Weeks 11 and 12 of NYC Half 2022 Training

TAPER WEEKS. How pleasant, how boring. Less running, then eventually a decrease in my heavy weight lifting at the gym.

Week 11:

Monday 3/7: Rest from running; back and chest and some arms at the gym. I was doing such a good job keeping track of my gym routine last fall during marathon training but I’ve slipped which is silly since I have a paper planner for my running (and of course Strava and TrainingPeaks/Garmin).

Tuesday 3/8: Last longer workout – 2×25″ steady state intervals with warmup and cooldown and easy in between the two. I did it all on the tread and cut my cooldown short but still got over 8 miles. I was pretty mentally over it. Squat heavy day at the gym. But only squats. Still so sore from Monday.

Wednesday 3/9: Rest day from running and gym.

Thursday 3/10: 5 miles easyish. Finally, finally tried the hot pink Nike Next% that I bought back in fall 2019. I wish I had used them at the Atlanta Half 2020 or the Richmond 8K 2019; if only I had known I wouldn’t race for such a long period of time. They felt amazing, honestly. Every step felt just a little easier and with more response. At the gym, back-focused lifting (but also bench press).

Friday 3/11: Rest. Arms at the gym (skull crushers and tricep kickbacks).

Saturday 3/12: Last long run on the tread for 1 hour, 40 minutes (8.7 miles). I kept it mostly at 5.0-5.2 mph just to keep it truly easy.

Bachelorette during a snowstorm vibes

Sunday 3/13: Daylight savings right after going out for karaoke for my bachelorette hit me too hard. I skipped my recovery run, took 2 naps, and had McDonald’s for dinner at 5pm.

Total: 22 miles out of a prescribed 25-26.

Week 12: Race week. I got what my friend Carla calls the Taper Lazies (not the Crazies as others have deemed it). I was raring to go but also decided not to even go to the gym, lest I overdo it.

Monday 3/14: Rest day. My first time taking two days off in a row in a long time. Weird!

Pi Day at work on 3/14 – at the bottom is a bibingka pie I made

Tuesday 3/15: 50 minutes easy but I cut it to 44 minutes/4 miles. This was after a long day going to different hospital campuses for work so I was beat, but the weather was so nice and springlike!

Wednesday 3/16: Rest day

Thursday 3/17: Rainy day. Easy 30″ run.

Friday 3/18: Rest. More incredible weather, so took a walk around the arboretum trails with Herbie.

Saturday 3/19: I was supposed to do a super short shakeout (sigh strides at the end) but was heading into the city for packet pickup and a baby shower and knew I would have too much time on my feet anyway.

Packet pickup meetup Let’s Goooooo

Sunday 3/20: RACE DAY. Full race report to come. 13.1 miles but my GPS went crazy and said I did 17.

Total: 23 miles out of a prescribed 25 or so.

April Running – The Month That Wasn’t

So after running my highest mileage ever in March (such consistency), my running totally fell off the rails in April. (Remote) work ramped up, the weather sucked, and my desire to get out of the apartment with a facial covering on and avoid people was not there. It gave me some time to think about why I just like the act of running and not necessarily the ‘training’ for a race or trying to hit a PR. In all likelihood, I might try to train for a virtual race PR in June for the 5K (or the mile), but it also felt good to have less pressure on myself to follow a strict training plan when I was also working longer hours than usual (though without a commute) and dogsitting over the weekends. Things have let up a bit in May, that’s for sure, so I’m getting back outside and running a tick more mileage. Some weeks are only 2-3 runs and others are 5, but none are very long anymore.

I have spent so much of my mental energy and brief time outside on the acquisition of food, then cooking and baking said food at home. I’ve kept up with my Meal Planning spreadsheet and added a tab to better capture what we actually have in the pantry, freezer, and fridge (also using the Out of Milk app for grocery list and knowing how much we have of certain ingredients).

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I also did a thorough listing and categorization of all my cookbooks since most are hardcover but some are on my Kindle and were sort of out of sight, out of mind. This is absolutely my idea of fun.

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Like everyone else, I’ve been feeding my sourdough starter and re-growing my scallions. We’ve been taking on somewhat more complicated cooking projects because we now have time on weekdays and weeknights for things like double-frying Korean Fried Chicken, brining pork chops, marinating skirt steaks, and letting cookie dough chill in the fridge. Do I miss paying $14 for a grain bowl at Naya and eating at my desk in midtown? Sometimes. Mainly I miss the coworker camaraderie that came with it. We’ve been getting takeout of local places to help support them and avoid Seamless and their fees (and always tipping a lot).

