Monday 7/19: 3.1 miles outside, easyish in the morning (pre-8am).
Tuesday 7/20: 3.2 miles late morning with the terrible air quality. It was pretty bad but I caught myself not able or wanting to slow down.
Wednesday 7/21: I skipped a run because the smog was still gross. Upper body and core workouts at the gym from the Peloton hardCORE on the floor calendar’s recommended stack.
Thursday 7/22: 4.3 miles outside late morning – I wish I had gone out earlier before the sun really came up. I tried a new route but stupidly went uphill on the sunny side of the street. That was rough. I need to commit to doing these daily runs at an easy pace so that my weekend long runs don’t kill me. I keep not wanting to slow down into my Zone 2 or even 3.
Friday 7/23: Rest day. Went to the gym in the afternoon and did my squats and hex bar deadlift routine as well as hip adduction and abduction machines.
Saturday 7/24: Treadmill long run of 6+ miles (my Apple watch Stryd screen and Garmin connected . I did a progressionish one again where I sped up the last 1.5 miles because I was getting bored. I was watching The Olympics (USA mens volleyball and women’s water polo) and listened to three different Peloton tread workouts.
Sunday 7/25: 4.5 mile recovery run. It was ridiculously humid (got a few rain drops) then the sun came out at the very end. I still have to work on slowing down my runs.
Total: 21.1 miles, which is my highest weekly mileage since January if not last year.
I went back and looked at where my mileage was this time back in 2016, 2017, and 2018 (the years I’ve previously run full marathons in the fall) and I’m not that far behind. I’m definitely slower than I was but I’m doing ok!
This post is going to be long on photos of Northern Michigan but short on running. After a decent kickoff week, I took my first girls’ trip since March 2020 (for the Olympic marathon trials and Atlanta Half) and flew into Traverse City, Michigan Monday morning. Carla and I hopped into a rental car and proceeded to log hundreds of mile, eat dozens of cherries, and see 3 out of 5 Great Lakes.
Monday 7/12: Hiking up and down Sleeping Bear Dunes – just under 2 miles. I kept my Teva Hurricanes on and was thankful for them. We decided not to go all the way down to Lake Michigan but had a good time trying to get closer.
We bought cherries and a whole pie at a roadside stand so sat down to eat it after the hike. It’s always the $15 pies by the road that you can never get again that have the perfect crust and fresh sweet cherry filling.
Tuesday 7/13: After strolling around St Ignace and having the rest of the cherry pie for breakfast, we took the ferry to Mackinac Island, which is car-free. Our original plan was to rent bicycles and get in a good cruise around the island but the rain started when we boarded the ferry and didn’t let up for hours. After getting back to the car, we crossed into the Upper Peninsula and did a 3 mile hike/trail run at Taquamenon Falls, then changed into swimsuits and got into the falls.
Wednesday 7/14: After driving to Munising post-run and settling in, we did a boat tour of the Pictured Rocks area. Later on we tried the local special, pasties. I got to hop into Lake Superior and the cold water was super refreshing. We had missed the window for a morning run then it rained all evening, so we settled for an early dinner and a dip in the hotel’s hot tub. My legs were delighted by the hot and cold water combo and I tried to use the jets for extra massage pressure. I didn’t bring my Theragun on this trip, just a spiky ball for my feet, but was glad I brought it.
Thursday 6/15: We left Munising early for long drive back to Traverse City for our early evening flights. No fun stops except lunch at Culver’s and some pie to go. I could have definitely used another day or two up this way and would have liked to spend more time on Lake Huron. I think I hit my cap on pasties and whitefish but could have eaten several more cherry pies.
Friday 6/17: Back to CT and back to the gym. I did a 30 minute Peloton ride to the music of In The Heights and hit a PR! Then I did my upper body strength routine and some single leg stability exercises.
Saturday 6/18 and Sunday 6/19: I went out Friday night (footage not found) and was wildly hungover Sunday morning. I could already tell my ambitious schedule of long run, gym, and grocery shopping wasn’t happening. I hydrated and got delivery Szechuanese food and peeled myself off the couch slowly. Many hours later, I headed into Queens to meet up with friends and get pho.
