Ed Note as of February 2023: Can’t believe I wrote this and never published it. New posts will better explain my whereabouts for the last 6 months.
August was definitely not the training month I wanted, but I still got some running in. I didn’t make it to the gym for lifting very much, though.
I got to do SummerStreets on its final week, which was so much fun. I missed it last year (and am not sure if it happened in 2020), but this was always a high point of marathon training for me. They close down Park Avenue to car traffic for most of Manhattan and have ‘rest areas’ to refill your water bottle, try Nuun/other drinks, and see the running community. There’s other stuff like workout classes and free bicycle rentals, but I’m just in it for the vibes.
It’s hot and humid most days (and sunny) and I feel like I still haven’t acclimatized to the heat since I wasn’t running so much of July and August. Maybe it’ll finally work for me in September?
I didn’t travel anywhere in August (and don’t plan to in September) but have a lot of conferences coming up October, November, and December plus a DC trip. Excited to run in some other places since I didn’t get to go far in Oregon.
I had a lot of treats, baked my usual galette (and finally nailed a flaky crust), and had some hot oil pizza (CT pizza is so good). I ordered way too many matcha strawberry bubble teas.
After returning from my honeymoon in Greece, I just didn’t run much for a week. Mentally, it was a weird adjustment into the new house (even though we didn’t move far) and just not feeling like I wanted to move my body. So then of course, I lost some fitness. I managed to get one week of a solid build, then it was time to taper for the Queens 10K. You can see the solid progress during my coaching block mid-December through March (with some taper time), then my slackening off after the NYC Half (and again during wedding/move/honeymoon).
I survived the Queens 10K and hit my second fastest 10K ever, though of course I was hoping for a PR. I went out too fast the first mile (8:15 on my watch at the mile marker, GPS slowly got more off on the splits), then my middle miles were rough. I dry heaved at mile 3.6 and finally had to start taking water and Gatorade from the aid stations.
The weather was really good/lucky for mid June, too. I wore my Next% for some boost but was still feeling it in my legs the last mile. I had a 9 mile long run before tapering but more consistency and more long runs would have been better.
Things I feel good about:
This time last year, I was coming off a base of 0 miles. Now I have many more solid months of running behind me.
I’ve been consistently strength training and progressing with my lifts.
I’m using MacroFactor to track my food; still not eating enough protein but have taken down my sweets consumption more days of the week. Going hard at the Farmers Market for fresh produce too.
Taking a multivitamin daily and Iron pills as well (was able to donate platelets again June 24th)
Things I don’t feel as good about:
Summer running. I can handle the humidity (as a Southerner) but not the sun. I’m getting up earlier now after a disastrous recent “long” run that I cut short.
Races. I would like to get a 5K PR in the next few months but I think I need to get better heat acclimated first. My next definite race is the NYRR Harlem 5K in August. I may also try for a 1 Mile PR to n August or September.
I mean that title very literally, as I type this on the last day of my honeymoon. Between the wedding, the move, and the honeymoon, I’ve run maybe 1/3-1/2 of my prescribed mileage the last 4 weeks. Which is totally fine! But I am trying to squeeze out some summer (and fall) PRs, so back to consistency I go. I’m skipping the 1 Mile race on 5/19 because I’m so far from my speedy fitness; will try to find another track mile soon or do the Brooklyn Mile August 7. TBD on the Memorial Day 5K.
I’ve picked up some new gear the last few months so I’ll try to do mini reviews.
Brooks Launch 8 – I wore my Launch 6 into the ground since getting them spring 2020 and finally got rid of them this spring (there were of course long running breaks in 2021 where they sat unused). I also had the Launch 4 for a while (2018-2020). Over the years and versions, they increased the drop from 8mm to 10mm. The 8’s were $90 from REI on sale since I missed the Launch 7 sale window last year. These are usually good daily trainers for me, with the occasional long run. The (pink) HOKA Clifton 7 was 2021’s main long run shoe, so we’ll see if the Launches make a return to that purpose or become my main easy/recovery run shoe.
Saucony Endorphin Speed 2 – I got these from the REI member 20% off spring sale since my top pick (Hoka Clifton 8) did not qualify for the discount. They got great reviews as speedwork shoes from my online running club, as they have a nylon plate (as opposed to more expensive carbon fiber plate). The fit is great in my usual size (full size up from street shoes) and they have been so responsive during my faster work. There was a bit of calf tightness when I first used them, but that’s cleared up since.
