Richmond Marathon Training Week 2, 7/31 – 8/6

Holy crap, it’s August!

7/31: Cross-training with tennis. More drills (I think my backhand is getting pretty good), more time to work on my atrocious serve. I’m nowhere near being ready to play against anyone, but am hoping that with more time, lessons, drills, and practice, that I could actually play next year.

8/1: I was heading to NYRR Open Run but decided to see if the new Park Slope Blink Fitness location was open and lo and behold, it was. And there were treadmills available. I did 4 easy miles while watching Teen Jeoaprdy! and quietly shouting out the answers.

8/2: Unexpected rest day because the Al Goldstein Summer Speed Series 5K #6 was canceled due to thunderstorms. My friends and I got delivery from Emily (their Emily pizza is in my top 5), stuffed croissants from Union Fare, and some fruit pies from Petee’s Pie Company.

8/3: Surprise mid-week 9 mile long run. I got out of a work training at NYU Langone Hospital early, so I put all my stuff into a locker at a Blink location (going to the gym twice in a week?!) then headed out along the East River. I was feeling good and the weather was perfect, so I knew I wanted to run more than 6 miles. I figured that since it would be likely raining on Saturday before/during/after Team Champs, I may as well get the miles in so I wouldn’t have to worry about adding extra on.

My favorite water fountain and seal fountain sculptures in the LES

I turned around at 4.5 miles exactly in between the Manhattan Bridge and the Brooklyn Bridge. Strava was being weird and generous and gave me an extra 0.2, but the wild loops around the piers to get extra miles in are all me. The 8:42’s are not quite right. I also had to do a lot of weird mini loops at the end of the East River path near 40th St. I’m hoping to do the East side from 59th St. up soon, but am happy to skip the 40’s and 50’s because there is no path.

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8/4: Rest day. I thought about doing a few miles at the gym after work but picked up my bib then made it out to the grocery store and that was it. Had Burger Garage for lunch and was full for a long time. Burgers, sweet potato fries, and cookies & cream milkshakes aren’t really conducive to working out.

8/5: Team Champs 5 Miler in Central Park.

Due to severe thunderstorms in the morning (I woke up early to the sound of thunderclaps and rain on my air conditioner), the men’s race was pushed to 8am and the women’s to 8:45am. I did a solo 1 mile warmup after cheering for the guys near the start. It was pretty humid, as is normal in August, so 1 mile felt sufficient, though I had hoped for two.

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Where’s Waldo at the start?

I tried to pace myself just a bit faster than my 10K pace from June at the Queens 10K

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Having a great final mile

I had a miserable 4th mile and stopped for water at each stop, then caught up to my teammate LP. She had her earbuds in so we didn’t really speak, but we sped up for the final mile and the part past our teammates together. I got a wave of nausea at the 4.85 mark, but managed to hold off.

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8/6: 7 easy miles including a park loop in my PureFlows. This is the longest run I’ve worn them for because I’m hoping to make them my speed shoes for 5K/10K at most, but things felt pretty good in them.

Total: 26.7 miles. It’s only 0.6 miles less than last week, but I know it was supposed to be a few miles more (and that last week was supposed to be a few miles fewer). Next week (week 3) is supposed to be the first above 30.

 

Week 1 of Richmond Marathon Training 7/24-7/30

Yeah, y’all read that right. I’m now 80% sure that I’m going to try to run a marathon this fall. This % has ranged from 10% back in January all the way up to where it is now. It’s been a wild ride mentally. I was still 50-50 on the issue back in early July but then I repurchased the NYRR Virtual Trainer on a whim on the 12th after playing around with the inputs on the 11th. I was on a Conservative plan last year for the New York City Marathon but wanted something with higher mileage this time around since I’m not coming off of injury and had a pretty solid spring racing season with a decent base of summer miles (and hit some time goals). I’m now on the Moderate 16-week plan which will have me running more consistently into the 30’s and up to the low 40 mpw. This would be a 10-20% increase from last year’s training for the NYC Marathon.

