Yelling About Nutrition with Cait, DD

Do I have a nutritional degree? No. Do I have enough initials to make it sound like I do? YOU BET!

Every year TNT invites famed nutritionist and peanut butter evangelist Nancy Clark (MS, RD, CSSD) to come drop some dietary knowledge on us. Her spiel – including such timeless classics as “the pizza principle” and “the crescendo diet” – is well-known and loved by the TNT vets, and at this point I think I can probably recite it by heart.

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I can’t recommend Nance’s non-nonsense approach to nutrition enough, but as it turns out I ALSO have some strong opinions about food and running.

Like many women I know, I used to have a pretty unhealthy relationship with food. I counted calories, I felt terrible when I ate something I thought I shouldn’t, and I thought I had to exercise to earn or make up for what I ate. It was not a super fun way to be, especially since it meant – EARMUFFS, NANCY – that I didn’t eat peanut butter for the better part a decade.

Running helped me look at food and my body in a much healthier way. And so while I do encourage you to follow Nancy’s directives to the letter, I thought I’d throw out a few of my own lessons learned in case anyone out there is struggling with the same ish.

Counting Calories is Bad and Pointless

There are some obvious exceptions here – if it is medically necessary for you to reach a certain weight, quantifying your intake can be helpful. And if you truly have no idea whether something is a calorie-dense food, look it up! (Once, and then promptly forget it. Movie theater popcorn is a gift from God we should accept gratefully and without question). But it is my strong opinion that for your average lay-runner, tracking your food on the reg is a terrible idea.

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First, despite what a raft of internet calculators would have you believe, figuring out how many calories to put in your face each day is not an exact science. Those calculators don’t know you! They don’t know your life! They certainly don’t know how to account for the

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Measuring guacamole by the teaspoon how DARE you

day-to-day variations of your activity level (mine range from “15 mile run” to “levering slowly to 45 degrees from horizontal”). And god forbid you try to get guidance from women’s magazines, which have convinced scores of college-aged girls that 1500 is a reasonable amount of calories for an adult human. (Fact check: it is barely enough to feed a toddler.) No matter what number you land on, it’s likely to be wrong most days.

 

Okay, so that’s why counting calories is pointless. But why is it bad? Well, because if you are anything like me you will not be very good at adjusting your calorie intake goals based on what your body is telling you. After all, it is a NUMBER and your body is just…an incredibly complex and sophisticated organism finely honed over millennia of evolution. So you will be hungry and grumpy or eat more than you think you should and feel terrible about it. Not to mention, adding up all those calories every day takes a lot of time. There are so many THINGS I could have done with that time! (Learned that 3 is not the right number of deductions to claim on my W-4, for instance).

Food is Morally Neutral

One unpleasant side effect of tracking everything I ate is that I started to think about food as good or bad based on how much of my calorie budget it took up. Kale made me feel like a yoga model drinking green tea while gazing peacefully out a window. Cupcakes or even – I SAID EARMUFFS, NANCY – peanut butter sat cackling malevolently in my stomach demanding that I EARN IT. (Let me tell you what, if the Catholic church ever wants to bring back the practice of indulgences, college girls are RIPE FOR IT.)

indulgences
Yep, seems right. All they’re missing are the Uggs.

I know I had a particularly bad case of the food personifications, but if the office holiday parties I’ve attended over the years are any indication this is an issue for a LOT of people.  How many times have you heard someone say they’re “being bad” by eating a slice of birthday cake? I find it deeply upsetting. Save your regrets for the important stuff, like having paid insufficient attention to Beyonce’s maternity photoshoot or not having THREE slices of cake.

Training for a marathon helped me shake the idea of food as good or bad, because after a 15 mile run there is no TIME to consider the moral weight of whatever I’m ingesting. It’s food, and I need it in my face as fast as possible. And once I stopped avoiding the food I used to think of as bad, something magical happened. Nothing! I did not triple in size, I am still a good person, and as a bonus, I eat a lot more mac n cheese these days.

