Sunday, February 19, 2017

Training for vegan eats and sweets

Week 7 of marathon training concluded yesterday with a 16.5 mile run in under 2:15 with a 8:08 mile. My total miles for the week was a total of 28.8 miles. On Monday; Wednesday; and Friday, I run four miles as a part of my circuit training. I'll get into more detail shortly. The weather conditions and route were absolutely beautiful. For the most part, it was not very cold and the sunshine was a big help keeping me warm. Along with running in a local park, I ran onto residential streets nearby because there is not a ton of vehicular traffic to deal with. The nearby trail is nice but it is tough with all the snow still on the ground, especially after last week.

Whenever it is my day to do a long run, I like to have a light breakfast before running so I am focused and fresh for my workout. My light breakfast consisted of a cup of tea and a smoothie. For the last few days, I'm attempting to reduce my grain intake, notably breads and pastas. My smoothie consisted of: kale; blueberries; banana; avocado; and almond milk. In the past, my routine was to have a bowl of oatmeal with chopped fruit. I decided to make a change and have smoothies. After my light breakfast, I felt more energetic as the run progressed. Since it helps me, I will continue with that regimen. I pack a small portion of grapes, Lara Bar, banana, my water bottle, and Vita Coco Water for my post run fuel.

In my previous post, I stated my miserable emotions prior to and during the run. I was so close to just quitting training until I saw an index card on my dresser drawer. On the card, I wrote an Embedded Circuit Training regimen awhile back that I almost forgot about. After reading it, it gave me a great idea to do my running indoors at the YMCA instead of jumping right out of bed in the morning to start running. Well, Presidents Day (Monday) will be the exception since I do not have to work that day. Ok, I'm on call for my current job. Anyway, I tried the embedded circuit training for three days and really fell in love with it. The change was very beneficial because it kept me very focused and it was nice being indoors for a change instead of running strictly outdoors. Initially, I was dreading having to do the miles on a treadmill but it dawned on me that the facility has a track upstairs. It might look tedious, it gave me a brand new outlook on marathon training. Yes, my weekly miles will be reduced a little. In the long run, it is essential to have your legs fresh whether it is for an upcoming race or still training.

After my run, I decided to splurge at two local food eateries. The first stop was Elevation Burger in Latham for a Vegan Burger. Yes the burger is five dollars but it beats Five Guys and they use fresh ingredients. I added lettuce; caramelized onions; hot pepper relish; tomato; and pickles. It was very good and will be making a future trip back there soon. Next time, I will either get two burgers or a burger and fries. Stop number two took me to Troy called Nibble Inc. Doughnut Shop. My friend Jenna told me about this place having vegan doughnuts, so I was immediately sold. Any establishment with good vegan options, I want to visit. Saturday, they had three different vegan options so I got one of each to sample (Strawberry Cocoa; Orange Cardamon; and I forgot the third flavor. All the flavors were amazing. The gentleman behind the counter told me that they are also available at Whole Foods. That is good to know next time I am down that way. The doughnuts were on point and will definitely stop in again for a few more. They also have gluten free and non-vegan treats as well.

That is my training update for now. I can't wait to start a brand new week tomorrow. Also, I'm getting very excited for upcoming races. Happy Reading.


Look at my face, you can't deny the deliciousness

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Marathon Training Update

Since it has been five or six weeks into marathon training, I thought an update would be useful. This past Friday, my mind was a complete mess over the smallest issues I have no control over. I became depressed and started to question myself for my purpose in training. It started to become emotionally draining when no one is around for support. I initially decided not to run Saturday and quit training all together to get myself still. As Friday came to a close, my heart began to change urging me to go do this long run. I did not do it last week out of fear of a possible injury. Instead of just getting up right away to start running, I began with a light breakfast and tea to ease my nerves.

My run started on the Zim Smith Trail and I was starting to regret that decision. Totally forgot that it snowed the day before and the trail was completely covered. It was pretty miserable running through a heavy pack and my feet started to get wet. After five to six miles, I turned onto a road off the trail that had some residential streets along the way. In total, I completed sixteen miles in over 2.25 hours. It was very slow for me (8:25 pace) but I knew that in the beginning. After the run was finished, my running spirit was revived. Prior to yesterday, I decided to run 4 miles 3 days then do a long run on Saturday. Initially, I was doubtful this experiment would work. After one week, I believe this is a good training plan allowing me to keep my legs fresh for the long run. Is it something I would recommend to other aspiring marathon runners? I would say no because I'm self trained. Any training plans you research should be consulted by a trusting coach. Someday, I will invest time and money into one. Right now, my goal is to get another personal best at my third marathon coming up. I need to work on making stretching post run a habit more often. Right now, my goal is to be ready for Vermont City Marathon (Burlington) coming up in May. Wow, this update was longer than I anticipated. I will have more updates as the marathon approaches. Thank you for reading. Good luck to all runners on your upcoming races. Happy Running.

-Matt