Sunday was no better; I woke up a little late after getting home at midnight and skipped my long run again. Didn’t make it to the gym before friends came over for pizza and the pool. Went to Whole Foods and PetSmart with the fiancé then we got Dairy Queen at night in my final act of “I’m on vacation”. Onward and upward!
It’s kickoff week 1 of 18 and I’m coming from 0 running mileage base. I did a few test runs in late June just to make sure I could survive it and kept doing weightlifting at the gym along with weekly Peloton bike riding.
Week 1 Rundown:
Monday 7/5: Rest day. I prefer to kickoff a marathon training cycle with actual running, but my plan called for rest and I had done a several mile hike up Kaaterskill Falls the day prior.
Tuesday 7/6: 3 easy treadmill miles in my apartment gym. I did this as a progression run and took it up 0.1 mph throughout but starting at ‘super ‘easy’ and moving to just ‘easy’. Later on at fancy gym, I did upper body strength stuff including my first attempt at Romanian deadlifts.
Wednesday 7/7: 3.8 easyish treadmill miles on a Woodway in my fancy gym. I meant to do 4+ but accidentally pulled the emergency stop cord prematurely and figured I was close enough. This one was already pushing to the top of Zone 3 heart rate halfway through so I actually took it back in pace as I went on.
Thursday 7/8: 3.2 easy non-Woodway treadmill miles. I did hex bar deadlifts first but didn’t make time for squats. At home, I had a very painful Theragun session.
Friday 7/9: Rain from Hurricane Elsa greeted me. Off day from running. 20 minute Robin Arzon ride on the Peloton (her last one from before maternity leave) then squats to make up for the day prior, abduction, and adduction at the gym.
Saturday 7/10: 5 miles on the Woodway. I had some work stuff in the morning and kept pushing off my run in the morning. Didn’t have time at the gym for anything else but the run since this distance at my current pace takes an extra 10-16 minutes than when I was in shape for previous training cycles. I did this as a ‘progression long run’ and sped up by 0.1 mph every half mile for the last couple
Sunday 7/11: HIIT class at the gym, focused mostly on core. We did arm hang off the bars and I really sucked. I was way more in my element during the mat work with abs and planks.
So far, there are a lot of treadmill miles because it’s been hot and humid. For shorter runs, I really don’t mind! I just pop on a podcast or watch a Peloton workout (I got a shoutout from my favorite run instructor Becs Gentry on my 50th app run during this week). For anything over an hour, I definitely prefer outside. And I’m trying to make scenic run plans for all those future 12+ mile long runs in the future – Central Park, West Side Highway/the Palisades, Rockefeller State Park, etc. I want to have the trail option available for at least half those runs if possible. Good for being in nature, great for the joints.
It is time to start writing in here because it’s once again time to run a fall marathon after a spring of injury/taking time off from running. I had completed NYRR’s 9+1 in 2020 by running a couple races pre-pandemic then signing up for a bunch more. They of course were all canceled (as was my volunteer opportunity) but NYRR gave us credit. Folks who were already signed up I’m for the cancelled 2020 Marathon we’re given first dibs on this year’s entry, but enough of them chose 2022 that I was able to get into this year’s running.
I’ve been doing my physical therapy exercises as well as a legitimate strength training program and some Peloton bike action at the gym since April. Meanwhile my PT/acupuncturist has been doing dry needling and e-stim on my hamstring to deal with TVs scar tissue there from last year’s tear. Things are going well enough! TBD once I start running regularly
I’m planning to do a lower mileage marathon training plan; I currently have Hal Higdon’s Intermediate 1 downloaded onto my calendar. In the past, I went with something closer to the Intermediate 2 but through the NYRR Virtual Trainer. I’m looking to have this be my slowest marathon yet – if it takes over 5 hours, then that’s what it takes. I hope to dabble in speedwork during the 18-week process (kicking off July 5th) but will not be racing a tuneup half this year. Maybe a 5K or 10K? The focus is just on getting those long runs done with some decent weekday mileage, then taking race day nice and easy and enjoying the experience. More high fives and free food from strangers this year for sure.
