Thank You Philly

Last Spring I signed up for the Philadelphia Marathon thinking there was only a slim chance I would actually follow through with it. At the time, I still didn’t know if I’d get into the NYC Marathon, and a month later, after getting rejected again and learning about my father and Adam’s admittance, I decided to run the NYC Marathon for charity. And so, for the following six months I was consumed with training and all things relating to NYCM and I completely forgot about the Philadelphia Marathon. I’m so sorry Philly. Really I am!

We all know what happened with the NYC Marathon and at this point, there is no need to discuss it further. I’ll just say, that the weekend of the cancellation, I thought I was done. That there wouldn’t be a marathon if there wasn’t a NYC Marathon. I wasn’t going to run this year, it just wasn’t going to happen. It wasn’t until Monday that I realized how silly that mentality was and I would be ultimately giving up if I didn’t finish this. The previous day, Adam and I ran part of the “Run Anyway Marathon” and there were individuals from all over the world still running their 26.2 miles on New York soil, even if it was completely unofficial, untimed and for many of them, 4 circles of Central Park. I still had the opportunity to run Philadelphia, and with them opening up their race to NYC Marathon entrants after the cancellation, Adam had the opportunity to run it too. So in the midst of moving and other craziness, we made last minute plans to head to Philly. So what if I was then at almost 5 weeks of tapering? It was going to happen.

My head still wasn’t completely in the race, even by the time we got there. But the morning of, after sleeping a good five hours, and waking up at 4AM, we were off to the start and ready to go, whether we liked it or not. You can’t ever really predict how you’ll feel, or fare during the entire stretch of 26.2 miles, and while I didn’t feel my very strongest, I still felt pretty good. My first few miles were slow. Very slow. I didn’t want to go out too aggressively, but it probably wouldn’t have hurt if I had pushed it a little more from the start. And not that it would have drastically changed the outcome, but I do not think we benefited from where we started in the corals and running with half-marathoners. I’ve never run a mixed race before, and it kind of messed with my head a bit. I love half-marathons, but running alongside people who are running a completely different type of race than you, can be mentally confusing. I crossed the half way point at about 2:03, 13 minutes slower than my typical half. At that point, the likeliness of running a sub-4 was growing slimmer and slimmer and I was okay with that. Even though there were some rough patches, it actually helped me enjoy the second half more then the first without the added pressure. And when I got to the 20 mile mark, which ran through the lovely town of Manayunk, I was probably at the highest point of the run. It wasn’t until mile 24 that I really started to feel the pain in a bad way. Adam and I had been running in the same vicinity for the majority of the race and after realizing sub-4 wouldn’t happen for either of us, we decided that if we were within a minute or so of one another at the end, we’d cross the finish line together. And that’s just what we did. 4:08 finishers and proud. :)

NYC Coral at Philadelphia Marathon Start: (Not mine)

Even though I didn’t achieve a sub-4 Marathon, I came close, and there wasn’t much that I would change. And I couldn’t have been happier to have run my first marathon in Philadelphia. There was so much positive energy throughout the entire race and the support along the way got me through the last 6 miles. Thank you to the kind people of Manayunk and along the Schuylkill River for the orange slices, offerings of brownie bites and beer (though I had to pass on both), and for yelling my name even when I wanted to vomit. The NYC support throughout the entire race was amazing. Adam and I both wore our North Brooklyn shirts and there were countless shout-outs along the way. I just wish I was better at the shout-backs. Goals for 2013: Get faster. Learn to shout-back in a cool way

It’s still uncertain if I will get the opportunity to run NYC in 2013. But the positive I can take out of the situation is that I am proud to have helped raise $3,000 for the ASPCA, thanks in a gigantic part to my family, friends and strangers who contributed.

And I’ll be running another marathon next year regardless. :)

The (Broken) Spirit of the Marathon

In the wake of all of the controversy surrounding the NYC Marathon, and being one of the 40,000+ individuals originally scheduled to run it this year, I just felt I needed to put my two cents in, as there have been a lot of opinions flying around.

Just as a disclaimer, this post isn’t meant to show any disrespect to anyone that was affected by the tragedy. My heart goes out to any and all that may have been affected, and by no means does any of what I have to say pale in comparison of what has happened this week. It’s just a few of my thoughts and how saddened I have been over how the situation was handled with the marathon. How many runners had been unfairly vilified for their involvement in something that was once a positive symbol of the city, as well as the wasted efforts and negative energy that could have been put to use in a positive way.

