Running: It's actually more expensive than therapy
I completed my first marathon back in November 2020. Although I am mostly happy with my results, I was still 10-15 minutes away from my goal time. I've reflected back on my training and have come up with a few mistakes I made and wanted to share them with you and hopefully correct them on my next training block.
1. Running a 50k a month out from the marathon
Even typing this out is embarrassing. I really thought I could do it all. To go back a little bit everything shut down in spring 2020 so the first opportunity I had to race was October 2020, and that was a 50k I had my eye on. The marathon in November was my goal race however, I thought I could run the 50k just for fun and a long run. I mean long runs can be 20-22 miles so what's an extra 10 right? Wrong! This ultra absolutely killed my body. The course was so technical that it took over 2 hours longer to run than I thought it would. My body was so destroyed after that I had to take a week off of running completely and that's not something anyone wants to do a month out from a goal race. So running an ultra for a training run is not something I will ever do again and not something I recommend.
2. Long Run Paces
Okay I realize this is a controversial topic. I ran my long run paces at 8:30-9:00 so I felt that I didn't really have the endurance to run 26.2 miles at a pace under 8 minutes. I know that long runs are slower in order to avoid injury and stuff, but I am going to run them a little faster next cycle. I think maybe closer to the 8 minute marker. I felt during the marathon I was slipping back to my comfort pace which was around the long run pace not the marathon goal pace.
If you read my recap of the marathon, you saw that my nutrition was lacking during the actual race. I took a gel at mile 8 and immediately threw it up. I ran the entire race on half a gel. I couldn't even stomach having another way later on. For my next marathon, I will take a gel earlier on before I get sick to my stomach. This is tough because I really had no problems during training. The race itself is what got me probably from nerves. I also wish that I would have at least tried some small bites of a gel during the second half the race before I could feel the wall.
Those are my three biggest mistakes from my last training block. I want to correct them when I start training again in July for my next marathon.
2020- What a year it has been huh? I hope everyone is staying healthy and safe. Unfortunately, all my races have been cancelled since March. Hopefully I will be able to run some towards the end of the year. I have signed up for an ultra in October and a marathon in November. I have been running and training for whatever does come next. I am just ready to race again!
Have you guys been running at all?
I recently posted on Instagram that 2019 was a crazy year for me as far as running goes. I started out full of promise and training for an ultra. Well that ended in February with my hamstring injury. I had to take a break from running and racing for the spring/summer. Finally I started to train for a spring 2020 marathon in late 2019. I also started to do some races and training runs in October.
In 2019 I was able to run three half marathons. I also found a new favorite race in the Best Damn Race Orlando 5k.
Things may not have gone as planned but everything is back on track now and I'm happy to say goodbye to 2019 and hello to 2020.
There's something I just love about fall in Florida. The weather gets just a little cooler, new iPhones come out, and of course pumkin spice season. I love pumpkin spice flavored anything especially coffee. I decided this season was the season to test out all the different pumpkin spice flavored ground coffees I could get my hands on. I went out and bought these seasonal goodies and decided to get started right away. I made all these the same way (the cold brew method), let them sit for the same amount of time, then prepared each cup the same way with just regular milk and nothing else. So here is my rankings. I ranked them based on smell, flavor, powerfulness, and overall satisfaction with bonus points for art work. I know this is a running blog, but runners love coffee don't we?
Publix Premium Pumpkin Pie
So this is technically pumpkin pie flavored but the same idea. First of all I noticed this beautiful artwork on the bag. It promises..
"falling leaves and a cool breeze, as you warm your hands on a freshly brewed mug of luscious pumpkin pie. Nutty, creamy, and fragrant with spice. Autumnal flavors make every sip perfectly nice."
The smell is just as expected with a strong hint of pumpkin flavor. As I sipped on it I knew right away this was a good product. I appreciated the nutmeg flavor but did not get any pie flavors so I would consider this a pumpkin spice coffee and a good one at that. My only complaint would be the strength is weak for my taste.
Overall Grade 8.8
Starbucks Pumpkin Spice
The OG of pumpkin spice coffees. This is the one that started it all, and when I see this orange bag on the coffee shelf, I just know it's that time of year again. The bag promises "notes of pumpkin, cinnamon, and nutmeg together with our lightest roast." It is also the only blend in the competition without artificial flavors.
This actually smells more like vegetables than pumpkin spice. I know pumpkins are vegetables (I think) but still it's not exactly what I want to smell in my coffee. Luckily the smell does not translate to the taste. I can taste the nutmeg and it really just tastes exactly like I would expect. The strength is decent not overpowering. I took off some points for strength and smell.
Overall Grade 9.1
Dunkin Pumpkin Spice
Dunkin cold brew is one of my favorites so I expected that to translate the their ground coffee. Was I ever right about this one. This blend tastes just like you would expect a pumpkin spice fall blend to be just like autumn in a cup. There's a strong aroma and taste of nutmeg and other fall flavors as well. Perfect A++
Overall Grade 9.9
Fall In Love Pumpkin Spice
I've seen this in the homegoods store before but have never purchased it until now. I like the simple artwork and appreciate the theme. Unfortunately I was not impressed with the taste or flavor. It smells just like regular non-flavored coffee. The flavor isn't much stronger it's a bit too weak for my taste. I also get a sense of burnt coffee from it.
Overall Grade 5.0
Bonus: Publix Premium Cinnamon Streusel
This may not be pumpkin flavor but it is a seasonal blend. The bag artwork is beautiful and the flavor tastes just like a cinnamon streusel cake. I highly recommend this blend also.
Overall I enjoyed all the blends but if you want a real treat I would recommend going with the Dunkin Pumpkin Spice. I will be stocking up on more of these before the season is over.
Being injured on and off since February has been quite the challenge mentally and physically. I feel as if I'm in a world of confusion not knowing what is exactly the problem or when it will completely heal. Trying to stay positive during this process has taught me five lessons I want to share.
1. Listen to your body
Your body can tell you when something is off with it. The trick is to actually listen to it and stop running when you need to. For me, my legs were sore after a half marathon and instead of taking time off I ran through it and did more damage.
2. You may never completely heal
Some injuries never completely go away and require attention forever. That may include wearing protective gear such compression shorts.
3. The comeback can and will happen
Injuries happen to all of us even the elites. Watching them come back to the sport after a major injury is inspiring to see. Having a good base will make a difference when you are able to run again. It can be scary at first, but it can be done with some hard work and determination. You will get there.
4. Appreciate the healthy days
This injury has taught me to really appreciate the fact that I am able to run. It has even caused me to fall in love with the sport again and enjoy every run I can make.
5. Running shouldn't define you
You are more than a runner. Take this time off to find yourself outside of running and even discover new hobbies and interests. You will become a more well rounded person and athlete.