Your Weight is Morally Neutral

This is a tough one. Look, we as a society tend to think that thin is good and thinner is better. We as runners tend to think that fast is good and faster is better. Add in the fact that sheer physics would seem to suggest the less weight you’re hauling around in your skin-bag the faster you’ll be, and runners can end up feeling a lot of pressure to lose weight. Luckily, I have 12 years’ evidence to the contrary!

I’ve run a 4 hour marathon 15 pounds lighter than I am right now and a 3:30 marathon 5 pounds heavier. There is SO MUCH that goes into speed besides your weight – things like sleeping, or stretching, or not drinking Bud Light til 2am on weeknights! Feeling good about your body is hard enough in this world, there’s no need to lob anxiety about athletic performance on top of it.

It is also worth saying that how much you weigh or how fast you run has absolutely zero to do with the light you shine on the world. And to that point, although it is entirely unrelated to running, I would like to share the best advice I’ve ever gotten on the matter.

A few years ago I was getting ready to go out for a friend’s birthday party and I was in a STATE. Everything fit wrong, nothing looked right, I didn’t want to leave the house – but when I grumbled as much to my friend Meredith, she just said: “Girl, I don’t even notice what you’re wearing. When I think about you I just see your smile and the expressions on your face when you tell me a story. That’s who you are to me!”

She’s right. I don’t remember what my friends’ bodies look like. If pressed, I could probably tell you that they are in possession of both arms and legs, but that’s not what I really notice about them. It’s their smiles, or the expressions on their faces when something funny catches them off-guard, or the way they look when they see someone they love.

INNNNNNNN CONCLUSION

  • Never open a women’s magazine
  • Eat food that makes you feel good, physically AND emotionally
  • Remember that you are a glowing smile and a warm hug, not an uncomfortable assemblage of paunches and chins

 

100 Friends, 100 Hours, 100 Bidens

I mean, I can’t promise there are 100 pictures of Joe Biden eating ice cream out there, but there’s gotta be at least 80.

I usually try to keep my emailing to once a month, but I wanted to let y’all know about this fundraising contest our team is running! Here’s the deal: if I can get 100 friends to donate any amount by 9pm on Sunday, January 22nd, I have a chance to net an extra $250 from LLS. Free money????

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Want to know what’s even better? If I can get 100 donations from 100 people totaling at least $500 I *WILL* get a $1,000 donation from a mysterious benefactor. I’ve already got 4 donations totaling $130, so we are well on our way!
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OH BUT IT IS
So, where does Biden come into all of this? Well, regardless of where you fall in our deeply divided political landscape, I think we can all agree that there’s something delightful about watching this nation’s septuagenarian sexpot in chief enjoy the heck outta an ice cream cone. If you are so inclined, join the Facebook event, where I’ll be bombarding your newsfeed with gifs, Onion articles, and homemade Biden memes every time I get a donation.
 
Okay let’s wrap this up and get to gif-in! REEEEEEEECAP!
  1. I need 100 unique donors by 9:00pm Sunday, January 22nd (no peeling that $25 donation off in ones, unfortch, I already checked)
  2. Donations can be any amount (guys, I mean ANY)
  3. Donations will be met with a hailstorm of Bidens
  4. If I get to 100 donors/$500, I’ll have another grand in the cancer-curing bank
Alright everyone, START YOUR ENGINES….
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#TBT: Resolutions in the Long Run

Editor’s Note: Future Caitlin here again! Back again already?? Well YES! Thanks to you we’ve sped by the $3k mark in the span of a week, which means it’s time to take a twirl back in time to my THIRD Boston Marathon. (Want to see what I was writing about back in 2009? Help me hit the the $4k mark to find out!)

The year was 2008. Flo Rida was sweeping the nation, and a 25-year-old Caitlin Deschenes-Desmond was polishing her puns, apparently setting multiple PRs in the span of a day, and preparing for her third Boston Marathon…

2008
Facebook update error or LIGHTING SPEED, you tell me

Are you ready for another marathon metaphor? (If you weren’t, would
you have opened this email? C’mon, you know what to expect by now).

So, it’s the third week of January, which means everyone’s New Year’s
resolutions should be petering out about now, right?  Mine always do.
Usually it’s because I’ve decided that I can’t possibly resolve to
start cleaning my room more than seasonally unless I also balance my
checkbook, start volunteering at the local orphanage, and finally
(FINALLY!) become fluent in Tagalog. Now obviously, this kind of
resolution overload is not the key to making lasting changes, but it
took three marathons for me to finally figure that out.