After many years of failing to get into the marathon, this year I decided to fundraise for a charity so I could not only run my first marathon, but run alongside my father (for the first time) and boyfriend who got in–and bonus, run for an awesome cause I felt passionate about. And thanks to many of my great friends and family, as well as the help from my father and Adam, I raised $3,000 for the ASPCA, a charity that is also currently helping rescue animals in need during these relief efforts. For the last four months my heart has 100% been into training nearly every day and waiting nervously for November 4th. Of course now, none of that matters, and all of this went out the window when the Hurricane hit. I can’t say that I wasn’t disappointed, because I was, but my needs weren’t at the forefront anymore. It was just a race. It’s still just a race. And I am grateful and feel very lucky that throughout this week, I was spared from any of the unfortunate consequences and tragedies that happened to millions in the area as a result of the Hurricane.

On Tuesday, when Mayor Bloomberg, along with NYRR, said the Marathon would go on, I had to trust their decision and that they wouldn’t carry on, if it wasn’t in the best interest of the city. Believe me, I was trying to get all of the information I could, so I could also make my own personal assessment before doing anything.

As the week wore on, and the more I read from the opposition, the sicker and sicker I felt. The things I read on the Internet, saw on TV, and show up on Facebook started to make my stomach churn and it saddened me to no ends. In light of all the tragedy and horrible things happening to this city, I also saw a very ugly side of humanity, which was deeply disheartening on all accounts, especially at a time like this. In large part to the media, a very unfair and negative portrait of runners was painted, being chastised for their participation in an event that was once a symbol for inspiration and hope. We were looked at as if we were indifferent to those in need, when we really wanted to make something positive out of the negative.

Some of this is paraphrased from Adam’s post:
Foreigners who couldn’t wait to get here and show their support, spend money, help out our economy, and even volunteer in the process were instead, told to “stay home, we don’t want you here”. They were called scumbags, selfish, threatened, and virtually spat on. I am sure a very large percentage of these runners would have been itching to help anyway they could. Sure, it’s not realistic to expect everyone to. But from what I saw online, there were many runners willing and waiting, some even willing to show up, no matter what happened. But these people were still vilified to no extent. No one was able to speak loud enough about the positives. They were being drowned out by one sided media coverage and even death threats. One runner on Twitter was told she would be “running with blood on her hands.” This same runner was spending all of her time making jewelry in order to raise money to donate to the Sandy relief funds. I was told of a runner who was still without power, who couldn’t help but cry when she heard news of the cancellation, because it was the only thing that was driving her at that point.

Every running club that I know, every running store, every running related thing that I know, is doing something this weekend. There was the Walk/Run For Prospect Park this morning. When asked on Facebook how many people showed up, their response was “The turnout was so overwhelming that at some point we couldn’t register anymore and people threw their donation in the bucket and just ran.” Donations, from one little run/walk organized at the last minute.  My own running group, North Brooklyn Runners, is helping Red Hook Recovers this weekend, and doing a benefit run tomorrow. That’s just to name two out of probably hundreds of run/benefits that are or will be happening.

There was just so much wasted energy, losing focus on what was really at hand. Previous to the cancellation, my sentiments weren’t that we were there to “put on a parade”. This was not a party to us. I understand there are many with opposing views, which I understand, but believe me, the last thing I would ever want to do is, is disrespect a city in mourning. And I believe a lot of runners felt the same way. By Friday, I was very close to dropping out, but with my father flying in from California to run, along with the enormous amount of support I received from family and friends through their donations to my charity–I felt I couldn’t just give up. I was even hoping to start another charity effort for Sandy on Facebook, but I was afraid to go on. To no fault of my own, I started to believe the comments. And I was no longer proud to be running my first marathon, I was ashamed. The marathon was covered in a dark cloud. The symbol of hope and inspiration was now a symbol of hatred. And as much as it broke my heart to see the city devasted, it also broke my heart to lose that spirit, a time when this city needs it.

I only wish the cancellation had happened sooner, before it turned into such a negative and ugly driving force. While I obviously can’t speak for every single runner, we would have understood. But seeing the negativity and misdirected hate the last few days…it was truly unnecessary and the complete opposite of what the city needed.

I just want to thank everyone who donated to the ASPCA. The amount of support I received from friends, family, and strangers made me feel that spirit. You guys are seriously the best. And there are a million ways to donate and help those in need in that have been hit by the Hurricane now. I’ve been told that donating here goes directly to those in Staten Island who have been hit the hardest: http://www.tunneltotowersrun.org/ But I know there are loads of other efforts out there. Anything helps. Wishing you and your loved ones all the best this evening.
xoxo.

