I ran my longest training run ever yesterday: 8 miles! It felt pretty good! Around mile 6.5 or 7, my legs started getting pretty sore, but not in an unbearable way, so I kept truckin' along. It was fun, and pretty easy, to be frank. I mean, I was tired, but I could do it.
Let me also make it clear that there has been no sneaking of cigarettes which made the above possible; had I continued to smoke one or two a day I'm sure that my lungs would have refused to cooperate. On that note, I actually had a dream last night that I took a drag on someone else's, and in the dream I met up with my boyfriend and was nervous that he would find out because he kissed me-ha! One of the biggest motivators for me not even occasionally indulge is the fact that he's diligently working to quit right now, and I don't want to make it harder for him.
Additionally, I've been lifting and doing ab work twice a week. This may not be earth-shattering to anyone else, but getting me to lift and do crunches is pretty monumental. I run because I LIKE to run. I don't LIKE to lift. Therefore I don't do it. But I need to...
During my run, I tried to follow Brendan Brazier's advice: when you run longer than 60 minutes, you need to replenish your glucose stores and hydrate. I took this teeny little three ounce bottle of water with me (I don't have any fancy endurance runner equipment yet) and Luna Sport Moon Energy Chews. There were several in the little pack; I only ate one and decided I didn't need anymore, especially since the night before I had waaaay overindulged in sugar and fat, resulting in both a sugar coma that very morning and acid reflux that made me feel like I was going to vomit for much of the run. When I actually use them in earnest, potentially on my ten mile run this week, I'll write a review. My initial reaction, however, was Yum gummy candy. So take that for what it's worth.
Following the run and some stretching, I drank Vega Chocolate Protein Powder. It really helps with my recovery, insuring that I don't feel too sore or exhausted afterwards, or the next day. Brazier expresses in his book Thrive that after a strenuous workout, it's important to choose foods that are easy to digest with the nutrients being as instantly accessible as possible. To put it simply, have a liquid meal instead. Options include Vega (or another healthy meal replacement drink, but be careful, many of them are full of crap and fillers and junk sources of protein), nutritious soup, maybe a smoothie. If you eat a concentrated, heavy meal, your body's blood will go to your stomach to aid in the digestion process as opposed to the muscles that need that blood in order to repair themselves.
I also discovered by running past a window and seeing my reflection (I enjoy seeing my reflection in a window at some point during a run because it helps me correct my form) that I am in dire need of a good sports bra. I was bouncin' all over the place. To be fair, I was wearing Champion's Small, and maybe I should've been wearing Champion's X-Small, which I also own--it's just much tighter, though it keeps me controlled, and it's not UNcomfortable. Once I start purchasing some new gear I will review that in my blog as well.
Lately, by keeping track of my calories I've been doing really well weight-wise and nutritionally, and being a vegan has given me more energy than usual. I still need to get off the coffee train, which I know is keeping me from achieving a purer form of energy and health, but baby steps. Right now, I'm just proud that I am proving myself right: I can be an endurance athlete and a vegan!