Week 8 of Richmond Marathon Training, 9/11-9/17

9/11: Belated Long RunCommute. I mapped out the perfect 14 miles from work to home across the Queensboro Bridge, through the most southerly reaches of Central Park, down the Hudson River Greenway, and around the Battery to and across the Manhattan Bridge. I had many beautiful views of the 9/11 Tribute in Lights on the way.

9/12: Morning yoga but rest day from running. Holy crap, my hip flexors have been taking a pounding. I was off balance and weak, but glad I got in there.

9/13: I felt like crap after work and was going to skip running altogether but decided to meet the Beer Running group at the bar they ended up at, then figured I may as well get some more miles in so ran past home with some people then back home solo. 3.82 miles total. 0.62 miles to the bar, 3.1something after 2 beers.

9/14: I was planning to get 3 miles in as a warmup on the gym treadmill before lifting and doing strength work with my friend Allison, but due to a subway mishap (sick passenger), I got there super late and only fit in 1 mile. I then had a Restorative Yoga class later in the evening at Area Yoga, which was amazing for my stiff hips. The instructor gave some modifications and adjustments that were much needed.

9/15: 4 AM miles to the park and back.

Later on, rooftop drinks at Rooftop 93 in Chinatown. Then rooftop drinks and pizza at Porta in Jersey City.

Dusk, looking North

9/16: Rest day but I went to 7 different art galleries in Chelsea. So many great exhibits, including Kara Walker at Sikkema Jenkins and Maya Lin at Pace Gallery.

Lin Tianmiao at Galerie Lelong

 

Boneyard by Christian Marclay at Paula Cooper Gallery

 

Ruth Asawa at David Zwirner

9/17: 11 mile long run done in the late afternoon. I missed my chance in the morning but felt pretty good (maybe some of the humidity broke). I covered both Prospect Park loop and Brooklyn Bridge Park and hit a couple miles accidentally at goal marathon pace, which was a huge confidence booster.

Total: 34.8 miles out of a prescribed 28 (cutback week), so again, we’re counting Monday’s 14.1 for last week and it was actually only 24 miles. I had to lie to the Virtual Trainer to save face and not throw off my stats. I undershot this week in part due to my aborted gym warmup Thursday and missing the extra few I had hoped to get Wednesday, but that’s ok.

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Week 4 of Richmond Marathon Training, 8/14 – 8/20

This was supposed to be a cutback week to 28 miles from last week’s buildup, but as I mentioned, I got sick last week and missed a day. So I decided to shoot for 5 days of running this week regardless and call it a building week. But then I only got 4 in.

8/14: 5.6 treadmill miles at Mile High Run Club’s The Distance class. I had a really great class even though it was a different instructor than usual. I tried to play around with the paces and not worry about overall miles covered. I struggled to get it under 7:00 minute mile on the final sprint but mainly was cruising along at faster than usual speeds.

8/15: After 3 days of running in a row, I was glad to have a rest day. I went to a Yelp Elite Event at the new Brooklyn location of Jane and it was amazing. Great cocktails, oysters, and the best fried cauliflower I’ve ever had (so, er, that makes it the best cauliflower I’ve ever had). Go figure, it’s listed on the menu as Amazing Cauliflower.

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House Cocktail for the evening

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Amazing Cauliflower

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Definitely talking about Game of Thrones

8/16: 2 miles warm up, 3.1 miles attempting but failing to hit goal half marathon pace/current 10K pace during the final Al Goldstein Summer Speed Series 5K in Prospect Park.

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8/17: AM climbing at Brooklyn Boulders. I’m not belay certified there yet, so this was just bouldering. I managed a V1 but have a lot of work to go to get back to where I was at my rock climbing peak last year.

8/18: I was hoping to get in a few AM miles but there were relentless thunderstorms all morning and again at night. On the plus side, I had an amazing food day all over Brooklyn.

Avocado toast and a chai latte at Cocoa Grinder in Bay Ridge for breakfast


Lamb and more lamb at Yemen Cafe in Bay Ridge for lunch

House-made pasta (gnudi for me) and burrata/prosciutto at Aurora for dinner

8/19: 11.23 miles long run with the group to Summer Streets.

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8/20: 6.4 miles including 2 track miles @ 5K pace, plus 2.3 miles warm up and 2 miles cool down back home. It was sunny but a lot cooler than Saturday, so I’m glad this worked out.