The last 6 weeks (or so) …

Um yeah. I suck. This may or may not be my first post in over a month. While I’ve failed to maintain my blog, at LEAST I’ve been on track with my training.

Time to starting breaking in my new Brooks!

The last 6 weeks have been (rightly so) the most difficult part of training thus far. Week day mileage had increased and every single weekend long run (with the exception of fall back weeks) were to be my longest runs yet. Beginning with the 14-miler the morning I left for California–which was 5-6 miles in the rain, to the 15 miler in California dealing with a minor bout of plantar fasciitis, each were difficult in their own way. When I got back to New York I ran a 17 miler through Brooklyn and Queens (and my first time on Roosevelt Island!), followed by the Philadelphia Half Marathon–which went quite well.

The weekend after the half, I ran a very grueling 18-miler through a crazy tour of NYC, starting in Brooklyn, across the Williamsburg bridge, down the East River, up the West Side Highway, into Central Park, across Manhattan and the Queensboro Bridge, through Long Island City and Greenpoint, ending in good old McCarren Park. Oy vey! It was probably one of my worst runs yet. I wasn’t properly hydrated or fueled and it was very apparent during the last leg. The last few miles were tough to get through, and I felt sick the majority of the day. It was a big blow to my confidence, but it prepared me for the following week’s 19-miler (out to Prospect Park and then million loops). I drank more water the night before, and brought along a Nuun Hydration tab , two packs of Clif Blocks and even dared to ingest a Honey Stinger Gel. I had a much better plan and it seemed to have worked. While it wasn’t exactly a walk in the park, I felt SO much better during and after. Dare I even say–I could have held on a little longer.

18-miler

Three borough, 18-miler. Looks very beautiful on the map, doesn’t it?

And now onto the present! The marathon is just 30 days out and the toughest part is almost over. While this weekend is a fall back week (12 miler), the following weekend I have the dreaded 20 miler that has been on my calendar staring at me for the last three months. Two weekends ago I would given a defeated grumble, but after last weekend’s successful 19-miler I’m feeling more ready then ever.

Now onto the last thing. Speed. I’ve seen the majority of my speed training runs fall to the way side throughout training. Tempo runs have turned more into staying at a very comfortable marathon pace run. And there have been a many excuses: It’s too hot, my quads are too sore, I don’t want to injure myself, I’ve got to save my legs for the weekend! While I don’t think I’ve actually gotten slower, I haven’t gotten any faster over the last 3 months. I would normally be upset, but this being my first marathon, my goal wasn’t so much to improve upon my speed, but to get myself to a different place with my endurance. Which I obviously have! That being said. My very lofty ambition of attempting to go sub 4:00, seems a bit foolish. I’m not going to pressure myself with a certain time, instead I’m just going to map out a realistic plan, and see how I feel race day.

30 days and counting!

Week 6 Recap

Are we really six weeks in? And according to my very scientific calculations, that also means we are twelve weeks out, or a third into training. Is this really gonna happen?

This lady came in second (for women). I was too incompetent to take a decent photo of the winner (unless you count her shoe).

Last weekend Adam and I attended the NYC Ironman Championships. Just as spectators of course! Since it was the easiest to get to we decided to wait until the afternoon to catch the last stretch of the running portion, which is also the last leg of the race. I would have loved to see some of the swimming leg (if that was even possible), but it was on the New Jersey side of the Hudson River and it started at 7AM. [Also–we found out later in the day someone was pulled from the river and had died. Very, very, very sad.]

On Saturday I woke up, went on my long(ish) run, ate a late breakfast (which most definitely included ice coffee and a breakfast treat), watched a little Olympics, did some shopping on Bedford, and then gradually made our way up to the Upper West side where the finish line was. So basically, as I was having a leisurely morning all of these people were either swimming 2.4 miles in a freakin’ river, biking 112 miles, or starting a marathon length run. Yeah, there goes all sense of accomplishment after my 9-miler that morning. We tried to time it so we could see some of the early finishers (we missed the first male finishers), but we did see all of the female winners.

While most of the people we saw finish were probably elite triathletes (like people who do this for a living), it was still pretty darn inspiring. If I lived closer by I would have come back around 11PM, which is the final hour the race is open. Prob would have needed a box of tissues. Though those were needed for the next day when we watched the Fred LeBow documentary Run For Your Life, and I can’t forget all of the tears during the Olympics. I am a slobbering mess.

