I did it! This morning was the Grete’s Gallop 1/2 marathon in Central Park and the longest run I’ve done since the Boston Marathon in April. As most of you know, I’ve been dealing with a pretty serious hamstring injury since the winter and tried nearly everything ( chiropractors, acupuncture, trigger point therapy, etc) to get some relief. For the past 6 weeks or so I’ve been able to run (mostly) without pain and have begun building mileage again. My hamstring (and IT band) still aren’t perfect, but they are getting better. Back in June I couldn’t even run 3 miles and now I can run a 1/2 marathon with minimal discomfort. I’m pretty sure this is something I’ll need to stay on top of (rest, foam rolling, yoga) for a long time, but at least I’m running again!
Today’s race was very important to me for several reasons: Grete’s Gallop was the first race I did once I moved to New York City in 2007, it was the race where Alma and I met (and became friends!) back in 2008, and this year it marks my return from injury. I finished today’s race in 1:54:35 which is 18 minutes slower that my 1/2 marathon PR (1:36:38), but I honestly couldn’t be happier. I am SO thankful to be running (and racing?) again and I know if I’m smart about training, I’ll regain my fitness someday soon.
But, let’s back track to my pre-run eats…
In the spirit of being economical (just bought a new macbook, ugh), I ate very inexpensively on Friday. Breakfast used up some more Nature’s Pride 12 grain bread topped with peanut butter, honey, and a sliced banana.
Lunch was leftover brown rice, pinto beans, sauteed spinach & onion, and soy sauce.
I also made a lunch time visit to the Union Square Farmer’s Market to pick up some Autumn decorations (I plan on using the dried corn to make popcorn later on).
There was so much gorgeous local produce – I wanted to buy it all!
Friday afternoon snack was a Stonyfield Farm yogurt with some dried cherries and peanut butter chips.
I was craving comfort food for dinner, so I whipped up a bowl of oatmeal (quality carbs, mmmm).
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup milk, 1/2 cup water
dash of brown sugar
A LOT of peanut butter (pre-run fueling!)
I spent the rest of the evening baking up some goodies for tomorrow’s house-warming party and catching up on my favorite TV shows.
Saturday = 1/2 marathon day!
I was up by 6:30am and started the day with 1/2 cup of coffee. Pre-race breakfast was two slices of 12-grain bread topped with mashed banana and honey. With a tall glass of water!
About an hour before the race I had 1/2 luna bar and then I carried a power gel to have around the 8-mile mark.
The race began promptly at 9am and my teammate Ani kept me company for the first 7 miles or so. I wanted to start off veryyyy conservatively, because I hadn’t run longer than 11 miles in many months. My first 6 mile lap around Central Park was right around 9:05/mile pace and then at the half way point I tried to pick it up a bit. I felt strong and controlled the entire 13 miles and my last 2 miles were around 7:30/mile pace. Yahoo! I was very, very happy to finish this 1/2 marathon in 1:54:35 (8:44/mile pace). Being injured and having to take a break from running was very difficult. I don’t think I will ever take running for granted again. Here’s hoping foam rolling, yoga, and careful training keep me pain free!
I chugged some Gatorade at the finish and then headed over to the post-race Norwegian festival for some food: 1/2 bagel and goat cheese spread
Big props to Alma – she had an amazing race today and ran a HUGE PR – 1:32:31!
After a MUCH needed shower (humidity does not do nice things to my hair…) I heated up some brown rice & beans and added some spicy hummus and a laughing cow cheese wedge. Lots of protein and quality carbs in this dish – I will try to eat some vegetables later today :-)
And finally – dessert! After I ran Grete’s in 2007 I had a special cookie from Levain Bakery. Today seemed like a good day to go back :-) These cookies are nearly 1/2 lb and are amazingly good, but they are probably only a “once in a great while” treat!
I had half of my dark chocolate-peanut butter chip cookie and have plans to devour the rest sometime this weekend:
Ok, I’m off to go clean and prepare for tonight’s house-warming PARTY!