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.

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Week 5 of 2018 NYC Marathon Training

8/13: Unintentional rest day. I was waiting for a thunderstorm to pass over, then ate dinner. It was 9:30 by the time I was less full, and I figured early bedtime should beat trying to squeeze in a few miles.

8/14: After-work Central Park loop once the 5pm thunderstorm blew through. I had forgotten my watch at home so started Strava on my phone and put it in my shorts pocket and only pulled it out when changing podcasts. The hills were hard but doable at this pace. Not sure what happened on the last mile except dodging pedestrians and waiting for cyclists to pass.

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Shake Shack with the bf afterward. The blueberry pie concrete really hit the spot.

8/15: Taco Run with PPTC; 4.5 miles total down to the Tacos El Bronco truck. It was a little dark so I didn’t bother trying to take photos, but I got al pastor, suadero, and lengua tacos with a pineapple Jarritos.

8/16: My plan called for both intervals and hill repeats this week. I…did neither. East 5.2 miles that did not feel easy. A humid, sweaty slog.

8/17: Rest Day but I had a Field Day for work in Central Park. There was Tug of War, mountain climber/starburst jump Tabata sets, and a three-legged race that I took very aggressively.

Then Korean for dinner and seeing Crazy Rich Asians.

Budae Jigae at Her Name is Han

8/18: Long Run Day. 12 prescribed, but since I jumped up to 12 last week, I wanted to get 13 or 14. I just barely made it. I took the long way to SummerStreets instead of braving the crowds on the Brooklyn Bridge and got to conquer my old nemesis, the Williamsburg Bridge. Back when I lived on the Lower East Side and my runs were short (usually under 3 miles), I would sometimes run to Brooklyn and back. Things got hard once I was in Central Park (and a little before, honestly). You can see the drop from a 9 minute mile (??) to a 12 (up Cat Hill and including the search for water and a bathroom break at the Boathouse). This run led to Chafe City but I ended at Juice Press before the long C train ride back home. During my time underground, I apparently missed a downpour.

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8/19: Bo’s Bagels in Harlem for breakfast, cortado from Shuteye Espresso then a massage. Ouch. I could have used more time spent on my legs, but my back certainly feels rolled out.

I should have gotten my 5-ish miles in pre-massage and was just feeling too beat up after. My sports bra chafing from Saturday was hurting, my left heel was feeling off, and my hips were screaming. 0 miles.

I had more food adventures with my friend Lori in Greenpoint in the afternoon. Pastries and sushi galore.

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Total: 28.6 miles total out of a prescribed 34.

Week 4 of 2018 NYC Marathon Training

This was supposed to be a down week with 2 full days off and only 27 miles. But I was feeling weird about my last week where I missed the goal by 7+ miles. The weather was topsy turvy (heat wave, thunderstorms and lightning, etc).

8/6: I took the Mile High Run Club The Distance class and was able to get in 5.5 miles of intervals in 57 minutes. I pushed my paces just a bit and am starting to feel ready for some speed again. I’m shooting for a 5K PR in September (race TBD) so any time spent running in the 7:xx range is good.

8/7: I was planning to do a full but slow ~6.5-7 miles (with a run to the NYRR Open Run Brooklyn Bridge Park course and back). But Open run got canceled due to lightning about halfway through! I was able to run and just make a bus and avoid the rain on the way home and ended up with 4 miles for the day.

8/8: I was able to volunteer at the Al Goldstein Summer Speed Series #6 due to work conflicts easing up, so I ran there. Then ran to a water station to help out. Then ran back to race HQ then out of the park with a teammate and to the bar to meet the Brooklyn Beer Runners group. 5.2 miles total at a very easy pace. So hot, so humid. It rained a little bit which felt great.

8/9: Off day

8/10: Unplanned rest day. Got home from work and didn’t feel like doing the 9 miles for the Fireworks Group Run. Thought about running to spectate Take the Bridge in Williamsburg, but enjoyed my quiet night in, elevating my feet.

