Monday! Wicked exciting.
Maybe not. But it’s not the worst thing.
To me, Monday always means a fresh start. I rarely begin anything — a training plan, a goal, a box of Oreos, whatever — unless it’s on a Monday. That’s just how my really relaxed and not-at-all-psychotic brain works.
Thus, today is a fresh start in The Land of Ali.
And I think I need it.
No no. I know I need it.
This weekend was everything I wanted it to be.
I went to bed late and then slept in Saturday until 8:30 AM. I really know how to indulge.
And then I ran.
I ran kind of long.
Run truth time?
This run sort of sucked.
I mean, it was nice being out. I appreciated not being injured and it was nice only having to make three bathroom stops. Yes, “only three” is an accomplishment these days.
But man, running is hard. I feel really out of shape lately, and even though I managed to throw down 8:20s on the Harlem Hills, I paid for it later.
Oh, you mean going all-out at the beginning of a long run isn’t how you’re supposed to do it? Crap. I’ll write that down.
This run kicked my butt. It was the longest I’ve run since, I think, February? So I know I can’t expect the longer miles to come easily. But I also don’t expect them to be quite so draining, especially since a few months ago I was knocking out much longer runs at faster paces without a problem.
I’ll get there.
I spent the rest of Saturday walking around the city with Brian and discovering places I had never seen. That’s always fun.
There was also napping in uncomfortable places. But hey, sleep wherever you can get it I guess.
And Saturday night was spent on the couch in sweatpants watching Food, Inc., which made me never want to eat meat or poultry again. So that’s great.
As for Sunday?
I was up and ready to rock at 7 AM.
It was a big day.
After more than a year of dating, I finally went to one of Brian’s bike races.
I may be out of the running for Least Supportive Girlfriend of the Year. I don’t know. They haven’t announced the nominations yet.
But I suited up in my non-bike shorts and I spent the morning cheering my little heart out at the bike track.
The race was at Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn, which is basically “near the middle of nowhere, but actually less convenient.” It was kind of a “you can’t get there from here” situation, so we took the subway to somewhere that I don’t remember and then rode our bikes 8 miles out to the race.
Bike races are awesome, and to all my single lady friends, you should come with me next time.
The field was packed with hot biker men, and they were all friendly and nice. And wearing spandex. And sweating. And grunting.
So you’ll come with me next time, yes?
Brian kicked ass in his race. I’d love to say I was an unemotional spectator and that I kept my cool, but I was kind of a wreck. I was really nervous because the riders are going nearly 30 miles per hour, and they’re all up on each others’ wheels and it’s too close for my comfort.
At one point, a group of racers came by alerting the race staff that “There was a crash on 2.” I don’t really know what “on 2” means, but I know what a crash is.
Brian had just gone by, so there was basically no way it could have been him. But in my mind, he had taken a tumble and I lost my shit. Like completely burst into tears.
Bike racing is scary…for the people on the sidelines.
It was a really fun way to spend the day though, and I have the awesome racerback sunburn to prove it.
And after the race, we rode all the way back home, which was 29 miles, bringing me to a total of 37 biking miles for the day.
The ride home was the scariest of my life.
Riding along Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn was straight-up terrifying. The road was bumpy, the drivers on the road were angry and yelled at me, and people were constantly honking even though I was a law-abiding, out-of-their-way cyclist. It was infuriating and scary.
We rode through Prospect Park, which was lovely but packed, and then cruised over the Manhattan Bridge (pretty!) and up the West Side Highway (crowded and I hate all the people ever, especially people on rollerblades and especially children on any type of wheels).
Then we hit Central Park.
My safe place.
My happy place.
The place where I got into my first little “accident.”
Basically, the park was packed, a chick was crossing the road (she had the right of way at the time), I slowed with all the other riders to let her pass, a crazy-ass dude (not wearing a helmet!) didn’t feel the need to stop, slammed into the nice pedestrian girl, knocked her to the ground, flew off his own bike and fell into me.
So really, I was fine and my borrowed bike is fine. But it took a lot for me to not kick that guy while he was down. I was also pretty shaken up. It’s frustrating that you can follow all the rules, do all the right things and be extra-careful, but then other careless people can screw it all up and hurt other people.