The others: I just moved and am very aware of how many running shoes I own when I usually use the same 3-4 pairs most weeks (with the Next% as my race shoe going forward). Some of them have under 200 miles but I just don’t reach for them much anymore (Adidas Boston, Adidas Adios) and others aren’t near 300 miles but just don’t feel responsive anymore (Nike Pegasus) so they might be up on the chopping block. I finally ditched some really old ones (Saucony Ride which I wore for the NYC Marathon in 2018 and kept at the office, Adidas Tempos that had a narrow toe box even for my narrow feet). I guess that just leaves the Hoka Rincon 3s in the hot pink/turquoise (obsessed) and the old Saucony Freedom ISOs (worn during my half marathon PR in 2018) and the specialty trail running shoes and track spikes (which in my defense, were free).
Janji – I joined Janji‘s membership collective in spring 2020 because I liked their mission (to provide clean drinking water to communities across the globe), reasonable fee (it was $50 and you got a singlet but is now $25 and you still get the 15% off all product for life, compared to Tracksmith’s pricier and term-limited Hare AC), and was looking for an online sense of connection during the height of Covid. They also sold bandanas which we all thought might be good for running face protection at the time. Times have changed with regard to bandanas and buffs, but I have slowly added more Janji to my wardrobe since. They put out a neat line/artist collaborative last year of reflective stuff and I got a hat and singlet, plus I wear the 4″ Transit Tech shorts for hiking or walking Herbie all the time. One of their new prints really caught my eye and I had to see if I could rock the sports bra/shorts combo in it. I also got a cute tshirt just because. I don’t usually run in tshirts (it’s either long sleeve or tank weather) but I’ll wear it for errands.
I got the same shorts as the photo but with the regular shorter Groundwork Sports Bra since long line bras usually hit me in a weird place because I’m tall. I’m a M in tops and L in bottoms at Janji. The bra works for running, but just barely. I’ll get one of their higher support ones for running and use this one for the gym. The shorts are great; I tend to buy compressive 6″-8″ length shorts like this to fit my phone and also avoid thigh chafing. I love how the colors and prints work together and definitely want to wear the full kit with my brightest shoes (the afore-mentioned Hoka Rincon 3). They also have a singlet in this print!
Tracksmith – I’ve ordered fairly regularly from Tracksmith since 2018. I love the long-sleeved wool harriers and run/live in them throughout winter. I had a couple of singlets from their Van Cortland fabric and wasn’t a huge fan (though I love my VC Grand shorts from last year) and am still experimenting with their other offerings and fabrics. My latest order was a Session Tank and Lane Five Short Tights, neither of which I’ve had before. The tank fits and feels great; super lightweight, generous cut (I’m normally a M in singlets and L in long-sleeves here but went with a L in this top since I got it in ivory). I have so many colorful tops but not many light colors. The shorts are still untested; my shortest tight shorts are 6″ (Lululemon Fast and Frees) and these are 5″. I’m scared of chafing since I do get it with 6″ sometimes on hot days (again, I’m 5’9 and thicker thighed so 7″-9″ is usually a bit better for me). I might try the Allston Long Shorts next time,
Currently rocking a Garmin 245 and still using my Stryd, but I change all my other stuff up to suit the weather or length of run. My Nathan Speedshot handheld is amazing but I need up go up to my hydration vest if I won’t be near water fountains.
So I’m finally coming down off the high of the NYC Half 3/20; I took the following weeks mostly off and skipped a long run (then scaled the other one back to just 6 miles). But as of early April, I’m now in this place where I’m officially training for a few races BUT I also have a lot of big life events coming up.
Preliminary spring/summer/fall race schedule:
Tracksmith Trials of Mile 1 Mile Track Race 5/19
Greenwich 5K Memorial Day
NYRR Queens 10K June 18
NYRR Team Champs 5 Mile July 31
NYRR Harlem 5K 8/20
NYCRuns Newport (Jersey City) Half September 24
Richmond Half or Full November 12
Houston Half or Full January 15th 2023
Upcoming Life Events:
Close on house 4/25 and move 4/26
Honeymoon in Greece early to mid May
I’m only registered for the Queens 10K so I want to make sure I stay healthy and injury-free but also motivated to chase after PRs in all these race lengths. I’m trying to maintain then build upon my fitness. According to Stryd, I’m just about where I was spring 2020. Meanwhile my Garmin thinks I’m going to smash anything with many minutes to spare under my PRs (Mile, 5K, and full marathon from 2017, half and 10K PRs from 2018, 5 Miler/8K from 2019). I’d be happy to show up at some of these races in shape to make a serious attempt at a best.