Why all this work for a marathon I’m not even racing? Well, you see, it’s the 50th running of the NYC Marathon (2012 was cancelled for Hurricane Sandy recovery and obviously 2020 was off). And my current plans for 2022 are to raise money for charity to run the Berlin Marathon. So I made 2021 my first choice when given the option because doing two marathons next fall sounds even worse than doing one this year.
I’m planning some posts on non-running activities (hiking! favorite Peloton rides/workouts! recent eats!) soon but am excited to get back in the groove of weekly or near-weekly training recap posts.
In September, I started an 8-week training plan with Stryd that I’ve loosely followed for the Prospect Park Track Club Virtual Turkey Trot. Loosely being the key word. The Turkey Trot is virtual this year, so we have from Thursday-Sunday of Thanksgiving week to race it. I’m planning to pick my race day based on weather conditions and crank it out solo on a nearby flat loop.
After a couple months of slow base building starting from near-0 mileage in July, I finally started upping my consistency to 4 days a week of running and at least one other cardio/strength workout weekly. I wasn’t too worried about speed or distance, but have slowly built both up along with more activity. I hit 27 miles/5 hours of running the week ending November 1 (halfway through the training plan), which is my highest volume since April. (Then I haven’t run as consistently since in November, but that’s another story).
November 1 would have been the date of the 50th New York City Marathon, so I decided to run a bit of the course for fun in my 70 minute planned long run. Of course the rain began by mile 1, so I put on my Asics Stormchaser jacket and popped the hood (should have brought a hat to keep the rain off my glasses). I’m pretty happy with my splits, all things considered, though the faster times were due to going downhill. The last mile was an absolute slog. I overshot my turnaround point and went up to 90th St then back down to Columbus Circle. My form was falling apart (once I accidentally kick my own ankles, I know it’s getting bad). However there were supporters with cowbells cheering us on and some folks present for their virtual marathoners near the finish line. Even though the weather wasn’t ideal, it was nice to see so many supporters and see so many other runners.
In October, I had a few (mostly outdoor) adventures other than running. I made it to:
– New York Botanical Garden
– Bartlett Arboretum
– Pennings Orchard
– hiked some the Palisades and the George Washington Bridge
– shot engagement photos in Liberty State Park/Jersey City waterfront
– Norwalk Maritime Aquarium
That’s really it! A shocking lack of food photos this month but the lighting in our apartment is not great and I haven’t been dining out as much.
Ouch. No, I’m just kidding. It’s been 2 weeks and I’ve had a lost of rest and recovery (and a massage), so I’m going to try and write this up so I can reflect on it later.
The Nights Before: I stayed out way too late on Halloween night (the 31st) but went to bed early on the 1st and 2nd, then by 10pm on the 3rd.
Start Village: Back in 2016, I took the Staten Island ferry to the buses and barely made it into my wave and corral in time. This time around, I wisely wore enough throwaway clothes and packed some snacks and handwarmers for the 3+ hour wait in the start village after taking a direct bus from Brooklyn with my teammates. It was a lot of fun to catch up with people and compare our training and race plans.
I used the portapotties 3 times, pet a therapy dog, and got a photo in the corral with a teammate.
Thoughts and feelings recap:
Miles 1-4: I was smart for exactly one mile and took it easy on the Verrazzano (formerly the Verrazano but they finally changed the name to actually be spelled correctly). Us green corral folks had a slightly different loop through Bay Ridge than the orange & blue runners, then messily converged with them. I didn’t realize it, but I was flying here.
Miles 5-9: My brain’s main thought was “THIS IS SO MUCH FUN!” I saw a lot of people here on 4th Avenue, beginning in the 20’s, through the PPTC cheer spot at 3rd, and some friends at Union St. and then on Lafayette Ave. I was having such a good time, as you can tell from this succession of photos.
Miles 10-14: Oh hmm, it sure got quiet. I slowed the pace a tiny bit in efforts to conserve energy, but felt good after doing a systems check. I hit the half in 2:07, which was on pace for a PR.
