The weekly long run is my favorite run of the week. I enjoy most runs, and I can tolerate speed work. Give me a couple hours and the chance to really stretch my legs, though, and I’m no longer running: I’m on a run.
Just awesome stuff. Let’s get into it.
I met Raul and Billy (a/k/a Captain America), two new buddies from November Project NYC, at Engineer’s Gate around 8 a.m. We had a cool breeze and slightly cloudy sky, which felt perfect for an early September run. I have only run with Raul and Billy during NP_NYC workouts, and they can both run forever. They have 10 or 11 NYC marathons between the two of them, so I got some wisdom on what to expect when I run it for the first time this year. We all agreed that the worst thing to talk about during a group run is running, and then proceeded to talk about running for about 70 percent of our run. The other 30 percent was dedicated to life, love, and discussions comparing foam rolling to sexual torture (we are cool guys).
We started slow, but hit our stride on the smaller Harlem hills on the west side. The conversation flowed and my legs kept moving, feet hitting the ground at a strong 180 cadence. Ever since I started training based on the Maffetone Method, I have done most of my runs alone to control my heart rate. Today, however, I found that even though I was running with two strong runners who like to push the pace, my heart rate generally stayed under my target 145 beats per minute. It exceeded that level on Cat Hill and the obnoxious Harlem Hill, but even then it barely cracked 150, so I consider this a solid test of my fitness.
On long runs I carry a water bottle and something to eat. Today I brought a homemade snack cooked following this recipe based on the nutrition discusses in Christopher McDougall’s book Born to Run (I will probably post more on this book at some point). The snack is toasted corn meal a/k/a pinole, chia seeds, agave, and cinnamon, baked into tablespoon-sized bricks. I like them because they provide a natural energy boost without the jitters I get from caffeinated or extra-sugary gels. I ate one before the run, and one around mile 7. I also recognize how amazingly nerdy it is that I make my own running snacks, but I’m OK with that!
When we finished, I felt pleasantly tired but ready for more. That’s how I like to feel at the end of any training run: Like I could do it all over again with a short rest. Thanks to my running buddies Raul and Billy! You guys gave me some extra energy and made me laugh out loud way too often.
Happy running, everyone!