If you've ever needed a reason to run I've got one for ya! Enter the Starbucks Vivanno smoothie, otherwise known as my incentive to get through the last few k's of most of my long runs. I decided as I progressed through training that a nice, cold treat at the end of a particularly tough run would serve as both a motivation and a reward for a job well done. And because I always like to kill 2 birds with one stone (I don't actually like to kill birds at all I swear...who made up that saying anyway??) the smoothies have a good dose of whey protein which comes in handy when my muscles are screaming. Score!
This morning I left with the goal to complete the required 18k that I had settled on for this stage in my training. I have never actually run 18k before so I wasn't sure what to expect but I figured it'd be tough and was prepared to grin and bear it.
My first attempt was short-lived and I was back in the apartment less than 2 minutes after I left. Why you ask? Dead iPod. And there was no freakin' way I was attempting a tech-free run when I had this distance to cover. So after a few minutes of locating my backup iPod shuffle (and making sure it was charged for another 15 minutes) I was out the door and on way way downtown.
If I haven't mentioned it before my favorite route to run is south on Yonge street. If you are familiar with Toronto you will know this is a very busy street for pedestrian traffic and many people can't understand why I want my runs to turn into a game of Frogger but I just love it. There is so much to see and be distracted by, a good part of it is on a steady decline (go ahead, call me a cheater. I like to think of myself as efficient!) and there is water available at the hot dog carts! You really can't go wrong.
It was warm in the city so I stuck to the shady side of the street. As per the norm I went through phases of loving and hating running, although thankfully I leaned more towards really liking it for a good part of the run. As I neared the 12k mark I was seriously starting to feel it in my legs (and my ankles, and my feet and my....) but I just continued to give myself pep talks that I was "doing really well" and that this "is important to get ready for my 1/2 in a few weeks" and that I am "stronger then I ever realized". And all the positive thinking really helped me through. Other then my typical "I hate socks" thoughts I was really determined to keep my mind in a good place as additional practice for race day.
Side note: If you are wondering about "I hate socks" I will explain. Every time I run when its sunny I think that thought at least 3 times during a run. In truth I really don't hate socks although I would prefer not to wear them if I can. So wearing them when I am warm and sweaty and tired just makes me irritated. And I think about it...ALOT.
By the time I had pounded out the obligatory 18k I was sweaty and tired and absolutely starving but also feeling very upbeat about the 1/2 marathon. If I can channel some good energy on that morning I really believe I am going to be all right!
And of course it helped that I was about to get my smoothie too :)
My Twitter pals may have noticed that I watched Food Inc for the first time last night. I planned to write about it today but I think I am going to give myself another day to digest (pun somewhat intended) the many different ideas and concepts that resonated with me after the film ended. So stay tuned for a little review of what I will say was one of the most disturbing movies I have ever seen (and I watch horror flicks!).
So tell me, are there any treats that you reward yourself with after a tough workout?