Food photo overdrive below. Starting to wish I had a better camera, lighting, and dishes for this kind of thing.

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Fruity Pebbles pudding cookies

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9″x9″ tray of Banana pudding that I ate almost entirely myself over 3 days

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Korean fried chicken in soy ginger garlic sauce

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Bon Appetit’s shrimp scampi over linguine and broccolini

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Sourdough discard pizza crust with sausage and fresh mozzerella from Faicco’s Pork Store

Not in Training (Yet)

I’m been running irregularly for the last 6 weeks, plus a fair amount of strength and cross-training as well as weekly physical therapy. I’m not signed up for any races this fall but am building a base to start training for the Richmond Half November 16. I’ve made progress in PT in terms of hip strengthening but still have a ways to go. The plantar fasciitis is 90% gone (pain-wise). I’m definitely regretting running through it for so long before, during, and after the NYC Marathon and not getting it checked out sooner. Having my current health insurance with my job at a health system means no co-pays for specialist visits or physical therapy, which really helps. I’m planning to see my physiatrist again soon then do a re-assessment with the sports medicine doctor to see if there are improvements in my form.

Summer so far has been very sweaty, both through heat wave temperatures and a lot of working out. Vacation #1 was to Fort Lauderdale in early June, which was hot, sunny, and unbearably humid. But the water was clear and warm and we rented a red convertible Mustang and zoomed around South Florida, eating stone crabs and Cuban.

Scooting around Fort Lauderdale June 5-8

Stone Crabs in Hollywood FL

Back in NYC, I’ve been taking a lot of workout classes through ClassPass, random deals, and getting a free birthday SoulCycle class that turned into 3 when my class was unexpectedly canceled due to a fire drill. Otherwise, it’s been a lot of time on the elliptical as well as doing my PT exercises and some strength training. Runs have been mostly solo, but I’m looking forward to getting back in with a group.

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Before a run (after was red, sweaty, and with a dead gnat in my sports bra)

I only kind of have full fall marathon training FOMO because the temperatures do not have me missing the Saturday long runs. I have another month of base building before half training kicks off (if I follow a 12 week plan), and while the heat won’t break before then, I’m happy to skip it. Plus, Vacation #2 is to Austin, Texas and it’ll be even hotter there. I’ll hopefully get back on track with checking in weeklyish before then.

Now for a brief and highly curated selection of eats lately.

Ube and pandan baked goods at Purple Dough

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1/4 the menu at Clinton Hall

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Seafood Paella at Bazar

That’s it for now!

The Off-Season; Month 1

I read a quote on instagram that “the off-season is key for a good on-season” and have been thinking about it a lot. I’ve been focusing on recovery from the marathon first and foremost in the past 3+ weeks, but am slowly picking up the mileage again. I signed up for a race (NYRR’s Ted Corbitt 15K on December 8th) because I think I can nab a PR (last year I got off to a slow start) and might use it to see how I feel about an early spring half marathon. Otherwise, I have no races on the docket until Broad Street Run and Brooklyn Half in May. I toyed with the thought of a spring full marathon, but am already less into that idea and would like to have a solid half training cycle injury-free.

Central Park on my way to pacing a friend at the NYRR 60K

I took my Classpass off of hold and now will try to do a mix of indoor cardio, lifting, and yoga classes. So far, post-marathon, I took tantra yoga, treadmill intervals and a strength for runners class at Mile High Run Club, and a Barry’s Bootcamp Arms & Abs class for my friend’s birthday.

Post-Barry’s Flexin’

Other than the occasional running, I’ve been cooking and baking and eating a lot! I went to an All You Can eat Korean BBQ spot with my boyfriend, then we hit up an AYCE seafood and sushi buffet only a few days later. I made a lot of dishes for Thanksgiving and Friendsgiving: sweet potato casserole, miso butter kale, ciabatta stuffing, cornbread stuffing, Brie en croute and have been eating the leftovers ever since. I made some ooey gooey butter cake for a work potluck but haven’t been baking that much otherwise.

Poutine and deviled eggs at Jacob’s Pickles

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Plate #2 of many at Port of Call Seafood Buffet in Hackensack

Friday’s Friendsgiving with two ducks and many sides

Thursday’s Thanksgiving with goose

Mileage: 4 miles, 15 miles, 16.3 miles.

