Had two disappointingly slow runs, cheered only by the sighting of new baby swans and ducklings at the Palace of Fine Arts. But I made up for it today with my second-fastest time recorded on my run along the Embarcadero. I think eating first and then running two hours later helped. That seemed to be enough time for digestion to avoid the cramps I get when I run with solid food in my stomach. Normally when I eat before running I prefer to run mid-afternoon, but I've been getting hungrier earlier in the morning as I've increased my workouts. So after getting up at 6 to make breakfast for me and boyziggy, I was able to eat my oatmeal around 7:30 rather than reheating it after my run, which was nice. Switching my first cup of morning tea from black to rooibos has also helped, as I was increasingly frequently getting nauseous drinking my beloved Irish Breakfast blend on an empty stomach.
Another advantage of eating before the run is that I didn't feel the need to eat the energy gel I'd brought along. I keep a stash of these and usually have one or two of them before and during races and longer runs, but not on every training run. I had been using Clif Shots exclusively, but they changed the sweetener from brown rice syrup to maltodextrin and cane sugar, so now they taste too sweet to me. I'm trying GU and Hammer Gels, but they don't taste any better (though that gives me more variety in flavors, like peanut butter and chocolate mint - yum).
Glad I started weightlifting again too, though I can feel the soreness in my muscles. And I'm getting much better about doing the stretches and crunches, though I still hate the crunches. I usually watch Rachel Maddow or some other entertaining podcast to get through them.
I'm reading some books by vegan athletes as well, which are inspiring. Ultrarunner Rich Roll's book Finding Ultra was a good read, and I've been very much looking forward to ultrarunner Scott Jurek's book Eat & Run, which just came out today. Reading tales of people running 135 miles from Death Valley (in the summer!) to Mount Whitney, or running an Ironman-length triathlon on five different Hawaiian islands in a week's time, put my little workouts in perspective!