weeknight running dates & dinner dates

Recently, Dan and I re-cancelled cable. Before we lived together, we didn’t have cable.

I have a problem.
I am addicted to bad TV.
So, I had to just go cold turkey. CUT IT OFF! That’s how I got back my life.

I stopped watching the s**t that passes as television. And I am much happier. Dan and I actually cook meals, as opposed to watching others cook meals. I can hear nature outside my window- birds, and cars, and the fountain in our courtyard.

Personally, it’s the best.

But, it also marks a re-birth of sorts. It’s officially getting hotter, and will soon be the dead of summer. And, it forces me to do things with my life. Such as running (but could be other things).

Monday

Monday night was great. I got home nice and early (I’m so glad my job has settled back down again, allowing me to head home before traffic), had a Nuun and some easter candy, and went for a little run. My four miles ended up being 4.5 miles. Oh, and I found a cat by a creek.

No, I did not bring the cat home. Even though our apt is no longer the “crazy three cat apartment” (I guess I’ll tell that story soon too).

Monday’s run was light and easy. I felt good, so I stretched my loop out a little further to a “five mile” with intentions of walking the last mile. The 10:00 pace felt like home again, and I managed to go “sub-8:30” on the last half-mile (downhill, but, hey, who cares). I also ran past Dan and Dave, just as some a-hole who was blazing through a red light almost hit me (I had the “white man walking” sign).  I managed to push a little on some hills, and relax on others, but maintain a somewhat steady speed- 9:30 to 10:30 pace.

Tuesday

Tuesday night looked like a bad storm was about to start, and my favorite thing to do when that happens is rush to get in some hill sprints, so I am never too far from safety. I did the closest, longest hill to our apartment. It turns out it was about 200m (0.12-.13 miles) long, and a 50ft elevation change. It was hard enough to feel like a good workout, but not so hard I couldn’t complete 4 repeats.. They ranged from 1:13 (9:30 pace) to 1:21 (10:40 pace). Not bad.

Maybe I’m weak. I had also ran 6 miles Sunday and 4.5 miles Monday, so maybe it was too much. Either way, my ab was a little sore later that night, and continued to tighten up throughout the night, so I gave in, and took a muscle relaxer to loosen things up overnight.

About me and my muscle relaxers… When my ab is sore, sometimes it can manage to loosen up on its own. Sometimes, it seems to just get more and more sore, until I have to forego exercise or just lay in bed all day. I’ve found that taking a muscle relaxer (5mg) helps to break this cycle, and relaxes my breathing and ab overnight. I definitely don’t rely on them, but usually end up taking one every week or two. It’s also part of revving up my training. My goal is to be able to figure out more accurately how much is “too much”, and find the “just right” balance to enhance strength in my abdominal muscle and push it a little further to get faster.

Wednesday

Aka “Date night”

Dan said he really wanted a steak (Maybe he was in Texas for too long), so we decided to head back to Stanbury for a good steak, and a fine liquid libation.

Side note: I love when bars call them Libations. It kind of makes me laugh. Maybe it’s because it’s a little pretentious, but, then it usually means they are good cocktails, so I guess I do really love it. Hmmm… Libations!

Yummy libation (tequila, jalapeño, and other deliciousness, served on rocks with smoked salt on one side). And onto the main dish- I got the scallops  which came with grilled onion and fennel, tossed in a delicious light vinaigrette over a bed of faro (bottom, left, mostly eaten… whoops!). All in all, delicious. Their veggies/sides always are great! Everything on the plate is thoughtfully planned out and meant to be eaten together. As opposed to the ‘oh right they will probably want some mashed potatoes with this’ veggies. Dan got the ribeye (top left, also partially devoured), which is why we went to Stanbury, so that was delicious as well.

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We then popped over to Hayes Barton in Five Points for a slice of cake and pie.

The night was perfect weather, so we took a little walk before eating our cake.

Thursday

Another night, another run. It was a beautiful night, and in keeping with getting back to my old normal, Dan and I went for a little four miler together. All in all, it felt good. Running with Dan always pushes me to run a little faster, and push the pace a little beyond my comfort zone. We have a little, steep downhill, following by a grueling 0.8 mile uphill. So it was slow at first, but the mile splits were 9:43, 9:41, 8:45, and then change for the last 0.64 miles. Overall pace 9:26, so I was happy with that. Hence, a little faster than normal, but not grueling fast speed.

Then, we pan-fried some sausage, kale, and broccoli for a well-rounded diner. Followed by the rest of my Hayes Barton cake.

dan me post-run

A little post-run picture. Red-faced, blurry, and all. You know what they say A couple that runs together, sweats together…

Also, I love that you can see our fully-stocked wine rack in the background, that may or may not have a bottle of vodka on it.

 

So, Happy Friday everyone!

I’m headed to Asheville for a pre-wedding sleepover with one of my old college besties (getting married NEXT weekend!). I may take pictures and post.

 

 

 

 

Friday Hill Sprints

Friday, I had planned to do 10-12 miles.

I also had to get my oil changed, so since I’d be on that side of town, I thought I’d run the dreaded Lassiter Mill hill (a long, slow, steady hill that is the start and end of the Midtown Half Marathon). It sucked ending on that hill, so I thought I’d start/end on it for good mental practice. And I am thinking it would be good to work that hill over the course of the summer, to see if I can get faster on it.

With the pending storm, I decided to do hill sprints instead (As if that’s easier or a compromise of sorts). But that way, I’d be no further than a mile from my car at any given point. I aimed for 4 hill sprints, not remembering how long the hill was.

I ran out, and ignored the cramp starting on the DOWNhill portion. aka- my warm-up. I glanced down at my garmin- 0.41, and I wasn’t to the bottom yet.

this is going to suck

I turned around at the bottom, and my garmin read 0.58; so each uphill sprint was pretty long.

My goal was simple: maintain a steady jog on the first couple, preferably under 10:30 pace.

Isn’t that elevation pattern pretty? 🙂

My sprints were as follows-
5:32 (down)
5:59 (up)
5:54 (down) Time to slow this down, Chandi
5:41 (up) I sprinted a little too hard on this one, and paid for it on the next
6:08 (down) I walked a little to slow myself down on the downhill
6:01 (up) Okay, one more… Try to make it in under 6-minutes… D’oh!
5:51 (down)
6:06 (up) Just don’t stop. Until you get to the top.

A few notes–
1. The wind was blowing South, I was running North (17 mph), so a little extra resistance
2. It was 84 degrees. That sucked.
3. The total elevation change was 130 ft within 0.58 miles (which is a decent elevation gain)
4. I had to run with my head down, since the wind was blowing pollen straight into my eyes, which burned.
Otherwise, I’d say a successful dead legs feeling, and eventual endorphins post-run.

after the hill sprints

A post-run “glow”. It was gross out there. I think the REI cashier recoiled when I put my watermelon Nuun and post-run protein recovery options [I stocked up] on the counter (like “ew, I have to touch this?… Here, have it… Just don’t make me touch it”)