back on track

I just returned from  my longest run of the year.  According to both my calculations and the MapMyRun program, I actually ran about 7 miles, plus walked more between warm up and cool down.  None of it felt particularly easy but there was never a point when I didn’t think I’d be able to finish.  The weather was cool and sunny, with a touch of wind and my LearnHebrewPodcasts kept me company.  I don’t like loud music in my ears when I run outside because I don’t think it’s safe and I also enjoy too much hearing the sounds of the trees in the park and waves crashing at the beach.  Today I wasn’t sure if I’d get through my run without assistance so I brought my iphone.   Of course I decided at the last second that I wanted to download new podcasts so while I waited for my phone to update, I did a quick roll-out session and a few core exercises.  I do think the rollout helped warm up my muscles because getting started was easier than usual.

I ran through the park to the beach, then down the great highway, which was closed to cars for sand clean up.  I love it when the road is all mine!I took it very easy through my entire run, making it my goal to keep my heart rate at the bottom of ZN4.  I don’t honestly think I could have run any faster today if I’d wanted to but I feel better believing that I was moving slowly for a purpose!  I took 1-2 minutes out of each 15 minute chunk of time to walk so I could get a drink, rest my legs or take a picture.  I finished the run feeling strong and did my toe/heel walking for the last couple of blocks.

The Workout:

7 mile run, keeping a slow pace to be sure I don’t end up sick again, monitoring my breathing occasionally to be sure I was breathing through my nose, not panting!

toe/heel walking for calf strength and preventing shin splints

core exercises and roll-out before and after run, ice groin after as preventative measure

spring in sf

As I walked to the post office this morning I noticed that everything around me was in bloom.  It didn’t feel like a warm spring morning and the sun wasn’t out but the flowering trees were colorful and abundant.  I decided that this would be a great day to spend time outdoors.  I met a friend and her dog for a run through Sutro Park and Lands End.  The views from up there are stunning (I’ll bring my phone to snap a photo next time) and the dog pushed me to run faster than usual.  I had hoped that, coming from altitude, I’d pant less as I made my way up the many steps from the beach and then again to the top of the trail, but no such luck.  It was just as hard as ever.  Also, the pulled muscle from Saturday’s hike seems to have moved down my leg and is feeling worse after today’s workout so I’ll have to take it easy tomorrow.

The workout:

Mixed fun run/walk 1 hour

bring dog along who likes to run fast when running and take frequent sniffing/peeing breaks


include stairs (find them in most cities at a stadium, in your hotel, on mapmyrun or via yelp reviews)

packing list

It is 8 am and I’m somewhere between Santa Fe and Denver. Today will be a rest day for me because I am feeling exhausted and my back is aching. One of the most important aspects of training is listening when my body tells me to stop!
Since there will be no workout logged today, I’m making a list (another favorite traveling pastime)
Running shoes – They are almost always on my feet because they take up the most space if packed.
Water bottle (Earthlust, 13oz) – I like to have water with me at all times and hate buying bottled water. I generally end up gulping whatever is in the bottle before security, then refilling it before boarding. Staying hydrated is one of the best ways to maintain good health on dry airplanes.
Barley green (Nikken jade greenzymes travel packs) and Tea bags (jasmine green tea) – The health benefits to both are numerous. I’ve recently added a travel mug to my tea stash so I don’t have to use to-go cups anymore.
Inflatable travel pillow – I stash Earplugs and a tea bag in the case for each flight. Noise cancelling headphones and an eye mask are essential for red-eyes.
Sunglasses, Running hat (or stocking cap), Sunscreen – Even on cloudy days, the rays can damage skin. My polarized shades are necessary to reduce strain so I can focus on all those little black notes come rehearsal time.
YMCA membership card and Combination lock – I love my gym membership and frequently use the “away” privledges.
Workout clothes (and swimsuit) – I pack layerable items of thin, wicking fabric, which are not only small to pack but dry quickly after hand washing. I try to get a sense of the workout conditions before arriving somewhere… outdoor temp, hotel gym facilities or neighborhood, nearby YMCA, etc.
Watch or Armband for iPhone – Sometimes I travel with my heartrate monitor strap but often just the watch. The other option is bringing along my phone for music and GPS. One cool free app I’ve found is MapMyRun. It’s tends to work best in less crowded areas and will show distance, speed and route.

This seems like way more than necessary and I don’t consider it “traveling light”. That said, I packed for 10 days with temperatures from 30-70 degrees. It all fit with my music stand, performance gowns and regular clothes in my carry-on suitcase!