It got me thinking a little about ever wanting to do a triathlon. Ironman–no. But a much shorter length of a triathlon or duathlon, maybe. Though, this is all talk, as I am severely out of practice when it comes to swimming. After being obsessed with Olympic swimming, I went out and bought a cap and goggles, but they’ve already moved from being prominently displayed on my kitchen table, to a side tablet, and now my dresser drawer housing all of my extra running accessories. But it’s something to think about for the future. I think right now, I just need to focus on tackling this marathon. :)

Anyways, onto the training. Last week was a step back week–meaning a shorter long run, so I took advantage of this to do some extra cross training since 1) I was feeling up to it and 2) the following week (errr now this week), my weekday mileage was being bumped up, and my long run was going up to 14.

Monday: You know I love my Monday rest days. It’s usually the one day of the week I won’t feel guilty about not working out. Now if only there was better TV on at night…

Tuesday: 3 Miles + Chisel
I felt really good this particular morning, and it was my last week of Tues/Thurs 3 milers, so I was hoping to make this one a quick paced run. Plus, I hadn’t really been incorporating too much speed work into my runs like I said I would. It was hot out, but I felt like I was running somewhat fast, definitely not 5k fast, but somewhere between 10k pace and half-marathon pace and was pretty winded after, but my watch read otherwise. I trust my watch about 75% of the time, so it’s hard to know if I was actually running faster then it recorded, or if it just felt that way.

Running in the heat has proved to be both a physical and mental challenge in a number of ways. There are the obvious physical reasons, where as it’s been tough to maintain the same stamina and speed, and due to that, the little moments of triumph I would feel after seeing my split times post-run, have been few and far between. But at this point I have found other ways in my runs to achieve that feeling. Also, I realize at my level of marathon training, speed should not be my main concern.

Wednesday: 6 Miles
Hot. Humid. Gross.

On these days (and somewhat longer runs), my clothes are completely soaked, and instead of just letting them hang to dry, I’ve started getting into the shower with all my clothes on afterwards. I’m not even sure if I’m helping to cleanse them all that much, but it makes me feel not quite so disgusting.

Thursday: 3 Miles + Another Chisel
You’d think after all these ‘Chisel’ classes I’d be super chiseled. But I’m not. Too many desserts….I love desserts…

Friday: Hot Pilates
Saturday: 9 Miles 30-45 seconds slower than race pace

Ugly map.


Like I mentioned, today’s long run was a step back, so it was only a 9-Miler. Yes, “only”. It was a good run and it went by somewhat quickly. Due to last week’s 12-mile dehydration hang over, I made sure I drank extra water the night before. Since I was running alone again, I decided to stick to a familiar route, starting in Williamsburg, down Kent and then over the Williamsburg Bridge and down towards the Seaport and back. It’s no secret I loathe running over the WB bridge, but I have to admit, I probably need the challenge of the inclines, since I’m not really doing any “hill work” elsewhere.

So, while it was warm and humid, and if the previous week was my sweatiest run ever, this was probably my second sweatiest, I did not get the run hang over. I’m guessing it’s thanks to the extra hydrating the night before, so I need to remember that moving forward.

Not so great at pacing today.

Sunday Spin + Abs
I wasn’t too worn out from my long run, and I figured I wouldn’t get to do Spin for a few weeks, so I went for it. Plus, I’d get Monday off!

And that was my week 6! I’m off to California after my 14-miler this weekend. Perhaps I can try to write my next recap on the plane. I’d feel so cool. True blogger over here.

xo.

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The sweatiest run of my life & Week 5 recap

At this point, I’ve started to get into a decent groove of balancing training, work and other things in my life, but it’s definitely put a damper on my energy levels outside of running. All I want to do after I’ve gotten home from work at night is throw on my comfy clothes, put on some crap TV show and veg out. Oh, and eat and eat, of course. My workout regimen is not all that different from before, but my mileage is going up and up and all of my running has been outside in varying degrees of heat and humidity. Not only that, but I’ve started doing all my running in the morning versus the evening. I’ve never been a morning person, and luckily my work hours permit me to sleep in a tad longer than the normal 9-5er, but I think all of that has impacted how I’ve been feeling throughout the day. I keep thinking that once the temperatures go down, everything will at least feel a little easier–but my runs will be longer. So it’s all a toss up!

Before I get into the actual recap, I wanted to briefly talk about two new pasta dishes I tried last week. One was a compete failure, and the other was passable, but nothing to jump about.

