A Great Long Run

Monday – No Run, Bikram 90 minutes

Sunday – 21.2 3 hours 9 minutes sub 9 minute pace

When you have a horrible run there is plenty to write about.  Each mile feels like an epic battle with a story to tell.  However, when you have a great long run, what do you write?  I felt good, I ran and ran and then I stopped?

That is the case for my Sunday run.  I can’t say it was perfect but it went well.

Fuel – Peanut Butter with toast and a cookie with black tea

Water – I decided to not run with a water bottle and made a stop by the house instead for some water and OJ

The mile breakdown

Miles 1-15 – Honestly flew by.  My legs felt fresh and crisp and I kept expecting to hit a wall but I just kept going.  Listened to Run Run Live podcast and then mostly music on shuffle. I was running at about 8:30 pace here.

Mile 16 – I got thirsty and looped back to my house for intermission of 5 minutes of so. Chatted, washed my face, etc.

Mile 17-21 – I was getting tired but I can’t say I was feel too bad.  My pace slowed down to about 9:10 with running and some walking mixed into the end but I really can’t say anything horrible about these miles either.

Why my run went great?

WEATHER, WEATHER, WEATHER.  Seriously, most runners who woke up before noon will tell you that Sunday morning weather was a gift from running gods.  It was about 65, cloudy and the air was crisp.  I skipped the run on Saturday in exchange for the cool temperature on Sunday.

I woke up early and started early.  Well early for me.  I woke up at 8:30 and left the house around 9:20 which is much better than my historical weekend runs of 10:45 start.

I was rested.  Due to some insomnia related to the heat and humidity I took Friday off.  Saturday i skipped since my parents were in town and it was hot and muggy.  When I saw the forecast for Sunday, I knew it was better to miss out on some miles and so the long run the next day.  Two rest days before a long run definitely put an extra kick in my skip.

I’m getting used to 20 milers.  This is my 3rd out of the 4 I will be doing before the Montreal marathon  This is my first race where due to time and weather I haven’t trained up to the distance (in this case 26 miles) and I’m curious if the results will be similar to my other marathon where I trained up to 27 miles.

 

Should I run the Boston Marathon?

2013 Boston Marathon Registration

For those of you who are speedy, you might have already registered for your chance to run the infamous historical course in 2013.

For those that are confused, let me recap. Boston Marathon registration has opened up this Monday at 10AM with a few changes.  Rolling admission.  The rules are as follows:

WEEK ONE (September 10 – September 15)

  • On the first day of registration for the 2013 Boston Marathon, those who are eligible for entry by having met the qualifying standards for their age and gender group by 20 minutes or more will be able to enter on September 10 starting at 10:00 a.m. ET.
  • On Wednesday, September 12 at 10:00 a.m. ET, (if space remains) registration will open for those who have met their qualifying standards by 10 minutes or more.
  • On Friday, September 14 at 10:00 a.m. ET, (if space remains) registration will open for those who have met their qualifying standards by five minutes or more.Registration for these qualifiers will remain open until Saturday, September 15 at 10:00 p.m. ET.

WEEK TWO (September 17 – September 21) 

  • Registration will close from Saturday, September 15 at 10:00 p.m., ET and, (if space remains)will re-open on Monday, September 17 at 10:00 a.m. ET to all qualifiers until Friday, September 21 at 5:00 p.m. ET.
  • Those who are the fastest among the pool of applicants in their age and gender will be accepted.

SEPTEMBER 24

  • If space is available after the initial two-week registration period, then registration will re-open to anyone who meets the qualifying standards beginning at 10:00 a.m. ET on Monday, September 24. Registration will remain open as space remains available.

 So if you qualify mark you calendars as this registration gets crazy!

Luckily for me, I fall into Wednesday of week 1 registration.  I beat the 10 minute mark by seconds.  However, I’m still debating whether to run or not to run.  I’ve been taught that whenever I can’t make a decision to make a list.  So here’s the list.

Reasons to Run the Boston Marathon

1. Your right to run the course isn’t given, but earned and I earned this right on the RnR USA course.

2. It’s in Boston, so I don’t have to travel, pay hotel, etc.  All I have to do is beg Tony to drive me into town at 7AM in the morning so I can catch the bus.

