March Running

Tomorrow is the first day of April. Where did the time go?! In about 6 weeks I will be done with graduate school and getting ready to get my diploma! Excuse me?! But how?? March was a month of accomplishments in my opinion, mostly on the running front. I am feeling really good right now and after a tough Spring Break I have been doing well with my tempos and (some of) my speeds.

In March I ran 151.44 miles! 

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I ran my farthest mileage to date. 15 miles -> 17 miles. To come this weekend: 18 miles.

Reaching 40 miles per week. I thought it would suck and some days it does because it's hard for me to feel energized and ready to run when I'm still in graduate school and working 16-24 hours a week. But once I get into my groove the runs usually feel great!

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With that said here's an update on my relationship with mindful eating. I would say it's not going as well as I would like, but part of mindful eating is being curious and treating every eating opportunity as an experience. Some days I am better at listening to my hunger, but other days (usually when I am at work) I find myself eating snacks because I have a break or I know if I don't eat then I won't have another chance for a long while. What truly helps and what I have been slacking at immensely is setting the table and actually sitting down to enjoy a meal. I need to get back to doing that because it makes meals much more satisfying!

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Legalizing food is going great. I no longer feel tied to chocolate or maple syrup because I know it's there. Sure at first I wanted it every day and did have it every day. And sometimes I want to have more than just a little bit or a typical serving size and that's okay too.

My hunger is no longer as insatiable, but I do notice that I have been getting hungry later in the evening. Tonight around 9pm I was feeling a bit hungry (either that or I really just wanted some banana bread). I think that with my increased mileage I need to start having a consistent snack at night. I am going to make and freeze some banana bread this weekend because I can't get enough. I have some almonds, cocoa roasted almonds, pretzels, and popcorn in my pantry right now so those are options as well. I've never really been a huge post dinner snacker, usually just some dessert, but it may be helpful to get the calories and carbohydrates that my body needs. It's trial and error!

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For a while in March I was feeling a bit off. I felt like my clothes weren't fitting well and that I was putting on some weight. BUT weight is not everything. I have been running a lot more and this can definitely impact my body weight and size. I've also been eating more and differently with the increase in activity and having more time to spend with my friends. My sister and I were also just talking about how we are in food funks. The weather has been terrible and the gloominess gives me no desire to cook and put effort into my meals. On the plus side I love having the time to go out with friends or hang in with friends. It's been so refreshing!

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I keep reminding myself that weight is not everything. Your body naturally changes with seasons, with age, with almost anything. When I run a faster speed or a longer distance I smile and love what my body can do. I think about my legs and how strong and great they are. And how my body has given me so many opportunities. It's been an amazing month of pushing my body to see what it's capable of. Body appreciation. But it's an everyday process and sometimes struggle because of the type of society that we live in.

Instead of focusing on my weight and how my clothes fit, I am going to continue to focus on fueling my body with foods that are nutritious and satisfying, but also with foods that may be less nutritious and just as satisfying. Some days I love whole grains, legumes, vegetables, and healthy fats (hello, have you seen my buddha bowls lately). Other days I just want slice after slice of banana bread, pizza, and french fries with a few drinks on the side. There's nothing wrong with that. Last night I had basil hard cider and crispy french fries! Like I have said before, food is about so much more than the nutrients. We eat food to connect to our culture, to connect to people, and to have an overall experience.

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March was a great month and I spent a good chunk with family. April brings new adventures (another trip to Boston, Julie coming to visit, a half marathon, research presentations, and basically the LAST MONTH of school!) It's so surreal and I plan to soak in as much of Vermont as I can before I move.

Running A{long}

Long runs have quickly become my favorite runs of the week (except for certain weeks when the weather is terrible...aka most weeks). Tempo runs and especially speed runs are dreaded...they are just so hard. Today was a great long run! img_5679

A few weeks back I had a great run with Rebecca. She did 10 and I went on to do 13. While it was cold and windy, we both felt great and liked our splits. The bike path was clear so we could run and enjoy the scenery albeit grey. At one point we ran into a snow squall but we still felt great.

The following week was a terrible 8 mile run on a Friday night because the whole weekend had a wind chill advisory with threats of frost bite. No thank you. Running at night or even in the afternoon is not great for my digestive system. I just feel so much better in the morning and Rebecca and I both struggled on this run.

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The following week we did a mid afternoon long run, Rebecca doing 12 while I did 15. This was a nice day but we had just gotten dumped on with snow two days prior and the sidewalks were still pretty covered in snow despite the plows working hard. This run was SLOW going and my legs were in so much pain simply from trying to stabilize each step on the uneven ground.

Fast forward to today. Oh my gosh it was perfect.

5:45 am - My alarm goes off and I roll out of bed. I'm actually very awake and ready for the day.

5:50 am - I make 2 slices of Great Harvest toast with peanut butter and my mom's strawberry jam (I still cannot.get.enough.) I have a cup of coffee with a little bit of milk on the side. This breakfast provides probably 45 grams of carbohydrates (30 from the toast and 15 from the jam) which should provide a good amount of fuel for the beginning of my run.

6:35 am - I get my car warmed up and defrosted (it's about 18 degrees out with no wind chill!!!!)

6:45 am - I park my car and run to meet Rebecca at the corner where we start off down the road. We are running an out and back today which is part of the stretch of the marathon. It's sunny and cold at first, but like I said there was no wind!! There is ice on the ground, but Rebecca and I conclude that the ice now is better than slush because your feet don't get wet and you can see when you need to slow down and be careful. A few times the ice almost breaks, but we avoid getting our feet wet the whole run!

~7:45 am -When I am about 7 miles in I eat one packet of fruit snacks. I have been using these for fueling and while they are easy to consume while running they don't quite provide enough carbohydrates for me. Each bag is about 20 grams of carbohydrates and I would like something closer to 30 grams every hour. I guess it's a good thing my breakfast had about 45 grams!

8:45 am - I eat another packet of fruit snacks and wave goodbye to Rebecca. I round out my run and do another small out and back to get up to 17 miles.

9:40 am - I finish at my car and basically collapse. I have two new records: fast half (not for long!) and longest run. After how great I felt today I am so excited for the Unplugged half marathon in two weeks!

9:45 am -I eat a banana in my car and drive into the Switchback parking lot for Stretch & Sip.

9:50 am - I chug a chocolate milk, aka the perfect post run fuel. It has a 4:1 carbohydrate to protein ratio to help refuel and rebuild my muscles. I need this as I head into an hour long yoga class.

10:00 am - Yoga starts and feels amazing. The whole time I feel strong and connected to my body. I have put on some weight since beginning training, but I have never been more proud of what my body has accomplished and when I feel strong like today I love every inch of me.

11:00 am - The sipping part of the day begins...and I would say the fun begins too but it's already been fun.

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17 mile long run (average pace 9:47, total time 2:46:23)

Mile 1: 10:03

Mile 2: 10:24

Mile 3: 9:37

Mile 4: 9:59

Mile 5: 10:02

Mile 6: 9:49

Mile 7: 9:56

Mile 8: 9:54

Mile 9: 10:01

Mile 10: 9:58

Mile 11: 9:51

Mile 12: 9:36

Mile 13: 9:57

Mile 14: 9:25

Mile 15: 9:20

Mile 16: 9:20

Mile 17: 9:09