- kickass music of choice
My morning: Percussion Gun by White Rabbits, homemade cup of coffee (still proud of this), and mental fuel to burn off from an intense week. I WILL prevail. Go.
I woke up exhausted this morning. Last night I went to an impromptu concert with my brother (Circa Survive at Highline Ballroom) and got home past the time I’m usually asleep during the week.
I pulled through with a strong cup of coffee and the Simon and Garfunkel song Cecilia to pump me up–then I was out the door. My initial plan was to run to the track and do some tempo running again to 1) minimize the length of my workout and 2) still kick some ass. That didn’t happen though.
Somewhere around mile 1 I started to feel awesome, and decided to turn my run into a 3 mile loop. SWEET! It’s a Miracle! I thought. Until.. as I stayed on the pavement.. I began to run into garbage trucks.
The first one attacked me from behind. It was a cruel game; stopping long enough that I could get ahead, then moving up right next to me again to repeat the cycle. Holy man, what a stench. The smell that radiates from those garbage trucks is just rude. Can a smell be rude? If you’re a runner getting trapped behind it, definitely. Imagine an odor that’s a mix of hot sour milk and rotten meat following you as you gasp for deep breaths. If you just winced, then you get it.
Every other block I turned down there was a garbage truck. Could it have been the same garbage truck looping around? Maybe. Was there a garbage truck brigade out to sabatoge my miracle run? Also, maybe. Is it just garbage day in my neighborhood? No. They were out to get me.
I went to bed last night confident that I would wake up and get in a kick-ass run. I was right. I’ve never pinned down what the ingredients are for an awesome morning vs. a tired one during the week, but I got it right today. When thinking about the variables, the most notable change in my routine yesterday was a second cup of coffee at 4pm, which I rarely do anymore I’m now down to 3/4 cup in the morning, and a large tea when I get to work. HUGE progress for this coffee addict. But I don’t know how more coffee could help me the next day.. isn’t that counter-intuitive?
I completed 3.7 miles, and felt really good. Great, actually.
On the way back I did 4 pick-ups (running at a fast pace for 2 blocks or so) to get in a little speed work. You might ask yourself why I’m “getting in speed work” when I’m not training for a race. It’s because after 10 years of running and reading about running, I know that distance stamina and quick-speed sessions work your muscles in different ways, a collaboration that makes you even stronger.
Here’s a quote about speed work from Runner’s World:
“Speedwork doesn’t just make you run faster. It makes you fitter, increases the range of movement in your joints, makes you more comfortable at all speeds, and it will ultimately help you to run harder for longer.”
My pick-ups–also known as a tempo run–are definitely not traditional training speed work by any means, but it’s somethin'(always better than nothin’) and I like it. If you’re really looking to get into this kind of training, you can read the full article at Runner’s World for some workout tips.
It’s been three solid weeks that I’ve been out of my standard morning routine, and I’m definitely feelin’ it. From the week of being down and out from my wisdom teeth, to a week of crazy work, to the roadtrip.. my 6:30am wake-up has been thrown out the window in favor of more sleep.
Now that everything is settling back down starting this week, I’ve been pushing it to wake up at 6:15 and re-train my internal clock to love it. Yes, I believe it’s possible to wake up at 6:30 naturally and feel good, because I’ve been there before. Unfortunately though, I’m not there right now.
This morning’s wake up a struggle despite a solid 7 hours of sleep. I crawled out of bed and made some coffee to wake me up. I drank said coffee out of my new hippie mug that I just got from the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio.
It took me 45 minutes to get out of my apartment, but I did it. And I ended up running a nice 2.7 mile loop here:
On the second half of my loop, I decided to do pick ups to kick my butt a little harder. I ran at a faster pace for 2 blocks, and then ran at my regular pace for one. It was a nice change, and I could feel the burn. It was also hot and humid out and my clothes were soaking wet. It’s really annoying to run in a wet shirt. Anyone agree?
Continuing with my butt kicking, I got back to my place and did 2 sets of push ups (the girly kind), 2 sets of 30 bicycle crunches, and a one minute plank. The plank hurt, but you can instantly feel your core muscles pulling inward and tightening. I love that.