Miles 15-19: This segment finally presented me with thoughts of “Oh no, this isn’t going the way I wanted it to at all”. I felt fine approaching the Queensboro Bridge but slowed considerably running up 1st Avenue in Manhattan. I started walking through fluid stations then running again.
Miles 20-23: The Bronx sucked for me and I knew it was going to be a struggle until I got back into Central Park. I saw a very well-placed friend at 129th St and my boyfriend at 116th who gave me the best “I can tell you’re hurting” grimace.
Miles 24-26: I got to finally enter Central Park and vowed to not walk again, then promptly broke that vow. I ran into a teammate who was also having a rough race, so we tried to stick together for the final mile. She sent me on ahead for a while. I checked my heart rate during this portion and 20-23 and it was really high. Like 85-90% of max. I used the walking breaks to lower it, but was definitely concerned.
The final 0.2: I got a side stitch right at the 26 mile marker! While frustrating, I was relieved that it didn’t happen sooner. My teammate caught up to me so our finish photos are together, which is pretty cool. It was so nice to have a sounding board for the long walk to get our ponchos and exit the park. I headed to my team’s meetup spot where my boyfriend was waiting with a cold brew coffee. We then went to Sushi of Gari for a pretty nice post-race feast.
Phew. While only 10 minutes slower than my marathon PR, it was a poorly executed race. I have since compared training data and realized that despite the mileage PR, it wasn’t as far and away a monster training cycle as I had wanted. I keep vacillating between wanting to do another marathon in 2019 with more mileage under my belt and just waiting until I exact my revenge on the NYCM course in 2020. More to come!
10/29: Rest Day. Went to Patavini and tried all the gnocchi. The blue one has spirulina and was really good! The truffle, saffron, and squid ink were my favorites.
10/30: 4.3 mile shakeout run @ 11 minute mile pace. I’d been running faster than my usual pace during the taper in part because of cooler temperatures and of course due to excitement.
10/31: Rest day and Halloween. Had street meat combo over rice for dinner near the Village Halloween Parade, 2.5 beers, then late-night pepperoni pizza. I went as a bat again.
11/1: Unintentional rest day. I was going to do a Saucony shakeout run (with Molly Huddle) but work was long and it was raining, so I bailed. I really should have done some treadmill miles at least.
11/2: Tracksmith popup in the morning, work, then Marathon Expo at night. I tried to get in and out quickly and spend less time on my feet. I picked up my official jacket then went to a friend’s birthday dinner at a Korean-Brazilian spot and turned down a lot of good wine. I went home right at 9 and got a solid 8 hours of sleep.
11/3: I thought about doing a shakeout but figured less time on my feet was a better idea after such a loose taper the last two weeks. I got Shanghainese for dinner: scallion pancake, soup dumplings, fried dumplings, rice cakes, noodles, and eggplant. I decided to skip a dessert with dairy just in case.
11/4: NYC Marathon Day. Race recap to come (hmm, I never wrote up one for the Bay Ridge Half). It was not my best marathon, but not my worst (it was my third). 4:31:40 and a huge positive split but I had a good time doing it.
Week 2 of a 3-week taper. Not a whole lot going on in runs or eats to be honest.
10/22: Rest Day. I went to bed at 9pm after an early wakeup and long work day.
10/23: 5.7 miles on the Woodway treadmills at Mile High Run Club, doing intervals. I compared my paces to the past few months and I’ve gotten faster! But now to take it easy for a few weeks.
10/24: Rest Day. I was planning to go on a group run but wanted nothing more than to crawl into bed after cooking and meal prepping, so that is what I did.
10/25: Rest Day
10/26: 5.1 miles during an easy loop of the park, where I once again sped up as I went. The weather was cool with only 55% humidity and the leaves have started to change colors. This was one of those runs where I felt appreciative of being able to run and getting to do it in this city.
10/27: I had planned to do the Last 10 Mile of the Marathon course with my club, but decided against it due to the Nor’easter weather. I still went up to the park and ran some errands and saw hot wet and cold everyone was and was glad I passed on it.