The first dish I tried was penne with sausage and broccoli rabe except I planned to substitute the sweet italian sausage with turkey sausage. I don’t even have a photo of this dish because it was an utter failure. I had major issues with the turkey sausage, so I ended up tossing it out, and while the broccoli rabe came out ok, it was just too overpowering (perhaps without the sausage). Needless to say, this will not be my pre-race dinner.

Pasta

Bleh.

The second dish I tried was healthier as I used whole wheat pasta, zucchini, squash, spinach, onions, garlic and tomato sauce. While it came out fine, and I liked the zucchini and squash with the pasta, it was just SO bland. I realize that by using whole wheat pasta, I should have expected this, but I didn’t think it would be that bad. If I should try this recipe again, I will have do a lot of experimenting with the recipe. I also made WAY TOO MUCH, thinking I could have it for leftovers, which I did one day, but I wasn’t too thrilled about eating any more for the rest of the week.

Alright, onto the recap!

Monday: Rest day
Tuesday: 3 Miles.
I didn’t go to a Chisel class, or do any strengthening on my own. I was exhausted by the end of the day and I figured I was due a small break for the night if I was that tired, plus I figured it might improve the chances of a better mid-week longish run the following day.
Wednesday: 6 Miles
And yes, it did help! It was another hot, humid day, but I felt good and it went smoothly.
Thursday: 3 Miles + Chisel at night
Friday: Spin
I thought I was going to my favorite spin instructor’s class and was disappointed when I saw a sub, but she turned out to be decent and played pretty good music (for Spin, where your standards are lowered so much that pretty good music means she played songs that you might hear in Rock Band, versus music you would hear on a Cher techno remix album).
Saturday: Rest Day
Sunday: 12 Miles
Waking up, I had a feeling it was going to be a rough one. While it was hot and it could have been worse, the humidity percentage was at about 100 billion. It’s true. 100 billion. Adam was away on a work trip, and I had originally planned on running with the ASPCA, and while most normal people would probably prefer to get through these rough workouts with the support of other people, today I just wanted to plug my headphones in, turn the music up, and run. And that’s what I did. All things considered, it was a decent run as far as how I physically felt–no knee pain, shin pain, hip pain, any pain. But it was nasty. It was rough. And I can’t recall a moment in my life where I have ever been that sweaty. The only thing that was comforting was seeing fellow runners slogging through the thick, muggy air in the same fashion. And then all that comfort would be crushed after I’d see a young lady slowly prancing along without so much as a bead of sweat on her forehead. Jerk.

12 miles

Nike+ map does not look quite as nice as Garmin maps, but you get the picture.

Since I was running alone, I didn’t want to take an unfamiliar course, so I stuck to a route I have taken a number of times before, starting in Williamsburg heading towards the river, across the Williamsburg Bridge, and south along the East River until I was halfway through my miles, and ran a similar path back. I wasn’t too thrilled about running across the WB Bridge twice (and on the 10th/11th mile on the way back), but I suffered through it. I finished close to McCarren Park, as I typically do so I could pick up a Gatorade on the way home. When I got into the store, my shorts were dripping behind me and the five dollar bill I had crumpled in my Amphipod ankle pocket was soaked. I felt so beautiful.

12 Mile splits

Bridge miles underlined in red. Oy Vey.

I came home, showered, made some eggs and toast and headed out to the Brooklyn Flea where I spent about 10 minutes shuffling through the crowds and feeling uncomfortable from the heat, so I retreated home and didn’t go outside again. I thought I had properly hydrated. I had plenty of water during and after my run and choked down an entire Gatorate but I was extremely dehydrated the rest of the day and night. The injustice! Early to bed, early to rise, yet I felt hung over. Or “run over” as I like to call it. Yeah, yeah, stupid, eye-roll. Next week, I am working on my hydrating.

Chef in training! Week 4 Recap

It’s no secret I’m no master chef (or any kinda chef for that matter), but ever since training started I’ve been trying to experiment with pasta dishes so that I can find the ultimate recipe for success come race day. I’ve tried a few variations of this very simple recipe that I found off Runner’s World, and I’m liking it. It’s basically just pasta, asparagus, shiitake mushrooms, garlic, and a little bit of extra virgin olive oil, sprinkled with parmesan cheese. The few modifications I have made is that I do not include lemon zest and use about half of the oil suggested. This last batch I also added a little bit of chopped up onions since I had some leftover from the other day.