I took a cold shower after all that, and had an unconventional breakfast of leftover grilled asparagus (huh?) and greek yogurt with honey and ground flax seed.
I’m feeling good. Cool.
New York City has finally been getting some beautiful weather with its first inklings of Spring, and I’ve been trying to take full advantage of it and run, run, run (run). Usually when I’m getting back into it, it’s hard to get out there mentally, but the run itself feels great and I’m pumped up.
This is not the current situation. I feel like this:
For some reason my past 3 runs have felt really weird. As in it doesn’t feel like my body is made for running. Like the past 10 years haven’t existed. I’ve taken long interval breaks in the past, but it never really had this effect. My stride doesn’t feel natural and my breathing doesn’t really find a rythm. This is all very strange to me… it’s never happened before.
I tried thinking of reasons why, but came up empty. I mean, 2 weekends ago I ran a 4 mile race in Central Park and felt great. What could’ve happened in the past 2 weeks? I don’t really know.. but I decided I’m going to stick through it and re-acclimate my body to this stress.
Today and yesterday I completed this loop here. Perhaps 2.6 miles 3 days in a row is too much, too soon? My plan is to take tomorrow off to let my knee chill out and avoid runner’s knee. Maybe I need a day off to let my body recover and get it’s shit together.
C’mon bod, what is the deal. Let’s be friends.
Last night was my office holiday party. I work at a small startup ad agency, so we hooked ourselves up modestly with a reserved table at a bar in NYC called Rye House. Most people approach office parties with a plan of poise and pace so as not to become that guy. Well, I think we all had the goal of becoming him as quickly as possible.
Rye house has an awesome cocktail menu that started me off right (or wrong, depending on how you see it). I started with the house punch.
We all started talking, having a good time. After some drinking we went in for food. I find this is always a fatal (excellent) approach: start drinking hard liquor before you eat. Guaranteed sloppy night + hangover.
In keeping with the impending doom that we knew awaited us tomorrow, all the food available was either fried, cheesy, pastry, or meaty. I had a bite of everything below. My coworkers were cheering me on in shock because they think I only eat carrots and coffee. I couldn’t believe I was eating this stuff myself. But dammit, I was drunk and hungry. What do you want?
The tomfoolery went on until around well into the night, and then we all hopped into cabs exclaiming we weren’t showing up at the office until noon the next day. I went home. My stomach went into shock. At 3am I woke up and crawled to the bathroom. Nothing happened.. though I wish it did ’cause I would’ve felt better! I laid in my bed with my hands on stomach until I fell asleep.
Then I did the unthinkable after a night of mayhem. I went running. In 28 degrees. With a hangover. At 8am.
It was brutal. I got a stitch ten minutes into it and had to take walking breaks. I did a small loop of about 2.5 miles, and couldn’t wait to get back to my apartment. I think i do need to invest in warmer running tights by the way if I keep heading out in this weather. When I got in the hot shower, my thighs stayed red and cold the entire time. Like robot legs. Weird.
This morning I was determined to get some sort of workout in. I was successful in hitting up the gym Monday and Tuesday, but I had an 8am conference call this morning. I would have had to take it from the locker room. Not an option.
I decided, I would go outside starting at my Greenpoint park, try a run (again), and worst case scenerio I would walk/run, or sprint/jog, to get my heartrate up and a good sweat in a small amount of time. Because less time equals less time in the cold.
I put on the following mix of technical and non-technical running gear for a 30 minute, 30 degree workout:
This time around, I felt good! I was warm, dry, and thought to myself “this is not bad! I can do this every morning!”. My face was chilly, definitely, the inch of ankle skin peeking between my sneakers and tights sucked, but overall I felt securely warm everywhere else.
And here’s what I believe the secret to be: THE HAT.
From now on, every run in 40 degrees or less will start out with a winter hat on. That’s where so much warmth escapes from, as all our moms told us when we were growing up. If you didn’t listen to her, listen to me (maybe). It’s true. And hat’s are where it’s at.
P.S. what a sweaty, unattractive photo of me. happy holidays 🙂
P.P.S. Check out my friend Becca’s blog for a sweet coffee giveaway