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.