Most people will tell you that the proper way to do a long run is to eat some pasta, drink a lot of water, kick your feet up, and to go bed early. Or at least, that’s what the book (whatever “the” book is), and it’s a routine that plenty of people follow…most likely because it’s a safe, tried and true plan.
I’m here to tell you that:
1) I’m not an elite marathoner who relies on my racing to pay my food bills. Therefore, I try to find a balance between training and…living.
2) I have a bit of an iron stomach so I can eat a wide variety of food and be just fine. (Knock on wood.)
So anyway, after chatting with Betsy while trying to figure out what to do for dinner, I convinced her to come over to the east side for some Indian food. During our conversation, I even said, “I don’t think Indian food is the best pre-long run fuel…” Well, I mean…plenty of naan and rice to go along with the rest of the food and relaxing conversation with Betsy is good before a long run, right? That balances out the Indian food? I have no idea. (Side note: If you’re in NYC, I recommend Baluchi’s, at least for take out. Appetizer, entree, naan, and rice for $16…A DEAL.)
Post-Indian feast (eaten on my floor, since I don’t have a table…hello, NYC studio), Betsy headed back to the west side and I eventually headed out for some drinks. Should I have put myself to bed with a glass of water? Yes. Did? No. A couple beers later and engaging conversation about what exactly investment banking is (bonds! graphs! money money money!), it was 2am with snow on the ground and time to head home.
Drank some water, set my alarm, woke up, drank some more water (and coffee!), ate my breakfast, out the door.
The plan? Seventeen miles, twelve on my own followed by five during the Hot Chocolate Run. I did get a little nervous seeing about the fuel of the night before, along with the fact that my ten mile run on Saturday felt a bit sluggish, even if the numbers didn’t reflect that.
But anyway. I thought about getting creative with my route, but sometimes you just want to zone out and go with the flow, so I headed to Central Park to do some loops. I know that park like the back of my hand. (Well…kind of. I found a freckle on one of my fingers a couple weeks ago that I swear I haven’t had my entire life. Who knows.) The point is that I can just go and the miles will fly by because I don’t have to put any effort into thinking about my route.
I headed into the park and noticed the snow on the ground from the night before, but the road was nice and clear. (Side note: I only ever run with my phone when I’m going to meet people…and I thought about taking a picture of the snow, but then I remembered this. And I couldn’t be bothered to dig my phone out from where I shoved it up my sleeve. Call me lazy, if you wish.) I came up behind the last of the Gridiron race runners, dodging them as I moved along. Nothing passes the time faster than some good eye candy (Am I right or am I right?), and plenty of fast looking men (and women!) were out as well. Thank you for moving the miles along, speedy NYC runners.
Elyssa’s picture. Thank you for not being as lazy as me.
I thought the time would drag a bit, but my mind turns into some sort of black hole and then boom! Twelve miles are done and I’m finishing up to meet the group. I understand it and I don’t even want to try because the zone out runs are some of the best.
We hung around on the 72nd St Transverse as people slowly gathered. It was actually a fairly decent day for a run…a bit chilly, but not a problem at all once you got moving. However, once you stop, especially after having already been running, that sweat starts to get chilly and it was colddddd. Jocelyn ran up to us with a fleece hat/neck warmer thing and said, “Hey guys!” I thought it was a new person to the group until she unveiled herself. And she claims to be from Canada…
Anyway, more and more people started showing up, and we had quite the crowd! I finagled my phone out of my sleeve (great place to carry it, up a tighter-ish long sleeve shirt…) and snapped a picture of the group:
That dark cloud is my finger. Oops?
At the end of the day, we had about 12-15 people in on the run, which is a pretty good turnout! Once we were all sufficiently chilled and ready for hot chocolate, we took off toward the West Side Highway. The great thing about these group runs is that everyone kind of finds their little pace group, or you just stick with whoever you want to chat with. It’s fun and definitely welcoming for everyone.
I mainly stuck with Betsy and Jocelyn, and my legs felt great for entire time, except for around mile 15.5 when I was about ready to be done. At that point, having company is awesome and I highly recommend having distracting friends for the tough part of long runs. That, and having hot chocolate waiting for you at the end.
We turned off the WSH at 18th St and headed straight for City Bakery (it’s hot chocolate month!), where the checkered flag outside the store served as our finish line. Everyone quickly trickled in as I bolted directly for the food. City Bakery has a selection of baked goods (shocking by the name, I know), hot foods, cold foods, and lunch foods. And…hot chocolate. I loaded up with some French toast, eggs, and mac and cheese….and caramel hot chocolate with a homemade marshmallow.
I guess that just continues my trend of appropriately eating for marathon training, right? Eggs have protein, French toast has carbs, and hot chocolate just tastes good. What’s the proper protein to carb ratio?
I ate all the food and half the hot chocolate….it’s literally like drinking melted chocolate, so I can’t finish the entire thing. (Warning: The hot chocolate is like $4.50 + $1 for the marshmallow, so it doesn’t come cheap! But so worth it, even if you don’t drink it all.)
Runners basically took over the upstairs of City Bakery, they should be used to it by now, I suppose…
Neal wore a Flacco tshirt, for Flacco went to Delaware (WHO KNEW). It was definitely fun to see and run with people I haven’t necessarily seen in a long time! Also a good way to break up a long run with a fun place to finish. Hope to see all of you (I’ll fly you in from anywhere, nursing pays well, don’t you know?) next year for some hot chocolate!
Splits are a little messed up, but I think it evens out enough overall. That first mile is definitely messed up, but oops. Overall I averaged just under eight minute pace and it felt comfortable, so I’m happy with that. My legs felt amazing the rest of the day and on my recovery run today, so thumbs up for that. Maybe there is something to the beer the night before and hot chocolate immediately after theory?
Anyone want to give me a book deal? No? Okay, back to nursing. Or jury duty, because I have that tomorrow.
Coming soon to a blog near you (…like this one): Cookies for the Super Bowl. Finish Line Physical Therapy fun. Stay tuned!