3. The crowd support… now I don’t care for the drunken college kids and Wellesley girls, but I love seeing my friends on the course.  It was amazing to be able to hug everyone in my sweat and joy.

4. As running is getting more popular and more competitive, I am not sure I can qualify again.  If I don’t, I don’t want to miss one chance at running it legitimately

5. As much as I enjoyed running for a charity, I would love to run with the fastest runners in my pace group.  Charity runners have to start in the 3rd wave, last corral, so being able to run in the 2nd wave and middle corrals should be a somewhat batter experience.

6. All three female marathon Olympic runners will be running in 2013 and I think it’s pretty cool to run behind them, even if I only get to start when they are finishing.

Reasons to NOT Run the Boston Marathon

1. I have to use a vacation day… booo.

2. I am not a fan of waking up hours early, to wait in a field of grass for hours before I can run.  I think it’s stupid.

3. I hate huge races, and although Boston isn’t as big as Chicago or NY, 27,000 runners is still alot.

4. I think the course is boring up until the BC area.  There’s a part that smelled like horse poop.

5. I signed up for the SLC marathon a week later, one that I think will be a lot more interesting to me so I’ve never been to Utah.

To be honest, my mind is already made up.  I want redemption for the 2012 hot weather failure. I’ll be registering on Wednesday.  Mostly, I don’t want to miss out running a race I’m not sure I can re qualify for.

Pawtuckaway State Park Hike

Friday – No run, this humidity is affecting my sleep now (yay insomnia) so my mind and body needed a break.  Plus I realized that with my 11 mile hike last Sunday, I haven’t taken a rest day in 10 days or so.

New Hampshire Hike

So about that hike that I left out in my Hampton, NH post.. It took place about 30 minutes more north at Pawtuckaway State Park..  The Pawtuckaway Mountains are a small, rocky, circular range that form the outline of an ancient volcanic dating from 130—110 million years ago.  Pretty exciting.  Most of the hiking from what we did seems to range from easy to moderate skill level with varying lengths that you can pick.  Although we did about 11 miles that day, most of it was not very technical, just long.

Well it started as what should have been a short day hike.  Here are two of my companions.

They still look happy…

Almost there to our first point of interest.

Part one was a 3 mile hike up to the watchtower

The view was amazing!

Hello world below us

Taking a break, yup there’s cell signal.  Afterwards we had a 1.5 extra mile to round pound.

It was cloudy when we started but the sky was clearing up.

Which seemed like a perfect place for lunch. I stopped by the store and picked up bread, peanut butter and jelly.  All my essential food items.  Yes, all sandwiches should come with 5 servings of strawberry jam.

Some trail mix with cheese crackers were enjoyed as well.

After we ate, it seemed like a good idea for me to try to push my loving boyfriend into the pond.  Anna and Khemara wanted nothing to do with us.

Since we wanted to avoid hiking up the watchtower mountain again, we took a longer route around the mountain instead.

We passed by the infamous boulder field

Realizing that the longer flatter path is a little more boring and longer than we thought.

Nonetheless we made it back to the car before the sunset so everything was a success.  If you’re in the area, I definitely suggestion coming out to Pawtuckaway for a hike.  Better yet since the trails seem wide and fairly flat I think it would be a great place for trail running.  At least as easy as trail running in New England gets.

Running in Humidity & Dinners

Wednesday Run – 7.1 Sweaty miles on a treadmill so I’m not sure how long of a time since I quit at 5 miles then at 5.6 milees then at 6.5 and fo’ realz by mile 7.1 when I was swimming in my own sweat.  Can I still blame humidity?  Or can I blame that I hate running after work when I’m hungry and drained?  Give me an excuse please!

Thursday Run – Runch!  My favorite time to run.  6.14 miles in about 55-56 miles.  A minute or so slower than usual but nothing too demoralizing with the humidity at incline 3.  Can you tell my theme for complaining this week?  It starts with an H and ends with a umidity.

I use my work gym and I’m probably the biggest sweat contributor out of the whole company.  Waiting for my crown, thanks!  Or the world’s worst MS paint image re-sizer, At least now i know the secret to looking thinner or growing my head in photos.