See, there’s only so much you can concentrate on doing for 26.2 miles.
If I tried to keep track of my mile splits while also maintaining
perfect form and a state of mental clarity and serenity, I would never
leave Hopkinton. I’m honestly barely capable of basic subtraction
while running long distances. So I keep my resolutions simple. The
first year, I wanted to finish. Last year, I tried to avoid wanting to
die for the last 5 miles. And this year, I might see if I can go a
little faster than last year (while also, if possible, avoiding the
Mile  21-26.2 blues). I figure out what I could conceivably manage
given my marathon mental state, and shoot for that. It’s worked out so
far!

You know what else has worked out? Fundraising! By you donating what
you can conceivably manage (given relative states of grad schoolhood
and employment), you’ve managed to raise nearly $4,000 for the
Leukemia and Lymphoma Society! This is the first time I’ve raised my
goal before the marathon, and I can’t thank you all enough. Here’s
another story of long-term goals to show how much good your donations
do. Our Team in Training coordinator, Lisa Beall, recently told us
that her mother was going to have start chemotherapy to treat a
resurgence of the cancer she was first diagnosed with 7 years ago. The
treatment she’s going to have didn’t exist 7 years ago. We may not
have found a cure for blood cancers yet, but the progress we have made
is helping thousands of people live and live well.

If you haven’t made a donation yet but would like to, you can still
either send a check or donate online! For checks, make them out to the
Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and send them to me at 1862 Beacon
Street, Building 1 Apartment 5, Brookline, MA 02445. To donate online,
go to www.active.com/donate/tntma/caitontherun

Thank you all again so much for your generosity (especially All-Star
Donors the Zarrow Family Foundation and Orchards Family Medicine!).

Love and remember to vote on Super Duper Tuesday (seriously? grownups
talking about elections call things Super Duper?),
Cait

Week 5 Training Recap

Hello darlings! Before we get started on this week’s workouts, a quick fundraising update. We just hit $3,000 which means we are 25% of the way to goal! I’ll continue filling up your feeds with Prince posts but don’t worry – if that’s not enough of an incentive to donate, you’ve got other options!

Saturday, February 4th, we’ll be having the 4th Annual High Kicks for Hope Dance-a-Thon at the Green Briar. For those who have attended this Sara Collins Special in the past, you know you watching Eric and Courtney Zawada perform is itself worth the price of admission ($20, in case you were curious), but we’ll also have raffle prizes and judges wearing bedazzled hats. Hope to see you and your dancing shoes there!


Monday (Track) – 5 x 1000 @ 4:10, 400 recovery between laps

Actual: 4:10, 4:10, 4:10, 4;10, 4:07 (7.8 miles total)

Why, look at that remarkable consistency! Did I finally crack the code on pacing? No. I looked at the Weather Channel app and decided a “feels like 3 degree” was a “feels like time for my first treadmill run of the season.”  The 1.4 mile jog to the gym was more than enough to confirm that I’d made the right decision.

Our coaches always tell us to put the incline at 1.0 to mimic wind resistance, even though I think the mental torture of running on a treadmill mimics wind resistance just fine, so I propped myself up to a 10 degree angle and started huffing through it. For someone who spent 4 years as an analyst, it took me an embarrassingly long time to do the long division required to figure out my desired mph (that last repeat was a panicked bet-hedge in case I’d done my math wrong).

It definitely feels hard to run this pace, so I’m a little nervous about holding it for a full mile in a couple weeks, but I guess that’s the point?

Tuesday (Easy) – 6 miles @ 8:45-9:15

Actual: 6.3 miles @ I don’t know but it felt fast. Let’s say 8?

Saturday’s long run with the team (and Monday’s treadmill run in isolation) made me so hungry for company that I was willing to get up PRIOR TO FIVE ANTE MERIDIUM to join my former teammate and running buddy Keith for a turn around the Charles. Totally worth it.

keith
Sorry about the creepy red murder text Keith, the people need a visual aid.

