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The Run Before The Storm
I really thought today’s run was going to suck.
That’s a good attitude to have, right?
Coach Cane had me running 14 miles: the first 10 slower than my marathon goal pace (semi-success!) and the final four faster than my MGP (full success!).
Fun fact: I ended up running 16 miles (my bad) and kind of loved every single one of them!
Except the one where I barfed up Vanilla Bean Gu. More on that later.
I think I can try to break today’s run down into “The Good” and “The Bad.” If I made a category for “The Ugly” it would be the vomit.
You don’t have to tell me I’m sexy/classy/ladylike. I already know it. Thank you though.
GOOD: Doing a “Power Yoga Hour” class yesterday afternoon. The last time I did yoga during marathon training was roughly 19 months ago. (Rough estimate.) The class was at 1:15 pm, which meant I finally got to actually take advantage of my office’s Summer Friday policy (work 9 am until 1 pm and then peace out).
The first half of the class was vigorous and flowy, and the second half was stretchy. My flexibility sucks. It’s semi-hilarious that I was a dancer for 18 years. I can barely touch my toes now. Thank you, running. Everything about the class felt good and I adored the hot little lady instructor. Total girl crush.
I also did side crow pose — on both sides — for the first time! I think the yogic way to say side crow is Baklava Baryshnikov, but I could be wrong. I think that’s what the instructor said though. Still, yoga success. And for my Twitter friends, that would be #yogasuccess. Hash tagging is fun.
ALSO GOOD: Doing not much else yesterday. After yoga I ran a few errands to stock up on goodies before Hurricane Irene Whore hits. Then I came to my apartment, sat on my bed and read for about an hour. It was relaxing and wonderful.
NOT SO GOOD: The amount of food I ate last night. I went to Due on the Upper East Side which was wonderful. I recommend it for sure. Also, I pronounce it like Doo, but that smart little manfriend of mine swears it’s Doo-ay. Psh.
The food was great, but did I need three pieces of bread, a plate of scallops and a fancy little lamb ragu homemade pasta amazingness concoction…followed by 16 Handles? Probably not. Needless to say my stomach took a while to chill out this morning.
AWFUL: My first breakfast. Remember yesterday when I was like, “Hey friends, let’s talk about running fuel” and almost every single one of you said you eat peanut butter and banana for your pre-run breakfast?
Yeah, I tried it. Even though I know I don’t like banana, or I at least know I’m very afraid of its odd texture and sketchy consistency.
But still, knowing so many people swear by this made me think there had to be something magical about it.
Confession: I didn’t toast the bread. On race morning, I will not have a toaster. And that’s what I’m preparing for.
So plain bread + peanut butter + banana…
I was so positive about it!
I didn’t like it. Sorry. I guess that’s good though: more bananas in the world for the rest of you. So honestly, you’re welcome.
SO GREAT: My second breakfast.
That’s more like it. Chocolatey, sugary “granola bars” that don’t, in fact, seem to contain any actual granola. They are made by Entenmann’s, so you know they’re good.
And I ate two. For extra fuel.
NOT GREAT: My new Lululemon tank. It’s a Cool Racerback, which is my favorite style, but the material, which would be perfect for the gym or lounging around, was way too heavy once it got sweat-soaked.
I like the color, though.
GOOD: My stomach. I thought I was in rough shape this morning. The past few days my stomach has been feeling unsettled and, honestly, kind of awful. Naturally I’m convinced that being a month away from the marathon means I’m due for a Crohn’s attack.
But once I started running, I felt fine. Good, even! No bathroom stops needed.
BAD: The humidity. So there’s this hurricane coming straight for NYC, which apparently means we’ll be teased with 1,000% humidity beforehand.
I was sweaty within the first mile. Good thing I adore sweat.
GREAT: My new sneakers.
It gives me a little rush knowing the shoes I’m in now are the ones I’ll cross the start and finish lines in during the Hamptons Marathon.
ALSO GREAT: All the people watching! Central Park was packed with runners and riders getting a workout in before the storm comes.
And I met Lauren!
I creepy-smiled at her while I was paused drinking at Engineer’s Gate. I noticed we were wearing the same shirt and I got excited. And then I was like, “I wish we could take a picture together” and then what do you know, this boyfriend that I have appeared out of the blue, happy (forced?) to take a snapshot for us. Good man.
BAD, REALLY REALLY BAD: Vanilla Bean Gu. OK, those of you who said it would taste like vanilla frosting, we should talk. I really need to know what the F kind of frosting you’re eating. Because you’re eating the wrong kind if it tastes like gel.
A big part of my Vanilla Bean struggle was mental. First, I couldn’t get the dang thing open. I’ve never successfully opened anything with my teeth, so I guess I need to practice that little skill.
Then, when I got the package of nastiness semi-open, I saw the Gu and it completely freaked me out. I thought it would look like frosting. Maybe I’m naive. But it was kind of clear and it looked like hair gel. I did not want to eat hair gel.
I tried a tiny bit and BAM, barf in Central Park.
It was just a little vomit, but the warmness (I need to try the refrigeration trick several of you mentioned) was sick and the consistency was blech and I did not like it. So I spit up like an angry baby.
No more Vanilla Bean for me.
KIND OF GOOD: I found better success with the Mint Chocolate Gu. I liked the taste and I liked that it looked like chocolate, not hair product.
I definitely had to mentally psych myself up to force it down, and I certainly wouldn’t say it was a delicacy or something I’d order again if it was on a menu, but it worked OK. I’ll probably try it again.
GREAT: How I felt! As vile as those gels were, they clearly worked, because I was able to cruise through 10 miles at a slower pace and then bang out the final four at a stronger pace.
DUMB: I didn’t plan my route. This is always fine because I know I’ll just keep wrapping through Central Park. But today I finished running down by Columbus Circle — which is on the complete opposite end of the park from where I needed to end. That meant I either had to walk two miles home or add two miles to my run, which wasn’t Coach Cane-approved.
Well walking would take too long and fast running just wasn’t an option. So I slow ran. Really slow ran.
GOOD: It rained a little. The slight drizzle felt great and was a very welcome break from the stickiness in the air.
VERY GOOD: I have plenty of wine and supplies for taco night. Irene may be forcing the city to panic and shut down, but I’m planning to camp out at a certain someone’s apartment until Monday.
Monday? Yes. Because my office is closed on Monday. They’re anticipating lots of stormy badness.
Fine by me. I’ll take a long weekend.
BAD: I don’t have renter’s insurance on my apartment (please don’t tell my dad). So if this thing does get bad, well, that may not bode well for the sad un-sturdy windows in my pretty new home.
REALLY AWESOME: I don’t plan on wearing real clothes the entire weekend. Sweatpants, pajamas, bathrobe? All acceptable for a Hurricane Staycation.
EVEN MORE EXCELLENT: I am running a marathon in less than a month and I think I’m almost ready. Seriously. It’s almost game on time. I’m pumped.
TELL ME: Any hurricane must-haves? I don’t mean candles and batteries. I mean must-see movies, varieties of boxed wine or board games. I didn’t think this storm was actually going to happen, but Al Roker is desperate to make me think differently. Damn him.
Have a great, safe weekend, everyone!