Anyways no other running news other than me trying to figure out how 85 degree weather in 95% humidity, possibly thunderstorms while hosting my parents at my house for the weekend will result in me doing my 3rd 20 milers before RnR Montreal this weekend.

Instead I’ll continue with horrible food photos because I love food photos and I need to put them somewhere or I’m just trying to prove to my mother that I don’t starve on a daily basis without her.

 Half eaten spinach, bean sprouts, with tempah and Israeli whole-wheat couscous,  my new favorite grain.

Salmon burger with brussels sprouts and ravioli with more than a dash of sriracha.

Oops that’s not a picture of food, that’s Jack!

Anyways Thursdays aren’t just thirsty, they’re also hungry!

I’m not sure how, but all of that got consumed this morning.  I was a hungry runner… well hungry non-runner.  I skipped running at 6 AM for an extra hour of sleep… and I rewarded myself by buying breakfast.  Role model behavior.  It’s okay, I got it done at noon during lunch instead.

O hello salad and lobster rolls, these days always make me appreciate my work cafeteria a lot more.

Have you eaten anything yummy this week?

Night at Hampton Beach, NH

Ran 6.5 miles on the treadmill 59 minutes on incline 3

Tuesday left half a bucket of sweat.  I felt a little depressed for how heavy my legs felt but after checking that humidity was at 93% I felt a little better blaming the weather for my heavy legs.

Night out at Hampton Beach

For those of us who can’t afford a jet to fly us out to Martha’s Vineyard or Nantucket and don’t want to brave the traffic of going south of Boston to the Cape, Hampton beach is the  getaway.  At least it made a decent night out.  About 45-55 minutes away from Boston we didn’t make it out to the beach until 6:30PM as most of the day was spent hiking (post on this later).

First order of business.. dinner

Okay so I might have gobbled down the scallops before I remembered I own a camera, but here’s a photo to make up for it.

Perfectly cooked and cracked for me lobster.  All I had to do was use a little pointy thing to get all the good stuff out.

And incase you’re wondering where you can get such a tasty in New Hampshire?

Here’s a photo to remember where you eat.  Better than a cheap motel postcard.

Afterwards we walked the “boardwalk” and by boardwalk, it was a sidewalk since Hampton Beach doesn’t actually have a boardwalk.  We people watched.  Picture a bunch of Jersey Shore wannabes only younger and possibly skankier.  Classy American scene.

Now some people go to a beach village and scope out the bar scene, but not us.  We prefer the arcade scene.

I made bank on one of those pushing quarters machines after some failed skeeball action.

Too bad all I could afford was Patrick (500 tickets!) with what I thought was herpes, but later learned are just jellyfish bites.  Either way Jack will be happy to have a new toy he can do this to:

Nothing wrong with treating your cat like he’s your baby boy.  Don’t worry, he gets a bed time story as well.

As we were getting into some intense video game action we heard some bangs

Since it’s Live Free or Die New Hampshire, of course there would be fireworks on Labor Day weekend.

I love fireworks!

We were so close to where they were shooting them that the paper shells kept falling by our feet.  How crazy!  Crazy New Hampshires!

And how did we cap the night?  Some serious Teenage Ninja Turtle action.

Did you ever watch Teenage Ninja Mutant Turtles as a kid? Who was your favorite?  I like Michelangelo, probably because I too always just wanted some pizza.

What’s your favorite arcade game?  I like skeeball and those random get a quarter in a truck bucket ones that I loose all my money on.

How to Throw a Spring Roll Party

Monday Run – 7.5 miles approx 1hr 10 min as I ran with Tony to check out progress on the Northern Strand Trail

Dining with friends – A fun party idea

had a friend stay with us a few weeks ago and she taught me the proper way of making a spring roll.  Now, I am still not an expert and as you will later see I create some funky looking kind.  However, next time you’re thinking of having a bunch of girls over for a fondue or a regular dinner, consider throwing a Spring Rolls party instead.

Although when most people think of spring rolls, they often confuse them with the fried variety.  Before I start the recipe, I want to point out that these will be fresh with no frying and are a great light meal or appetizer.

