Monday, February 17, 2014

10 Miler Training: Week 10

It's kind of hard to believe that I've already completed 10 of my 16 weeks of training for the 10 Miler. Even harder to believe is the conversation I had with Joey this morning - I actually voiced the thought I had been having, of potentially doing a half marathon a month after the 10 Miler race. Obviously that will 100% depend on how the rest of the training plan treats me, and how I fare in the race. I may end up needing a serious break from running after all of this training. Another thing we talked about this morning, was that I decided I want to try out calf sleeves for recovery post-running. He has some that he wears a lot after running or after ultimate frisbee, and he says it helps a lot with recovery. My left calf in particular has been hurting a bunch, and I think that calf sleeves could help. Does anyone have a brand that they recommend? I don't plan on wearing them while running, just after, for recovery.

So, here is the running I did this week:

Wednesday, February 12th:
I was supposed to do my interval run on Tuesday the 11th, but that was the day of my big bad scary committee meeting that I've been working my ass off for the last few weeks. I came home around 3, ate a really late lunch, collapsed on the couch, and basically decided there was no way I would be doing a run that day. Thankfully, I was feeling better the next day, and worked it in then.

This run was HARD. The last interval run I did was a lot of fun - 12x400 at 3k pace, with 2 minute breaks in between. Switching out the 2 minute walk breaks with 1/8 mile jogging made it so much harder - not only did I have to continue moving during my recovery, but it was also a much shorter time between intervals. This time, the intervals were at 10k pace, so not nearly as fast. Regardless, it was still really hard! I did the 400m running intervals at 6.6mph, and had my recovery jogs around 5.2-5.5mph (I'm pretty sure they got slower and slower throughout). I turned one of them into a walk, and took a bathroom break for the other, so I ended up doing 5.75 miles instead of 6.00.

Friday, February 14th:
Switching my Tuesday run to Wednesday threw off the rest of the week. Plus, we got a ton of snow Wednesday night/Thursday morning, and I ended up being a total bum on the couch for the second half of Thursday, after coming back from my trek into work. The run I was supposed to do on Thursday was just an easy 5 mile run, so I figured it would make more sense to just skip it, and still do Friday's run.

I was nervous that this run would be even more difficult than Wednesday's, but it actually wasn't nearly as bad. Having a full half mile recovery between intervals really gave me the time to, well, recover.

Sunday, February 16th:
This ended up being another 8 mile run that I was forced to do indoors. We still have a ton of snow, and very few of the sidewalks have been cleared. Any space that isn't covered in snow is very likely to be covered in ice, especially first thing in the morning. We had a lot of snow melt yesterday during the day, and all of that water froze last night. Because of this, I did my run inside. Surprisingly, it ended up being a lot better than the last 8 mile run I did indoors.

This time, I started out with 3 miles on the indoor track. I started off with a slow pace, and got slightly faster with each mile. I took a few minutes to use a bathroom and fill up my water bottle, then went off in search of a good treadmill. I don't know why every gym has "good" treadmills and "bad" treadmills, instead of just having a ton of the same "good" kind. There is one particular area with two kinds of treadmills, and they're all the ones I prefer. They are also usually always in use. I walked by that area three times over the course of ~5 minutes, once I came out from the track, and one of them had a girl on it, who was just standing there, talking to some guy who was right next to the treadmill. The first time I walked by, I thought that it looked like she was either just getting on, or had just finished and was about to get off. I stood there for a minute before deciding she wasn't getting off. The next time I walked by, she was still there. By the time I walked by for a third time, and saw that she still was making no signs of either leaving the treadmill, or actually starting to use it, I was mad. I walked over to it, and said to her "you know, there are people waiting for treadmills while you're not using that one." Immediately, the guy answered for her saying "oh, she is using it." I looked at him for a second, trying to give him a look that told him that I thought that sounded like bullshit, raised my eyebrow, and just said "...o-kay..." and walked away. If her definition of using a treadmill is to just stand on it while talking to someone, she doesn't belong in the gym. I got a lot of satisfaction out of noticing that as soon as I walked away, he walked away too and she started doing something on it. Maybe it was a bit bitchy for me to say anything, but she was on one of the few decent treadmills!

