Hi, I'm Petra and this is my weight loss/fitness blog.
I used to be on Weight Watchers from January 2011 to October 2012, dropping approximately 45 lbs. I've made the transition from unhealthy and unhappy to athlete and this is my journey to becoming a healthier, happier me. I frequently post about my exercise (mostly running, yoga and lifting), the foods I eat, recipes I liked and my daily struggles. You'll also find the occasional tree hugger post, (travel) photography or anything else I find worth remembering and collecting.
I follow most blogs back that follow me. However, I do stay away from blogs that promote EDs, unhealthy methods of weight loss or negative body image.
Feel free to say hi any time!
For whatever reason my issue with runkeeper syncing my Long Run activity twice seems to have been fixed for now. Their tech support team were very responsive and quick to help. I haven’t opened the app ever since and I’m scared that if I do and my double-activty is still there, it’ll sync again and undo the fix. Idk.
Either way, have a quick recap of my Long Run from yesterday!
After my previous Long Run had been less than stellar, I decided to take yesterday as it comes. I wanted to do at least 10k before I signed up for the Sleepy Hollow 10k to get a feeling for the distance, my time and my comfort with the distance. I knew that I’d done longer runs before and that I could do the 10k, but I don’t know, I guess I still wanted to run it for the ease of mind.
As soon as I headed out the door, I was hit by a huge gush of wind. It was so windy in NY yesterday. I headed down to the Battery, doing my usual course. Instead of heading up on the Eastside though (and getting lost in Chinatown again), I turned around at Clinton Castle and ran the same way back.
The first few miles were pure torture. I was running agains the strong wind for a good 4.5 miles. It made me feel slow, it was hard and at times, I quite honestly thought I wasn’t even moving forward but basically just running in place. Once I had turned around at the 4 mile mark, I thought I was now going to be blessed with the wind in my back, but after only half a mile I noticed how the wind had changed and it was blowing in my face again.
There was literally no shield from the wind as it was strong and there are not really any trees that protect you. I was super surprised when I finished my 10k in under 1:05 hours under these conditions. I was also really surprised when I looked at my splits and the pace.
I didn’t carry any water with me on this run, so I stopped at the water fountains twice. Once around mile 4 and then the second time around mile 7.
Overall, I am extremely pleased with how the run went. I’m surprised that I ran the whole thing at a 10:06 pace, especially given the difficult conditions. I still had energy left last Sunday and I could have pushed myself longer and continued running for another while. But I didn’t want to overdo it and I’d reached the end of my course.
But yesterday’s run gave me the confidence to sign up for the 10k and I’m actually really looking forward to Saturday. Bring it on!
After Sunday’s race, I wanted to sneak in a Long Run on the days I had off since I had missed the Long Run before the race weekend and because I hadn’t run as much before the race in general. I missed Monday as an opportunity so it was today or never.
Yesterday’s 5 mile run wasn’t great and on top of the 5 mile run, I’d ended up doing quite a bit of walking. My legs were tired and I wasn’t very motivated, tbh. So today, after weighing in, it was really the last chance. Now the fact that my previous run hadn’t been great and the fact that I’d made the possibly worst shoe choice when walking to my weigh in (they actually rubbed the skin off my heels) weren’t really helping with my motivation. At one point I even found myself thinking that my heels were in pain, so I should probably not go, but then I realized I was using that as excuse and I should just put on the big girl pants and see where my legs take me.
My run started off horrible. My legs were still tired. I had a red light at every possible traffic light, I had forgotten to go pee before I headed out so I had to make a stop at the first bathroom in the park I could find and somehow I just could not find my groove. I ran for 30 minutes, walked for 5, ran for another 25 (?), walked 5, ran another 25 and then walked the remaining 15. I had wanted to do 10 miles, but “only” ended up running 8.6.
Miles 5.5 through 7.5 were pretty much a nightmare. I later realized that I should just have kept running along the East River and made it cross town further up. Instead I excited East River where I did last time, took a wrong turn and ended up getting lost in Chi-Town. There were SO many people on the sidewalk that I ended up running on the street for a bit on Canal. Not the safest run ever. However, it meant that I really pushed through even though I wanted to stop so badly. I just wanted to get home.