I try to avoid women’s magazines to whatever extent possible, but I will say that the tip I’ve seen in many to sleep in your workout clothes really DOES make it easier to get out of bed and out the door. (Next up, seeing if sleeping in a dress and tights means I get to work on time).

Wednesday (Tempo): 9 miles, 6 @ 7:40

Actual: 9.2 miles, 6 @ 7:35

My friend Rohit told me a couple months ago that Boston is one of the windiest cities in the US, and after this run yeah, I’d concur (looks like peerless weather source currentresults DOT COM backs me up). You hear that, Chicago? You can have our Marios, but you can’t have EVERYTHING.

Thursday (Easy) – 7 miles @ 8:45-9:15

Actual: 7 miles @ 9:00 

Another jaunt through the Newton hills, another hour spent wondering how on earth I’ll be able to maintain a 7:40 pace up Heartbreak (current strategies under consideration include having Bree stand at the top with a giant milkshake).

Friday (Long): 12 miles @ 8:15

Actual: 12 miles @ 9:30(ish) 

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Just over a 50k away from living in a country led by a panda-hugging feminist. Tempting, but it’s a little outside my training plan/contractual friendship agreement with Chris Mario.

I grew up skiing but I’m not willing to risk joint integrity with so much training on the line, so I spent this weekend’s group ski trip to Sugarloaf going up mountains instead of down them. Besides, I actually ran the Sugarloaf Marathon a few years back so it seemed like a good opportunity to revisit my old wheezing grounds.

The Schmanson Plan only has a “long” run every other week, meaning this was my week to run a little bit longer a little bit faster. I’m trying to hit my paces no matter what kind of terrain I’m running on, but leaving a house with a fireplace, hot tub, and 3 pounds of bacon cooking to run up a mountain in the cold was effort enough. I’m not going to concern myself  with speed on top of that. Besides, I had a couple watch false starts so that estimate of a 9:30 pace is based on the statistically insignificant sample of 3.25 miles on the way out and 1.37 on the way back.

Saturday (Rest)

Actual: 5 mile hike + one VERY vigorous fall out of a hot tub and some ice cream making (active rest)

It turns out 36 hours straight of playing drinking Jenga and eating bacon is enough to give even the most satisfied cabin-dwellers cabin fever, so we rolled out to explore the landscape. And boy am I glad we did!

We were tromping our way through the woods towards what the map told us was Stratton Brook Hut, when a lady snowshoeing in the other direction stopped us to let us know that if we were heading to the hut the lentil soup was really outstanding that day. Quaaaaaa??? I was picturing a ramshackle assemblage of sticks, not the kind of place you’d expect to find a friendly staff slinging soup. We picked up the pace.

stratton
Expectations vs. reality

The soup, and the hut, were even better than we’d hoped. In addition to lentil soup, they also had beer, free coffee, gender-neutral composting bathrooms, and a VERY instructive library of children’s books.

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A question I ask myself every day

I could gladly have relocated there permanently, but the hot tub was calling so we slid our way back down the most direct route of descent. Which turned out to be useful practice for my own slide down the most direct route of descending the iced-over hot tub stairs later that afternoon. I rebounded quickly (LIT’RALLY) with no evidence of traumatic brain injury, and rounded out my day of active rest with some ice cream ball crossfit.

 

Sunday (Easy): 5 miles @ 8:45-9:15

Actual: 5 miles @ 10:00

In preparation for the 4.5 hour drive back home, I skidded down the mountain one more time to stretch my legs out and see what hidden treasures my iTunes library holds. I don’t normally listen to music while I run, but I had discovered on Friday that while dodging logging trucks wasn’t enough to distract me from the 20mph winds, exploring a playlist I haven’t updated since Obama’s first term did the trick. This run yielded such back-to-back hits as: Paul Simon live in Central Park, vintage Kanye, and Foxborough’s own JoJo.


TOTAL MILEAGE GOAL: 46

TOTAL MILEAGE ACTUAL: 47.3

HOW’RE WE DOING: My legs are sore as the dickens, but I’d attribute that mostly to doing 17 of this week’s miles on a sheet of ice.

