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.

 

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 7/3-7/9

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 Weeks in Workouts and Food 5/15-6/11

This is truly one of those ‘no news is good news’ situations.

I had been worried about my relatively low mileage the weeks after Broad Street Run and before the Brooklyn Half. We had a brief heat wave for a few days before the Half, which was very worrisome but kept my easy runs easy.

Mileage and running and food highlights from this month:

5/15-5/21: 21.9 miles, including a half marathon PR. Volunteered at the Brooklyn Half expo and had a great time. Went to Hey Hey Canteen twice and have now tried most of their menu.

   
 

5/22-5/28: 21.8 miles, including leading an 8 mile group run to Red Hook and not getting us lost. Had a strawberry matcha boba from The Boba Guys and it was heavenly. Tried a red velvet cake concrete from Shake Shack and had to put it in the freezer for the next day because it was so intense. Had Xi’an Famous Foods’ spicy cumin lamb noodles and the cucumber salads, which are my must-orders. Wow, I really need to take pictures of all my delicious food.

5/29-6/4: 12.4 miles, including 6.2 on my birthday 6/2. I ate a lot of amazing stuff this week, including pastrami from Ben’s Best in Rego Park, a Yelp Elite Event at Atlantic Social and some of Dale Talde’s amazing wings, AYCE hot pot, stuffed croissants from Union Fare, Ample Hills, and some of the many Momofuku Milk Bar and gummi treats my friends got me. Also, I saw Hamilton.

  

6/5-6/11: 17.7 miles, including a new 5K PR then a trip to Miami.

Easy miles during Open Run in Brooklyn Bridge Park.

New 5K PR time of 25:37 on the 7th aka Global Running Day. I’m now imagining what I could do with more even splits and without that first mile hill. 

I took it easy on the first mile, then decided to loosen up on the second, then see what I had left on the third. My previous 5K PR was 26:10 on the same course and I had a faster first mile there and a third mile at 7:55 which was my fastest mile ever in a race. 

Needless to say, seeing 7:40something was wild, especially since my recent mile PR was 7:19. I’m definitely gunning for my next mile time and 5Ks later this summer.

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In Miami the 8th-11th, we feasted. Had my new obsession, cuatro leches cake at a Cuban spot. Tried Haitian food. Had Cuban tacos from a stand after viewing murals in Wynnwood. Got the fried chicken, watermelon, and waffles at Yardbird. Went to da club. Got Vietnamese and Sri Lankan as my first meals back in NYC. East Coast Appetite, what can I say?

I also went on a humid 6 mile run along the South Beach and mid-beach boardwalk then got an açai bowl afterward.

   
    
 

Brooklyn Half 2017 Recap

Spoiler alert: I got a PR and did it under 2 hours with a time of 1:58:54.

I was hoping for more course photos but there were only a few of me from the finish from GameFace plus a couple more that teammates took along the way.

This was my 7th half marathon and my 3rd in 2017 (I did 3 in 2015 and 1 in 2016). My first was 2:10:08 and some along the way were during injures (Nike San Francisco Women’s Half Race Recap) or lower training periods where the race wasn’t a goal race (Weekly Mileage (and food) recaps 1/16 – 2/19) but I’m glad to finally be in the 1:50:00s.

Getting in the corrals:

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It’s definitely harder to write about this so many weeks later, but the splits tell the story. I held back a little up the hills but tried to keep a steady pace. My splits averaged out to be just about 9:09 or under and I knew I was on pace when I exited the park.

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I was still rolling on Ocean Parkway, even when the cheering crowds thinned out substantially. I was pretty sure I had a PR in the bag and sped up to lower 9 minute miles, then was able to drop below 9 for the final few miles. That last mile got to be painful but I felt like that meant I was doing it right. My struggle up the boardwalk was apparent and my final “0.2” was at an 8:23 pace.

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I collected my medal, got a bag with yellow Gatorade that I traded some dude for because he had blue Gatorade (best flavor). Then I tried to get my stuff. Well, turned out the truck with my stuff had broken down and it wasn’t there yet. They gave us heat sheets and vouchers for a free hot dog but eventually it pulled up so I could put my jacket on. Then the rain started, just as I finally pulled up to our club’s beach picnic.

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Relieved to finally get our bags

Eric photo

 

The Week in Workouts & Food 4/17 – 4/23

4/17: Rest and recuperation after my half marathon the day before. I slumped home after work then did my taxes. I should have foamed rolled while doing them.

4/18: Cafe Boulud with a friend. We saw Chef Boulud making the rounds to the VIP tables and I had a lovely conversation with the sommelier about young reds and fish pairings. Every dish was amazing. I had gone to Bar Boulud after the NYC Marathon and stuffed myself with oysters, cheese, and terrine. Cafe Boulud was a step above.

4/19: PureBarre in the AM and restorative yoga in the PM. I really wanted to get a few miles done in the evening but my left Achilles tendon was a bit tender. It started drizzling as I left yoga (which got out late), so that was even more impetus to skip. I’ve never done two classes in a day before, but this was the last day in my ClassPass cycle. I took my membership back down to 1 a month because 5 will be too much while I’m trying to increase the volume of my mileage more into the 20’s.