What we used for a group of 6

For rolls
2 cucumbers
2 Carrots
Green Onion
Lots of Thai Basil
Rice vermicelli noodles
One bag of fresh bean sprouts
2 bowls of Shrimp (approx a pound?
Small head of lettuce
Rice Wrapper sheets

For sauce
Peanut butter, hoisin, and water

Step 1 – Cut cucumbers, carrots, green onion in small thin pieces.  I use a peeler
since me and knives end up in blood

Step 2 – Remove, tail, veins and all the icky as you cook the shrimp, or be cool like me and buy some that already cooked with no veins or tales to worry about.  Once shrimp is cooked, slice it in half.

Step 3 – Remove basil leaves from stem, rip pieces of lettuce

Step 4 – Make the sauce, 1 cup hoisin sauce,1-2 tablespoons of natural peanut butter, 1 tablespoon of water

Step 5 Gather a great group of friends and enjoy!

 Step 6 – Okay I lied, one more step since once everything is prepared, you still need to know how it all comes together.  You notice we used two plates.  One plate is for food, while the other will have some warm water.  You can also share a pan with warm water but we wanted to make all of ours at the same time instead of waiting for the water.

Step 6a – Take a sheet of rice paper and gently submerge it in water until it’s fully wet.  Take it out, put it on your plate.  Fill it up and wrap it sort of like a burrito.  However, don’t be like me, get greedy and overfill it.  The rice wraps are very delicate and will crack.  Although using your hands to scoop up your wounded soldiers was part of the fun.

Melinda made a perfect one.

Ana was the winner of most perfect spring rolls, hers were never too big or too small.

Tony’s came out a little lumpy but it tasted just as good.  As for mine? They were ugly. Well I was too busy eating them for them to be photographed.

21 miles – An Uphill Walk in the Park

Every 20+ miler is a different animal.

Some are a battle..

Some are a walk in the park..

Some have taken me over 4 hours like last week to complete…

Some have been finished in under 3 hours with an extra sprint in my legs in the end.

I’m not sure where my Saturday run would fit into but 21 miles are done and ran and I still had half the day free to do other things.  I guess you can call it an uphill walk in the park.

Mile 1-7 were actually quite enjoyable…In fact I would call it a stroll in the park. I was super paranoid about getting dehydrated and overheated like last week so I did not push myself at all.  I started with 9:30 pace and was down to 8:25 by mile 6.  Although the sun was shinning high and bright around noon, there was a slight delightful  breeze.  I slowed myself down every time I got too hot or thought I felt a side stitch pain. Psychosomatic pain perhaps

Mile 8-11 were a more brisk walk in the park.  My muscles were all nice and warm and all the cranks in the gears were loosen up.  I was hitting 8:30 comfortably and without much effort.  Although 8:30 is nowhere near my target pace, I felt great about it as I was carrying a liter of water in one hand.

One thing I tested out during this run is that every 15-20 minutes, I switched which hand held the water.  I figured that might be partially why I had pain last week, awkward running form perhaps from holding water for hours?

Mile 12 – Down to 9:46 pace as I walked a little with water breaks.  I was getting a little dehydrated and tired so I took it easier.

Mile 13-16 – Okay so I was getting tired of running.

Mile 17 – Legs were starting to feel heavy as I was making a final slight incline loop back to my headquarters (home).

Brief intermission of 10 minutes – refill waterbottle – slight nap on the back porch.

Mile 18-20 – Whine Whine, I’m not in pain but this is starting to be unexciting.  9:40 pace… almost done.  I guess I found my “hill” in my walk in the park.

Mile 21 – Cool off… am I really done?  That wasn’t half bad… Approx 3 hours and 20 minutes including the 10 minute break?  I’ll take it, much better than 4 hours.

Pre- Run Fuel – Two halves of a pita with natural peanut butter; I guess that makes it 1 pita bread

Running Fuel – “Performs” Gatorade full bottle and a full bottle of water, no Gu as I was still full from my peanut butter pita.

Running Entertainment – Run Run Live podcast, Jillian Michaels podcast, Here’s the Thing podcast and Runcast podcast for my cool off mile.These guys kept me entertained and running at a more slower pace.

Post Run – Most water, leftover pasta, shrimp and broccoli

Two 20 milers down, two left to go until Montreal Marathon.  Assuming I am not working, I am all in!