I met a friend for coffee in the morning after dropping Carlos off to school. This is the mom of a friend of Carlos’ from his old school. I hadn’t seen her all summer so it was great to catch up.
After that I had plans to meet Kate for a long run. It has been so much fun helping her to train for her first half marathon. The summer was really tough for her because of the heat so she scaled back her training. Kate recently mentioned that she was struggling to get her breathing under control so we decided that we would really emphasize breathing this week particularly during the long run. She admitted that she was getting very caught up in her pace/mile and even felt some competition from an acquaintance who just began running.
I think it is so discouraging for new runners to worry about pace. There seems to be a lot of concern about minutes per mile. I had always run alone and was very reluctant to discuss running early on so I really had nothing to compare my time to. There are almost always time goals going into a race, but mine were very personal and private. Running and particularly running races has become much more common. With apps like Map My Run it is easy to view friends’ progress. This can create an unhealthy sense of competition.
To avoid unnecessary stress related to distance and pace we are focusing on overall time running with a goal of working up to a three hour long run before the half marathon. Kate and I ran a very consistent 7.32 miles in 1 hour 42 minutes. The goal was 90 minutes with a slow cool down. Her breathing was in control for most of the run and when it became an issue we took short walk breaks to get it under control. If she continues to train this way I think she is going to exceed her expectations on race day.
For me this is a great opportunity to get back into long runs without any pressure to improve my own time. I am running at Kate’s pace which will also help me to avoid injury during this training. It’s been a fun change running and chatting with a friend. since I’m so accustomed to running alone with music. Honestly the 90 minutes flew by.
Later that afternoon while our boys were at swimming lessons we took advantage of the gorgeous weather to stroll another 2.06 miles around the pond at the college. I’ve been trying to include more walking into my days. I think it’s a great way to include mindful activity that isn’t forced or stressful. I enjoy it alone, but it’s more fun walking and talking with a friend.
I started my morning with a nice 75 minute Vinyasa yoga class. I love yoga and really hope to begin doing it more regularly.
It’s Big E time here in Western Massachusetts! OK I’m not actually that excited about it. The Big E, is said to be the largest fair in the northeast. It opens every September and runs for 17 days. There are buildings dedicated to each of the New England States, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont…no New York is not part of New England! The fair showcases agriculture, animals, musical performances, a midway of rides and games and butter. Yup butter! Each year there is a new butter sculpture on display. Go ahead click on the link to see this year’s butter sculpture, you know you want to! There are also parades including a Mardi Gras style parade where you can catch beaded necklaces. There is an old colonial village you can tour. There are horse shows. The Better Living Center is a mecca of goods including my favorite, the Vitamix demonstration.
However, for most people the big attraction is the food. Each year there is something even more disturbingly unhealthy than last year. It’s not exactly a vegan’s dream dining experience. I definitely do not go for the food, but according to friends and family that love “the fair,” I’m weird! Everyone I know that attends the Big E each year goes for some specific treat or two or three. This year it seems that bacon is the most popular item. Bacon ice cream, chocolate dipped bacon, fried dough topped with maple syrup and bacon, and more I’m sure. If you’re a bbq fanatic you might love the pulled pork parfait. It’s all the fixings plus the pulled pork all in one handy dandy cup! And if you’re feeling particularly undernourished or maybe you just ran a marathon go for something deep fried, anything, literally anything you want like an Oreo, banana, Kool Aid (I don’t get it), peanut butter and jelly, cheesecake or butter. Yup butter…deep fried butter! No not your thing? How about the Craz-E Burger, a bacon cheeseburger served between two halves of a grilled glazed donut. Last but not least you absolutely cannot leave the park without eating a famous Big E Cream Puff.
Not exactly a vegan’s dream dining experience. In fact all I ate was a free packet of dried cranberries. I get the whole YOLO (you only live once) mentality, but I’d be concerned about making it out of the Big E alive if I were some of these folks.
So is there no state fair to go to in any of those states? I just posted today about what I’m planning to eat at our state fair this weekend. Sadly, the fried butter has been my favorite since 2009. So bad, but so good… When I first went vegetarian, I told myself I could have 5 exceptions if they were very particular (goulash at a place in Virginia, my dad’s chimichangas the day after Thanksgiving, etc.). Even though I don’t ever use those exceptions, in my mind, I could, and I’ve always said if I went vegan, one of my 5 exceptions would be fried butter at the fair.
I hear you on keeping running goals to yourself. I run with a group so pretty much all my buddies know exactly what my goal marathon pace is (likely to the second), but there’s something about declaring the actual time goal out loud in public that freaks me out. Someone I don’t know well who was running with us asked me my goal time on a run a few weeks ago, and my reaction was, that’s a really personal question, why don’t you just ask me how much I weigh or if I had sex last night, I’d be more comfortable answering either of those questions! But especially as a beginner, it’s best if it can all be ignored. I tell myself that even the best of the best look at other people and think they’re fast. Meb can look at world class sprinters running a pace for 40 seconds that he couldn’t sustain for 20 (I’m guessing). And those sprinters look at milers and think they couldn’t never sustain that speed for that long.
I can’t believe you got through the Big E eating only some craisins! Wow, you have great willpower. Although I have to say, we ate a bunch of junk and I felt pretty much like junk afterward! I was CRAVING veggies!! Every year I say “I’m not going to the Big E next year” but then every year we go. But I think next year we really are going to pass…the people, the gluttony, the capitalism….it’s not my scene I guess.