Monday, 18 March 2013

All The Food In America

Last week's training: 36 miles, some yoga and core work at home, lots of walking around Chicago

I'm back in the UK after a great holiday in Chicago. It was wonderful, but tiring. I seem to have been labouring under the misunderstanding that holidays are relaxing and refreshing affairs. Maybe they are when you're not training and fitting in with someone else's routine but the following are not relaxing and refreshing ways to spend a week:
  • Getting up at 7:30 every day because you're sleeping in someone's lounge and that is when they get up for work and make breakfast
  • Spending the majority of time on your feet exploring a city rather than sat behind a desk 
  • Running many miles against the wind in an attempt to soothe the terrifying thoughts that, actually you may not manage to complete your next races after all and that you need to work off all the delicious food you've been eating
That said it was great to spend time with Shruti and I had plenty of time to run and do the sightseeing/exploring I didn't do last time I was in the city. A large proportion of this involved eating food such as bagels, deep dish pizza, frozen yogurt, donuts, gormet popcorn, tapas, tacos, ice cream, mexican, burgers and onions rings, the most immense cheesecake... basically all the food America is good at. I made sure I did one touristy thing each day like the Aquarium, the Field Museum, the Art Institute and the Museum of Contemporary Art which left me with time to spend in the apartment, just reading and chilling out, mostly late afternoon. We weren't out every night, but I felt tired all the same.
The river dyed green for St Patrick's Day
I loved the first run I did on the Sunday after I arrived but the second two were hard and boring, mostly because I didn't find it easy to find long routes so I ended up on the lake front trail which is a bit monotonous. The 12 mile run that I'd intended to turn into a 14 miler was so tough I stopped at the minimum 12. The second 8 miler I did was ok, but then there was the beast; the 16 miler, the furthest I've ever run by three miles. I was absolutely dreading it, given how tough the 12 had been, but I went North on the trail instead of South, which was busier, had my AudioFuel long run track and followed their advice of taking 2 minutes walking break every half an hour, and I did it! I finished 16 miles (outside the taco shop) feeling better than I have felt after any other long run. BOOM!

So while the indulgence of American food was enjoyable, I am looking forward to getting back to clean eating, my gym sessions and familiar routes. My lovely mum has done the honours of booking up my sessions while I've been away bless her.
I'm trying not to think too much about how close the next race is, how far it is, or how little time there now is before the Marathon. If I do I think I'll freak out a bit.

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