Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance


Yesterday’s long run should have been disastrous.

  • I was in heels and on my feet all day Thursday for work and Fashion Night Out festivities.
  • I didn’t get home until 9:15 Thursday night, still hungry for dinner.
  • It’s that time of the month.
  • Last minute I found out I needed to work from the office on Friday which meant that I had to start my run earlier than planned.
  • Earlier runs mean less run buddies.

Many people suggested running on Saturday instead. Unfortunately, I knew that due to my weekend schedule, running today wasn’t an option. I was already committed to volunteering from 6-10am at the Hand in Hand Remembrance Ceremony down at Ground Zero.

Sometimes you just have to take the situation you have and make the absolute best of it. Below are some of the things I did on Thursday night which I believe helped make Friday’s run wonderful. As my mom, dad, and teachers always said, proper planning prevents poor performance.

  • IMG_4358 (640x478) Hydrate and eat familiar food! As soon as I walked through the door I chugged a bottle of NUUN infused water and started preparing a simple pasta dinner.
  • Compression socks! I’m obsessed with my Zensah calf sleeves for running and compression socks for rest and recovery. I changed into pajamas and compression socks as soon as I put the pasta water on the stove.
  • Organize After eating dinner, I spent the next few minutes organizing all my gear. I filled my CamelBak and put it in the refrigerator, found all my running gear, fuel, and ensured that both my Garmin and iPod were charging.
  • Playlist While I’ve realized I can run without music, I enjoy running with music more!  Since I knew there was a chance that all 16 miles would be solo, I wanted to make sure I had a great playlist for the run. I merged a few of my current playlists together and downloaded a few songs that Samantha Ronson reminded me of during her FNO appearance. My mix included everything a little bit of everything ranging from Jay Z’s 99 Problems, Cobra Starship, Jason Aldean, John Mayer, Beyonce, and Avenue Q!
  • Foam rolling Lauren, my personal trainer, is also a runner and therefore has been able to provide some great suggestions to help with my long runs and training. She urged me to foam roll and/or use the stick more often during the week, especially the night before long runs. I spent 10 minutes on the foam roller and 10 minutes using the stick while I relaxed after dinner.
  • Set your alarm 15 minutes earlier Even though I’m a morning person, I never seem to move fast enough on non race running mornings. I’m always five minutes late to the gym and at least ten minutes late getting out the door for a long run. Since I had to be at work by 9:30, it was imperative that I leave by 5:30. Therefore, I set my alarm for 4:55 instead of 5:10.
  • Carry plenty of fuel Until this week, I’ve only carried one source of fuel with me during a run. Some weeks it would be one Gu pack while other weeks I’d return to Cliff Blocks. After seeing many runners use two and three sources during a long run, I upped the ante this week and brought both! I figured it didn’t hurt to have extra.

I know the above tips probably seem like a lot but altogether they only took an hour. This still allowed me to be in bed by 10:30 while still enjoying a healthy home cooked meal and feel prepared for a great run. A majority of running, especially long training runs, is a mental game for me. If I feel confident and prepared, I’m far more likely to succeed!

Yesterday’s route didn’t go exactly as planned but I loved every second of it! I originally planned to run to the park, do the 4 mile loop once, reservoir once, and bridle once before heading cross town to Queensborough Bridge. Megan sent me the link to the Central Park Runner’s Map which was a huge help in trying to figure out the different running route options in the park.

I was 2.6 miles into my run when I hit Central Park and embarked on my first loop. I got turned around and realized that I was on the smaller, 1.8 mile loop by accident. But, I LOVED this loop.


It included gentle rolling hills and lots of cyclists to keep me inspired and entertained. Running by Bethesda Fountain in the early morning dawn light was gorgeous.  IMG_4362IMG_4364  IMG_4366 IMG_4367

I ended up doing this loop three times because I loved watching the triathletes and their trainer and was quite comfortable on my little path.  Around mile 7.5 Melissa Z sent me a text saying she was on her way to the reservoir path. I headed up that way and ended up doing a loop on my own while trying to find her. I expected to see Ali and her running group at any second since I feel like I run here all the time just through her pictures! IMG_4369 IMG_4370The sun was just starting to break through the clouds as I embarked on my fist loop. I can’t decide how I feel about the reservoir. I want to love it because the views are gorgeous, there is normally a slight breeze, and it’s soft on my knees. But, I feel like it goes on forever and for some reason I get very bored. IMG_4372 IMG_4373Luckily, after one loop I saw Melissa running towards me while I refilled my Camelbak. We spent the next 4 or 5 miles together catching up on our weeks, lamenting about finding marathon and life balance, and whether we’ll run another marathon. The miles we ran together flew by and I was sad when I had to part ways to head back downtown.

The run downtown was less than pleasant as traffic was crazy with pre 9/11 road closures and safety precautions. In addition, it was morning rush hour which meant I missed every light. I took advantage of it and used these lights as detours so I could add some extra mileage to hit 16. I was also stressed the entire run because I was running 5 minutes late and didn’t think I’d make it to work on time. It’s a fine balance between prioritizing work and marathon training while making sure to keep all the priorities in order.

But, by 8:44 I had enjoyed 16 miles for breakfast! :)  IMG_4374

I was also sweaty mess in need of a freezing cold shower! See that awesome 80’s look I’m rocking in the picture above? That’s because by mile 12 my shirt was so drenched that it was trying to become a tunic. IMG_4375

Sixteen miles awesome miles done before work thanks to proper planning and the right mindset!

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  1. Michelle @ Crazy*Running*Legs September 10, 2011 / 5:04 pm

    Woo-hoo for an awesome run!

    Sometimes I can find running loops (regardless of how pretty they are) endless. It was really motivating knowing exactly how far you are going, but it can be frustrating too!

  2. Victoria (District Chocoholic) September 10, 2011 / 5:43 pm

    I can’t even put into words how awesome you are. So many people would have just said “Oh well, no long run this weekend,” but you are dedicated and made it happen.

  3. Lisa Fine September 10, 2011 / 9:47 pm

    I love your tips, AND that you got a major long run in before work. Very cool.

    I’m into the double digits with my training runs, and definitely want to try carrying multiple types of fuel on my next one. I love Gu, but find myself getting hungry on the run, and think breaking up an energy bar into small pieces will keep me longer.

  4. Tropical Eats September 11, 2011 / 1:03 am

    great job on your long run!!! that is AMAZING you got it all done before work. Rockstar!

  5. Liz September 11, 2011 / 1:40 am

    I notice you run in the dark a lot. Does that make you nervous? I live in a pretty safe area, but I get too freaked out. I would love to run early though. Great job!

  6. Sheila September 11, 2011 / 2:56 am

    “Sometimes you just have to take the situation you have and make the absolute best of it.” — It sounds cliche but it makes the most sense. At least to me, it makes sense. It’s great to plan ahead but when things (some or all of them) don’t go the way we expect them to go, it’s better to just let go and enjoy ourselves.

  7. Amanda September 12, 2011 / 12:39 am

    So impressed! 16 miles before work is an amazing accomplishment.

    • healthyh September 13, 2011 / 11:15 am

      Amanda: Thanks! I actually love getting my long runs done on Friday, when possible. It is such a feeling of accomplishment and sets me up for a great Friday!

  8. Lindsey September 15, 2011 / 3:18 am

    You are awesome! 16 miles before work, holy smokes! I could barely walk for a few hours after my 17 miler on Sunday.

    I loved your tips and definitely made a point to refresh my playlist. I love your blog because it’s so easy to relate to. 🙂

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