The Virtual Trainer begins its weeks on Sundays but I’ve been mentally starting mine on Mondays, so I’m going to keep up that convention here on the blog. That should also help couch weeks like this past one where I did my previous week’s long run on Saturday but the current week’s had been on a Sunday.

On with the mileage!

7/24: Tennis clinic then on to a Filipino kamayan feast seen below from Ugly Kitchen for J’s birthday. Then we went to Snowdays and I split the Made in Taiwan for dessert. They were out of grass jelly so I got Captain Crunch cereal on it instead (along with mochi and a condensed milk drizzle all on a base of green tea snow cream). It was perfect! No pictures because I ate it all too fast.


7/25: 2 mile to Open Run, then 3.1 at increasing tempo pace. I got to run with NYRR President Peter Ciaccia for a good chunk of it and we talked about some NYRR races. I was a little starstruck but he was very friendly and chill.

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This is what happens when I wear the Ghosts and try for speed

 

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7/26: 4 easy miles in Prospect Park later at night after trying out sushiritos and sushi nachos from Sushirito on 23rd Street with E early on (pictured below). Sylvan Esso was playing at the Bandshell and there was also a showing of The Sandlot so it was cool to have some ambiant noise and more people around.

7/27: NYRR R-U-N 5K in Central Park and a 2 mile warmup. The humidity crept back up after a lovely Tuesday and Wednesday, so I was alsresdt getting very warm and sweaty during my warm-up. I tried to take the first mile easy but not too easy which ended up being an 8:05 pace. This is faster than my PR pace, so whoops. The second mile felt rough and I had to slow down. I regret not getting water after the first mile marker but managed to grab some after the second. By that point, Cat Hill had already happened and my breathing wasn’t great. My final half mile was at a great pace but the rest was a struggle.

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They gave out popsicles after and I was all about that. My final time was 25:35, which is a 2-second PR. I’ll take it, considering the weather and that my 25:37 previous PR from June 7th was in conditions 20 degrees cooler and less humid. I’m probably not done with this distance yet for this year.

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7/28: Rest day but I managed to have Chipotle for lunch and Shake Shack for dinner with a lot of rosé in between.

7/29: 4.7 miles around noon due to feeling the effects of the previous night’s drinks and 11pm Shackburger and Concrete. I was so glad that I went out at all and felt much better afterward, thanks in part to some extra blue Gatorade laying around the fridge. Then I hightailed it to Long Island City to meet up with out-of-town friends to try some beer at local breweries.

7/30: 8.3 miles over the Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan Bridge with Chaya. I didn’t get a smoothie after so I’m already off from my goal of doing that after each marathon training long run. My plan called for 8 but we just hit so many lights that I was growing annoyed trying to add another 0.2 to make it more even.

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Total mileage: 27.4 miles and some tennis (plan called for 26 miles).

The Week in Workouts and Food 7/17-7/23

7/17: I ran the inaugural NYRR Brooklyn R-U-N 5K in Prospect Park. I got in 2 miles as warm up and it was pretty humid, so I was quite warm by the time I finally reached the start village at 6:35 (for a 6:45pm start, eek!). I dropped my phone and water bottle at bag check and hopped in the H corral when I spotted a teammate.

I had originally signed up for this race and originally hoped to PR but adjusted my expectations due to the weather and aimed to keep a steady 8:20 first mile then speed up accordingly. Unfortunately, the elevation profile had Zoo Hill/Battle Pass Hill during the 2nd mile, then a fairly flat 3rd mile. There were lots of teammates cheering along the way, which really helped my morale, but I just couldn’t hold the pace. Sweet kick at the end, though!

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Thanks to my teammate Ned for the photo; I spotted him after this. Afterward, I hung around after with some teammates after I finally got my stuff back and we made the NYRR instagram! I had planned to shuffle home (since it was downhill after all) but got a ride instead. Total of 5.3 miles.


7/18: Rest day and another trip to Coney Island to see the Cyclones play as part of a Yelp Elite Event. We were treated to local beer, hot dogs, chicken tenders, and beautiful sunsets.

7/19: 4.7 miles, including 3.1 as part of a failed tempo at the PPTC Al Goldstein 5K #5. Gabby and I tried to take it easy but easy was not happening thanks to the heat advisory. We had a brilliant kick at the end, at least.

