeks of 3 mile runs to get myself comfortable before moving up.

Sunday I take on my longest distance ever at 4 miles.

My biggest hurdle hasn’t been the distance though. I’m trying not to minimize what I’m doing. I know so many people who run long distances that it’s hard to make myself feel proud of running 3 miles when I know people who finished 18 and 20 mile runs over the weekend. Something I’ve got to get better on is not comparing myself to others.

I’m beginning to understand what they mean when they say training for a race like this is just as much about mental preparation as it is about the physical. I’m on my own training plan. This is not about where other people are in their training, but about me.

That’s just what I need to keep telling myself.

So, here’s to an early New Year’s Resolution, Early Birthday and Christmas presents to myself and most importantly: to 13.1.