Weeks 13 and 14 of NYC Marathon 2021 Training

9/27-10/3:

9/27: 3 mile recovery run on the treadmill after a full upper body workout. Definitely still had some soreness from the longer long run Saturday. Not as easy breezy as last weekend’s recovery.

9/28: 3 still-recovery pace miles in Central Park.

Jackie Onassis Reservoir in Central Park

9/29: Woke up feeling blah. Sinus pressure, sleeping in, just not feeling it. Didn’t even go on a walk.

9/30: Not much better! Slept in until 7:15 and had a busy morning at work. Went into the city for dinner and had a lovely meal at Noreetuh in the East Village.

10/1: HOW IS IT OCTOBER. Still blah. Got dressed and ready to run during some errands but speed walked instead.

10/2: Long run day with neighbor friend Dani. Did ok on the first half, but the back half was a struggle. Basically walked the last two of 17 miles (out of a planned 18). I sent Dani on her way to do the last few without me because she was flying up and down the hills and I was spiking my heart rate.

North Stamford Reservoir halfway through the long run
Hot pot at a friend’s Saturday night

10/3: Rest day. Brunch and boba in the city.

Total:23 miles over 3 runs.

Sunday brunch at Cafe Enrique in Long Island City

10/4-10/10:

10/4: Rest day. Rainy and pretty glum.

10/5: Easy/recovery pace 4 miles in the early evening after heavy squat/deadlift/etc day at the gym.

10/6: Treadmill warm-up, progression run, and cool-down for 3.3 miles in the AM. Acupuncture for my hamstring scar tissue etc in the PM.

10/7: 2 recovery treadmill miles and upper body workout in the gym (skull crushers, rows, French doors).

10/8: Rest day

10/9: Long run day. Goal was 19 miles. Mile 0-8 were a dream, then out of nowhere my heart rate started to spike. I was hitting a nice park where I planned to use the bathroom and refill my water bottle (decided to switch away from my beloved Hydration vest and to my Nathan QuickShot handheld since we won’t be allowed hydration vests during the NYC Marathon). No sign of real bathrooms, just some rough Port-o-Potties. I normally have no qualms using one, especially before or after a race, but these had no TP. I finally found a water fountain and it worked, but was only a dribble. I wasn’t able to get any into my water bottle. Defeated, I shuffled to town (New Canaan) and stopped at Dunkin Donuts after 11 miles. Used the bathroom, got a pumpkin cream cold brew and pumpkin donut, took an urgent call, and took the train back to downtown Stamford. I felt better and ready to run again, but then my whole right leg cramped up. I decided to shuffle home and call it a day at 12 miles. This was technically supposed to be a cutback to 14 miles between 18 (just did 17) and 20, but I was hoping to build confidence about my endurance.

10/10: Rest day. More delicious food in the city with friends.

Total: 21.3 miles over 4 runs. Eek.

Weeks 11 and 12 of NYC Marathon 2021 Training

I’m finally caught up – with blog posts, not with my training miles. But my long runs are finally where they should be, albeit a few weeks behind. It wasn’t smart to train like this (and have no real cutback weeks) but I did it out of mental and physical necessity. I’m honestly dreaming about a 5K, 10K, or in between PR attempt next year (this November/December is getting tight with race availability coinciding with any potential fitness gains). But for NYCM? Let’s just finish. Ideally before the sun goes down.

9/13-9/19:

9/13: 3 easy miles on the treadmill and lifting at the gym.

9/14: 4 miles running

9/15: 5.4 miles running including some speed pushes.

9/16: Weight lifting and 3 miles

9/17: Rest day. Sichuanese for dinner.

9/18: 14 mile long run with a neighbor/friend who is also training for NYCM. Turns out I need an accountability buddy all along. It was pretty humid so we tackled the hills first, then kept to a flat final 6 miles down by the water with walk breaks sprinkled into the last 3 miles. I used my Salomon Advanced Skin 8 hydration vest and loved it – drank ALL the water and Skratch by the end.

9/19: No running. Went to see the Yayoi Kusama exhibit again at the New York Botanical Garden and did a lot of walking. I felt shockingly good after the long run (since my longest in the 6 weeks prior was 7 or maybe 9 miles. Do not recommend). Going slow really helped as did all my recovery efforts after.

Total: 29.4 miles (of a recommended 36 – my midweek runs and long runs are still a bit behind).

