Run. Eat, Rest, Sleep. Repeat.

>> Tuesday, August 17, 2010

This post may not be terribly interesting to many of you, but we've received several emails asking us what our Sunday long run days look like. So, I drafted up a schedule that most closely resembles what we do after our runs longer than 18 miles. It isn't 100% what we do every single time, but it's pretty darn close.

(And, yes -- we really watch that much TV!)

Run. Eat, Rest, Sleep. Repeat.

6:30 AM: Wake up. Wow. It definitely doesn't feel great waking up this early on a Sunday. Especially since I never (ever, ever) get to sleep in. But I always thank myself later.

6:45 AM: Drink a glass (about 8 ounces, not too terribly much) of water and toast an English muffin -- spread one side with peanut butter, the other side with jam. Add sliced banana. Instant breakfast. NOM.

Our other favorite light breakfast is a serving of oatmeal with banana.

7:00 AM: Get dressed (sleeveless shirt and 3/4 length warm weather tights -- to prevent chafing), find watch and hat. Pour a large (OK, gigantic) glass of water and grab a ClifSHOT (raspberry, no-caffeine variety). Set these things out on the back porch for later.

7:15 AM: Swig one last sip of water. Out the door and start running.

(There are many, many, MANY days that I hate the idea of running long so much that I almost give up. It's not like I jump for joy every time I need to run for three hours. It's hard work. So, this time of the day is the most difficult. Just getting out there.)

8:15 AM: Water break at park. Quick stretch. (All in less than 15-20 seconds.) One hour down. Wonderful!

9:15 AM: Water/ClifSHOT break at house. Quick stretch. (All in less than 20-30 seconds.) Two hours down. Only 1/3 of the run to go!

10:15 AM: DONE RUNNING! WOOOHOOO! Celebrate. Ouch. Wait. Everything hurts like crazy. Drink some homemade Gatorade (we buy the powder and water ours down considerably) and head for a shower/stretch session.

10:45 AM: Yes. That was a lonnng shower. But it's the one time per week that I spend more than 7 minutes in there. Take an ibuprofen and use a bit of BioFreeze, if necessary. Dress in some compression tights (to help ease the pain/facilitate healing in legs) and make something to eat. We both ice (or take ice baths) our legs on occasion, too. I spend most of this time moaning and complaining that my legs hurt. But I'm really pumped that I finished!

OK. About the food situation: Usually I don't feel like eating a ton after a super long run. But eating aids in recovery. It's super important. If I'm not terribly hungry (or just feeling kind of sick -- which definitely happens more often than not), I make myself a smoothie. Then I eat when I am hungry, usually after an hour or so.

This past Sunday, however, I had an appetite and chose to eat crispy kale and sweet potato with chocolate almond milk. Stephen rarely has the queasy stomach problem, so he most typically replenishes himself with some eggs, toast, fish, etc. No food is off-limits for him.

11:00 AM: Spend the next couple hours on the couch or in bed. Watching TV or a movie. Legs elevated. Head to pillow. Nibbling on additional foods as necessary/desired.

1:00 PM: Grocery shop. Get out of the house for just a bit to move legs. Pick up additional supplies. Treat ourselves to tasty treats from Wegmans -- my current favorites? Half moon cookies and veggie sushi!

3:00 PM: Back in bed (or on couch . . . or outside on couch, depending on weather). Watch a movie. Read. Write blog posts. Nap, if the mood strikes.

Really, resting doesn't get old. In fact, it's one of my favorite parts of the week. So much of the time, I'm busy either at work, running errands, or just plain running that a little horizontal time is what I need to recharge for the upcoming week.

5:00 PM: Make and eat dinner. This meal is typically large. Very large. This meal is typically packed with as much health as we can stuff into it. What we made this past week was our all-time favorite sandwich: The Lover. Followed by a great dessert, of course.

6:30 PM: Gentle, short walk or some yoga. It's good to stretch things out a bit. Check in with pain levels. But when my body told me to go on a bike ride this past Sunday, I told it -- NO! Sometimes I get this I-can-do-anything attitude on long run days. I remind myself, though, that my body is in recovery. There are millions of micro-tears in my muscles . . . and that bike ride could do more harm than good.

7:30 PM: One last couch-fest. And lately a weekly gchat date with Ashley. :)

9:30 PM: BED. Going to bed early is key to waking up on time Monday morning. Usually falling asleep at this hour isn't much of a struggle for me -- but when it is, I like to wind down by reading. Current books on my shelf include Born to Run and Operation Beautiful.

We hope this helps take some of the mystery out of our long run days. Of course, now we're wondering if our day looks like yours! What do you do after a particularly hard/long workout? Let us know! Even if you aren't in training for a marathon, you may have special rituals or activities you do after a key sweat session. Just leave a comment or email us at neverhomemaker [at] gmail [dot] com.

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