I’m still on the fence about a fall (or winter) full; last fall just getting to Fun Run status at the NYC Marathon was a slog throughout the summer. Some of it is finding people to run with while other parts is the time management. I also want to have the most fun NYC Marathon weekend and do all the shakeout runs with swag and prizes and famous runners (plus cheering all day the day of). Richmond is 1 week after so at least I’d be tapering. Another option is shooting for Richmond Half then Houston full in January or vice versa.
I ran a race! Rather, I raced a race for the first time in two years. The whole training process lot a fire under me this winter that I hope I can sustain into summer and fall.
After a VERY easy taper week, I headed into the city fairly early Saturday to get my bib before heading to a lunchtime baby shower.
Long story short, the baby shower got delayed so I had to kill a few hours while staying off my feet. I ended up booking a last minute ticket to see Umma in theaters, then got a Blue Bottle cold brew and sat enjoying the sunshine before heading to Astoria for the shower. Got Korean for dinner – had a craving for bulgogi fried rice but also got Korean Fried Chicken which was possibly a mistake. Ate at 6pm but stomach was still full and churning at 9pm when I went to bed.
Got up and headed to Prospect Park where the start was. By the time I made it through security, checked my phone (and a jacket) with bag check, and used a Portapotty, it was time to get into my corral for Wave 2 start. The fields were super muddy so I was glad I wore throwaway shoes (and sweatshirt and joggers).
The first few miles felt really good – like I couldn’t have imagined moving up Zoo Hill that easily a few short weeks ago during the Cherry Tree 10 Mile. Was it the Next% that gave me a bounce in my step? Was it the perfect weather (though it did get warmer and sunny later on)? The crowds were amazing and I loved how I moved up and down the Manhattan Bridge. My race strategy went really well – take the uphills easy, have fun on the downhills, then zoom along the flat parts of the FDR. My watch’s GPS first messed up in downtown Brooklyn so I was doing a lot of mental math, making sure my splits were around 9:20. I knew I could get close to 2 hours but it could just as easily be a 2:05 day if all the factors didn’t line up.
Mile 8 was where the sun came out and I truly regretted my long sleeve. Singlet next time! But at least I was wearing shorts. Lots of people were super layered up and I knew they must be struggling. With the uphills on 42nd, I knew I had to dig deep. The crowds were awesome and my legs finally felt tired but that would normally happen much sooner during a half! I kept reminding myself that I had so much fun training under my belt (that 15 mile long run though) AND the benefit of all that strength training. I dabbled in the gym back in 2015 but never could squat or deadlift like this (much less the overhead press).
Entering the park was great and I saw and heard from friends cheering (plus caught up to and passed some teammates). I look like absolute death from some of the Central Park South photos but look great in the below!
Once I was in Central Park, my body was starting to face its limits. My heart rate shot up and my legs felt like Jello. I had to slow up a bit on the little uphills then push toward the finish. It was tough but I knew I could get under 2 hours if I didn’t fall apart.
I almost puked at the finish and the long walk before I could get water was terrible. People kept stopping for photo ops but I was dying. Happy with my time and performance but felt awful. Was able to get my goody bag and take the subway and chug the Gatorade. Met up with friends for dim sum before getting a cold brew and heading home (this part took a couple hours and I’m so glad I had a solid meal).
Reflections: This was my fastest half since October 2018 and my first race where I truly raced the whole thing since November 2019. The Next% have been sitting in my closet for a long time and I’m glad they got their chance to debut. It would seem the move to 30something miles a week was a strong one for me and I’m hoping to be able to do that again for a fall half.
TAPER WEEKS. How pleasant, how boring. Less running, then eventually a decrease in my heavy weight lifting at the gym.
Monday 3/7: Rest from running; back and chest and some arms at the gym. I was doing such a good job keeping track of my gym routine last fall during marathon training but I’ve slipped which is silly since I have a paper planner for my running (and of course Strava and TrainingPeaks/Garmin).
Tuesday 3/8: Last longer workout – 2×25″ steady state intervals with warmup and cooldown and easy in between the two. I did it all on the tread and cut my cooldown short but still got over 8 miles. I was pretty mentally over it. Squat heavy day at the gym. But only squats. Still so sore from Monday.
Wednesday 3/9: Rest day from running and gym.