9/20-9/26:

Great weather for lots of walks to the park, both with and without Herbie. Could have done with a few more runs.

9/20: 2.3 easy recovery treadmill miles after some lifting at the gym.

9/21: Longer walk with Herbie. 5.5 mile run with intervals. These felt good! I could mostly do them at my new estimated 10K pace of 9:15-9:20 (my old pace of 8:30, not so much). Recoveries around 10:15 minute miles.

9/22: Rest day – long walk

9/23: 3.3 mile run

9/24: Rest day – longer walk with Herbie.

9/25: 16 miles. The temperature and humidity dropped a lot from the prior week, so we definitely took this one a bit faster. I struggled on the bigger hills going up to the turnaround point (where we had bananas and Gatorade waiting for us). but the back half had a net downhill that was awesome (for morale and for my legs/lungs).

9/26: Rest day. Tried on more wedding dresses in the city. Got great Korean at The Jin in Hell’s Kitchen, had coffee at Rex, then got so many mochi donuts in Nordstrom at Oh Mochi. It was a perfect fall day, weather-wise.

Ddukboki, fried chicken, katsu, paleontology, and bulgogi at The Jin

Total: 27ish out of a prescribed 31 miles

Virtual Relay Week Rundown

So back in August I signed up for the Womxn Run the Vote virtual relay from Oiselle to benefit Black Voters Matter. I joined a team with my PPTC teammates, many of whom are scattered around the US. We’re virtually covering the ground from the MLK Jr National Historic Site in Atlanta (which I ran by 3/1/20 during the Atlanta Half) to Washington DC, split up among a team of 20. This should be about 34 miles per person, which I haven’t hit since late March. I did a build up into the low-medium mileage territory in August and early September (with a few days focused on hiking in Acadia early September). We’re allowed to log other activities into the relay, including walks, bike rides, and time spent playing sports. Let’s see how it went down (I think I stole this line verbatim from Chelsea).

Monday: I wanted to kick things off right, so I got in 5.1 miles at a mostly easy pace. Plus walking to a coffee shop that was closed for the day (sigh).

Tuesday: Recovery run pace of 4.4 miles since my legs were already pretty zonked. Lots of TheraGun time and stretching.

Wednesday: 1 of the elevators in our building is down and the wait for the other ones is just too much during busy times so I took the stairs up twice. I also did a 45 minute RowHouse Signature class, which was about 35 minutes on the erg and 10 minutes doing circuits of bodyweight and small hand weight exercises. I’m hoping to upgrade from the 3 pound weights to the 5 pound weights for more of these soon.

Thursday: I had planned to run but my legs were still tired so took the day off. More Theragun and stretching.

Friday: 3 miles easy in the AM, then extra humid walking around later.

Saturday: Surprise lazy day (had planned for a quick morning run). Went to a winery for some live music and outdoor drinking.

White Silo Farm and Winery, aptly named
Wine flights and boxed lunches

Sunday: 4 mile Citibike ride, then 6 mile running loop of Central Park with Gabby. So humid! Lots of walking around prior and after. We got Zucker’s Bagels on the UWS and listened to live jazz outside.

For the relay, we did pretty darn well as a team! I made exactly the recommended contribution but some people went above and beyond.

What’s next? I finally signed up for a virtual race; my club’s usual 5 mile Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving. I have my route planned out and am hoping to get it done nice and early. I would like to try to take down my 5K or 10K PRs this year since they are from August 2017 and April 2018, respectively. I might wear both watches and stop one at the 5 mile mark for the Turkey Trot then continue for another 1.2 miles to get a 10K attempt if things are going well. NYCRuns is having actual races on Randall’s Island and I’m kind of tempted by the Halloween Haunted Island 5K, but logistically it might make more sense to cobble together something virtual.

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

Weeks 1-4 of Brooklyn Half 2020(?) Training

All of this training now comes with the caveat that we don’t know yet if the 2020 Brooklyn half is still happening on 5/16 and are in fact assuming it’s not. I chose a 12-week plan and the first week happened to be race week for the Atlanta Half on 3/1. Some of this was written in the first three weeks, then I added some context later on in March once we knew more about cancellations and such.

2/24-3/1: 26.6 miles, including the Atlanta Half. I did a shakeout run with friends the day before (Olympic Marathon Trials spectating day) and we met Kara Goucher! Then after the trials, we met Meb at an Ali on the Run podcast recording.