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I had put my bib on my shorts just in case I was tempted to try some sports bra only running, but then realized I had nowhere good to put my shirt since I had already checked my bag.

4.7 miles total; 1 warm up, 3.1 race, and 0.6 cool down where I stupidly took us up a hill then just couldn’t handle it any more.

7/20: Rest day. Went back to Atlantic Social for trivia. Ate the General Tso’s chicken wings, pepperoni pizza, and manchego-chorizo potato skins. We got 2nd at trivia but were the real winners for getting so many of those delicious wings again. They have a huge game room and I hope to bring my foosball skills to it soon.

7/21: Unplanned rest day. I brought all my running stuff in the hopes of going to the gym right after work, but stayed at work later than usual and opted for earlier dinner (Thai red curry chicken) instead of a few miles.

7/22: 8 mile long run mainly along the water in Brooklyn Bridge Park. I ended it with a smoothie at AMLA Cafe, which is the new incarnation of Brooklyn Juice Company, where I got some smoothies last summer during marathon training.

7/23: 6.3 miles with the PPTC Group Run. I ended at Trader Joe’s and got a green juice and many other goodies. I ran with some faster people so it speedier than I had planned.

Total: 24.5 miles over 4 runs/races.

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 7/3-7/9

7/3: 5.4 mile late morning loop since I took the day off. I then checked out the new Dekalb Market Hall and was blown away. Though I was on a mission just to eat at Katz’s, it was exciting to see almost all of the other vendors open as well. My pastrami Reuben was $25 after tax, so I sadly won’t be eating at the Katz’s outpost that often. I also checked out the new Trader Joe’s (no lines!) and the cleanest, best stocked and organized Target in town.

In the evening, I had signed up for a beginner tennis clinic through ClassPass since I have wanted to play more tennis but haven’t held a racket in years. I took group lessons for beginners on the clay courts on the UES back in the summer of 2011 but only played sporadically after that and haven’t played at all since moving to Brooklyn in 2014. The NYC Parks & Rec department had raised the price of a tennis permit to $200 for the season at one point, but they have since brought it back down to $100. I’d like to improve my skills before booking court time with anyone (and would also have to find more people at my low skill level). I wore my new cool tennis shoes and the plaid pleated tennis skirt from Tory Burch Sport that I got last year in the outlets in Vegas. Finally! I knew when purchasing these that I would be motivated to eventually play in them. There were 4 of us at the clinic and we worked on our swing and backhand and did drills. I loved getting court time without the pressure of playing so I signed up to do it again the next week.

Then my friend had a birthday dinner at Golden Unicorn. We ordered some dim sum dishes, my beloved walnut shrimp, sandy egg custard pig buns, plus a whole duck which they cut up for us and mostly turned into duck buns.

 

 

7/4: 4 miles for the 4th of July. Other more masochistic suggestions from Strava friends included 7 repeats of 4 miles each (nooooooo) and 17.76 miles. Elle raced a 4K that day which is also more my speed.

Then I went to a picnic (brought my favorite watermelon/mint/feta/balsamic salad), got Ample Hills with my besties, and went to a cookout on the Long Island City waterfront for the best fireworks views.

Below is my favorite new Ample Hills flavor, Summer of Love. It’s sweet cream ice cream with tie-dye Baked By Melissa cupcakes swirled in. Of course I got it on a birthday cake cone.

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7/5: 2 miles running from home to volunteering at the Al Goldstein 5K (#4).

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Once done with my shift, we went to the nearby Camille’s Jamaican Restaurant (wanted to try Peppa’s Jerk Chicken but they didn’t have seating) and got a full container of jerk chicken, rice & beans, slaw, and plantains for $5.

7/6: TrackTown 5K. This was my goal race 5K since I figured Randall’s Island would be flatter than both Central Park and Prospect Park. I also hoped that maybe the vibes from the elites competing with and after us would rub off. No such luck. I did a 1.2 mile warmup with a teammate and we soon realized we were running along a significant part of the course, which included wood chip paths and a not insignificant hill for the otherwise seemingly flat Randall’s Island. Huh. The views of Manhattan were beautiful, as were all the flowers along the water.

