11 19 2014.

in limbo

These past three weeks have felt like limbo. Ever since I ran the Moose Pond Half, I’ve been waiting… waiting… waiting for the Santa Hustle Half. Being three weeks out means yet another peak week followed by a maintenance week and finally a taper week. This week is taper week.

Let’s talk about how I’ve been occupying my time while tapering. Spoiler alert: I haven’t been tapering.

Starting Friday, I decided to “hit the gym” (am I one of those people now?) with Darren. Somehow, I arrived 25 minutes before he did so I did 7 miles on the spin bikes before heading upstairs to do (drumroll, please) my first weight workout.

The word pathetic doesn’t quite accurately describe my current upper body strength. Since it was my first time using the weight machines, I sat down at the shoulder press, set my weight to…oh 35lbs (start low, right?) and couldn’t lift my arms up. At the time, I was mortified. In the end, I set it to 15lbs, did my 3 sets of 12 reps and moved on to another machine. I spent less than 10 minutes up there before moving on to the elliptical. Oy. My arms were dead to me the next day – so sore!

Saturday morning I joined up with my running store’s run group. This time successfully – I didn’t crash a crossfit class! The run for the group was 7.5 miles which was perfect for me! My goal going into the weekend had been 5 miles on Saturday and 9 on Sunday. (14 total) I figured that if I ran 7 on Saturday, I could get away with 7 on Sunday.

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That Saturday morning run was perfect in every way. It was 35 degrees. I wore my new Outdoor Research hat and my Champion gloves and warmed up after a mile or two. I ran next to a woman – Michelle – who was a great running conversationalist. I learned that she works for a nonprofit – which sparked some interest from me due to my history with Outward Bound.

Michelle and I ran all the way to Mackworth island together, where we split off. (3 miles) She had 8 miles planned for Sunday so she didn’t want to push it too much that day. I continued on to the Mackworth trail and circled around the island. It was beautiful. I had never been to the island before, despite living 10 minutes away, but I was astonished. You can circle the entire island, the path is a little bit over a mile – the whole time you have stunning ocean views. I think it’d be fun to go there and run trail repeats!

What I loved most about this run is that I got to meet an awesome new runner and talk to her for roughly half it, but I also got some time to run by myself. It was the perfect combination of a social and introspective experience.

When I got back to the apartment, I immediately began cooking. I had an Oreo cheesecake planned for Carly’s birthday celebration that night. Oh my goodness was that cheesecake delicious.

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Sunday I “slept in” until 7:30. I honestly didn’t do much all day. I did go for a 6.5 mile run and cooked an awesome beef brisket in the crockpot. I also bought some yarn, a crochet hook and followed youtube video instructions to make a scarf!

Monday I woke up and my whole body hurt. To be honest, I was afraid that my muscle soreness was a sign that I was coming down with something. (I feel like I’m past due; I haven’t been sick since last year!) With my half a week away, I really really really did not want to be sick. So I took the day off.

I spent most of the morning crocheting. I crocheted my way through two movies on Netflix and two cups of coffee – and finished!

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I also ate everything in sight. I managed to eat a slice of pumpkin bread, a smoothie, a bowl of cottage cheese and leftover brisket with sweet potato…all before noon. I was just starving. I started to feel a bit better around 1 so I went for a quick 3 mile run in the freezing rain. I actually loved it. Excited about my successful run, I decided to go to my spin class that night.

Tuesday morning, I started a new scarf (yarn color pictured at the top of this post) and rushed off to work. I realized, as I showed up to run group that night, that in my rush, I hadn’t packed for run group. I had packed for spinning. (I had packed my bag Sunday night for Monday night spinning, but since I took the day off on Monday, I didn’t end up using anything in my bag. When I left for work on Tuesday, I just picked up my bag and left.) Luckily, I’m an overpacker, so I had everything that I needed except warm tights. Picture me running in bike shorts because that’s exactly what I did.

Fleet Feet was hosting a Mizuno representative so we all got to run in the new Wave Rider 18s. (Add that to my wishlist.) The run was actually better than I was expecting. Surprisingly, my legs were alright. My hands (in gloves!) and face were so cold though. We were running into a headwind for 2 miles to the turnaround, then 2 miles back. Once we reached the turnaround, we then had a tailwind and everything changed. Suddenly, I could hear something other than wind in my ears. My hands and face warmed up!

I ran next to fellow run group member Shawn. We talked about our jobs and hobbies and – most importantly – winter hiking. Shawn is a pretty experienced winter hiker. He was able to give me a lot of gear and apparel recommendations. I had a lot of questions and he was patient and answered them thoroughly. (I’ll expand on this hobby in a post, soon!)

Our splits were:
1 | 9:08
2 | 8:37
3 | 8:32
4 | 8:22
.1 | 7:01

Then the giveaways began! We all walked away with a water bottle and a night-running blinking safety light. There were a few giveaway prizes. I walked away with these Mizuno Breath Thermo tights! They’re made with this special fiber that generates heat from moisture (i.e. sweat) and keeps you warm! The benefit of this is so that you can wear lightweight apparel – to not weigh you down – but still stay warm! They’ve got gloves, shirts and tights that use this technology. I have yet to run in them, but I’m going to bring them to run group on Thursday and see how they work!

I arrived home to discover that I had a Quest Nutrition box on my doorstep! A few weeks ago, I entered (and won!) a giveaway for some Quest Bars. Much to my surprise, I didn’t just win Quest Bars. I won a bar of every single flavor plus their protein chips! I love these things. After hearing about them, I found them at Whole Foods. 21 grams of protein in a sub-200 calorie bar and 2-4 grams of sugar. WHAT? If you don’t mind the taste of whey protein (and I quite like the taste), these are for you! I’ll do a review of the flavors when I’ve tried them all!

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Then I made donuts. Maple frosted donuts.


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