10 21 2014.

new miles

handpies

Do you ever have those days/weeks/months where you just feel awful about the food you ate? I had popcorn for dinner twice, a large bowl of coconut ice cream one night, possibly too many beers and donuts upon donuts upon donuts. Work lunches and snacks were made up of a combination of chocolate heart-attack granola bars, heaps of pasta and oatmeal…with syrup.

The worst part is that I justified the foodcrap that I ate because I ran X number of miles! 4 miles = 400 calories = 2 beers, right? Not so fast. A few family members of mine have mentioned that they’re beginning to watch their sugar intake. I’ve never been particularly cautious about the nutrients in my food – in fact, I don’t actually have much of a sweet tooth. But I do love to bake. I love to bring in cakes and pies and cookies to my coworkers and friends. I have to sample my baked goods before I give them away!

tailgating-3421

Last week was so stressful. I was working long hours, showing up to work at 7am. I was the lead on a video project (and I had zero experience with After Effects and Premiere!) and had to juggle that with a website deadline. It was the roughest week to date at my job. I have no doubt that the stress affected my eating habits.

It also took every bit of willpower that I had to get myself to go out for a run after work. I just had no motivation. All I wanted to do was eat and watch Netflix. Not that there’s anything wrong with that at all – some days warrant a bit of R&R – but I was feeling awful about myself. Lazy, gluttonous, greasy, gross.

After the tailgating fun on Saturday, I rededicated myself to proper nutrition and exercise. I made a mental checklist of all of the things that I wanted to do or to avoid. Avoid: added sugar, alcoholic drinks, large portions. Allow: find the “love of the run” again, end each day feeling positive about myself. These points are especially important now that the sun is going down earlier. My body is going to be seeing way less daylight and a healthy diet and positive attitude is going to go a long way for this coming winter.

Sunday I really turned things around. I got up early and wrote for a bit with a cup of coconut coffee. Around 11, I decided that I was ready to go for a “long run.” I mapped out a 7-mile route and was actually excited about it. (Excited mostly because I wasn’t going to be racing the sunset. I could run for 7 hours if I wanted to without having to worry about losing light!)

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I donned my new highlighter-yellow Avalanche jacket that I got from TJMaxx, slightly worried that I would be too hot.

(Side note: has anyone used the Runner’s World What To Wear calculator? I tried it out, putting in the weather conditions and time of day and was told to wear a tank top. On a 55 degree day?)

So I put my jacket on, despite the advice from Runner’s World. This jacket though. The sleeves are super soft and warm (with thumb holes!) and the core area has small holes for air flow. Then I set out on my run. It was pretty chilly, but I warmed up in no time at all. I never really felt hot though. There were times when the wind died down and the sun was beating on me, but just as I started to feel warm, the wind would pick up again and I was glad that I had the coat on.

backbay

Now, I rarely ever have a bad run. 95% of my runs could be classified as “good” – positive experiences. This run was on a level of its own, though. I completely lost track of my mileage around mile 4 and though I had a route planned, I strayed. I added on a few miles by running through Evergreen Cemetery and decided to explore the trails behind it.

After emerging from the trails, I glanced at my watch and saw that I had run 8.5 miles! Well that’s sure more than 7: and I was a mile away from home. In that moment, I decided to try for 10 miles. As I approached the intersection near my apartment, I saw 9.5 miles on my watch. I crossed the street but ran in the opposite direction. Now I wanted 11 miles.

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I have this weird way of motivating myself to go further by purposely taking “the long way” everywhere. When I see “7.3 miles” on my watch, I think to myself “might as well run 7.5!” So I do another loop. By that point, I’m at 7.6 and I figure, “might as well make it an even 8!” By the time I reach 8, I really like the sound of 10 miles. It’s a constant cycle. I love that it motivates me to run farther, but I wasn’t carrying any water or fuel with me, so I struck a deal with myself. At 11 miles, I’m done. As much as I would love to run a half marathon today, it’s dangerous for me to keep running without drinking anything! So I stopped. I didn’t want to. But I stopped. That was the kind of run I was looking to have for the past two weeks.

Usually my knees start to feel a bit weak around mile 5. I had been running a lot of 10ks as my standard run distance after work (I could fit roughly 50 minutes of running between getting out of work and sunset: the perfect amount of time for ~6 miles.) I was very familiar with the 5-mile knee tightness.

I ran 11 miles without a single bit of knee pain!

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Having run off my entire breakfast and half of my dinner from the night before, I knew I could eat anything that I wanted for lunch. But wait, that’s the exact rationale that I had been using before – the one that had me feeling like absolute crud about myself. Partially out of laziness and extreme hunger (I need food now!) and also in an honest effort to eat healthy foods, I made myself a parfait. Greek yogurt, frozen fruit, oats, raisins and a banana. It was delicious: I’m glad I made that choice.

In other news, I feel compelled to mention another tidbit from Sunday. After my run, as I was eating this wonderful parfait, I happened to scroll through my facebook news feed. My favorite consignment shop in Brunswick, Estilo, posted some photos of new clothing arrivals: LULULEMON – smalls and x-smalls! I immediately called my mom up and asked her if she could do me the favor of buzzing by and buying all of the smalls for me. She did!

For those who know me, it’s no secret that I’ve always wanted to own some Lululemon activewear, but have been completely unwilling to pay the ridiculously outrageous prices for their pieces. I read tons and tons of runners’ blogs and they all say that Lululemon’s speed shorts are the shorts to run in.

I owe my mom a huge thanks because I’m now the proud owner of some speed shorts and four racerbacks – all for $59! I’ll pick them up from her later on in the week and will see how they fit! If they’re as amazing as everyone says they are, maybe the $50+ items are worth the price.

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