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Gabby, Kara Goucher, Me, and Kate

Spectating crew at miles 1, 9, and 17

After the half on Sunday, Gabby and I went to the Atlanta Aquarium and really enjoyed it. They have whale sharks and a bunch of other animals.

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Pastrami, pulled pork, sides, and pimiento cheese dip at DBA Barbeque in Atlanta

3/2-3/8: 26.5 miles. Recovery needs were high and I was sore. I should have squeezed in a recovery run Monday while still in Atlanta, that’s for sure. When walking back from breakfast (at Atlanta Breakfast Club), we saw Molly Seidel on her own recovery run. I did mile pushes as part of speed training that Tuesday (too soon!), then took the rest of my miles easy. I did a Lululemon store group run and an International Women’s Day run. (Writing this now on 3/28; remember group runs?)

3/9-3/15: 31.1 miles, mostly solo, and mostly close to home in Central Park. I had my last day in the office 3/9, last group training workout Tuesday 3/10, then social distancing began in earnest.

3/16-3/22: The inevitable dip in morale once all March and April and early May races were cancelled. NYRR Spring Group Training was canceled before it even begun. I managed to try some form of half-hearted speed workout on Monday 3/16, but might tend toward more easy miles and an occasional tempo, assuming I am still let out of the house. I managed to get in 32.6 miles, including a 10 mile long run up the west side. I’m wary of crowds and Central Park was overflowing with people on the warm Friday, so will try some less frequented routes (again, as long as still allowed. Runners currently have Governor Cuomo’s blessing).

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Platelet and plasma donation with Gigi

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The Little Red Lighthouse under the George Washington Bridge, an NYC long run destination

3/23-3/29: 20 miles over 4 runs. Skipped the long run but did some fartlek speed work on a shorter run. Did my first online yoga class and in-apartment bodyweight workout. The weekend was rainy and we were dogsitting and honestly it was nice to not force a run. If I can still run the weekend of 4/4-4/5, then I’ll do Cherry Blossom as a virtual race. If not, then I can be pleased that my March mileage was my highest since marathon training in September 2018. (Ed. note – it will actually be a little higher than 130 miles once I run today, 3/31, and will be my highest mileage month ever. EVER.)

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Soondubu and toasted garlic Spam

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I made the chocolate cake and chocolate buttercream from Sally’s Baking Addiction and it was amazing. Freezes well, too!

How’s everyone doing out there? Stay well.

 

Richmond 2019 Training

This post originally titled Richmond Half 2019 Training and was supposed to cover everything in September, but then I never published it in September. Or October. My running has been pretty good (some weeks higher in mileage than others) but I’ve kept my weekend long runs right around 10 miles for the most part.  Essentially, I feel like I could run a half at any time, but I couldn’t hit a PR. I got medical clearance from my doctor and PT to run a half this fall/winter (but not a full marathon, which is fine). But the consistency of training never really happened. So I’m just going to do the 8K in Richmond on 11/16/19.

I moved out of Brooklyn in September and have been exploring Central Park a lot more. There are so many paths and trails and things to see (namely waterfalls) off the main 6-mile path. My goal is to run them all, plus run the entire perimeter of the park on 5th Avenue and Central Park South/West/North. It’s a lot easier to get to the many NYRR and other races in Central Park now, so I’ve popped by to cheer on friends or pace long runs.

In late September, I did a Tracksmith-sponsored long run in Rockefeller Park State Preserve and loved hitting the trails. The hills were killer, but I stayed steady and on the slower side. Obviously I wore Tracksmith.

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I went to Chicago in mid-October to spectate the marathon (for the third time in four years) and see friends from across the country and eat deep dish pizza. I ran a Nike-sponsored 4×800 race at Soldier Field and was pleased enough with my time. If anything, it made me want to get back to the track a bit more. In my injury-prone state, I haven’t been doing much speed work. Also, our team met Colleen Quigley!

 

Fall by the numbers:

Longest long run: 11 miles

Fastest speed: I hit 10 mph (a 6:00 minute mile) for maybe a minute during a Barry’s Bootcamp treadmill session and didn’t die or fly off the treadmill

I ran my first race since February, a 5K on Randall’s Island in 26:26, about 90 seconds off my PR.

