Tag Archives: running

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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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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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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Week in review

This week has had some highs and lows.  Last Sunday I completed a very solid 11 mile run in Prospect Park which I felt good about.  I did some minor, minor strength work on Monday night, and Tuesday I did a 6.5 speed-work run and a strength class at night. The speed work included a 1 Mile warm up, 1 Mile @ 10k pace, .5 mile recovery, 1 Mile 10k pace, .5 mile recovery, and 4x400m @ 5K pace, ending with a 1 mile warm down.  The majority of it was right on target and I felt pretty good after.  Once I figure out how to graph my splits on here, I hope to include those–hah, though maybe only on my good days–we’ll see 🙂

Wednesday I was feeling a bit sluggish, and only had a 4 mile moderate pace run to do.  I should add that lately I’ve been having some minor aching near my inner shin, close to the ankle, with my only guess is that it could be shin splits, which I’ve never experienced before.  I’ve noticed it’s been a gradual thing, so my plan for now is to just slow down my pace in the coming days, particularly on non speed work runs, ice, and hopefully it’ll start to improve.  At the moment, it’s not something that is really hindering my ability to run, or slow me down, but I don’t want to do any damage seeing that I’m only two weeks out until race day.  Sooo…back to Wednesday.  I got to the gym after work and started my run, but nothing felt right. My shin was aching, I felt slow, and couldn’t get into a groove.   I even changed treadmills twice–ok maybe 3 times–I blame the lady who felt the need to situate herself right next to me when there were a million open machines–but after one horribly slow mile, I decided that I’d just be better off replacing my run with a spin class. I must have known that was going to happen since I signed up when I got to the gym (always good to have a back-up plan). But I felt great during and after the class, so I decided my decision was a success.  It’s so much easier on my body, but it’s an awesome workout and I definitely feel like it’s been a great, low-impact addition to my weekly routine.

On Thursday morning I woke up feeling better and more energized and did another 6 miler with some minor speed work mixed in.

And now on to today.  My plan was to fit in another strength class in the morning, but decided to hit the snooze button too many times so I went after work and did my own thing for a good 45 minutes and then did a 3 mile moderate paced run.  Today was technically my rest day, but the guilt set it from missing my Wednesday run and I couldn’t help myself.  Also, I wanted to test the waters a bit and see how my shin was faring.  Was it the smartest move? Probably not.  But I didn’t push it, it didn’t feel horrible, but has led me to think that the last two weeks I have been overcompensating for the previous two weeks when I was out of town for a weekend and sick the following.  I really need to learn to let those missed days go.

With that being said, my plan tomorrow, if any, is to get in a very, very short run. We’re talking 2-miler here, and then rest up for my long run on Sunday.  And if I’m rained out tomorrow, so be it!

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Well hello!

Welcome to the very first entry of my brand new blog. I’ve always hated giving introductions so I’ll make this brief.

My main purpose of starting a blog is my hope to track and document my adventures in running (and fitness in general), for the benefit of myself and quite possibly any others who may happen to come across this. While I’ve taken a bigger interest in running and staying active, I’ve found myself wanting a place to keep tabs on my progress, schedules, things I’ve learned from others and my own errors, and so on. If I’m feeling ambitious, I may try to try write more of a background post. But that shall come at a later date.

Right now I’m near the end of my training for the NYC Half Marathon coming up on March 18, so my following posts will likely include some of my last weeks of training, but I hope to register for the Brooklyn Half (if registration ever opens!!!)  and maybe even a full marathon later this year (will I finally get into the NY Marathon?) so I can document my training from start to finish.

Also, I am still in the process of customizing and tinkering around with the blog layout, so I apologize for how generic it is currently looking. (Yes, embarrassing!)

Here we go!

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