My iPhone’s battery died at one point and I think in the process it didn’t sync my stats properly with the runkeeper website. Somehow I can’t acess the details of my run.
Overall, my run was pretty horrible and not what I had hoped for. However, I’m accepting it for what it is. A bad run that is still better than no run at all. I’m giving myself a bit of rest tomorrow and possibly also Thursday and Friday and then we’ll see how this whole running thing goes again. For now, let’s forget this run ever happened.
Yesterday was Long Run Day and after beating my 5k time twice during the week, I was keeping my hopes a little low. After all, I’d already trained really hard twice that week. I’m currently reading Dagny Scott Barrios’ Complete Book of Women’s Running and only after my long run, I’ve read her section on training and how she suggests that you should add easy runs into your training routine - something I’ve clearly failed to do this week. I digress. More later.
So, I was looking back to a really awesome Long Run the weekend before and while I knew that not every Long Run was going to be better than the last and even though I knew I’d already trained hard twice during the week, I was still hoping for an awesome Long Run.
It wasn’t awesome.
It wasn’t horrible either.
I went to bed later than I had planned on Saturday evening, so getting up as planned was a little tough. I had a banana with peanut butter and coffee for breakfast, gulped down a large glass of water, let it set for a bit and was out the door 30 minutes later than I had scheduled. It wasn’t ideal, but it wasn’t horrible either.
Once outside I realized how humid it was. Or at least it felt very humid to me. My knee wasn’t happy but once I had run a few minutes, it set into some kind of groove and actually didn’t hurt. I decided to run Uptown again and while I knew I was not going to head into Central Park, I was still looking forward to Riverside Park and the stretch of the park I had missed last time when I took the wrong turn.
Do you know the feeling when you realize after a few minutes that it’s not going to be an awesome run? Totally happened to me. I ran without music because I didn’t feel like music. I still ran with Runkeeper’s app since I’m kinda addicted to their audio cues where they tell me how fast I am, how far I’ve ran, etc. Due to the traffic noise, I missed the first cue but I felt that I wasn’t very fast. By the time the second cue came around, I got confirmation that I ran at a slower pace than on my last Long Run. I’m not sure whether it was the lack of beat that made me go slower or the fact that I’d already trained hard twice that week, but either way, I didn’t find it in me to push harder. I decided not to push for speed then, but rather to try and go for distance. I had a feeling that 9.5 miles might be hard to do that day, so I settled for 8 miles instead.
Here’s what came out of it:
Sadly, I didn’t run all of it. I wanted to, but couldn’t. After 50 minutes, I had to take the first walking interval of 5 minutes. At that point, I’d done about 4.5 miles. I ran for another 30 minutes and then took the next 5 minute walking break. The remaining 45 minutes of the workout were spent taking two more walking intervals (15 minutes) and running another 30.
In total, my workout ended up being 2 hours 15 minutes (10.85 miles), out of which I ran 9.17 miles in 1:45 and walked 1.67 miles in 30 minutes. I never managed to pick up the pace. It was too humid, my legs were heavy and my knee started acting up again at one point. Overall, I wasn’t too impressed by the run.
At one point in Riverside Park, I actually did manage to take the right turn and find the stretch of the park I’d been looking for. But because I’m an idiot, I almost didn’t find my way back out of the park, as the little blue circle shows. This is me taking a wrong turn and probably finding the only dead end there is.
Of course the extra loop meant another hill.
Overall, my stats weren’t stellar:
One thing that I really appreciated though, was my water bottle. I bought this one the other day. It holds 650 ml (22 fl oz) and is super light in itself.
When running Downtown and a shorter distance, staying hydrated is not an issue since there are so many fountains along the park. If I run Uptown or for long distances Downtown, I come across long stretches without access to water. I felt that having water on me made a difference, just like eating that banana did. I might not have had my best run, but having water with me gave me a sense of security. I ended up drinking twice the amount of the bottle (I refilled once).
Overall, my run wasn’t the best ever, but it was solid and a good distance.
Let’s see what the scale says tomorrow! Good night, Tumblrs and Tumblrettes.
Apparently sometimes, long runs just happen.
