5 before 30 + other things

(It's way too hot to consider solid food right now.  And I'm only slightly kidding.  SMOOTHIES OR BUST.)

I recently celebrated my 25th birthday by running/biking/napping/eating, which is basically the best way to spend an entire day.  I also finalized a short bucket list of things I want to accomplish before my 30th birthday, because GOALS.  They (for the most part) bleed together pretty nicely, and will hopefully not cause any actual bleeding, but you never know:

  1. Qualify for Boston
  2. Complete an Ironman (Lake Placid, I'm looking at you)
  3. Bike across the country
  4. Start a grad program
  5. Hold a conversation in Tagalog

Aaaaaaand I started training for the New York City Marathon!  Training kicked off with the Mad Half Marathon in Waitsfield, VT in the middle of July.  My friend ran the full while I ran the half and then biked out to the 20-ish mile marker to follow her to the finish.  For the record, biking up hills?  So much harder than running up hills.  And by hills, I mean mountains.

I've been cross-training a lot more than I have for other marathons, partially because biking and swimming have been so much easier than running (mostly because they don't have to happen at 5 o'clock in the morning – I'm still pretty terrible at both).  I've raised a little over $2,000 for Partners In Health already, but I still have at least two 20-milers to run and $1,500 to fundraise before I can call it a day!

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Even though I'm not getting in as many miles on my feet as I'd like, one of the things I'm trying to figure out right now is pre- and post-nutrition.  I know how to gel during races and I kind of know how to pre-fuel, but one of the things I struggle with a lot is not feeling so zonked after a workout that I ultimately end up skipping the next one.  The combination of cross-training and high heat/humidity have really done a number on my legs.  I started drinking Fluid instead of regular old chocolate milk and it's helped a little, but I'm still exhausted. (And I fully acknowledge that it might just be that I'm out of shape, but I'd rather not admit that just yet.)

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My FAVORITE THING right now though is The Feed, because it means I get to try a bazillion new things (and stockpile tried and true favorites) and it comes right to my front door, which is great because I love snacks just as much as I love mail.  I'm also terrified of trying new fueling options and have always put it off until too late, so this has been a lot of fun.  Some of my favorites of the new things:

  • Munk Pack - oatmeal fruit squeezes sound really gross, but they're actually kind of awesome. It's both easy to eat and it sits well.  I will probably stock up on this for pre-long runs and for work travel. Disclaimer: I hate oatmeal (as anyone who has ever lived or raced with me knows) BUT I will always eat it the morning before a race.
  • UnTapped - yes, you are just basically just drinking a shot of maple syrup.  Yes, it feels ridiculous.  But something about it works, but god knows why.  I've only used it as pre-fuel on an empty stomach and not during a run, so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ for now and I'll report back later... also after I eat some pancakes.
  • Skratch Labs (raspberry) - I still love Nuun (not to mention I have a ton of it) but the single serve pack fits really well in the back of my jersey and it's not sweet at all, which is good because biking sort of turns me off of sugary things.  The thought of eating a gu on a bike makes me gag, but salted caramel gu has saved my sorry butt during many a long run and I still haven't found anything that's better than that.

And that sums up the last 2-ish months in running.  I will be better about blogging... eventually.