#TBT: Back in the Habit

Editor’s Note: Oh HELLO, it’s me, FUTURE CAITLIN, comin atcha from 2017! Thanks to the incredible generosity of some recent donors/blood relations, we have BOUNDED over the $2,000 mark and are closing in on three grand! So, to honor my second thousand, please enjoy this gem from the archives of our second fundraising campaign (spiced up with a little 2017 photoshopping)…

back-in-the-habit
Is Whoopi Goldberg jogging behind me, singing sassed-up spirituals for motivation? I wish. Sadly, my runs remain nun-free. I have, however, started up my “real” training period (i.e., runs long enough to require water stops and jelly beans), and I’m readjusting to 2+ hours of continuous movement, the bedtime of a 6-year-old on Friday nights, and 8am Saturday training sessions. It’s great!
Really, though, it is. I have to admit, I was not looking forward to having to set my alarm on Saturdays again (I know, call me crazy). But I forgot how incredibly motivational it is to run with my teammates, to talk to them about Powerbars and pacing and sneakers and fundraising, and to hear their reasons for trying this whole marathon thing in the first place.
This past Saturday, for instance. About two miles into our run, a woman on our team I’d never spoken to before came up beside me and asked me if this was my first marathon. Now, I don’t usually like to expend precious breathing air on idle chitchat, but once we started talking those 9 miles FLEW by. We talked about what it’s like to run your first marathon (this is hers), the nutritional merits of post-race hot dogs, and the reason she’s running. Her aunt was diagnosed with multiple myeloma 14 years ago – the cancer has now taken over to the point where trying to eradicate the tumors completely with chemotherapy would cause her bones to collapse. But she’s still fighting, and Andrea thinks she’ll be there to watch her run in April. You want something to make a marathon seem easy? That’ll do it.
Speaking of motivation, in the two miles before I met up with my running buddy I (over)heard something truly astonishing. Two guys behind me were talking about their fundraising, and one said he had raised $28,000 . That’s almost my annual salary! In two months! Granted, he did mention that he emailed “300+ acquaintances”, while I don’t think I’ve even bumped into 300 strangers on the T (I’m very big on personal space). And I certainly don’t have 7-8 people with $1,000 to drop on Crazee Caitlin’s Wacky Adventures in Running, as he apparently does. But if this guy can raise $28,000, I’m pretty sure I can make my $3,000 minimum.
Which, of course, means asking for your help. Many of you have already donated, and to you a million thanks! If you’d like to but haven’t yet, the details on how to give online or by mail are below. The balance comes off my credit card on January 23rd, so anything you can give before that point is particularly welcome :). Donations are accepted all the way until May, however, so don’t worry if your credit card is still in recovery from December. Here’s the info:
Donating Online
Donations by Check
Make your check out to “The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society” and mail them to me at:
Caitlin Deschenes-Desmond
1862 Beacon Street
Bldg 1, Apt 5
Brookline, MA 02445
Finally, if you know of someone who’s interested in running or cancer-curing or giving me money, please feel free to pass this on. I hope everyone is having an absolutely wonderful 2007, and I’ll talk to you again in a month!
Love,
Cait

Week 4 Training Recap

Hey buddies! Before we get started yes, thank you so much, it IS my monthiversary with the Schmanson Plan (I believe the monthiversary is Gu, if you’re looking to get any gifts). I wouldn’t say we’re in the honeymoon phase, per se, but my legs are still attached to my body so it’s still looking pretty rosy, all things considered.

I hit a roadblock this week in the form of a mayyyybe stomach bug, but one of the best lessons I’ve learned over the past 12 years of running is how to chill the eff out when I miss a few miles . So while I ended up a little short of my weekly mileage goal, I’m feeling good about where I’m at. Let’s see how it went!


Monday (Track) – 6 x 800 @ 3:20, 400 recovery between laps

Actual: 3:17, 3:16, 3:21, 3:21, 3:19, 3:20 (9 miles total)

For those of you keeping track, Monday was January 2nd, which is one day after New Year’s Day, which is not QUITE enough time to feel fully refreshed after 3 days of drinking wine like a disenchanted royal on Game of Thrones. It also didn’t help that on our drive back from Sunday River that morning I polished off an entire box of wasabi soy sauce Triscuits. But I got out to the track when we got home anyway, and I’m going to go ahead and call it as my top accomplishment of 2017.