I ran in Saratoga Springs NY, Chicago IL, and San Juan Puerto Rico.

Plus, I went to a driving range for the first time in over a decade, got into sourdough bread baking, am a happy owner of a Theragun, and kept up eating delicious stuff all over town (and other places).

Lunch specials at Cho Dang Gol

Piña colada and red snapper in Old San Juan

Deep dish pizza and the best salad at Lou Malnati’s in Chicago

Apple cider donuts upstate

Waiting for seafood boil

Weeks 5 & 6 of Brooklyn Half 2019 Training

A great couple weeks of running and pretty boring weeks for food. After last week’s vacation to the West Coast, I got back on my meal prep grind and started really looking at (ok, and tracking to some extent) what I’m eating.

Week 5

Monday 3/25: Rest day. Had a huge Korean BBQ (and other entrees) feast at The Woo in SoHo.

Tuesday 3/26: 5.5 treadmill interval miles at Mile High Run Club’s The Distance. I was feeling ready for some speed again and it felt good. I’m planning to do some shorter distance races this summer or a tuneup 5K if I can find a good one in April. I need to practice running more at my 5K and 10K paces as well as doing more aggressive half-pace tempos.

Wednesday 3/27: 3.5 easy miles on the way to yoga. I had planned to run home but the temperature was dropping and I hadn’t brought gloves.

Thursday 3/28: Rest day. I did a strength circuit workout which kicked my ass. And my abs. Days of DOMS.

Friday 3/29: 7.5 mile run-commute home from work. It was overcast and in the low 50’s and just perfect. I felt really strong plodding up the Manhattan Bridge and could have kept going for a few miles.

Saturday 3/30: I went out for my long run mid-afternoon to meet with other folks, still feeling pretty thrashed from the strength workout DOMS Thursday and the longer runcommute Friday. I got 5 miles of progressively faster miles in solo, then 2.5 quick miles with the group, then did a slower cool down home for 8.3 miles total. I should have gotten in closer to 11 since last week’s was a cutback, but I scheduled poorly.

Sunday: 3/31: Unplanned rest day. Got brunch with friends, got a haircut, and bought some groceries to make Instant Pot short rib ragu, which was delicious. I served it over chickpea penne pasta.

Total: 24.8 miles. Almost back on track with mileage but definitely missing that 5th day.

Week 6:

Monday 4/1: Rest day. Ate dinner at The Osprey in Brooklyn Bridge Park and though it was cold (in the lower 40’s), I enjoyed staring at the water and seeing the first signs of spring.

Tuesday 4/2: 4.6 easy PM miles in Central Park.

Wednesday 4/3: Rest day

Thursday 4/4: Unplanned rest day from running, but I did the same strength workout as the week before and upped the dumbbells for arm rows from 7.5 pounds to 10 pounds. Way less DOMS this time!

Friday 4/5: 4.4 miles in the (relative) cold and rain. I came prepared with gloves and a hat (Lululemon’s Baller Cap has such a long brim, it’s great for rain). I had to stop by Petee’s Cafe to pick up some chocolate cream pie for my bf’s birthday and nabbed myself a slice of banana cream pie as well.

Saturday 4/6: Longish (6.8 miles) run where again my end destination was for desserts. I had scheduled a run to the new location of Bibble & Sip in Chinatown with friends to get some of their cute stuffed cream puffs. Alas, they were closed for the weekend after experiencing too much demand at their opening night party. So we hoofed it slowly to Supermoon Bakehouse for stuffed croissants and donuts and coffee.

Sunday 4/7: 6.7 easyish miles, soaking up the sun and enjoying the Brooklyn waterfront with my friend Alison.

Total: 22.5 miles; I really need to up my long runs again and add that fifth day of running.

 

Week 1 of Brooklyn Half Marathon 2019 Training

I used my guaranteed entry for the Brooklyn Half (from deferring last year’s due to peroneal tendon injury) and am setting it as my goal race for the spring season. I’m also doing the Broad Street 10 Miler again since I had to defer last year’s entry. I’m using a 12 week half marathon training plan from Pete Pfitzinger’s Faster Road Racing with some adaptations. He’s big on mid-to-long midweek mileage (8 miles for a Wednesday run) and keeping the long runs double digits until taper.

Monday 2/25: Day 1 was a rest day and the weather was awful, so I was glad to take it.

