enjoying the journey

I can’t even begin to tell you how frightened I was of this morning’s long run.

For starters, I was flying completely solo.  Dad had to go into work (therefore, running his mileage later in the day.)  And as much as I love running by myself, it scared me silly to think that I wouldn’t have our usual conversations to distract me when I needed it the most.  Somehow, talking to myself never feels quite the same. 😉

Secondly, I haven’t run 9.5 miles in over a year.  A year!  And the last time I did, I had some major knee issues.  Speaking of knee issues, my third reason for being scared out of my mind was that my knee has been acting up over this past week.  Needless to say, my inner runner’s confidence was feeling a little shaky.

It was morning.  It was 7:30.  It was now or never.  (Never was never an option.)  I grabbed my water, a clif shot (which I had picked up for free from last week’s 5k,) and began my fearful trot.

Mile one and two were the toughest.  But from that point on, I sort of just melded into this lovely groove.  “Settle down, Sarah.  You’re fine.  Relax.  One step at a time.  Enjoy this run.”

(See?  I do talk to myself. )

Once my mind quieted down, I found myself quite enjoying the sounds of crunchy sand beneath my feet.  I enjoyed the sounds of morning doves cooing to each other.  I enjoyed the smells of muffins and coffee whirling up to my nose as I passed by the local bakery.  I even enjoyed the raspberry clif shot and being scared half to death by one quite large, almost unrealistically over-sized goat.

Running wise, I haven’t felt this good in a long, long time.  Probably going back to my pre-injury days!  It was such a delicious feeling. 😀

As always, I immediately refueled (and rehydrated!) myself post-run.

Sweet and Salty Garden Salad
Serve with homemade bread ‘n’ butter, crackers with cheese, or whatever suits your fancy.

  • Mesculin Greens
  • Cucumber and tomatoes
  • Avocado
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Snap peas
  • Green bell pepper
  • Raisins
  • dressing: sprinkle of sea salt, olive oil and a drizzle of honey

There was a little more refueling later on after dad completed his 9.5 miles.  We both found ourselves in the mood for something cold, creamy and delicious.  The choice was Ben & Jerry’s.  Obviously.

Chunky Monkey = my favorite

Time to relax and unwind with a good book.  It’s been forever since I read last, and tonight it just feels like the right thing to do.  Hope you’re all having a happy Saturday! 😀

Sarah’s “Official” Half Marathon Training Plan

Week 1: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—4 miles

Week 2: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—5 miles

Week 3: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—2.5 miles

Week 4: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—6.5 miles (YIPPEE!)

Week 5: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—3 miles

Week 6: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—8 miles (We. Did. It! :D )

Week 7:
Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—3 miles

Week 8: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—9.5 miles (Feelin’ Good!!)

Week 9:
Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—4 miles

Week 10: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—11 miles

Week 11: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—4 miles

Week 12: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—12.5 miles

Week 13: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—4 miles

Week 14: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—14 miles

Week 15: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—5 miles

Week 16: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—HALF MARATHON RACE DAY

QUESTION: Favorite ice-cream flavor?

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We. Did. It!

WE. DID. IT!!!

My dad is my most favorite running partner.  Most of the time, I hate running with other people.  I usually feel guilty for slowing them down!

But my dad runs his own pace and he tells me to do the same.  He turns around when he gets too far ahead and sometimes he even lets me choose the pace.  AND, best of all, he’s just as crazy as I am when it comes to going out for an eight mile run in icy conditions. 😉

Because, it really was super icy.  It even began to ice rain at some points.  And we were chased by a silly yellow lab.  Legs began to ache.  BUT? We. Did. It!

Pre-eight mile run:

Post eight-mile run:

(don’t let that smile fool you…I was in PAIN!)

Overall, it was a really good run.  I felt strong for the first 4-5 miles or so.  I began to tire right after that, and my entire body began to ache on the last mile stretch towards home.

And then I came home and collapsed in the snow.

“Eating For Your Long Run”

There’s a lot of thought that goes into running long miles, especially when it comes to food.  I haven’t yet reached the point where I need to bring fuel on a run, but there is a lot of pre-run fuel and post-run fuel going on.  There’s no absolute, pure science behind all of my choices, but they work for me.  The secret, I think, is to experiment a little and see what works for you!

The Night Before

Eat a light snack the night before, if you plan on running in the morning.  Cereal is my personal snack of choice.  It’s light on the stomach and it helps me sleep better.  Don’t forget to stay hydrated too!

The Morning Of

This is one of those times when I throw variety out the window and stick with what I know will work.  For me, that happens to be either (a) a bowl of oatmeal or (b) a couple of whole wheat toasts smeared with almond butter, fruit and a glass of milk.

I also drink a small cup of coffee for the caffeine boost.

And, of course, water, water, water!

Post Run

Milk has the perfect combination of protein and carbohydrates, making it the ideal way to refuel after a long run.  Drink up!  Preferably within 30 minutes of running.

Post Run

More refueling is in order if your long runs are beginning to exceed 5-6 miles.  A cup of milk won’t exactly cut it.

Today I was craving a big ol’ salad with lots of greens and flavah!  Today’s toppings:

  • kidney beans
  • goat cheese
  • salty sunflower seeds
  • avocado
  • snap peas
  • balsamic vinegar
  • olive oil

I am absolutely obsessed with these Terra Sweets and Beets chips.  They’re addicting!

A little while later, I broke out some yogurt with wheat germ and a whole wheat blueberry muffin.  I am a bottomless pit on the weekends after a long run; I’ve learned to just roll with it. 😉

Sarah’s “Official” Half Marathon Training Plan

Week 1: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—4 miles

Week 2: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—5 miles

Week 3: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—2.5 miles

Week 4: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—6.5 miles (YIPPEE!)

Week 5: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—3 miles

Week 6: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—8 miles (We. Did. It! 😀 )

Week 7:
Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—3 miles

Week 8: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—9.5 miles

Week 9:
Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—4 miles

Week 10: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—11 miles

Week 11: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—4 miles

Week 12: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—12.5 miles

Week 13: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—4 miles

Week 14: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—14 miles

Week 15: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—5 miles

Week 16: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—HALF MARATHON RACE DAY!

QUESTION: Does your appetite go up on the days that you exercise?  Or does it hit you like a ton of bricks later on? My appetite definitely skyrockets on the days that I exercise.  I listen up and eat when I’m hungry so that I’m back to normal by the next day. 😉