Run Monster

New York Bagels.

Have you ever had a bagel from New York City? Have you ever had one every morning for a week? How about two bagels every morning for a week?

I have. And it’s awesome.

Unfortunately, when you eat two large bagels every morning for breakfast for a week and alter neither your activity level nor your food consumption throughout the rest of the day, it shows. I’m fairly certain no one else would notice the thin new layer of fat that is currently covering my body, but look, I notice. And I think that most athletes, especially those in sports that are notorious for lean bodies (like distance running), know what I’m talking about.

To shed this new and unwanted layer, my first instinct is to do something drastic like omit all carbs and sugar for a week. I believe some people, even some endurance athletes, thrive on such diets and  they usually look amazing. But I’m also a firm believer that there are people out there (like myself) who really feel better when they eat carbs and sugar, as long as they are the good kinds of carbs and sugar, and are consumed in moderation. There are too many different body types out there for me to believe that one diet fits all. I am entering into the phase of training where 20 mile long runs are a thing I have to do, and I still remember the horrible way my body felt when I tried to do high mileage like that on a low carb, low sugar diet. Never again.

So my first instinct is quickly overridden by my rational brain, and now I have to come up with a different plan of attack for shedding this evil little layer. Plan B is to maybe just not think about it at all, and hope that my mileage over the next few weeks is enough to whittle me back down by a few pounds. This seems like it could work, but on the other hand, I don’t think it’s entirely responsible to not put thought into my diet as I enter these final 8 weeks of training, just in general. I’ve been thinking that I should do a better job of feeding/cooking for myself, so maybe this is an opportunity to accomplish both that goal and the other.

But hey, let’s go back to why I was in New York and some of the running details of my trip.

I was in NYC because I was attending a geometry and topology conference, this time at Columbia University. Since this conference was held Monday through Friday, I was spared the torture that is waking up at 4am to do a long run, on a treadmill, before the talks start…I still can’t believe I actually did that. I did, however, still get up early-ish and go running pre-conference. The beautiful thing here was that the conference started late enough to allow me to run outside each morning, and I was exactly one mile away from Central Park.

On Tuesday morning, I got up and ran the following 8 mile loop:

Screen shot 2013-08-23 at 7.10.41 PM

Screen shot 2013-08-23 at 7.10.53 PM

I did an out-and-back 4 mile run on Wednesday morning, and that time I ran to Central Park and just turned around after running a mile inside it.

Lastly, I had to do a hill repeat workout on Thursday and once again, the location of the conference made it super easy for me to do it. One block away from my dorm was Morningside Park, which is built up against a hill. I had to run up a rather long hill on my way to Central Park the previous two mornings, so I knew that I could come back to it to do my hill workout. I did a 1 mile warm up by winding my way through Morningside Park – the hill was really on the border of it – and then I proceeded to do the repeats. I mapped out a quarter mile section of the huge hill, then did 6 repeats of it where I walked/jogged back to the starting point in between to rest. I cooled down with another 1 mile through the park. Here were the hill splits:

1:41   (6:39 pace)

1:39   (6:28 pace)

1:39   (6:28 pace)

1:38   (6:24 pace)

1:41   (6:39 pace)

1:38   (6:24 pace)

Although this isn’t a picture I took myself, you have to see how beautiful Morningside Park is:

The whole week was just wonderful in so many ways. I’ve spent the whole time talking about bagels and running, but I also want to mention that I’m feeling motivated to work harder in school, and I was reminded of the great community I get to be a part of as a mathematician. I don’t plan on stressing out about the bagel layer because the fact that I’m even aware of it means I won’t let it get out of hand.

Lastly, I CANNOT WAIT to get to do runs with Lina again. It’s been too long! Even though I’m not necessarily looking forward to covering the distances we have coming up, I am definitely looking forward to those hours of uninterrupted socializing. YAY!!

-Run Monster

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This entry was posted on August 23, 2013 by in Weekly Runs.

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