My original goal for this race was to run it at fairly even splits for a PR in the lower-to-mid 25:xx range. My last 5K was 25:37 (8:05 min/mile average) but with a full minute difference between the 1st mile and 3rd mile, so I aiming for low-8s then seeing how I felt seemed doable.

We took off right at 7pm sharp from the usual finish line of the track. I made it to the 200m mark before realizing my right shoe of my new Brooks PureFlows was untied. Drat! I decided it was too early in the race to not fix this and that there was a major tripping hazard with all the other participants, so I pulled over to fix it once off the track. It was only 4 months ago that I had my only other untied shoe incident during my indoor mile race (and PPR at 7:19). I pulled over in the parking lot to fix it and tried to pick up the pace but stay steady.

Things got worse from there. I had to do a lot of bobbing and weaving to get around people for the first mile (was hoping to salvage it to an 8:50ish pace but watch beeped around 9:09) then the second mile was pleasant enough but got tougher after the turnaround. It all went downhill on mile 3. I was thirsty despite having grabbed water around Mile 1 mark and started breathing heavily. I picked off a few more people but struggled on the tiniest of uphills. I finally caught up to a teammate and was hoping to hang with her for the last half mile, but my stomach had other plans after the 3 mile mark. I tried to hold it back but had to puke in a trash can just before entering the track to finish.

At least the last 100m looked pretty good! But my splits tell the story.

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Afterward, I recovered in the stands with orange slices and a Capri-Sun (thanks to soccer momish team captains) and watched some of my favorite track stars (Alyson Felix! Bernard Legat! Sam Chelimo! The Freeze!) hang around or compete.

My 5K redemption will have to come in the following weeks, as I have 3 more chances at this difference in July. On the plus side, I got lots of free jerky and Kind Bars on my way out of the stadium and got to bond with teammates.

7/7: Rest day with a drive to the Catskills after a work event

7/8: Howe Caverns tour, a lot of grilling, and becoming the undefeated foosball champs of the vacation house. All those hours in college killing time with the guys at a foosball table between classes in Festival finally payed off!

7/9: 6.2 miles along the rolling hills of the Catskills between Hunter Mountain and Windham Mountain. So beautiful, but so hilly. We kept the pace easy for the first 6 miles then had fun going downhill for the last 0.2 of it. I got to yell “race you to the swings!” for the first time in two decades.


Total: 22.0 miles. This is my first even mileage week in months. Interestingly, I had 1,130 feet of elevation gain compared to my usual <500 feet a week thanks to that last run.

The Week in Workouts and Food 6/26 – 7/2

I guess I haven’t yet mentioned my lower sugar plan, which I enacted after the Miami trip. I caught myself eating A LOT of candy (brought a bag of Haribo gummi bears on that trip which is my travel standard, so maybe it was the weird sour candy that messed me up) and baked goods (and ice cream) and was definitely feeling its effects on my body. So I decided that for 4 weeks, I would forego said treats, strive to eat more fruits and vegetables, and start actively lowering the amount of ‘normal’ foods with high levels of sugar (ahem, yogurt and granola breakfasts). I’m trying to recalibrate my taste buds to stop craving so much sugar all the time. I’m allowing myself one traditional dessert per week, usually on Saturdays, which has made dessert more special. Of course, it helps that two of the options were a homemade strawberry mile high ice cream pie and some wedding cake this past weekend.

Monday 6/26: I normally don’t run on Mondays but I figured I could use some easy miles after the Achilles 4 Miler on Sunday. I ran 2.2 miles to watch my friend’s softball game, then 2.2 miles home.

Tuesday 6/27: 1.5 miles to NYRR Open Run, 3.1 at an easyish pace, then an extra 0.4 around to hit 5 miles even. Shake Shack for dinner, where I got the fried chicken sandwich and we split bacon cheese fries. I hope the Red Velvet Cake Shake is still there in a few weeks because it is delicious.

