Short stories from long runs

This blog about my run and training

So, yes, as I flamboyantly announced yesterday, I got into the New York City Marathon! I am really, truly over the moon about this great news because I was feeling a little lost without a marathon on my calendar and desperate for a date to ground my [upcoming, I swear] training.

I’m super pumped because my cousin Leigh got in, too! We ran the New Jersey Marathon together as well as a couple of half marathons since then. We’re pretty well matched when it comes to pace and seeing her training runs populate on Daily Mile each day was the driving motivator for my New Jersey training. In our flurry of emails and texts yesterday I reminded her that we would be breaking four hours this time around. She replied that she had 24 minutes to go. I took 18 minutes off my PR at New Jersey, so I have no doubt she can do it. That’s another reason I’m absurdly excited: I’m going under four hours. 

The major shift I’m working on this go-around is to get my body is the best possible and healthiest shape, with a focus on nutrition.

My employer is pretty cool in that they have a nutritionist, Laura, to our office three days a week for free counseling. When I returned from maternity leave, I decided to give it a try, wanting to learn how to best take care of myself while nursing Henry. I’m about six weeks in.

It’s been awesome. At first I wanted to know how many calories I needed each day and how to stave off the constant ravenous-ness I was feeling courtesy of breastfeeding. Now we are talking more about eating habits — deep, deep seated habits — balancing nutrients, and weight loss.

So, you know I’m a data-junkie, yeah? I track my workouts on Map My Run, then log them with notes on I keep an Outlook calendar, a monthly wall calendar, and a Moleskine daily planner. During an even more neurotic time, I had a folder at work with a print out of each month dating back to June 2006, when my professional career began. Goals go in another book altogether. All this to say, I like to keep track of stuff. At Laura’s recommendation, I recently downloaded the My Fitness Pal app to log my daily intake. 

Let me tell you. Nothing like a little accountability to whip things into shape, huh? I knew things had kind of gone off the rails with the crazy weather making me crave doughnuts as much as a good, long run (one of which I could give in to, the other not so much), but wow. Food tracking is fantastic. Even better than a running tally of calories consumed and those remaining is the little pie chart that divvies up percentages of carbohydrates, fat, and protein. I lean heavy towards carbs when I really need protein, so it’s fun to aim for the right percentages each day.

My goal is to cut down on garbage snacking, especially the impulsive ones the moment I walk in the door from work (talk about deep seated habits) and to cut out all but special occasion or generally occasional alcohol.

Breakfast is and has always been my favorite meal of the day and is almost always well balanced. After years and years of totally hating leftovers, lunch has become the time and place for those. I’m even enjoying them if for no other reason than the ease of planning and preparation that it takes to plop ’em into Tupperware and call it a day. Dinner — with Blue Apron, meal planning, and weekend prep — is manageable and fun, a welcome respite creating in the kitchen, as cheesy as that may sound. Now, if I could cut the post-work salty snacks and the glass or two of red that sits next to the cutting board as I chop, I’ll be in business.

How are your eating habits? What’s the stuff that gets you? Anyone else love green juice and whole foods, but have Achilles heels made of doughnuts and Lays potato chips?

Also, flamboyant is a pretty underused term, don’t you think?