Tuesday’s 3-miler was crappy. I felt just gross starting around Mile 1.5. My stomach was hurting. It was hot and humid out. It was just an off day.
When we were coming to the 2 mile mark (we often run a 2 mile loop), Shawn asked what I wanted to do. I desperately wanted to call it quits and walk to the car when we hit Mile 2, but instead what came out of my mouth was, “Let’s do 3 miles.” WHAT!? I’m not quite sure who spoke for me because that last mile SUCKED.
However, today I read this article on the need to “gut it out”. Basically, those really crappy days are sometimes the most important workouts or races to get through—or rather, “gut through.” Each hard workout is a mental test: Will you stay tough or wimp out? Finding the motivation to gut out a hard workout is exponentially harder when you’re not having a good day.
Now, realize that I’m not stupid. You NEVER want to push through a workout or race when you feel physical pain, dizziness, experience chest pains, or are suffering from symptoms of heat-related illness. BUT it’s also important that you don’t throw in the towel just because you’re feeling tired. There will be plenty of days where you’re feeling out of the groove, and on these days, it’s crucial to remain focused. Even if you’re unable to run the splits you hoped, you’ll still reap physical benefits, and gutting it out will make you a mentally tougher athlete.
Rather than focusing on how tired you feel or how much farther you have to go, shift your thoughts to things that are productive. These include: form, breathing and your stride. Do a form check to make sure you’re staying efficient. Your form breaks down the more fatigued you are, so at times like these, it’s extra important to make sure you’re not falling into bad habits. Counting your breath or strides are excellent distractions; they keep your brain engaged and is far more productive than focusing on how much farther you have to go.
Survive the crappy days, and just think how much better you’ll run when your legs do feel that adrenaline kick.
So, gut it out. I’m sure I’ll be having more of those crappy runs in the future, but I will try to embrace them. As much as that’s possible.
In other news, I traveled to DC for work yesterday. It was a long day. I was at the airport by 4:30am and got home around 9:15pm. However, we had super productive meetings with several government agencies! And I got put in charge of the nutrition sector of a data set we are investigating AND got brought in on another potential project with NYC!
The trip had two funny components. First, we (my colleagues and I–there were 3 of us total) got on Metro to go one stop (because we didn’t want to sweat through our clothes) and who am I standing next to? My friend Alex! Small world! What are the odds of that? It was crazy.
Second, I had meetings with several people who interviewed me and offered me jobs in the last two years. And they all totally remembered me. It could have been super awkward, but it wasn’t. At least, I didn’t feel like it was. My director and I laughed about it. Anyway, work is going well!
Food for Thought: Grass-fed beef. Not only does grass-fed beef taste better than that derived from corn-fed cows, it has a better ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids. Most Americans’ diets contain too much omega-6 (which can be inflammatory) and too little omega-3 (which is anti-inflammatory). Grass-fed beef has high amounts of a fatty acid called conjugated linoleic acid which your body uses to build muscle.
Quote of the Day:
“The obsession with running is really an obsession with the potential for more and more life.” -George Sheehan
Tomorrow we head up to York, Pennsylvania for a flyball tournament! The Coconut Classic! It will be my biggest tournament outside of CanAm–4 racing lanes! It is going to be super fun, and people that I haven’t seen in months will be there! Eek! Can’t wait! And Callie will be excited once she realizes what fun she has in store! Anyway, as you all know, I bake for flyball events. I am running Open with DGF this weekend and when I asked for suggestions/allergies/recommendations these were the three responses I got:
– Minimal chocolate
– Gluten free
– Something to go with coffee in the morning
So, today you will get the recipe that fulfills the “gluten free” request: Flourless Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies. I think this is my first gluten free baking attempt yet, and I feel like it was pretty successful!
Flourless Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
– 2 1/4 cups old-fashioned oats, divided
– 1 tbsp cornstarch
– 1/2 tsp baking powder
– 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
– 1/3 cup granulated sugar
– 1/3 cup packed light-brown sugar
– 1 large egg
– 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
– 1 cup chocolate chips
– Heat oven to 375* and set racks in upper and lower thirds of oven.
– In a food processor or blender, pulse 1 1/4 cups oats until very finely ground. Add cornstarch and baking powder; pulse briefly.
– In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to ream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla and beat until smooth.
– Add flour mixture and stir until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips and remaining oats.
– Drop dough by tablespoons, 2 inches apart, onto 2 parchment-lined baking sheets.
– Bake until edges are golden brown, about 15 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack.
Courtesy of Self Magazine