Total: 28.4 miles out of a prescribed 27. Actually for real getting into the 30’s next week, eek.

The Week in Workouts and Food 7/10 – 7/16

7/10: Beginner Tennis Clinic, Round 2. There were only 3 of us and we got a lot more time with the ball and working on strokes. I came home to watch The Bachelorette with my roommate then baked my 3rd attempt of my favorite banana bread recipe. The only things I’ve switched up is subbing a splash of half & half or Greek yogurt for sour cream and sometimes adding 1-2 handfuls of mini chocolate chips. It’s delicious either way! Then I’ve played around with the baking time from 1 hour to 1:15; it definitely falls apart more easily with chocolate chips and less baking time and you will need a spoon. Next time, I’m going to actually save a bit and make Banana Bread French Toast from the Run Fast, Eat slow cookbook.

7/11: 5.8 miles at Mile High Run Club’s The Distance class. This is a class PR for me, done in just over 59 minutes on the treadmill. I’m hoping to make it an even 6 miles in the future with this class. I felt really strong during the intervals and kept my easy pace easy, then sped up to 8.3 mph for the super-fast sprinting stuff. I foam rolled like a champ after, too.

7/12: (Free) SoulCycle class at their new Park Slope location. This is only my 3rd SC class ever (won free classes at the Montauk and Financial District locations in 2015 and 2016) and I really liked the instructor and the mix of people. It was an influencer ride, so someone in my running club who goes there a lot got to bring guests. I was so thankful for the opportunity to check out the studio.

7/13: Rest day since I had an early enough meeting, a work event from 5-8pm, and oh yeah, a Heat Advisory in NYC. Pass.

7/14: Unplanned rest day due to morning rain then evening laziness. Got KFC from a drive-thru for dinner after originally thinking “I want some veggies tonight” and having breakfast and lunch of cheese and carbs (everything bagel with lox scallion cream cheese and paneer bhurji, respectively).

7/15: Longish run in Central Park, 3.2 with the ClassPass group run crew, plus a little before and after. I stopped by the NYRR RunCenter after to grab my bib and hat for the Brooklyn R-U-N 5K Monday night.

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7/16: I failed at running before I cheered on E at the NYC Triathlon but ran a solid 0.1 miles with him during his first mile of the 10K, making sure he was OK and hydrated enough.

Then I went to Brighton Beach with friends to eat khachapuri and take in the waves.


Total: 11.4 miles on 2 runs out of a planned 4. Hmm. I’m not proud of low-mileage weeks like this and always feel hesitant to post about them but the truth is the truth. And sometimes you need a very, very down week. I also had a tennis clinic and spin class, both of which were awesome.

The Week in Workouts and Food 6/26 – 7/2

I guess I haven’t yet mentioned my lower sugar plan, which I enacted after the Miami trip. I caught myself eating A LOT of candy (brought a bag of Haribo gummi bears on that trip which is my travel standard, so maybe it was the weird sour candy that messed me up) and baked goods (and ice cream) and was definitely feeling its effects on my body. So I decided that for 4 weeks, I would forego said treats, strive to eat more fruits and vegetables, and start actively lowering the amount of ‘normal’ foods with high levels of sugar (ahem, yogurt and granola breakfasts). I’m trying to recalibrate my taste buds to stop craving so much sugar all the time. I’m allowing myself one traditional dessert per week, usually on Saturdays, which has made dessert more special. Of course, it helps that two of the options were a homemade strawberry mile high ice cream pie and some wedding cake this past weekend.

Monday 6/26: I normally don’t run on Mondays but I figured I could use some easy miles after the Achilles 4 Miler on Sunday. I ran 2.2 miles to watch my friend’s softball game, then 2.2 miles home.

Tuesday 6/27: 1.5 miles to NYRR Open Run, 3.1 at an easyish pace, then an extra 0.4 around to hit 5 miles even. Shake Shack for dinner, where I got the fried chicken sandwich and we split bacon cheese fries. I hope the Red Velvet Cake Shake is still there in a few weeks because it is delicious.

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These are actually only my 2nd shortest pair of shorts

Wednesday 6/28: 5.5 treadmill interval miles at The Distance at Mile High Run Club. I chose to downgrade the 10% hills since those sometimes leave me with stressed hamstrings and glutes.

Thursday 6/29: I had a nice leisurely stroll to the picnic edition of Book Club with a view in Brooklyn Bridge Park.