8/11: I had again planned to do my long run as part of Summer Streets, but woke up to some pains in the middle of the night and wasn’t feeling 100% when I got up at 7. I watched the thunderstorms and rain blow in and eventually made it down to the treadmill for an easy 3 miles. I also did a strength workout (bent-over rows, shoulder press, kettlebell deadlifts). Then it was time for more food adventures with Lori. We hit up The Nugget Spot for their special fried chicken sandwich with hot honey ice cream and Flip Sigi for the special burrito (but also longanisa poutine and short rib wonton nachos).

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8/12: 12 miles around Central Park. I ran with friends and was glad to run a 12:xx minute mile instead of pushing to my current 10:40 pace. The humidity was brutal but it was good to get time on my feet and with good company.

Total: 29.7 miles out of a prescribed 27. This makes me feel more prepared for the ~34 on tap next week and for all of my future long runs (some cutback weeks go down to 11 miles).

Week 3 of 2018 NYC Marathon Training

7/30: 5 mile regular loop around Prospect Park. I went clockwise (most people and bike traffic goes counter-clockwise) so I got to see a lot of PPTC folks.

7/31: I ” needed” a Fartlek this week as per the NYRR Virtual Trainer, but ended up with more of a straight progression run. I went down to Brooklyn Bridge Park and made it to 7pm Open Run just in the nick of time. I sped up from 10:30 down to the low 9’s. I was planning to call it a day at 5 miles, but I had just missed both buses back home, so I ran home 1.5 miles for 6.5 total.

8/1: Cross-training day. I went back to Swerve with Gabby since she had a class pack and I had enough credits on ClassPass. My legs were feeling heavy, but I still pushed hard on the hills and with some of the races. My performance stats said I biked 13.8 miles which seems low, but the 20+ mile stats I get from Flywheel always seemed high.

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8/2: Real Rest Day. Went to Mermaid Inn with a friend visiting from out of town and ordered everything on their happy hour food menu except the raw stuff (she’s expecting).

8/3: Coney Island Fireworks Group Run, which I turned into my long run due to forecasted rain Saturday morning. I got 3.2 in solo, then 6 with the group down to the Coney Island boardwalk, then another 0.8 in along the boardwalk’s piers to make it an even 10. I met some new running people in my cluster of 7, then saw some old PPTC folks at the end. I enjoyed a watermelon and blue raspberry Slush Puppy and some fireworks before taking the subway home with a sweaty group of runners.

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8/4: I was feeling beat up from the long run and didn’t particularly want to run in the morning downpour (but had a haircut appointment at 11:45am), so I did an easy recovery 3 miles on the gym treadmill. Apparently I missed a total deluge and multiple phones were drowned. Still bummed that I missed the first week of SummerStreets, though.

Then I did an Escape Room with friends (we got out!) and ate at Spicy Village before getting Taiyaki. I got green tea and back sesame swirl as usual.

8/5: I had planned to do a recovery run in Central Park since I woke up uptown, but had a lazy morning instead. Went to my uptown favorite Bo’s Bagels with the bf, then met my Instagram food friend in Williamsburg for a cold brew slushie at Toby’s (they call it a crushie), and a sushi omakase at the brand spankin’ new spot Ume. It was deconstructed and both beautiful as well as a lot of fun to play with (the different salts and seasonings are on the bottom left).

I made it to Restorative Yoga class at 6pm and decided against running after because of my extreme hip tightness. Area Yoga was only 4 credits on ClassPass, which makes me glad I keep doing the ~3 classes a month option.

Total:: 24.7 miles out of a prescribed 32. Sigh. I knew my first two spot-on weeks might be an issue and lead to some leg tiredness. Hopefully I can keep up with the rest of the plan’s mileage from here. I’m aware that I missed at least one weekday run each week the last two fall marathon training cycles, but I’m also trying to make up for my injured spring with a solid fall here. Hoping to find a balance!

