will run for pizza
I’d planned to run on both Saturday and Monday, but the rain on Saturday, and my walk through Waseda with Eric on Monday prevented either of those from happening. As a result, I ended up taking an unplanned five-day break from running over the holiday weekend.
Sometimes I fall into the trap of thinking I always have to be doing something in order to keep my life from falling apart around me, so it’s good for me to take time off and loosen up on my rules every now and again. I’ve been pushing myself to prepare for my race this upcoming Sunday, but I highly doubt my body is going to forget how to run after just five days off. On the contrary, I actually think the rest was very well-timed, and I enjoyed the break.
But after several days of rest and relaxation I was ready to get back to my regular routine on Tuesday morning. Which on this particular day started with leftover pancakes and Group Kick at my gym.
I always make eight medium pancakes on Pancake Sundays so that we can reheat the leftovers for breakfast the following morning. I’ve gotten into the habit (since purchasing my beloved All-Clad griddle pan on my trip home in June) of making four normal sized pancakes for leftovers, and eight half-sized pancakes for immediate consumption, just for fun. I didn’t mention it yesterday, but I usually add different mix-ins to the mini pancakes. Monday’s included blueberry, blueberry walnut, plain, and hazelnut chocolate chip pancakes. The ones above were one each of blueberry and plain.
After work I headed straight home to get started on some pizza dough so that it could rise while I went out on a 7.5k run. I usually prefer to make pizza dough the day before and let it rise overnight in the fridge, as per the Peter Reinhart method, but I am not a saint, and things don’t often go entirely according to my plans.
I was pretty nervous about fueling for my run after recent experiences with fatigue and hunger during last week’s 10k training run. I know that most people say you really don’t have to start worrying about fuel too much until you start going over 10k, but I’d rather go with my gut on this one. I’m a relatively tiny person with lower than average muscle mass and I don’t know how that (or my thyroid issues) affects my glycogen storage capacity, but I’d rather play it safe than risk depletion mid-run.
For this particular run I decided to try packing a medjool date and a 120 ml bottle filled with sour cherry juice and water to take with me, and treated myself to this beauty while I kneaded my dough:
Brown rice cake with Trader Joe’s Valencia Peanut Butter w/ Roasted Flaxseeds, most of a smooshed banana, and cacao nibs.
And before you ask, the peanut butter was imported personally by me. There are no Trader Joe’s in Tokyo, or anywhere else in Japan, for that matter.
My run went.. okay. It was not a horrible run, but it did not imbue me with a sense of confidence either. I ate half my date at around the 4th km, drank my juice at the turn around, and finished the date at the 6th km. Unfortunately, I had problems with my left foot getting tingly after the 3rd km yet again, and had to slow down to prevent it from losing feeling a few times after that, as has happened on my last 2 or 3 long runs.
I realized last night that my left foot is THE limiting factor for me when it comes to distance running. More than the physical and mental issues of running an hour straight, my performance has been directly dependent on whether or not my foot starts to act up halfway through.
Heading back home I was really feeling pretty frustrated and apprehensive about the upcoming race. I think if my foot continues to act up I WILL have to consciously pull back during the race. Depending on how I feel during the first few kms, I may have to institute a policy of stopping every 2-4 kms to shake out my feet and keep the blood flowing. It’d be one thing if that was my only concern going in, but I am also concerned about the rise and fall in elevation along the course, and those together make for one very apprehensive little runner.
But at least I am an apprehensive runner that got to come home to a risen ball of dough and a preheated pizza stone, so all in all it could have been worse:
Due to my own personal preferences and oven size, I always make small, relatively thin-crusted pizzas and serve them with big salads. After several weeks of experimentation last year I settled on a combination of whole wheat pastry flour and super high gluten bread flour for my standard pizza dough. Unfortunately, I had forgotten we were out of high gluten flour until I went to check my flour stash, so this time I had to use all whole wheat bread flour. I’ll post a recipe next time I have a chance to make it the right way.
We opted to top tonight’s pizza with a super simple tomato paste & chili flake sauce, mozzarella cheese, garlic, olive oil, and onions & mini green peppers from the farm. I won’t lie, I took a billion pictures of this pizza and had a hard time narrowing down the selection. So here, enjoy a picture square rectangle:
(Click for bigger pizza goodness.)
I could definitely taste a difference in the flour variety and do prefer my usual combination, but that didn’t stop it from being a mighty tasty dinner to return to.
Have any of you ever run a race on a difficult course? Any tips for running on hills?