With lots of weekend miles on my legs, I thought the best thing to do for the remaining weekend hours was nothing. I napped. I ate. A lot. I told myself I would foam roll, but then I slept instead.
And that’s my weekend: Drinking, friends, running, riding, eating, eating, eating.
It should come as no surprise that I’m feeling kind of gross after the weekend.
I’ve never been one to think about what I eat. I’m usually training for a race and I like food too much to limit it or deprive myself of it.
Lately, though, since I’ve started feeling better, it’s been a bit, shall we say, out of control?
As much as I want to enjoy eating, drinking and generally not taking good care of myself, I know that’s not a great pattern to get into.
My clothes agree, because they’ve decided to stop fitting quite so well.
Not a huge deal and nothing that needs a life-altering overhaul, but I do realize I need to make a conscious effort to start taking better care of my physical self. I said I was going to be really healthy and drink lots of fresh juice, but somehow “fresh juice” became “so much ice cream.” That wasn’t part of the plan!
Now that I’ve started mastering the “don’t be stressed” part of life, I’m moving on to the next phase.
What does this mean?
It’s easy, and it starts today:
- I slowly increase my running mileage. Lately I’ve been running every-other-day, if that, and basing runs off how my stomach feels. My mileage has been really low during the week, and the months of March, April and May marked my lowest mileage months in years. Sad. My stomach is starting to feel better, so I’d like to start slowly upping my miles. Slowly. And smartly. I don’t want my little injuries to come back. I’ll start training for the New York City Marathon sometime in July, so until then I want to make gradual increases, that way I can go into training with a solid base.
- I cross-train a little. Two-a-days aren’t really necessary, I’ve learned, and I don’t need to do them often or even at all. I don’t want to give up my Wednesday night spin class with love-of-my-life Matt, but if I’m anticipating a hard run on Thursday morning, I’ll ditch spinning the night before.
- I get better on the bike. Yesterday’s ride was aggravating because of the crowds, but when I wasn’t slammed in between 12 runners, 16 other cyclists and 42 tourists, I liked feeling speedy! I want to get stronger, more comfortable and faster on the bike. I may be toying around with the idea of a late-summer bike race…
- I bring back the daily plank. Core strength, where did you go?!
- I stretch or foam roll daily. Seriously, Alison. Do this. I can hardly touch my toes these days. Try not to be too impressed. Brian is so good about coming back from his bike rides and stretching and foam rolling, and I just hop right in the shower and go on with my day. This is probably not a good habit.
- I stop eating such outrageous portions. I don’t “diet,” as you know, and since the last Crohn’s flare I’m trying to see which foods aggravate my stomach and which ones don’t. My main issue isn’t necessarily the foods I eat, because I’m usually mostly healthy. My issue is that I eat so much food. I truly don’t remember the last time I didn’t clean my plate or leave a meal not feeling completely full. It’s a bit gross, and I hate going to sleep with such a full stomach. So I need to maybe stop going back for seconds and thirds of every meal. I love fruits and vegetables, and I get plenty of them, but the $7 cup of 16 Handles I polished off on Saturday…and Sunday? I maybe don’t need so much of that. I’d like my clothes to fit again, please.
The last one is probably the most important right now. I just hate feeling “gross” and since my stomach decided to slowly come back to life, I’ve gone way overboard. Last night I was “craving nachos,” so I had a ton of them, and shocking, I felt like crap during my run this morning. Well played, Ali, well played.
I swear, a few weeks ago I could see defined abs, and now…well, now not so much.
Luckily, I have a little running partner who’s just dying to hit up the Bridle Path!
These aren’t exactly “big life changes” and nothing here is shocking. Also I’ve probably written this exact post 12 other times after various “way too indulgent” weeks. But it happens, and I’m the kind of person who needs to write things down — or, you know, blog about them for the whole Internet to see and critique — in order for them to actually happen. Plus, a Monday seems like a good time to get back on track.
So here we go!
ANY CHANGES YOU’RE MAKING THIS WEEK? Eating more? Eating better? Running faster? Yoga-ing daily? Sleeping better? Drinking less? Drinking more?