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Friday 6/30: Rest day

Saturday 7/1: 5.5 miles longish run. My long runs won’t technically have to be in the double digits until September, but I’m hoping to keep them in the 6-8 mile range until then to keep my aerobic base up.

Then I went to Philly for a wedding. No cheesesteaks or roast pork sandwiches this time, but the parting snack was cheesesteak egg rolls and they were delicious.

Wedding take-homes. Not pictured: soft pretzel and cheesesteak egg rolls


Sunday 7/2: Unplanned rest day. After getting home from Philly, I ended up not leaving my apartment.

Total: 20.4 miles. Closer to being back on track, but I wouldn’t have minded getting to 25. Next week!

The Week in Workouts and Food 5/8 – 5/14

5/8: After a triumphant Broad Street Run on Sunday, we got some Tony Luke’s on the way out of Philly. Cheesesteaks, roast pork, and fried cheese curds.

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Then I had tickets with some Californian friends to see the SF Giants play the Mets (my NY team of choice). Obviously, I got Shake Shack at Citi Field. I love trying the different concrete flavors at all the different Shake Shack locations (ok, so I’ve only been to a couple of non-NYC spots) and the Citi Field one is solid. I should really take more photos, though.

5/9: 4.5 miles at The Distance at Mile High Run Club. I was hoping to beat my old best in this class of 5.5 miles but my calves were screaming. I ended up hopping off to foam roll after the first mile or two then taking it slower overall. I finally felt warmed up by mile 3 and got some of my sprints closer to usual (~8.0 miles per hour or higher). This was my one ClassPass class for this month since I put my membership on hold to focus on running. Go figure I used it on a running class.

5/10: Rest day and I went to Trapizzino then Soft Swerve with my (Yelp) friends Allison and Lori. I had the chicken and oxtail trapizzinos and a broccoli arancini at Trappizino. At Soft Swerve, I had the Jersey City, which is their ube and coconut ice creams swirled, then topped with toasted coconut, dotted with mochi, and a free waffle chip with Yelp check-in.

  
5/11: 5 miles total of Speedwork at Red Hook Track. I got about 1 mile of warmup, 3 x 1 mile repeats, then 1 mile of cooldown. I tried to take it easy since my calves/shins were still tight. Due to the track and me still being bad at pressing lap then stop, my splits were 100m off from where my watch beeped. First mile split was ~9:20, second was ~8:40, and third was ~8:30. I want to try to do future workouts like this in the lower-to-mid 8’s.

5/12: Rest day.

5/13: Was hoping for an easy 3 but it was pouring all day. Scrapped the idea of going to the gym by 11am and just foam rolled. And ate almost an entire pint of birthday cake Halo Top ice cream.

5/14: Last long run before Brooklyn Half and I forgot to pack a gel and also just wanted to take it easy. Calves were STILL feeling tight, but felt better after the first few miles. Ended up doing 9.2 total. Of course I felt great on the final 1, but to be fair, it was all downhill.

After shower and foam rolling, I baked some marshmallow chocolate chip cookies. 

  
Total: 19.1 miles out of a predicted 27. Harumph. Let’s just pretend I’m very well-tapered.

The Week in Workouts & Food 4/17 – 4/23

4/17: Rest and recuperation after my half marathon the day before. I slumped home after work then did my taxes. I should have foamed rolled while doing them.

4/18: Cafe Boulud with a friend. We saw Chef Boulud making the rounds to the VIP tables and I had a lovely conversation with the sommelier about young reds and fish pairings. Every dish was amazing. I had gone to Bar Boulud after the NYC Marathon and stuffed myself with oysters, cheese, and terrine. Cafe Boulud was a step above.

4/19: PureBarre in the AM and restorative yoga in the PM. I really wanted to get a few miles done in the evening but my left Achilles tendon was a bit tender. It started drizzling as I left yoga (which got out late), so that was even more impetus to skip. I’ve never done two classes in a day before, but this was the last day in my ClassPass cycle. I took my membership back down to 1 a month because 5 will be too much while I’m trying to increase the volume of my mileage more into the 20’s.

4/20: Speed Training, Week 2. I ran a hair over 2 miles to get to the meeting spot, another 2 mile warmup, then 3 1-mile repeats around tempo pace (8:54, 9:03, 8:39). My splits were super uneven because I took the second one too easy in the first 800, but my third was closer to my 5K pace. Then I jogged up the hill to get to a pizza party.

