Saturday morning was the first group practice for my TNT triathletes. We met at the Pettit National Ice Center, where they have an indoor track that goes around the speed skating oval. I had never run there before, and was excited to try it out. The two athletes I am coaching both showed up, and for our first day of training we did an easy 30 minute run. They both did awesome, and we finished with 10 laps, or 2.8 miles. The track is 443 meters because it is on the outside of the 400 meter speed skating oval. Luckily they have charts to tell you how far you’ve run, laps per mile, etc. Here’s what it looks like inside:
After team practice I decided to stay and get my 15 miler over with. I consulted the handy chart and found that I would have to run 54 laps. Good thing I fueled up properly on Friday night.
Ever since I crunched on my first delectable Pretzel M&M, I have been fantasizing about mixing them together with Peanut Butter M&M’s. When they were on sale at Target, I took it as a sign. It must be done. The combo was stellar, but I have to say my beloved Pretzel M&M’s outshine the Peanut Butter by far, and I still prefer them alone.
Where was I? Ah yes, running. I got back on the track with my iPod and prepared myself for a mental battle. 54 laps is a lot. Let me just say right now, thank goodness for watches with a lap counter because there is no way I could have run and counted that high all at once. All I had to do was press a button every time I went around, and sometimes I even forgot to do that. Or else I would get half way around and I couldn’t remember if I pressed it or not. Thinking is hard.
I made myself go 30 laps (8.39 miles according to the chart) before I stopped for water and a gel because I wanted to know that I was over half way there. I ran easy the whole time, but it was hard to keep an even pace because the track was really crowded. I was constantly running around people or trying not to get barreled over by the super-speedy guys running intervals.
As I was running, the North American Long Track Junior World Cup speed skating competition was going on. It was fun to watch the speed skaters fly by. I kept thinking I would like to try speed skating, but I would probably take myself out and somehow gash my leg open with my skate, and it wouldn’t be pretty. There were about 6 times when I was right behind the guy with the starting gun when he fired it, and I may have peed a little every time. That thing was loud. And guns are scary.
After my run (17.9 total miles, 64 total laps) I came home, showered, and collapsed in bed. The only thing that kept me from passing out was my need for food, so I dragged myself out of bed and had some breakfast. Then I took my required post-long-run nap on the couch. When I woke, I wanted to bake. First I went with something healthy.
Apple oat bran muffins, which I ate smothered with cinnamon raisin peanut butter, obviously. Then it was time to bring out the big guns. After a sugar emergency and Steve running to the store to buy more, I made these.
Those, my friends, would be Peanut Butter Chip Chocolate Cookies with Reese’s Hearts. You read that correctly. I first saw the cookies here, so I followed this recipe and added some Reese’s Hearts for some extra special love. You must make these, like today. Even Steve said they were fantastic, and he is not a big cookie person. If you are a family member, today is your lucky day because these little beauties will make an appearance at the Super Bowl party.
And speaking of the Super Bowl, GO PACK GO!!