Pre-NYC Marathon Training Weeks

I had originally been planning on a pretty higher mileage 18-week plan (Pfitzinger 18/55 but scaled down a bit) for this year’s NYC Marathon before getting injured in April. I’m now scaling back even more to something closer to 16 weeks and still base building until I get there. I might do the NYRR Virtual Trainer again since I liked their built-in feedback on paces and race expectations (Edit 7/16: Officially signed up for the moderate plan again). These are the last three weeks before that begins in mid-July.

June 25 – July 1: 18.4 miles total, a high for the last 10 weeks. Unplanned rest day on Tuesday (snoozed too hard in the AM but did go see a Colbert Report taping and eat at Han Dynasty and Van Leeuwen Brothers Ice Cream that evening). I did 4.7 easy miles with the Beer Runners on Wednesday evening before the weather got too hot. On Thursday, I returned to Mile High Run Club for The Build, which is primarily strength training. We did some kettlebell sets for arms/legs then abs, then finished bodyweight AMRAPs. We also had some shorter intervals on the treadmill in between strength sets. I stayed on the same treadmill (which are Woodways and amazing) for The Distance class immediately after. I usually hit ~5.4 miles in this class (interval training) but took my paces slower and used more of the cooldown, so I got 5 miles exactly and 1.2 from The Build for a total of 6.2 miles, my longest since April. I managed 2 miles in the too-hot gym Friday morning as a recovery run then bopped around midtown for lunch and coffee, running into a running friend at Toby’s Estate Coffee.

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The Views from the new Domino Park in Williamsburg

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5th Avenue Toby’s Estate Coffee

My Long Run for the week was 5.5 hot, grueling Sunday morning miles along Brooklyn Bridge Park to Williamsburg with my friend Andrew. I started getting goosebumps and some heat exhaustion signs during the last mile despite trying to stay in the shade and drinking lots of water with Nuun. We took a few pauses, ended the run in Domino Park, then walked to Pies N Thighs and devoured brunch.

July 2 – July 8: Very few miles running (5.8, all treadmill), but there was swimming on the beach for the 4th and a hike at Anthony’s Nose on Saturday the 7th. One of the runs was at the new Peloton Tread Studio (30 minutes run, 10 minutes strength and core workout). I can’t wait to go back! I loved the treadmills once I got the hang of adjustments. I skipped one planned run Thursday because I was very busy baking a complicated banana cake from Momofuku Milk Bar. I got to have some food adventures with Allison and Lori and we stopped by my beloved Milk & Cream Cereal Bar for more cereal-infused ice cream.

America: In Our Faces

Cake and Karaoke

Milk & Cream and the Food Babies

July 8-15: 23.3 miles over 4 days of running. Yay something in the 20’s! I had planned on 5 days, but was very tired on Saturday morning from celebrating my last day of work Friday the 13th. To celebrate with coworkers, I ate a lot. The 15th was also National Ice Cream Day, but I celebrated with ice cream on multiple opportunities.

My runs included easy miles in Central Park and Prospect Park, plus some treadmill intervals at Mile High Run Club’s The Distance.

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Baohaus

Beebe’s Pizza

Ice & Vice LIC Popup

Central Park Reservoir

Khachapuri (Georgian cheesy bread) in Brighton Beach

Brighton Beach

Steak Frites and Burger at Bubo

Injury Update, Version 2

Hi folks! So after 6 weeks off from running (with a mix of spin and elliptical, but not rowing because that strained my Peroneal tendon), I’m back! Slowly and cautiously. I took my first test run on Saturday the 26th and it felt pretty good. Well, it was hot and sunny and I had to break for water on the 2.5 mile loop, but pretty good considering. I’ve done a couple of similarly short runs since and the pain after is basically nil. I’m trying to make better efforts toward stretching, recovery, and pre-running prep (glute activation) as well as doing more yoga.

I’ll just catch everyone up on my recent eats. It’s softshell crab season! And ramps season! And frosé season! My birthday was June 2nd, so there were a lot of good eats.

Burgers at Boilermaker

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Tartine Night at Book Club

Beer Flight at Big aLICe Brewing

Milk and Cream Cereal Bar

Big Pretzels and Beer at Bierocracy

Clams at Zero Otte Nuove on Arthur Avenue in the Bronx’s Little Italy

Brunch at Scarpetta

Takeout pizza from Emily

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Softshell Crab on a boat at Grand Banks

Grilled Softshell Crab, Dover Dole Ravioli with Ramps, and Meatballs at Eataly’s Osteria Della Pace

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Shake Shack

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Funfetti Donuts with Vanilla Glaze

That’s it for now, folks! I’m still base building and trying to choose a training plan for NYC Marathon training.