6x800-track-workout

It felt terrible, of course, but I was still able to hit most of my splits (and avoid hitting any of the gaggle of BMX biking youths charging down the straights).

 

Tuesday (Easy) – 6 miles @ 8:45-9:15

Actual: 6 miles @ 9:00 

One of the benefits of living close to the course is that I get to run Heartbreak whenever I want. By the time we get to April I’ve covered it forwards and backwards dozens of times, and although there’s really no way to prepare for the smell of the Sausage Cart at Mile 20, I’ve gotten my body ready for just about everything else. As a bonus, hills are also an excellent way to make sure I stick to my easy run pace!

 

Wednesday (Tempo): 9 miles, 6 @ 7:40

Actual: NOPE

There’s been a stomach bug tearing through town, and I woke up feeling queasy to texts confirming that the two people I share the most airtime with had been felled by it, so I held off on a run. Instead, I set about letting any lurking virus know I wasn’t scared by eating whatever wholly inappropriate foods I could find (fish curry, green apples, three-week-old bacon, ETCET). The “don’t let it smell your fear” approach seems to have worked, because all of the food I put in my body stayed there.

 

Thursday (Easy) – 6 miles @ 8:45-9:15

Actual: Also nope. 

Warding off a stomach bug through sheer power of will takes a lot out of you.

 

Friday (Easy): 8 miles @ 8:45-9:15

Actual: Tempo – 6 miles @ 7:35, 9.2 miles total 

Two rest days and 18 hours of sleep later, I was ready to tackle this week’s tempo run. And aside from the 17 impromptu tap numbers brought on by black ice patches, it felt GREAT.

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Up and down the Charles

The rest probably played a big part in it, but I think my legs are also finally getting used to running this tempo which means my brain can go on its usual meander instead of keeping up a constant stream of “Run faster run faster run FASTER.”

 

Saturday (Easy): 8 miles @ 8:45-9:15

Actual: 10 miles @ 8:35

 

Oh my gosh, it is SO NICE to run with other people. This was my first TEAM run since early kickoff, and only the second I’ve done with any kind of company, and with actual conversational partners 10 miles felt like a spin around the block. So yes, blah blah blah training, but let’s get to the important stuff.

First, puppies. One of our new teammates brought this lil buddy to waterstop for us. His Gatorade pour could use some work, but he gets an A+ in the morale boosting department.

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This is a REAL LIVE DOG and I will love him forever.

 

Second,  and more importantly, Sarah.

Our pre-run dedication this week came from Sarah Lucas, who has been running for her friend Heather, a stand-up comedian and tall drink of water from Denver who was diagnosed with leukemia in 2015. As Sarah’s friends, we’ve all been following Heather’s fight since the diagnosis – through two bone marrow transplants, increasing challenges and setbacks, and finally her hope to join a clinical trial in LA January 3rd. So when Sarah found out Heather had passed away December 31st, it felt like a punch in the chest even to those of us who hadn’t known her personally. For those who did, I can’t imagine the pain.

The reason we run as a team is to keep the people we love alive. Not just by raising money that might save lives, but by telling, and listening to, their stories. When my teammates get up and talk about who they’re running for, they talk about that PERSON. Not just their illness, or their fight against it, but the funny, loving, weird, annoying, wonderful, whole human that they are. I know the stories of the people my long-time teammates are running for as well as if I’d known them myself, and I’ll never forget them. So thank you to Sarah, for sharing Heather’s story, and letting us share in some of the light that she gave to the world.

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Sunday: Rest Day

Actual: Rest Day

All that brings us to today! Before I go dive face-first into a platter of sushi and Benedict Cumberbatch’s mind-boggling deduction skills, just let’s all give someone we love a hug and tell them their hair looks great and they always make us laugh. And if you want to help keep someone else’s story alive: Sarah’s fundraising page.