10/28: I got home late from a friend’s birthday, so I slept in until 8am and got a few miles in before meeting up with the group run for a 6 mile jaunt to some Swedish candy stores. Swedes love gummys (same) in many flavors but they also enjoy licorice and especially salty black licorice more than I do. I got a nice sampling of gummy candies and chocolates, then my whole face puckered in disgust when I tried a salty licorice.
Total of 9.9 miles but it might have been a little less; I forgot to unpause my watch for around half a mile then used Strava’s feature to correct GPS inconsistencies and it shot from 9.2 to 9.9 and I think the truth is somewhere in the middle after looking at everyone else’s Stravas (but forgetting if I had 3.3 before meeting up with them). We got Ben’s Pizza for lunch and I was so hungry that I forgot to take a picture of my Buffalo chicken slice.
Total: “20.9” out of a prescribed 26 miles. The Virtual Trainer yelled at me for being 20% under my goal, but the second week of taper seems like a perfectly fine time to do that. I’m still trying to plan how many short runs to do marathon week.
10/15: Still feeling beat up from Sunday’s 20 miler, so I stayed in and did laundry.
10/16: STILL feeling fatigued so skipped doing the Central Park Lululemon Ghost Race. Got pho and summer rolls for dinner with the bf and managed to lose my monthly Metrocard.
I made the following Halloween-themed snack choices at 4pm at work.
10/17: Went to a food event at Barclays Center called Brooklyn tastes and got to eat a fried chicken sandwich from fuku+ as well as 1/3 chili cheese dog, 1/2 burger, and 3 other small dishes. Then went for a night run with my friend. 5.5 miles, nice and easy. We saw a really big raccoon in our quest for non-portapotty bathrooms.
10/18: Failed to make it to the West Side Highway Lululemon Ghost Race, but did 5.2 miles of tempo in Central Park. AKA another accidental progression run where I just kept picking up the pace. Legs were a little heavy, but it felt good overall.
10/19: Rest day
10/20: 5.8 miles of running to the park for cheering for the NYC Runs Brooklyn Half Marathon. Have you ever run with a cowbell in your pocket or in your hand? It definitely makes people turn and wonder what that noise is. I hopped in the race (but stayed outside the boundary) to cheer my friend up the big hill, which was fun. Then I stayed and kept cheering.
Later on, I had food adventures at ilili and Taiyaki with my food influenced friend, then had our monthly fancy dinner at Manhatta. Those views! That soufflé!
10/21: Long run of 12 miles in Central Park, which I split up with the Lululemon Ghost Race in the middle. I got a new pair of socks and a few new Strava friends for the effort.
Later on, I went to the New York Botanical Garden to take in giant pumpkins and other autumnal splendor.
This was a weird week. It was supposed to have my longest long run at 21 miles, but only 4 other days of running and all at 3-4 miles tops, as well as fewer overall miles than my peak week 2 weeks ago. But my work schedule prohibited the higher frequency of runs, so I once again tried to get it all done in only 3 runs total.
10/8: Rest Day. Still feeling a little beat up from racing a half marathon Saturday.
10/9: 7 miles in Central Park after work. It became an accidental progression run because I was feeling really good. Korean fried chicken and seafood pancake with kimchi coleslaw for dinner after.
10/10: Rest Day. Had an amazing dinner at the Michelin-starred Aldea that included a port tasting.
10/11: Tried and failed to psych myself up for a run but work was long and exhausting.
10/12: Hit snooze on the 5am alarm and got to snooze until 6am before another longer work day. Booked 30 minutes in air compression boots to loosen up my legs before the 20 miler.
10/13: After 9 hours of sleep, I decided to push off the very long run until Sunday. I enjoyed a lazy rainy morning before doing 8 miles around Prospect Heights and Crown Heights. I only had to stop for lights several times and got to see a lot of beautiful brownstones and gardens and duck into a small park.
10/14: 20.5 miles done, almost all with teammates. Thanks to Lillian for joining me on the last few and talking me up the hill. No idea what happened on the first mile or two other than forgetting to pause? Ah well. I’m fine with the pace on the others. Taper town, here I come!
Total: 35.5 out of a prescribed 37. That’ll do, Pig.