Injury Update (and some eats)

I put up with less than 2 weeks of left foot/ankle pain and gave running a rest after the 10K April 14th since the soreness wasn’t going away. As far as we (3 different doctors at NYU Sports Medicine and a radiologist) can tell, I don’t have a stress fracture and my Peroneal tendon is not torn, but there is some swelling and inflammation near it. I feel the pain most when rotating my ankle to either side. So, I’m sidelined for now and officially out of the Broad Street 10 Mile and Brooklyn Half. Marathon training kicks off in July, so I’m hoping to be fully healed by then and ready to rock. Better safe than sorry.

I’m upping the frequency of spin classes, plus time on the Erg and strength work. The elliptical is actually pain-free, so I’ll be hopping on that and may even try an Alter-G.

Since getting back from Arizona and then Richmond, I managed to eat some tasty treats but am now on a low-sugar kick for May. One dessert a week and I’m trying to save that one for special occasions (so far, it looks like baby showers and birthdays).

But I had some great eats at Smorgasburg, Olmsted, and trailing my Instagram foodie friend Lori (look close at her feed and you might see my hand holding up some tasty noodles or ice cream waffles). Late April (and some pie and ooey gooey butter cake May 1) had some dessert last hurrahs.

Snowdays’ Made in Taiwan with Susan who is from Taiwan

Wowfulls x Pineapple Express

Dumplings and Dan Dan noodles from White Bear in Flushing

3 of our 11 amazing courses at Olmsted

Other January and February Running & Food

I took a few weeks mostly off running after the Austin 3M Half. So this is mostly going to be a food post! I know that’s y’all’s favorite anyway,

1/22 – 1/28: I had a few easy runs but was definitely sore for a couple of days after the half and the shakeout. 17.8 miles total. I also used my guaranteed entry for the Brooklyn Half in May. It’s my current half PR (1:58:54), though I didn’t race one in fall during marathon training. I’m of course hoping to shave a few minutes off of it, depending on how training goes.

I led the 10 minute mile pace group at the PPTC new member run for 6 miles. We ended it at Dekalb Market Hall, which I’ve been to at least half a dozen times. I have a few favorite stations (name jian bing with scallion pancakes) but love trying new dishes as well.

Me and some of my hardy pace group at the end

I ended up trying the namesake Doner Kebab from Kotti Berliner. It was enormous and delicious and super messy. The boyfriend’s super healthy roasted veggies and chicken are in the background. He was detoxing from the (unpictured) cookies from Chip at Gansevoort Market AND the two types of red velvet cake the day before.

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1/29 – 2/4: A week of desserts (and a nice cold loop of Central Park on Saturday). I had cakes and pie (green tea and Earl Gray crepe cakes from Lady M and matcha custard from Four and Twenty Blackbirds), more matcha crepe cake at Patisserie Tomoko, and cereal-blended ice cream from Milk and Cream Cereal Bar.

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2/5 – 2/11: I only ran once! I donated platelets on Tuesday after work and volunteered at the Empire State Building Run-up on Wednesday, so I earned $50 in race credit to use with NYCRuns. I’m still trying to pick out a spring 10K to use as a tuneup for the Brooklyn Half or maybe a 5K as well.

Savory meals included Peruvian roasted chicken, Korean fried chicken and japchae, barbecue eel bento box, and the breakfast ramen + char siu pancakes at Talde. I’m trying to rein in my portion control now that my mileage is lower, but it’s hard!

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2/12 – 2/18: On Monday, I brought in Fruity Pebbles marshmallow cookies to work. Then on Tuesday, I teamed up with a coworker to get some packzi from the Polish point of Greenpoint. We got a variety of fillings, from raspberry jam to Boston cream to rose jam. And this was after having a few supersize bao from Great Northern Dumpling in Flushing.

Nothing says romance like undercooked red meat. We went hard at Gallagher’s Steakhouse. Prime rib, oysters, filet mignon, coconut cake, and more.

It’s been all restraint since. I got back on my running game a bit, logging 21.7 miles for the week over 4 days of running. This included a 3.33 mile loop of Prospect Park as part of the Cherry Tree 10 Mile Relay with my teammates/friends The Crystals. Yes, they’re both named Crystal.

 

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 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.