The funny thing is that in the end, the treadmill I got on actually isn't a "bad" treadmill. There are a few that just look kind of strange, and are very rarely being used. I just assumed that meant it was a bad one, but I thought it felt pretty nice. Because of that, I did all of the 5 remaining miles on that treadmill, instead of switching after a few, or going back on the track. To keep from getting too bored, I switched the pace slightly every quarter mile. Not enough to noticeably speed up or slow down, but enough so I wasn't really thinking about the total mileage, but only how much I had left until the next pace change.

Week Total:
Wednesday: 5.75 miles (treadmill)
Friday: 5.5 miles (treadmill)
Sunday: 8 miles (indoor track and treadmill)
Weekly Total: 19.25 miles

Besides all of the running I did this week, I also did a lot of eating! I posted my recipes for Joey's birthday dinner/dessert, plus we went out to a few places. Saturday night, we went to Three Notch'd Brewery, which is our new favorite place for beer in Charlottesville. They opened in August, and already have a pretty big following. Their tasting room/bar is a 5 minute walk from our place, which makes it so convenient to get to. Plus their beer is just really good. My favorites so far are the Sweet Winter Ale (seasonal) and the Hydraulion Red (year-round). Joey really likes their IPAs (so not my thing) and their beers that are flavored with some coffee - the No Veto English Brown Ale and Jack's Java Espresso Stout - both offered year-round. The really cool thing about their bar, is that at least as of now, they don't offer food - but... they let you bring your own! You can either bring food, or have it delivered there, and they have a bunch of takeout menus for places close by. I didn't realize that until last night, when we saw it happen, and I really wish I had baked a cake or something to bring for Joey's birthday celebration. Either way, we all had a great time, and I was surprised by how many people came out, despite the bad weather.

This morning, post run (and Joey did a bunch of stuff at the gym as well), we went to Bluegrass Grill & Bakery, a breakfast spot that's pretty famous in Charlottesville for fantastic food and really long waits. They are just off the Downtown Mall, and because they have such a small space, they're always packed. This was just our second time going, and everything we've had so far has just been incredible (and decadent). Last time we went, I'm pretty sure it was also after an 8 mile run, it was during the fall, and they had a pumpkin pancake special that was so delicious I don't even know how to describe it. It was like a plate full of the best pumpkin bread you're ever going to eat, topped with cream cheese frosting. But still tasted like pancakes. I wasn't sure if anything was going to taste as good after that experience, but this time I got their bananas foster pancakes and WAS NOT DISAPPOINTED. I ended up eating them way faster than planned, since I was starving by the time our long wait was up. All of the sugar made me feel a little sick toward the end, and I definitely didn't finish. Although I ate all of the home fries I got on the side.

Speaking of eating, what should I bake/cook for my birthday? Joey started asking me about that, and I have no idea what I want. Last year we made a ton of stuff - birthday breakfast was baked eggs in ramekins with herbs and goat cheese plus baked pancakes with berries, and birthday dinner was baked stuffed artichokes (disappointed with how they turned out), lightened up shrimp scampi, and french onion soup. I actually don't remember what we made for dessert, which just seems crazy. I've thought about making the Big Girls, Small Kitchen giant layered cookie cake, but part of me is really afraid that the cookies won't turn out well. I'm a huge cookie snob, and hate when they're anything other than chewy. I also am very intrigued by "cinnamon pie," mostly because I just love cinnamon, and partly because it was featured in an episode of Psych. I've looked a bit online, to try to find a recipe, and nothing I've seen matches what I have in my mind. I'll just have to keep thinking about what I want. What would be your ideal birthday meal?