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These are actually only my 2nd shortest pair of shorts

Wednesday 6/28: 5.5 treadmill interval miles at The Distance at Mile High Run Club. I chose to downgrade the 10% hills since those sometimes leave me with stressed hamstrings and glutes.

Thursday 6/29: I had a nice leisurely stroll to the picnic edition of Book Club with a view in Brooklyn Bridge Park.

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Friday 6/30: Rest day

Saturday 7/1: 5.5 miles longish run. My long runs won’t technically have to be in the double digits until September, but I’m hoping to keep them in the 6-8 mile range until then to keep my aerobic base up.

Then I went to Philly for a wedding. No cheesesteaks or roast pork sandwiches this time, but the parting snack was cheesesteak egg rolls and they were delicious.

Wedding take-homes. Not pictured: soft pretzel and cheesesteak egg rolls


Sunday 7/2: Unplanned rest day. After getting home from Philly, I ended up not leaving my apartment.

Total: 20.4 miles. Closer to being back on track, but I wouldn’t have minded getting to 25. Next week!

The Week in Workouts and Food 6/12-6/18 and 6/19-6/25

6/12: Recovery from Miami. I think I went to bed at 9pm.

6/13: 5.4 at MHRC The Distance. I was close but not quite to hitting my distance record for this class. I didn’t want to sacrifice any of the stretching for an extra 0.2, though.

6/14: 5.5 miles loop of the park with a friend at my easy pace.

6/15: 5 miles around Brooklyn Bridge Park and the Promenade, then my first PureBarre class in a couple of months. It didn’t hurt to laugh the next day but I struggled through the push-ups. The instructor called my forearm plank form perfect, so that was a win.


6/16: Rest day.

6/17: 6.2 Queens 10K. I was hoping to do a warmup mile, but was being social then cheering on Wave 1 runners, then it was time to get into my corral for an 8:15am start. My A Goal was to PR which I knew I could do with even splits in the 8:40’s. Humidity was at 99%, so I decided not to be aggressive and push to the 8:30’s. The out-and-back was torturous, but I did see a lot of teammates who cheered for me, which really helped.

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I’m pretty proud of those splits! I got so lucky that it was overcast, which really helped with the high humidity. I would have wilted in full sun, as this course is pretty much out in the open. Finish time of 54:36, which is over a minute down from my UAE 10K.

  
  
6/18: 3 warm recovery run miles around lunch time, which I ended at Bagel Pub for a smoothie and an everything bagel with bacon cheddar cream cheese.

Total: 25.2 miles and a new 10K PR.

6/19: Rest day

6:20: Park loop at an easyish but too-quick pace for 5.5 miles. I really need to slow down my easy runs but it’s hard by myself without conversational pace. I’ve started saying the Pledge of Allegiance as a test.

6/21: I volunteered at the 5K, originally having hoped to do a loop or a few miles. My left calf was hurting a little so I just did course marshal duty at the finish.

6/22: Fly 45 and trying a new-to-me instructor at Flywheel. I thought I had set a new “high score” for myself, but nope, not even close. I did get 2nd female in the one sprint, though.

6/23: Calf still a bit sore, so rest day.

6/24: Cheering at the Pride Run. I was hoping to get more miles in (4 or so) but it was pouring down rain until the race started. My socks and shoes were soaked, then the sun came out at the end of the race and I was hungry, so we high-tailed it to Tal Bagels, then home for a total of 0.44 miles.

At night, I attended the Prospect Park Soiree and ate, drank wine, and danced the night away (ok, there was a 10pm hard stop with the DJ).

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Cowbell crew

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Double cowbelling

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Some of our tablescape and spread

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6/25: Achilles 4 Miler. 2 warm up miles before the start with some teammates.

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I accidentally got in one corral behind mine but decided to stick with it because I was already feeling thirsty and tired. My A goal was even splits in the 8:30s and I just wasn’t feeling it after the first mile, so I backed off. All the way off. I decided not to try to beat my 4 Mile PR from April and just try to get hydrated at each water station. 

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No time for a cool down. 6 miles total but my calf was feeling normal again.

Total: 12 miles. My lowest since a freak 11.9 mile week in April with only 2 runs.