Milwaukee: beer, cheese, and running

Milwaukee-Baxter-anchorman

Baxter, is that you? Bark twice if you’re in Milwaukee!

I spent last week in Milwaukee, a charming city and a lovely place to visit in September.

Restaurant highlights included Millioke (Native American name for Milwaukee), which has great food with a focus on charcuterie and heavier meat dishes, but I thought my salad was phenomenal. A coworker got a root vegetable pot pie that I was eyeing throughout the meal. Awesome beer selection, too. Port of Call was another good spot – loved the gnocchi with creamy sauce.

Milwaukee eating and drinking

My check from Millioke // fried cheese curds, which are like fried mozzarella // Spotted Cow, a fave Wisconsin easy-drinking brew

From downtown Milwaukee, there were a couple of cool spots to run. Along the shore of Lake Michigan had to be #1 on my list because there were few intersections and water is pretty, obviously.

The Oak Leaf Trail starts near the corner of Mason and Prospect downtown (you can also catch it by running up Lincoln on the side of the street opposite the lake). It’s pretty and wooded and winds through the city along the lake and the Milwaukee River. Both are awesome spots to run, and they made my week of training that much better.

Milwaukee running Lake Michigan

First two photos are from Lake Michigan, second two are from the Oak Leaf Trail (yes, I saw a bunny).

Training this week:
Monday: easy 5 miles; strides
Tuesday: overslept and ran 2 easy miles
Wednesday: 8 mile fartlek with 8×1′ repeats at 10k pace (2 minutes rest)
Thursday: easy 5, but stupidly wore short sleeves, so I ran a bit fast to stay warm
Friday: rest
Saturday: easy 3; strides
Sunday (tomorrow): 13
Total: 36 miles 

I’ve enjoyed running workouts on paved city trails and may never do them on the treadmill again. It makes such a mental difference for me to be propelling myself forward at a slightly uncomfortable pace vs. being pulled by the treadmill. I feel stronger and I think I’m getting a better workout than I would on the treadmill.

I’m pretty sure I’ve never run 36 miles in a week before. My body is a little sore from adjusting to the mileage, but I’m surprised at how easy it’s been to fit this much running into my life. I could definitely see myself regularly running 30-35 miles per week after the marathon. Dare I call this a goal??!?

Next week: 38 miles.

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous about the next 11 weeks of training, which includes the taper. I know it’s going to be hard (I guess I’d have more reason to be worried if I didn’t have hard training ahead).

I’m also feeling the effects of this bad habit I’ve developed, which is eating all the food. I’m now 6 lbs over my race weight for the Publix Georgia half marathon, and I felt lean but strong for that race. There’s no secret why I’ve put on the weight. I’ve been eating burgers and fried chicken with reckless abandon. I’ve fallen prey to the “eating for two” mindset (the marathon is my baby?)

Publix Georgia half marathon

Pinned on my bib in the dark, but felt great at this weight.

Sidebar: the look my dad gave me when I told him that I was taking prenatal vitamins: hilarious. I stand by the vitamins. If they are good enough for growing a zygote into a baby, surely they’re good enough for aspiring marathoners.

I know dieting is not the solution as I enter the gauntlet of marathon training and need to be my strongest, so I think I’m just going to try some good old fashioned “clean” eating. I’m not traveling again for work until November, so that will help tremendously.

Experienced marathoners/highly trained athletes: help me out here. Have you gained a few pounds in a training cycle? What has worked or not worked when you’ve tried dropping those pounds while training?

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