I went out for a run around midday, not with the intent to make it a long run, but somehow this is exactly what happened. I wanted to do maybe 4 - 5 miles and then do my long run tomorrow. But I woke up late and thought how awesome it would be if I ran across the Brooklyn Bridge today. Random, right?
When I run Downtown, I often run from my apartment along Hudson River Park and then to Battery Park, where I have always turned around and walked/ran back. It’s about a 4 mile distance and usually takes me a little over 40 minutes. Today I thought how awesome it would be to explore something new and go beyond that. That motivation was pretty much gone by the time I went out the door and I had settled for a 30 minute run and then calling it a day.
I ate a banana with half a tablespoon of peanut butter, drank a large glass of water before I headed out. Something I hardly ever do. I don’t usually eat before runs. But ever since it hasn’t been as hot anymore, I feel more comfortable with running on midday, not like during the peak of summer where you had to run early in the morning before it got too hot. I think the banana made a big difference in my performance and I’ll keep testing how I feel about pre-run snacks.
I headed out, started with an OK pace and like usual, after 10 minutes I was ready to stop and be done with. I don’t know why 10 minutes is such a mental hurdle for me every time, but minutes 11 - 30 are usually the hardest for me. I was talking about it with a friend tonight and my guess is it’s because I often set myself 30 minutes as the goal for my runs. I’ll often head out and think, “Do 30 minutes, see how you feel and then stop or keep running.” So I’ll fight to get those 30 minutes down and once I got there, somehow the pressure falls off and running is more enjoyable. If I need to stop after 35 minutes? Then that’s cool because I did my 30 minutes. Whereas if I had set myself the goal to run 30 minutes and I’d have to stop after 25, then that would blow. Anyway.
I kept pushing through minutes 11 - 30 and somehow my motivation had returned, I was feeling good, fast and strong (i. e. feeling the energy from the banana) and hence decided to turn today into a spontaneous long run. I ran to the Battery and decided to keep going, see where my feet would take me. They took me to Brooklyn:
Not gonna lie, after you move out of Battery Park, the road turns pretty ugly and hard to navigate. There’s a lot of construction going on and the walkways are narrow. I had to yell excuse me more times than I could count. But I kept running, intent to beat last week’s 6 miler by at least half a mile. I kept looking at the Brooklyn Bridge and at one point I thought, Fuck it, you’ve come all this way. Go run the fucking bridge already.
Funny story: when I moved in with my roommate in May, I took up running as a hobby again after I’d had neglected it for a while during my move to the US. I was so proud the first time I ran in NY. I told her about it and I think I “only” managed to do 20 minutes. When I told her that I’d just run, she asked me whether I’d gone all the way to the Brooklyn Bridge and whether I’d run that. I laughed and said I was nowhere as fit as that. Fact is, running across the Brooklyn Bridge always seemed so intimidating and something only “real” runners would do.
Anyway, on today’s run I realized that the only way to enter the bridge is from City Hall. That was quite a large hill ahead of me and I was starting to feel the miles, but I refused to give up. I made it to City Hall and entered the bridge with tons of tourists. I now remember why you don’t see a lot of runners on the Brooklyn Bridge - and it wasn’t even at its most crowded today. Coming from the Manhattan side, the bridge is long and steep and I’m not gonna lie, I thought I was going to die. I kept pushing through though and all of a sudden I was at the first pillar and I knew that the worst was over. Mile 6 was the one that was mostly uphill and it was my slowest of them all:
It was tough, but I did it. By the time I got to the other side, I was so high that wanted to jump in joy. I probably would’ve, if my legs hadn’t screamed at me. I made the mistake again to stop my workout, because after I’d been stopped by a couple to ask me for directions (apparently gross and sweaty, I look even more trust-worthy), I even decided to run some more and run the bridge back to Manhattan and then crosstown for a bit.
I ended up doing another 2.78 miles in 30 minutes:
I wasn’t at my fastest, but it was still a good, solid pace, considering the mileage I had already behind me!
That left me with 1 mile to walk back home. Overall though, I ran 9.44 miles today in 1 hour 40 minutes. That is incredibly impressive for me. And I ran the fucking Brooklyn Bridge.
Things I’ve learned today:
I think I’ll try and go for a short run tomorrow. Let’s see how the legs are holding up. Did you run/walk today? How was it?