Field Trips to Picasso, Lululemon and Philadelphia Runner store

by Monica on March 12, 2010

Jean Metzinger painting from the Picasso exhibit courtesy of the PHA

Yesterday was a carpe diem day.  There is something euphoric about checking off items from a “things I want to try out/do” list. There are so many that somehow never happen. Yesterday was a day of accomplishment to temper the more frequent sentiment of a “I didn’t get enough done ” type day.

I was up at 4:30am to get dressed, stretch and drive a few towns over for a 5:15 11 mile run.  Hilly and challenging, in the way that makes you finish knowing you had nothing left (and probably should have eaten something in your groggy haste).  By 10 am I was off to see the Picasso and the Avant-Guarde exhibit at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.  Cubism art history and comparative studies, a very enjoyable show followed by a yummy veggie sandwich on olive focaccia at the cafe to fuel me ahead.  It felt great to walk so much after a hard run, I often don’t have the opportunity to do that and sit stiff in my office chair.  Yes, playing hookey today, an occasional must!

In the early evening, Jamie and I decided to finally try out the run/yoga sessions advertised on the Lululemon website.  They offer this in many cities around the country in conjunction with local running stores, in this case Philadelphia Runner.  I have run twice in one day only a few times but with all quiet on the home front (husband in town taking the reins), I could not forgo this perfect opportunity.  We arrived early at the running store and browsed a well stocked, very friendly-staffed establishment.  Runners are so friendly aren’t they?  I love that.  A group of about 20-30 people headed out from the store in small groups.  A 5 mile group, a 2 mile group and a 2 mile walk/run group.  Many of them were beginning a training program for the Philadelphia Broad Street 10 mile run.   Broad street is a fun, flat race through the center of Philly.  We opted for the 2 miler and followed a young lady and man throughout the streets of a bustling downtown.  It was a beautiful 60 degree night and a welcome change from the suburban landscape that backdrops our standard route.   We got the feeling that most runners were new runners, perhaps there to take on their first race.  We met afterward at the Lululemon store around the corner for oranges, bananas, a little stretching and some ab exercises…yoga?  Everyone was very welcoming and friendly and seemed to be catering to a new/beginning runner crowd.  There was no yoga to be found, but I was able to find a pair of technikini mesh underwear in a fabulous shade of purple (which brought up a discussion for a future post topic: do you wear underwear when you run?).

We headed back to the Philadelphia Runner as we had heard there was a speaker.  We felt positively lucky to find Runner’s World contributing nutritionist Nancy Clark already fielding questions.  She has written several books on sports nutrition (Sports Nutrition Guidebook, Fourth Edition, Nancy Clark’s Food Guide for Marathoners, 2nd Edition, and Getting It Right From The Start, Nancy Clark’s Food Guide For New Runners but hearing her explain the body’s needs for continuous daily fuel was an epiphany.  She used the car/fuel analogy to illustrate our body’s prerequisite for an energy source , it all made so much sense.  We hung on her every word and loved her warm, quirky, knowledgeable manner.  She suggested we think of eating on a time-line of four meals.  Breakfast (consisting of both pre and post workout mini meals), “first” lunch, “second” lunch (as opposed to snack which may be a much smaller, less healthy option) and dinner.  She introduced such ideas as cutting calorie intake at dinner at the back end of the day instead of at the beginning to lose weight while training.  She talked about keeping active all day vs. running in the AM and being inactive the remainder of the day.  She even purposed eating a Milky Way bar or a Twizzler in lieu of yet another gel packet on long runs.  She concluded with a couple of  helpful websites: for nutritional info and to locate a sports dietician in your area.

This serendipitous meeting of yet another author was such fun for us.  I came home that night to a quiet household and a new disc of the defiant favorite Nurse Jackie to view before lights out–great day!

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