Half Marathon Training Update + a Recovery Recipe

This was my recovery meal today. Killer. It hit the spot. I was tired, sore and very hungry. But before I get there, let me give you a little training update. I'm a very nervous runner and need major work on my self confidence. When I train for a run, I worry about it alot and constantly scrutinize my training runs, how they are going, how I'm feeling, what time I wake up, what time I go to bed, how much water I'm drinking or not drinking etc. I wish training could be a little more relaxed but, believe it or not, I am having fun!

I go through phases where I don't run at all for a while, rather I walk for miles and just do strength training exercises. Over Christmas break I ran a couples times but didn't really get into it until I came back to the city. Since my last half marathon which was Brooklyn last May, my base mile has been 6 miles. I was able to run 6 miles in Central Park even after not having run for a while. This was such good news for my self confidence since I'm so nervous about getting back to running long runs. When I say I'm a nervous runner, I mean I worry about everything. My main fears are: that I won't finish the run and or that I will be too tired and have to walk some of it. I get nervous when my training doesn't feel as smooth as it has in the past.

The last week, I have run two four mile runs and then today I did 7 miles. It was a slow 7 miles and my legs and foot hurt a little bit during the run but I stopped and stretched and finished it. At the beginning of the run, I felt tired and a little bit like I was running through molasses; there is nothing more frustrating than that! But I pushed those thoughts out of my mind and reviewed all the weight lifting I've been doing and all the squats and leg lifts and just blamed it on muscle fatigue. During the run, I started picking up the pace and switched up the way I was running and felt great!

Some road blocks: I didn't drink enough water and Central Park turns off all the fountains in the winter so I was a little thirsty. It started raining half way through so I started worrying about my iPod and my metro card which was tied onto my shoelaces. For the Bk half marathon, I got caught in a huge rainstorm for about 30 min and my iPod hasn't worked the same since. I was going to take the bus to the park since I live .9 miles away but I ended up running to and from the park so metro card not needed. My legs have hurt lately, just some aches and pains, sharp tinges here and there so that was also bothering me. Now that I have that all written out, I feel even prouder that I did 7 miles!

If I have to stop during my runs, I tend not to walk, instead I take a break, stretch and keep going. I feel like walking takes away from the miles I want to be running and it kind of bums me out and makes me anxious at the same time. So, when I stopped today, I stretched and took in the hustle and bustle of the park. Despite the rain, there was alot of people out so it was the normal Saturday crowd.

Before my run, I had avocado toast with tofu and spices; this is a bigger than normal breakfast before a run but I woke up starving. I also drank some green tea however I still didn't drink enough water and didn't feel properly hydrated. After my run, I came home and did squats, 10 reps x 4 and I held a forearm plank for 1 minute. Tomorrow I plan on meeting my friend at the gym to do more extensive weights. My post run meal! I made nana ice cream with some chocolate flavor and toppings. Check out this recipe:

4 frozen bananas
6-7 medjool dates, pitted
2 tbsp of cocoa
1 tbsp of cinnamon
Frozen peanut butter chunks

Recipe for the frozen peanut butter:

2 tbsp of peanut butter- freeze the peanut butter for about 4 hours and then cut up into chunks. I use unsalted natural peanut butter.

For the ice cream, blend the bananas together and then transfer to a bowl. Mix in the cocoa and cinnamon and then add the dates and frozen chunks of peanut butter. Mix everything together and enjoy.

I'm going to start following a half marathon training program so I can stay on track and just follow a plan. My goal is also to incorporate more strength training and HIIT (high intensity interval training) exercises into my routine so I can improve my fitness levels without having to always run. Cross training is key when you train for a run, you don't always have to run, you need to be doing other exercises that help your overall fitness.

Yoga! Yes I plan on getting my home practice up and running so after every run comes major yoga stretches for my legs and back. My least favorite position is pigeon yet it feels the best after a long run because it stretches my IT band (which has been giving me problems lately).

So my plan: stretch, stretch, stretch, lift weights, cross train and keep up my mileage...and forgive myself when I'm tired and just can't complete that last mile!
Half marathon: Sunday, March 20th. 10 weeks away