Tuesday 2/26: The plan called for 6 general aerobic miles, but I did 2 easy, 3 tempo, and 1 easy.

Wednesday 2/27: Rest Day and my club’s annual Awards Night.

Thursday 2/28: My plan called for 8 miles, but I was so done after only 5.

Friday 3/1: I ended up doing my long run this night, with a loop of the park, then running to and around Williamsburg with my club and ending with snacks and beer before eventually getting pizza. 10.2 miles total

Macaroni and Cheese Pizza from Vinnie’s Pizzeria

Saturday: Rest day, and I really mean rest. Went to a Korean spa and got a massage.

Sunday: 8.3 miles with friends in the afternoon before more snow.

Total: 29.5 out of a prescribed 31. Not bad for my first real week back at it.

Other Running and Food in Between Halfs

Halves? I’m already kicking off my next half marathon training plan (this one being 12 weeks and very aggressive with the workouts and mileage) for the Brooklyn Half on May 19th. I have a couple tuneup races in April and May but am trying to just build the mileage in March. But I got back from New Orleans February 12th and the rest of the month flew by. Below are some eats and such from the tail end of New Orleans and back in New York.

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Jackson Square

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Cochon: rabbit and dumplings, gumbo, fried gator, brussels sprouts, catfish and rice

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Strawberry Cream Cheese King Cake (we did not find the baby)

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Muffaletta from Central Grocery

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(Fried) Seafood Eggs Benedict at Stanley

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Back in NYC; prime rib and mutton chop and sides at Keen’s for Valentine’s Day

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Some of the Galentine’s Spread

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Mochi cake, ooey gooey butter cake, chocolate chip mashmallow cookies, and my favorite salsas

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Ravioli Pizza. It’s a thing.

I did a little recovery run around the Marigny and French Quarter the day after the race, then had to skip a run the day we left New Orleans because it was downpouring and I needed to do laundry and pack. I barely ran the week I got back from New Orleans because I got a cold on Friday the 15th and took 3 days off on what was supposed to be a busy running-filled weekend. I did manage to host a small Galentine’s party and volunteer at one of my club’s races.

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I had to test that the finish line tape would break away

I started running again on President’s Day, then showed up to the start line of the Al Gordon 4 Miler Saturday the 23rd feeling pretty unprepared speedwise and still pretty snotty. I was able to do it as a progressive run and not blow up in the back half like last year, so that was nice. I’m hoping my next 4 mile race in April will go a little better. I’m not racing at all in March, but doing lots of easy/recovery miles, going long with double digits pretty much every week, and trying out some speedwork. I’m planning to post training recaps in the hopes that this is my fastest dedicated Half Marathon training cycle ever. My PR of 1:57:04 is from this past October but that was during the height of marathon training. My A Goal at this point is under 1:55, but I’ll see how the tuneup races go.

Ted Corbitt 15K Race Recap

Post-marathon, I signed up for the Ted Corbitt 15K as an attempt to get some race redemption under my belt in what remained of 2018. I hadn’t raced much this year and got PRs at the half marathon and 10K, but not any other distances (well, just the 5K and marathon that I actually tried).

I came in to this pretty well-rested and had peanut butter toast and cold brew before. I didn’t pack any nutrition but figured I’d be fine.

Last year, my first mile was super slow (9:44) due to getting into the corrals after they collapsed, so I made sure to get in there early this year. I accidentally started my watch early then couldn’t delete it in time. So I went in with an extra bit of seconds on the clock and was very confused with my splits the whole race.

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I managed to hold back a bit on the first mile then went way too hard on the 2nd mile. I finally got into a groove for the last two miles of the first loop and was feeling good (PPTC cheerers and volunteers really helped).

Then I slowed down again for most of the second loop. The last mile felt tough but with the added endorphins from smiling and knowing that I was going to get a PR, then I was able to drop the hammer on the last 0.3 and sprint to the finish.

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The pace was a little faster than my 8:57 pace from the Bay Ridge Half 9 weeks ago, which was my A goal. However, it’s a little slower than it should be if you plug that half time into a calculator. My goal for my next half is closer to 8:48, so I’m hoping to bring it down as my volume and speed work comes up in the next 8(?) weeks or so.

I’ve started some heart rate training since I have a HR monitor on my new watch. I’m surprised to find I kept it steady on this run (part of me is wondering if I had any cadence lock). To be discussed in future posts.