4/20: Speed Training, Week 2. I ran a hair over 2 miles to get to the meeting spot, another 2 mile warmup, then 3 1-mile repeats around tempo pace (8:54, 9:03, 8:39). My splits were super uneven because I took the second one too easy in the first 800, but my third was closer to my 5K pace. Then I jogged up the hill to get to a pizza party.

4/21: Rest day, as my Fridays almost always are.

4/22: I slept in past 8am (a first for many weekends) then had to hustle to bake Funfetti cookies for a baby shower, so I missed my opportunity for a shakeout run.

4/23: NYRR Run As One 4 Miler in Central Park. I DNS this race last year and haven’t raced a 4 Miler since the Japan Day Run almost a year ago (thanks to DNS Al Gordon in February), so I was pretty sure it was time for a 4-mile PR. My friend Jay who is normally in the E corral ahead of me generously offered to pace me. I didn’t have enough time to do a warm-up mile, so my first mile was really slow. I was hoping to get it at 9 but it was pretty congested going up Cat Hill. I let loose on the 2nd mile, then tried to rein it in just a bit on the 3rd mile. Then Jay helped me go all out on the 4th mile. For the last 800, I saw sub-7 on my watch. Very exciting stuff!

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Afterward, I waited for my friend who’s training for the Buffalo Marathon and we ran an extra 4 miles.

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Total: 16.9 miles plus yoga and barre.

Non-Race Workouts & Food 3/20 – 4/9

3/21: After running a PR in the NYC Half two days before, I did a few post-work recovery miles in LIC along the water, then met my friends for happy hour and a Cuban sandwich. General soreness and DOMS, but nothing too bad.

3/23: A couple easy miles to and from my friend’s place for catsitting.

3/24: I hosted my 3rd annual wine, cheese and charcuterie party, with the added bonus desserts of Cronuts, Nerds Jellybeans, and Peeps Oreos.

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Photo credit to Lori

3/25: Gaza 5K and Susan’s Goodbye. I ‘paced’ my roommate for here first ever 5K. It was a beautiful springish day. Turns out it was not a 5K, but a full loop of the park! But that’s ok because we had a great time and raised money for mental health services for Palestinian refugees.

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Photo Credit to Murray who won 1st Place Senior Male

I then added on a few extra miles after the race to say goodbye to a running club member the only way we know how: running and food. We ran to Bensonhurst to eat at Cafe Lily, which specializes in Korean-Uzbek food. We ate a feast and I got to take home some delicious kebab leftovers. I made the mistake of getting a huge taro bubble tea for the road and was so full it hurt. I’m wearing my favorite pair of tights ever, the cosmic dot print from Lululemon. These are more yoga/barre pants for me normally, but I wanted something festive.

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Photo credit to Jay

3/26-3/28: I had a sore throat on Saturday night, then got progressively more sick on Saturday. I’d hoped to do a medium run but skipped it. After a sleepless Sunday night, I had to miss work Monday. I finally obtained some Claritin D and felt much better but wisely took Tuesday off as well.

3/29: I went to Barry’s Bootcamp for the first time ever. The most popular times fill up super quickly on ClassPass, so my friend introduced me to Barry’s Buddies program where you get a free class for referring a friend (and the referee does as well).

We started on the floor for 10 minutes (that day was chest/back/abs), then 10 minutes on the treadmill for flat speed intervals. 10 minutes back on the floor, then 10 on the treadmill for hills. Then back to the floor for a quick 5 (my arms were dying), then a final 5 on the treadmill. I got up to about 8+ mph by the end but was afraid to take it fast because my form suffers. The treadmills were Woodways which were super nice (they also have those at Mile High Run Club).

Chaya is a semi-regular and is being coached by the instructor so we went back in after for a quick pic.

4/1: D.C. I finally got to try Astro Donuts & Fried Chicken but didn’t get to snap a photo of my beautiful Cherry Blossom decorated donut or my less attractive but delicious and juicy fried chicken. Or my gone in 30 seconds maple bacon donut.

After a couple of years of failing, we finally got to see the Kite Festival on a beautiful  spring day. Ro’s friends had bought an octopus kite that we named and flew for over an hour.



I had dinner at Nando’s which is the 3rd time in as many DC trips and now sort of a tradition. Macho peas and cheeky bants.

4/2: Cherry Blossom 10 Mile. Race report to come!

4/6: Spin at SYNC Studio again and Sweetgreen after. I got the Beets Don’t Kale my Vibe (sigh) bowl and it was amazing.

4/7: Finally went back to Rolf’s for drinks with my work team to take in the Christmas lights and belatedly celebrate a holiday birthday.

4/8: Storm King day trip. I had wanted to get a shakeout run in but just wasn’t feeling it. We walked over 6 miles and saw so many great pieces of art.


Prior, we had lunch at Brothers BBQ and I got the pulled pork sandwich when I read that they had North Carolina roots. It did not disappoint. The sauce had the right amount of vinegar, the cole slaw was plentiful, and my side of collard greens was full of ham.

4/9: UAE 10K. Race report to come!

My mileage wasn’t as high as I would have liked, but overall these were some fairly solid weeks of fitness and food.