Friday is the first day of the weekend in Israel, and a great day to be out.
The morning is busy for stores and coffee houses because many people don’t work and have time to do some shopping or go get breakfast.
I enjoy the bustling atmosphere, as long as I don’t have an agenda, and can just be out having a good time, looking around, no stress.
For me, first thing in the morning was a nice, easy, can’t ask for better weather, great music in my ears, long run. 21.2K/13.2M at average pace 04:56 Min/KM (07:56 Min/Mile).
A long run on Friday mornings has become routine, and I enjoy every minute of it.
My long run route is perfect, all through the boardwalk from Yaffo to North Tel Aviv, going by the Tel Aviv Port, then by a small airport where sometimes if I’m lucky enough I see a plane land or take off right by me, just a fence between the runway and the running path. Then a bit through Hayarkon Park. And all the way back. If you are in Israel you have to run this route. It makes you want to keep running and running.
I felt really good through the whole run, my legs finally felt rested after a few harder weeks. I can’t say I had been training harder, but for some reason my legs had felt tired, maybe I didn’t take enough rest days. Today I felt back to normal and I’m looking forward to a couple of weeks of training before my next race.
I was back home by 09:00 AM, got ready, and we went out to Tel Aviv to walk around and eat.
This is also quite typical of my Friday morning, good food, shopping, and people watching in a fun, young, great city.
I bought a couple of books, looked around the market, and had an Israeli breakfast which I failed to take pictures of because I was so hungry I ate it all too fast.
Spent the afternoon at a local coffee house, 5th coffee of the day, some quality time with the kids making rainbow loom bracelets. If you don’t know what that is, trust me you are lucky.
Every time I lock the door behind me to go for a long run, I get this feeling of excitement and mild fear, the excitement of going to do something I love, the fear of the unknown. Will something hurt? Will I be able to run the paces I want to run?
And then just a few minutes later, when I’m running with the music turned all the way up, when my legs start warming up and moving faster, I realize there is nothing to worry about, because this is going to be a great run, like every other.
We are having a beautiful day, and this morning was my first run in a short sleeve shirt and shorts (except for races), I know it was the first of many to come. 14C/57F degrees at 6:30 in the morning.
I was going for a 23KM/14.3M run, but somehow miscalculated one of my turns and ended up with 22.5KM/14M. Yeah, OK, OCD because I care. In miles it actually makes sense.
Long Run Essentials
Since I started running longer distances on a regular basis, I realized there are some things that I didn’t need on my shorter runs that I definitely need now. Running for 2 hours cannot be compared to running for 45 minutes. My must haves for long runs:
* Sun Protection: I don’t particularly like the feeling of sunscreen on my skin, but even as early as I run, the sun gets strong by the time I’m done with a long run. I put the cream sunscreen on my face, and the spray one on my arms and legs. I like these two because they aren’t sticky and they don’t melt on my skin when I sweat.
* Body Glide: Why risk it, right? I only put it on my thighs when I wear shorts, so far I haven’t needed it anywhere else.
* Music: I couldn’t run for 5 minutes without my music, but especially for long runs I must have my IPod with me.
* Sunglasses: I have sensitive eyes and if I’m running after 7:00 AM which on long runs I always am, I need eye protection.
* Compression Socks: Anything that helps my muscles during a long run is welcome in my book.
* Water: I don’t carry a bottle with me, and although I have some water fountains on my long run route I admit I don’t use them… however, I always have my water bottle with NUUN ready in my car so I can drink as soon as I finish running.
* Food: I’ve experimented with eating while running and mostly don’t need it for the runs I do (up to 25K/15.5M), but I keep an energy bar in my car and eat it within a few minutes of finishing my run. I’m starving after a long run, and I need to eat something before I drive home, shower, etc. and get a chance to eat again.
I got up at 4:15 this morning, earlier than usual, and way before my alarm clock went off. Sometimes that happens to me, I wake up and I know there’s no way I’m going back to sleep.
About 5 minutes after getting up I was doing this, you know, for a change:
Big cup of coffee and oatmeal muffin/bar/whatever you wanna call it.
Sorry the pic is dark, but it was dark. Don’t want any kids up at 4 o’something AM.
Lots of blogs to read while having breakfast, thanks for posting!
My next race, a 10K, is the following Friday, January 31st. So this morning was my last “real” run before I go into taper mode. A fartlek similar to last week’s, except this time I did the last interval just a bit faster.
Tomorrow is cross training day (swimming 3K/1.9M) and on Friday tapering officially starts, one full week.
I will still run, 4 times next week instead of the usual 5 times, and shorter runs than during regular training.
Overall I will reduce total distance by about a third, from 58KM/36M this week (higher than usual due to a long 25KM/15.5M run) to 38KM/23.6M next week.
Tapering scares me because I know I’m going to be in such a bad mood.