TOTAL MILEAGE GOAL: 45

TOTAL MILEAGE ACTUAL: 34.2

HOW’RE WE DOING: Super. Ask me next week after I do a full 6 days of runs (including another one up a ski mountain – when will I learn!)

 

Week 3 Training Recap

Happy 2017, everyone! I hope you’ve shaken off the dust and grumbles of 2016 and are moving champagne-full and fancy free into a new year. I spent mine on top of a mountain playing board games with 95% of my favorite people on earth so it was grand indeed.

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My liver and I put equal amounts of work into filtering this weekend

I was pretty proud of myself for actually getting all my scheduled runs in this week – I mean, yes, I guess I had LITERALLY nothing else to do, but nothing can be so, so appealing.


Monday (Track) – 8 x 600 @ 2:30, 400 recovery between laps

Actual: 2:25, 2:24, 2:28, 2:29, 2:29, 2:31, 2:27, 2:27 (9.5 miles total)

I don’t know what the geese who populate Lane 1 of the Harvard Track are eating but let me tell you what, it is going RIGHT through them.

 

Tuesday (Easy) – 6 miles @ 8:45-9:15

Actual: 7.5 miles @ 9:15 (6, gym, 1.5)

My pre-run brunch of coffee and 6 handfuls of walnuts probably had Nancy Clark rolling in her tracksuit, and with good reason. I  felt AWFUL (and thought I’d learned my lesson, til I pre-gamed this week’s track workout with a box of wasabi and soy sauce Triscuits).

 

Wednesday (Tempo): 9 miles, 6 @ 7:40

Actual: 9.2 miles, 6 @ 7:33

I ate a respectable 3 lbs of potatoes on Tuesday night, which turned out to be a MUCH better strategy. I also figured out where the 2 and 4 mile marks were on my tempo run route and used those to avoid unnecessary sprinting. It’s amazing to me, now that I’m tracking my pace for the first time, what a difference a few seconds per mile can make. This 7:33 felt completely different (in a good way) than the 7:27 from last week.

 

Thursday (Easy) – 6 miles @ 8:45-9:15

Actual: 4.5 miles @ 8:15 (3, gym, 1.5)

Unrelated to running, but I’ve been trying some “fun” new core workouts and I’d like to take this opportunity to apologize to our downstairs neighbors for the thunderous bellyflops I inflicted on them in the course of trying to get the first exercise here. Turns out if you can barely do a pushup, you should maybe work on that before trying to leap into one from a plank!

 

Friday (Long): 10 miles @ 8:15

Actual: 10 miles @ 8:13 

I was leaving for Sunday River for New Year’s Friday, so I bumped my long run from Saturday to Friday. Despite only having a day between my tempo run and this (and despite covering lit’rally every hill on the course forward and backward) it felt pretty good! It seems that perhaps this dedicated approach to training thing is starting to pay off.

 

Saturday (Easy): 6 miles @ 8:45-9:15

Actual: 5 miles & who even knows, let’s call it a conversational pace

The house we rented was halfway up a mountain, so this run was about 1/3 sliding down it and 2/3 coasting through the slush at the bottom, but it was wonderful because it was with Anna.

As you can tell by the photo montage I’ve put together here, Anna is one of my oldest and dearest friends, and the fact that she is now back from her 7-year surgical residency in Tennessee brings me INEXPRESSIBLE joy (well, inexpressible except through photo montages and turning into a living heart emoji when I see her).  And what Anna and I do when we are happy, or sad, or really anything besides sleeping, is run. Running is what started and cemented our friendship, and after weeks of spending my runs calculating mile times it was wonderful to just throw pace out the window and spend it talking about life with someone I love.

anna

 

Sunday: Rest Day

Actual: Rest Day

I mean, I did go on a vigorous walk up a mountain, but that was 1 hour out of 23 spent draping myself on various items of furniture.


TOTAL MILEAGE GOAL: 46

TOTAL MILEAGE ACTUAL: 45.7

HOW’RE WE DOING: GREAT. Nutritional missteps aside, the hard runs felt challenging but not impossible

and my legs have stopped aching 24/7. I’ve got one more week before the mileage jumps up again, and it feels like I’m starting to get the hang of this. So let’s grab a 10 lb bag of taters and see how it feels!