Saturday night dinner for the next 15 weeks? Note: I ate WAY more pasta than is shown on this plate


I also included turkey meatballs from Trader Joe’s. I realize they don’t look too appetizing in the photo, but they were a good addition to the pasta. Like I said, I’m no cook, and I don’t really enjoy handling meat (haha-stupid), so I didn’t mind having a little help from Trader Joe’s.

This was my Saturday night pre-long-run dinner. Verdict? It sat well in my stomach that night and the following morning. So, this could be a contender.

And this is how week four of training went:

Monday: Rest Day
Tuesday: 3 Mile run + 45 min of strengthening
Wednesday: 6 Mile run at marathon race pace
Horrible, horrible run. The weather was actually decent (or as decent as a NY summer can be) but I felt low on energy, sluggish, and very slow. Trying to run and hold a 9-9:15 minute pace felt as difficult as running a sub-8:00 pace for this length. I could shrug it off as it just being one of those days (which I think it partly was), or I could acknowledge a few possible red-flags. First, I probably did too much strengthening work the previous evening. I think strengthening is important, but I either have to figure out a better day to do it, or go easier, especially since Wednesdays will always be my second longish run day. Second, I only ate a banana before my run. I have a difficult time waking up an entire hour before running in the morning (before work) to eat a decent breakfast, so I usually skimp out before my weekday runs. For the most part it’s been fine for my shorter runs, but anything over 5 and its starting to effect my energy levels. So…I must figure out a better plan for eating.
Thursday: 3 Mile run on the treadmill + Yoga
Whereas yesterday’s 9:00ish pace was rough, I was fine running around the 7:40-7:50 mark on the treadmill. Granted it was only 3 miles, but I still felt significantly better the entire run. Maybe I’m not getting slower after all!
Friday: 45 min strengthening
Saturday: Rest
I battled with myself over going to spin in the morning, and in the end, decided to sleep in and take it easy while catching some of the Olympics, and I’m glad I did.
Sunday: 11-Miler at around 45-60 seconds slower than marathon race pace

I actually finished at McCarren park. My Nike+ Sportwatch was .35 of a mile behind Adam’s Garmin so I kept going just so I could get that 11-Miles. Sad.


Most of this run felt good! I didn’t have too many issues with energy levels or body soreness. I was a little sluggish right out of the gate (but I usually am), and I started to get a little bit of knee pain around 8-9 miles but it subsided after a mile or so. Also, the weather was decent in comparison to week’s past.

We started on Metropolitan heading out towards the waterfront, down Kent and then Flushing Ave towards Dumbo. This time we went across the Brooklyn Bridge into Manhattan, and then back into Brooklyn via the Manhattan Bridge, since the run was a few miles longer. Running across the Brooklyn Bridge was a bit like that Gecko (I mean Geico) commercial and we had to run through the Financial District/Chinatown to get back onto the Manhattan Bridge. I’m sure if we run this path a few more times we’ll get the hang of it and maybe the Hulk in me won’t come out.

For the most part, our splits were essentially on target, maybe even a little bit too fast on some miles. Right now I’m aiming at about a 9:00 marathon race pace, so for the longer runs, I should be running anywhere from 9’30-10’00 miles (maybe even slower, but that seems like a stretch right now). I’m guessing the slower 10’00 miles were around when we were dropped in Chinatown and there was some stop and go but I’m not sure WTH happened during that 10’53 mile. There were a bunch of stop-and-go moments while we were trying to figure out how to get onto the Brooklyn Bridge (oops, ran out of sidewalk and into the freeway on-ramp! oops, dead end!) but I didn’t think it was that much.

11-Miler on July 29th

Like I mentioned, I felt pretty decent during the run, but I was soooo spent afterwards. I felt like I just ran a Marathon! Not that I know what it would feel like after running 26.2 miles, but I was SO exhausted and started to freak out about what running a whole 15.2 miles more might feel like. What did I get myself into???!

xo.

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New Shoes and Week 3 Recap

I am a bit late. At this rate I should be starting on a Week 4 recap, but no matter!

This past weekend I bought a new pair of shoes to throw into the mix. Originally, I was planning on getting a bit of a heavier, more stable shoe to pair with my Brook’s PureFlows, either the Brooks Adrenaline or maybe the Nike Zoom Structure Triax 15. I used to run in the Asics GT-2170, but throughout training for my last two half-marathons I developed shin splits. While it could have been from a number of things (not to mention I was also training in some older Nikes), I decided to try out some new shoes to see if it could help, and settled on the Brook’s PureFlows about a month ago after reading such great things about them. When I purchased them, I wasn’t certain if they would be appropriate for my long runs, but the plan was to primarily wear them for my week-day shorter runs. Right out of the box, I loved running in them. They were super comfortable and light, especially paired with my new Brooks socks I just purchased. When doing more research I found a lot of comparisons between them and Saucony’s Kinvera 3 shoe. But why would I get two similar shoes, when the point was to get a more stable shoe for my longer runs? When I arrived at the shoe store, I was fully prepared to buy another heavy shoe (like my previous Asics), but in the end I decided on the Kinveras. A lighter shoe has been working out for me so far in training, so why not keep with them? I’m still not sure either will be my long-long-long distance shoe, but I’ll see how each feel as the runs get a bit longer.