On the other hand, I’m kind of looking forward to a bit of a rest for my legs. Am I a bad runner for saying that?!
OK, last picture, I have to post this because it is so true. So I can remember what working out hard feels like. That’s totally me by the way. I’ve had this picture on the lock screen on my phone for ages:
I started the weekend with my planned 25K/15.5M long run early this morning.
I wanted to keep an easy pace of average 05:24 Min/KM (08:41 Min/M), with the first 5K being a bit slower than average, and the last 5K being a bit faster than average.
This is me at the end of my run, back to my car, running around the parking lot to make it to 25K… seriously I couldn’t stop at 24.89..
The weather was amazing, cold enough to keep me cool but nothing more than that.
I wore my Mizuno compression BG-5000 tights, that’s one amazing pair of tights.. they are on the pricey side but they are worth it for hard efforts, especially long runs, where the compression helps with the feeling of tired legs. The only thing I don’t like about these tights is that they don’t have a back pocket, only that little key pocket inside the front of the waist… seriously, what are running apparel people thinking when they make clothes with this pocket? Who wants to run with a key sticking into their waist?
I wore my new Ironman running sunglasses because I knew the sun would be up and bothering me at some point, I started running at 6:30 AM so my finish time was to be about 8:45. I actually wore them on my head for the first half hour or so since it was still grey out, and they didn’t move or bother me in any way. So I’m really happy with this $30 pair of sunglasses, really worth it.
This was my 2nd run with my new black Mizuno Wave Rider 16s, it feels so nice to be running with new shoes. My first pair of Wave Rider 16s (aqua) is getting to that point where the cushioning is not as supportive as it used to be, although I still wear them often. I probably have about 500KM/310M on them… so they should last a bit longer.
The first 5K I run as planned, pretty easy. For some reason those first KMs always feel the hardest.
Then I picked up the pace, I think the next 15K/9.3M were average of 05:05 Min/KM (08:11 Min/M). Nothing crazy, but definitely faster than I intended, especially for a long run… although my hips starting feeling thight, I loved the feeling of pushing, of making an effort, of making it not easy on myself… And I know this is not always healthy and I really don’t want to get any kind of injury or pain, but sometimes I can’t help it. Last 5K were faster, I was high on running, enjoying the view and the morning air and the fact that I’m healthy and that my body can run. Average pace 04:45 Min/KM (07:38 Min/M).
So even though running is hard, and we have to run smart, and take care of our bodies, today I say, go out and push yourself, run harder or run longer, until you feel the burn, even if for a minute, because it’s worth it.
I had a tempo run scheduled for tomorrow but I will switch to an easy run, and I will make up for today’s speedier run.
So that was my run, and I’ve been feeling happy and eating non-stop ever since. THE END.
My gym opens at 5:45 so if I’m going to the gym, that’s when I go.
Yesterday I did a fartlek run on the treadmill.
I hope I got the definition of fartlek right, because actually I’m not 100% sure.
According to what I read online a while ago, when trying to make a training plan that would allow for some running improvements (instead of just doing whatever, you know?) it is like an interval run but not as structured, so basically you just run harder for a certain period of time, and easy for another period of time, and then do it again but not necessarily the same amount of time for running harder/easier as other intervals.
Whatever you feel like doing, basically? As long as you run harder/easier. Suits me.
Anyway, this is what I did:
I really like this kind of workout because the few easy minutes are enough to let me rest my legs a little and get my breathing back to normal.
It’s a great speed workout as well, I can run paces that there’s no way I can run as tempo yet, so at least I do 10 minutes of it.
Every couple of months, when the paces start to feel more comfortable, I add the speed a little bit so I’m running at a hard pace again.
Today I set up my IPad to wake me up at 4:30 so I could go swimming at the gym pool at opening time, but yesterday I played with the volume and turned it all the way down.. very smart.. so I didn’t hear the alarm go off and woke up at 5:20.
Still early, but late for me. It’s a good thing though because I really needed the extra sleep, I’ve been going to bed after 11:00 every night this week, way too late for the time I wake up.
I considered just skipping today’s workout, but that was a no go for me. Good.
And then I considered going right then, with no breakfast, but decided against it. Good choice again. I don’t know what I was thinking. I wouldn’t have lasted 5 minutes in that pool. I need my coffee!! And I need my food!!
Ended up with my usual 2 cups and oatmeal bar.
I swam 3KM/1.9M, or 60 laps… yes, I do count them… am I crazy? I do 3 sets of 20 laps, and each number from 1 to 20 has a different association in my mind so it’s easier to remember which lap I’m swimming. OK, I just answered my own question, I am crazy.
Going for a long run tomorrow morning, 25KM/15.5M… slow and steady, I hope.
Never run this distance before (the most was 23KM/14.3M).
Hope you are some good weekend runs scheduled. I love my weekend runs.. they give me energy for the whole week ahead.