practice makes perfect?
OK, I really have been trying to get back into the groove since my last post, and will have knocked off 2 decent weeks since then. Pretty much each week consisted of the downtown run with the Flyers, a long interval workout (800s and 1000s), long tempo intervals (1800s) and a long run, and yeah, one other day.
Last week’s intervals were a struggle. But this past week’s not so bad. Still a far cry from where I was last summer, but moving in the right direction. Of course, it may have helped that one of the newer members of our group was pacing with me (the girl who used to be my pacing buddy left at the end of last summer!)…not to mention it was a certain evil holiday this past Tuesday so I may have had a little extra something firing me up
As for tempos, while last week’s went well (same person was pacing with me), this week’s was just meh. Of course it was cold and rainy and crappy out so I hoping just the fact that I showed up counts for something?
As for long stuff, last week 18 miles, this week 15. Been averaging closer to 9:15-9:20 as opposed to the 9′s of last summer but again, just getting it in (and who knows, maybe the extra time on my feet will help me out on race day?) Last week’s 18…well I was debating Saturday (when it was predicted snow) or Sunday (sub-freezing temps) Even though the forecast was wrong for Saturday, I was still leaning towards that day anyway-just so the water in my bottle wouldn’t freeze :) Anyway faced with the prospect of another solo long run, I figured the only way to get through it was decent music on the iPod and a creative route…down the west side, around the southern tip of Manhattan (stopping at the only known working water fountain in Manhattan-purposely planned!), up the east side, over the Williamsburg, Pulaski, and Queensboro bridges…and finally ending around Union Square. And not one iota in Central Park!
As for this weekend, since I’m semi-racing tomorrow, I took advantage of a half-day and got my long run done in the late afternoon yesterday. Though the last 2 miles running from Central Park South to City Bakery were quite an adventure-WTF was I thinking running through midtown? But I had to partake in the hot chocolate flavor of the day-Brooklyn Brewery Beer Hot Chocolate (sounds weird I’m sure, but actually recommended-the chcoolate stout cuts the super-sweetness a bit!)
So even though the “in” thing is minimal fueling during long runs and the cool thing to do is do your long runs with as little water and gel as possible, I’m using my long runs to try and get the nutrition issues dealt with, as I do not want a repeat of what happened in NYCM. One thing I’m looking into this time around is gels without caffeine. I had been using PowerGel tangerine flavor which had double caffeine, and I’m wondering if the caffeine had been part of the issue. Especially since it did give me issues back in 2009. (I did use them in MCM and Chicago…but both those races had other issues, as you know!) My go-to gel flavor for the longest time was PowerGel’s Plain Energy Flavor-I used it in 2006 and 2008 NYCMs-but sadly it has been discontinued! And I am quite picky when it comes to gel flavors.
However, GU has introduced this goodness:
Which I swear, is the best-tasting gel flavor I have ever had.
Only concerns? The texture is a bit thicker than PowerGel. And I don’t think it has as many electrolytes as PowerGel either. I’ve also been dabbling with PowerGel’s Kona Punch flavor…tolerable I guess.
Anyway, I still have 8 weeks to go, and I’m gonna use that time to keep experimenting! Which means if I have to take a gel every 5-6 miles during my long run, so be it. I want to practice this so that there are no surprises or issues on race day! Which when you think about it, isn’t that what we’re supposed to use our long runs for? Practice?
Tomorrow is gonna be the Cherry Tree Relay, and for the 2nd time in history, the Flyers will have a team. This time I’ll be with a couple of my male teammates as part of team Lickety Split! But a short race? In cold weather? yeah, this is gonna be interesting.