Saucony Kinveras 3

My brightest looking set of shoes yet

Last week’s training schedule was a little bit lighter than usual and it went a little something like this:

Monday: Rest day
Tuesday: 3 Mile run in the morning + Chisel in the evening
Wednesday: 5 Miles at marathon run pace. Right on target with a 9’01 pace.
Thursday: 3 Mile run in the morning + Chisel in the evening
Friday: Spin with my favorite instructor. Oh, how I miss spin. Not to mention my favorite teacher. I hadn’t gone in weeks and I was lucky enough to finish work in time to make it to his class.
Saturday: Rest day. Shopping day!
Sunday: 6.5 Mile in Central Park with Team ASPCA!
This was a stepback week, so the long run was quite a bit shorter. Since it fit with my schedule, I decided to meetup with Team ASPCA’s training group. It was my first time running in a group, and it was definitely a great experience. My plan is to run with them every so often, but likely not every week. The 45 minute commute up to Central Park takes up a lot of precious early-morning-moderately-cooler-weather time. Plus, Adam and I are training on exactly the same schedule, so it makes it easier to run as a pair. But I’d like to as much as I can when it makes sense to.

This weekend I’ll be running an 11-miler. Let’s just hope the weather cooperates!

xo.

Week 2 Recap

Well I’m still not at 2 posts per week. But I’m trying to get better at this!

I’m now in week three of training and it’s been going pretty well…besides the heat. Never has the weather made such a difference in my day to day life before! How I miss the winter days when I’d be shivering in my damp clothes (uh…from sweat of course) after I had cooled down from a longish run. Actually, maybe I don’t miss those days. And I say longish, because once I get into the 15-20 mile run territory, my measely 10 milers I used to dread during half-training will probably seem like a walk in the park.

With the heat also comes lots of sweat and lots of sunscreen, which without fail, runs into my eyes every time and burns like hell. Every sunscreen I’ve bought claims to be sweat proof and “won’t run into your eyes”. Help! Do I just have an overly sweaty forehead?

So to just briefly recap last week. Week 2 of training went like this:

Monday: REST DAY!
Tuesday: 3 Mile run. I did this one at night because I couldn’t get myself up in time before work, but I was glad I did. It was mildly cooler that evening and a bit breezy. I felt good and ran an 8:20ish pace for the majority of the run, which is really more like I’m used to. I’m noticing my comfortable pace is about 15-25 seconds slower in the summer. I’ll get over it, but it is a slight blow to the ego when I see my pace slowing a bit.
Wednesday: 5 Mile run at or around race pace. I don’t remember a lot about this run except that I was drenched in sweat after. I hate you heat.
Thursday: 3 Mile run+Chisel: Not much to say about either. Did my run in the AM and Chisel at night.
Friday: Hot Pilates
Saturday: Strengthening: What I thought was a very mild and short strength session left me sore for my long run the next day. D’oh. Too many squats.
Sunday: 9 Mile run: Adam and I ran together. We (he) mapped out a new course we’ve never taken before which took us across the Manhattan Bridge, which is my new favorite bridge! So flat, I love flat! Into Manhattan for a very short section through Chinatown and the LES, and back into Brooklyn via the Williamsburg Bridge, which is definitely NOT my favorite bridge. While the incline sucks, it’s really the sharp decline at the end which kills my knees.

I stole this map from Adam, because I’ve failed to upload any of my runs in the last few weeks. Why? Software updates!

While it was humid out, it was overcast, which made it not so terrible. We left around 8ish and I’m thinking if we really want to beat the heat, we’re going to have to wake up AT LEAST an hour earlier. 6AM every Sunday??! Yeah right… Other than that, I felt good and we stayed at our target pace which was about 30-45 seconds slower than marathon race pace. Oh, and if I thought I was drenched on Wednesday, coming home from my run on Sunday was like stepping out of the shower with all my clothes on. Yeah. Gross.