4/21: Rest day, as my Fridays almost always are.

4/22: I slept in past 8am (a first for many weekends) then had to hustle to bake Funfetti cookies for a baby shower, so I missed my opportunity for a shakeout run.

4/23: NYRR Run As One 4 Miler in Central Park. I DNS this race last year and haven’t raced a 4 Miler since the Japan Day Run almost a year ago (thanks to DNS Al Gordon in February), so I was pretty sure it was time for a 4-mile PR. My friend Jay who is normally in the E corral ahead of me generously offered to pace me. I didn’t have enough time to do a warm-up mile, so my first mile was really slow. I was hoping to get it at 9 but it was pretty congested going up Cat Hill. I let loose on the 2nd mile, then tried to rein it in just a bit on the 3rd mile. Then Jay helped me go all out on the 4th mile. For the last 800, I saw sub-7 on my watch. Very exciting stuff!

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Afterward, I waited for my friend who’s training for the Buffalo Marathon and we ran an extra 4 miles.

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Total: 16.9 miles plus yoga and barre.

The Week in Workouts & Food 4/10 – 4/16

4/10: Fly 45 at FlyWheel which I hadn’t been to since June 2016, before I put ClassPass on hold for marathon training. This was meant to be a recovery ride after Sunday’s 10K, but of course I tried to break my own old record. I ended up tying my past top power score but missing my distance record by over a mile. Guess I was too focused on the resistance and winning races.

4/11: NYRR Open Run in Brooklyn Bridge Park. I was ‘pacing’ my roommate for her third run ever. I got to see Elle and Bandit (!!), my favorite running pup. The course was altered due to police presence at Pier 1, so we did doubles of Pier 5, which ended up making it a little over 3.2. My roomie is getting faster (from 12 min/mile pace to 11in the last few weeks for 3 miles) and I’m so excited for her to race her next 5K. This ended up being the recovery run I needed and the weather was a glorious 69 degrees complete with a beautiful sunset.

4/12: PureBarre in the morning because clearly all the running and spin means it’s time for my abs to hurt. But seriously, this is a great workout because it activates my glutes and has built-in time for planks and push-ups. I frequently get the urge to do planks right around 2pm in the office when I’m wearing a pencil skirt, so it’s good to have an outlet outside of the gym.

4/13: Speed Training, Week 1. I did about 2 miles as a warm-up, then there was another 2 miles of warm-up built in. The workout was “just” 2 miles between threshold and tempo pace. That’s it, just 2. Well, I went out too fast downhill at my 5K pace then bonked on the second miles which had some very slight uphills. My allergies were not helping and I should have eaten something after work, but damn that second mile sucked. Good thing we did planks after the cool-down?

4/14: Rest Day. In a perfect world, Mondays and Fridays would be my rest days (but I would be running 4 of the other days and cross-training one of those other days). There would also be more grill your own Japanese BBQ and s’mores at Gyu-Kaku’s amazing happy hours.

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4/15: I wanted to do a shakeout run before the half but didn’t. Hmm. At least the Brooklyn Botanic Garden is getting good!

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4/16: Flushing Meadows Half: Oh god oh god why. Race report probably not on deck because I would not like to relive the heat and sun and the puking and the feeling of “wow this is already hard at mile 2”. This was supposed to be a redemption attempt for NYC Half to go sub-2 or a bit of a tune-up for Brooklyn Half. It was a mental and physical slog on an unseasonably warm day. Fortunately, I had the best one-man cheer squad/road crew and the occasional sighting of other teammates and friends. They took me from the DNF I was leaning toward to completion. And then I got a mango slush and dim sum afterward which really helped recovery.

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Someone pointed out that it looks like a flamingo sitting on a rock

I held my desired half pace for the first few miles but after 4, it all went downhill. I had to confer to see if I should keep going before the second loop (aka a couple miles around the lake then the final 5K which has more of the sights). The park was starting to get crowded with Easter celebrants and we were running alongside cars trying to park near the lake for a while which was a bit unnerving. Who expects to almost get doored during a race?

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I started off without a visor and did NOT want any photos my my struggle, thank you very much

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Doing much better on the last few miles and with a visor on

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Trying to hustle to a strong finish

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A hard-earned medal but only my 3rd worst half marathon time (and 4th best, I suppose)

Let’s hope Brooklyn Half goes a lot better.

Total: 23.3 miles and some spin and barre. Not enough foam rolling.