Sunday, September 14, 2014

First Long Run of the Season!

So yesterday officially marks my return to running. I take the summers off and that's something I've done for the past three years. It's certainly not required and there's no science to back it up but simply a personal preference. I don't like the heat or humidity, and I like to give my body a break from running. I do a lot of cross training over the summers to try out different things and this summer I got into lifting. I have no plans to drop lifting but I now have a whole new exercise plan built around my love of both running and lifting!

I'm so happy to have started running again because I've certainly missed it. That's also why I take the summers off because come fall I'm itching to run again, I feel refreshed, and ready to tackle the new running season! It works out perfectly because I run the Pittsburgh half-marathon in May so I spend all fall and winter training then I take a break from running once the race is over. This year I'm even more determined because I finally bit the bullet and decided to register for the full-marathon!! It's been on my bucket list for awhile, and I figured there's no time like the present! I'm not going to lie I'm pretty intimidated but my first half-marathon intimidated the crap out of me and I've run plenty of them at this point. So I know with proper training and confidence in myself that I'll be able to tackle the full, too! It'll also help that Amanda is running with me so I'll have her beside me every step of the race :)

So, my point is that I'm excited because my trainer built this new plan around both lifting and running but also knowing that I'll have to start training for the marathon in a couple months. She's also training for a marathon so I'm thankful to have her guidance throughout this process. For now, though, I'm just focusing on getting back into running before starting any official marathon plan.

Saturday morning I went for my first long run and I was pleasantly surprised by how smoothly it went. I thought I was going to have a rough time getting back into running (as usual) but all those leg days and HIIT cardio the past six weeks clearly did what they were supposed to do. I was actually a little disappointed because I only planned on doing 6 miles since I thought that would be plenty but I definitely could have done more than that.

Before heading out the door, I fueled up on the usual with plain Greek yogurt, some fruit, and cereal. On even longer mileage days I'll add in some almond butter or almond flour, coconut flour, chia seeds, or flax seeds. Just depends on what I'm in the mood for! But since I wasn't going as far I knew I didn't need as much fuel. This bowl had 8oz of yogurt, 1/3 cup grapes, and 1/4 cup oat flakes. 

I was shocked at my mileage time for this run! The first two miles I actually averaged a 7 minute mile which I haven't done since before my shin injury in early 2012. I was positively thrilled but at the same time made sure to scale back a bit so I didn't ruin the rest of my run. I usually run about a 8.5-9 minute mile during the training season but was not expecting to be able to hit that mile time right out of the starting gate this year! 

I had no idea that consistent lifting all summer would impact my running so much. It was a very pleasant surprise and even more motivation for me to keep up with lifting, too. 

After my run, I whipped up another peanut butter smoothie which has become my go-to staple the past few weeks. This smoothie had: 1 1/2 scoops of vanilla protein powder, 2 tbsp of Jif whips peanut butter, and 2 cups unsweetened almond milk. 

After my smoothie and a shower, I curled up on the couch with this little cutie pie before lunch. 

Later today my mom and I are going on a little trip for a surprise for Amanda! 

What are your plans on this beautiful day?

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