Week 3! Wooo!

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I Suck. Go NYC!

So much for trying to post at a minimum, twice a week.  A lot has happened since my last post, and I’m hoping that because of that, I will start posting more frequently.

Since last April, I’ve run the Brooklyn Half and a handful of other shorter runs, which resulted in a mixture of ups and downs.  Believe me, I have a lot to share on those experiences, and I will in my future posts, but the big news I have to share today is…I am running in the NYC Marathon!  I didn’t get in via lottery, but I will be running for the ASPCA . Raising $3,000 will take some work, but so will training for the next 18 weeks, and I’m ready to take it on!

With that being said, another reason I am not going to recap the last few months at this moment, is that it was my first official day of training!  Of course, I’ve been maintaining my running, and my first 3 mile run this morning wasn’t a huge venture, but it marks the start of my long road ahead.  My plan is to follow Hal Hidgon’s Novice 2 Program with a few additions:

  • Strength Training: Depending on how I’m feeling each week.  I’d like to throw in at least one day of strength training (maybe 2 if I’m not too worn down, but I don’t want to push it), preferably on Tuesdays since that’ll be one of my shorter/slow running days.
  • Yoga or Pilates: At a minimum twice a month.  When I’ve trained for half-marathons I’ve been able to fit it in once a week, but I realize this schedule will be a bit more grueling, so if I can do either once every other week, I’ll be happy.
  • Spin: Which will serve as my cross training. This will be a tough one.  I really enjoy spin, and I feel like it’s a good compliment to running, but I’ll really have to see how much energy I have once training starts.  I’d like it to be another every other week event.
  • Mild speed work: Hal doesn’t include speed work in his Novice 1 or 2 training programs.  I know that he is very much against it for new marathoners, and while I don’t want to over do anything, I’d like to include some tempo runs, and very mild speed training.

At this point, I think the first month will be a learning experience to see what I have the energy to fit in, because it’s only going to get tougher.  While I do want to get in my other workouts, running will take the priority.

Day 1

Day 1: 3 mile run around McCarren Park. Way too hot. 72 more runs to go.

One thing I am learning already is that I am going to have to run slow in training. VERY SLOW on some days.  No, I’m not the fastest runner in town, but some days I enjoy a little bit of speed, and sometimes you can’t help it when you aren’t paying attention to your watch.  Today, I ran my 3 miler around my projected marathon pace (which will probably change along the course of training) and more or less, I kept to it the entire run.  I will say, that it wasn’t too hard to run a little bit slower, on a day that was in the high 80’s. The heat is not my friend.  No, no, no.

Tomorrow I plan to get in a 5-miler (also at or around race pace), and then I’m off to Boston!

Happy Fourth!!

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Weekly recap and Philadelphia Marathon

This past week had been pretty good workout wise. I accomplished every thing I had set out to do when I put my schedule together on Monday, but, this is more or less is what I always try to hit every week (with varying degrees of running).

Mon: REST
Tuesday: Run 4 miles (Speed work), Strengthing
Wednesday: Run 4 miles (Pace), Spin
Thursday: Run 4 miles (Speed work)
Friday: Strengthening
Saturday: Run 3 miles (Pace) Hot Yoga
Sunday: Long run (7 miles)

This is my plan for the next six weeks leading up to the Brooklyn Half, though I plan to increase my Tuesday and Thursday runs by a mile every 2 weeks and my long run by at least a mile either every week or every other week.

It gets hard to motivate myself to fit in the strengthening, spin and yoga (or pilates) classes, but I am happy I was able to fit in everything last week.  This week, I’m not sure if I’m feeling quite as ambitious since I want to focus more on my runs…but we’ll see how it goes! If I can just get my lazy self up in the morning, I could knock out my runs and have the evenings open for classes.  With the weather warming up, I’m hoping I can start getting in the habit of doing so.

In other news, I tentatively signed up for the Philadelphia Marathon in November.  My first Marathon!  I say tentative because in the 0.00001% chance I get into the NYC Marathon this year , I would obviously forgo Philly.  If I’m being honest, it wasn’t my first choice.  I hesitated too long for both Chicago and the Marine Corps (hah, 2 hours too long for the MCM!) which would have been my second and third choices respectively.  But I’m trying to get excited for Philadelphia!  Since this is the third year I’ve applied to the NYC Marathon and likely won’t get in again, I can take some comfort in knowing I will be running it in 2013. So if you are reading this NYRR, if you need some tshirt inspiration, I look most fabulous in black, dark red and dark blue.

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