Week 2 of 2018 NYC Marathon Training

Back at it for week 2 with slightly increased mileage (Virtual Trainer recommended at least 28 miles this week).

7/23: 5.5 miles at Mile High Run Club (The Distance, as always). I was feeling real good this time! Things just sort of clicked and my paces better reflected that. I saw low 7:xx during the sprint portion again.

7/24: Rest day. We had a Filipino kamayan and some pies (banana cream pictured below) as a birthday tribute to my friend who passed in March. She would have loved it.

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7/25: Run to and from volunteering at the 5th Al Goldstein Summer Speed Series 5K race. I was posted up at the water table after the finish and had a great time seeing lots of runner friends and chatting with teammates. 3.5 but I also ran a bit to and fro without turning on my watch, so I rounded up to 4 on the NYRR Virtual Trainer.

7/26: 5.7 miles down to Brooklyn Bridge Park and back. I’m definitely going to use this route (the long way) again and add in more piers and DUMBO for extra mileage.

7/27: Rest day.

7/28: 9 mile long run while also cheering on teammates at NYRR Team Champs. I had hoped to squeeze out another mile, but between the humidity and the chafing, I couldn’t. I did start to jog to the Q train for an added 0.5 miles, but ran into teammates and quit after 0.2 miles. Then we stopped for some blue Gatorade and all was right with the world.

Recovered with brunch, team beers, dinner at French Louie, then dessert at Brooklyn Farmacy.

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Moules et frites, steak tartare, and anchovy frites at French Louie
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Freedom Sundae special at Brooklyn Farmacy
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Snapchat Domino’s Pizza Filter

7/29: 5.7 recovery miles but run at a faster than recovery pace and negative split since I was the slowest person at the PPTC group run. Whoops! Felt pretty good, considering. Went off and had food adventures with my friend Lori who’s an Instagram food influencer. Then ate even more (Szechuanese and 3rd serving of ice cream) on date night.

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Lamb burger at Five Napkin Burger
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Brunch Poutine at 5 Napkin Burger
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Chicken & Waffles
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Black Sesame Kouign Amman and Pistachio soft serve at Patisserie Chanson

Total mileage: 29.7 or so. Right on target!

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

Slowly Running Again & UK Trip Recap

After surviving my Memorial Day weekend test run, I slowly ramped up mileage. 2 miles here, 4 miles there, a few times a week. The goal is to get back to 5 days a week with medium midweek mileage for marathon training. I’m looking at a scaled down version of my original 18 week marathon training plan of choice. Maybe soon I’ll actually run enough to run off some of the baking I’ve been doing.

May 28 – June 3: 9.3 miles over 4 runs

June 4 – June 10: 11.6 miles over 3 runs. Double digits, woohoo! I also baked the Momofuku Milk Bar birthday cake thanks to the unique baking supply birthday gifts of my friends. It took some time but was worth it!

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June 11 – June 17: 7 miles and some canceled ClassPass spin. I volunteered at a race to get credit for future races and had a great time at the bib pickup table. I also managed a full loop of Prospect Park for a total of 5 miles, which is my longest since the Monument Avenue 10K on 4/14. I had to break for water a few times but it felt good overall.

Beebe’s Pizza in Long Island City

June 18 – 24: UK trip! I flew out Saturday the 16th and back the 23rd for my cousin’s wedding in Scotland with my parents and boyfriend. I didn’t get in as many runs as I had wanted in London due to food poisoning/stomach flu. I did manage a spin class, a hike up Arthur’s Seat, and a trail run near the castle that ended up with me getting lost in the woods and having to climb over cow pen gates. On Sunday, I did not use my jet lag to my advantage but finally staged myself onto the treadmill for another 3 miles. Total running mileage of ~8 miles but I turned my GPS watch off while I was lost and walking/running so we’ll never know.

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Afternoon Tea at Sketch in London
Lovecrumbs in Edinburgh
Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh
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Roast seafood Feast at Ondine in Edinburgh
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Hanging with Jeannie
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Watching Watson the buzzard eat dead chick parts