Afternoon! I feel like I’ve driven all over the state today! But it was totally worth it to see these lovely ladies in person:
We met up at the Nordstrom Cafe Bistro, which is actually inside of Nordstrom department store. It was a really good, affordable (surprise!) cafe with tons of healthy options. I even found something on the menu that fit the requirements of Crap Free Week!
I had a Asparagus-Artichoke Heart-Tomato-Feta salad that was just divine! I was expecting it to be on a bed of romaine salad, but this salad was pure veggie.
I’m pretty sure the cold veggie salad was coated in EVOO, but the salad really didn’t need ANY dressing — the vegetables and cheese were so flavorful.
Jenna, Lindsay, and I drove from the mall to Greenwise, where Jenna works as a bread baker. Greenwise is kind of like Whole Foods, but better (can you believe I just said that?). It was great to see her place of employment and meet some of her coworkers. I did sample a few pieces of bread after Jenna assured me it was all organic and basically homemade (and hence, Crap Free). YUM!
It was great to meet Lindsay and see Jenna again. Yay for Blogger Friends!
After driving back to Orlando, I made myself a fruit and nut plate that will hopefully hold me over until I eat dinner.
Racing the REAL Race — Against Yourself!
One of the things we discussed on our lunch date was running the right distance for you (if running is your thing at all)! Trust me, I read Meghann’s blog and want to run a marathon. But the sad truth is that marathon distances are just not for me due to my knees. I injure too easily. It’s important that I remind myself that the real race is against myself, not against other people.
Interestingly enough, the Runner’s World blog had a perfect question and answer about this very topic! Here it is (from RunnersWorld.com):
I am 42, female, and a runner/gym enthusiast. I tried for many years to run a marathon but kept getting hurt during training. Then I decided to join running groups to help me train properly. The first time I trained with a group, in 2006, I made it to the fifth month of training but developed knee pain. Day of the marathon, I started hurting at the 6-mile mark, so I cut my race in half.
The second year of training with another running group was better. I finished five months of training without incident. But on the day of the marathon, I started cramping at mile 17. The rest of the way was very painful, with me unable to move at times and in tears.
I was tired of not finishing anything, so I just grit my teeth and kept going. I ended up finishing the race an hour over my goal with both hams, quads, and calves cramping.
After training for two marathons two years back to back, I had difficulty maintaining fitness. It seems that after I run these races, my body just bonks. Three weeks post-race, I can hardly catch my breath running just one mile, depression sets in, my resting heart rate is elevated, and I just do not have any energy. This lasts seven to 11 months. I am scared now to train for another marathon.
I have just now recovered from one of these post-marathon "bonks" a year after I ran. Needless to say, I have gained weight and lost fitness. I tried several times to get back to running, but the desire and energy were just not there. I want to get fit again. Can you help me out? – Eileen
Hi, Eileen. Thanks for writing. Some of what you’re describing is fairly typical. There is a “post marathon syndrome” in which we are mentally, physically, and emotionally drained. I’ve run 45 marathons. I’ve had the exact sensation of trying to run a week or so later and wondering how in the world I ever ran 26.2 miles and how in the world did I get so out of shape so quickly.
So, as uncomfortable as you may feel, it’s not something to worry about.
Marathons have become what one writer described as “the great urban Everest.” They seem to have become the standard by which contemporary runners judge themselves. It’s unfortunate, really, because there are so many other great distances that might suit many runners better than the marathon.
The question you need to answer for yourself is, what’s your ideal race distance? What is the distance that you can enjoy both training for, and participating in? Maybe you’re a 5-K runner. You like the full-on, go-for-broke, go-hard-and-hang-on feeling that you get in a 5-K. Maybe you’re a 10-K runner. You like the artistry of finding the razor-edge between too fast and too slow.
I’ve found that I really like the half-marathon distance. It’s far enough that someone like me, who is terminally slow, can feel like we’ve accomplished something special, but no so far that I put too much stress on my body, mind, and soul.
So, find your own joy. Find the distance that gives you that joy and focus on it. My guess is that you’ll be a happier, healthier runner if you do.
What’s the right distance for you? Or, if you aren’t a runner, what’s the right exercise for you? I love the half marathon!