Thursday 3/10: 5 miles easyish. Finally, finally tried the hot pink Nike Next% that I bought back in fall 2019. I wish I had used them at the Atlanta Half 2020 or the Richmond 8K 2019; if only I had known I wouldn’t race for such a long period of time. They felt amazing, honestly. Every step felt just a little easier and with more response. At the gym, back-focused lifting (but also bench press).
Friday 3/11: Rest. Arms at the gym (skull crushers and tricep kickbacks).
Saturday 3/12: Last long run on the tread for 1 hour, 40 minutes (8.7 miles). I kept it mostly at 5.0-5.2 mph just to keep it truly easy.
Sunday 3/13: Daylight savings right after going out for karaoke for my bachelorette hit me too hard. I skipped my recovery run, took 2 naps, and had McDonald’s for dinner at 5pm.
Total: 22 miles out of a prescribed 25-26.
Week 12: Race week. I got what my friend Carla calls the Taper Lazies (not the Crazies as others have deemed it). I was raring to go but also decided not to even go to the gym, lest I overdo it.
Monday 3/14: Rest day. My first time taking two days off in a row in a long time. Weird!
Tuesday 3/15: 50 minutes easy but I cut it to 44 minutes/4 miles. This was after a long day going to different hospital campuses for work so I was beat, but the weather was so nice and springlike!
Wednesday 3/16: Rest day
Thursday 3/17: Rainy day. Easy 30″ run.
Friday 3/18: Rest. More incredible weather, so took a walk around the arboretum trails with Herbie.
Saturday 3/19: I was supposed to do a super short shakeout (sigh strides at the end) but was heading into the city for packet pickup and a baby shower and knew I would have too much time on my feet anyway.
Sunday 3/20: RACE DAY. Full race report to come. 13.1 miles but my GPS went crazy and said I did 17.
Week 9: PEAK WEEKS. I was not feeling great after the 10 Mile Race race mentally, but at least I recovered physically pretty quick. My Garmin says I got into ‘productive’ range again after that first full rest day.
Monday 2/21: Rest day
Tuesday 2/22: Decided to move my hard workout again since I was mentally on shaky ground after the Cherry Tree 10 Mile. Did super easy 30 minute treadmill recovery run .
Wednesday 2/23: Warmup, 1 hour at steady state, then cooldown. 9.1 miles total with 6.3 tougher miles in the middle. Squats and deadlifts in the evening.
Thursday 2/24: Recovery – 4 miles on the treadmill(s), plus upper body lifting at the gym.
Friday 2/25: Hour-ish tread recovery with 25 minutes at steady state (currently 9:40 minute mile/6.2 mph).
Saturday 2/26: Rest day
Sunday 2/27: Long long run. 2 hours and 40 minutes but I called it quits at 2 hours and 34 minutes. I did the last 1.4 on the treadmill. Once I hit 14 miles, I was so done and hit stop on the tread so quickly.
Switched to Gu after my Cliff Block chew disaster. I could have used a second gel in that final hour of this run (so hungry) so will definitely come prepared for the next (and final) long long run of this block. I unexpectedly hit some PRs on routes that I’ve been taking since marathon training, so it is cool to think about progress, even if it comes from an easier long run.
Monday 2/28: Rest day
Tuesday 3/1: Another long workout with steady state portions at 6.2 mph and easy run at 5.0 mph for 9.3 miles total. Mentally I just could not get outside, so it was all on the tread at various (small) incline amounts. I had procrastinated on this until it was 6pm (taking Herbie outside, calls with wedding vendors, work) and finally finished at 7:40 despite cutting off significant cooldown time.
Wednesday 3/2: Recovery jog – went just under 2 miles through midtown Manhattan on a mad dash to JackRabbit to buy more gels. After stuffing my belt bag with them, I moseyed over to the NYRR RunCenter to get my bib and shirt and this Sunday’s Washington Heights 5K. Then I was laden with stuff and decided to just take the subway back to the office instead of the planned 1.7 mile run back. The 5K is just for fun because I got a last-minute entry from my club but will have very tired legs after my last long long run the day prior.
Thursday 3/3: Mini Tempo/Fartlek in the middle of 20 minute warm up and cool down blocks. It was super windy but this was really fun. I hit more PRs during each segment which felt great to see after. My easy pace is steadily getting a bit faster – I’m not quite to the 10:30s of my heyday but I’m around an 11:15 now which is super encouraging because I spent the fall in the 12:30-13:30 minute easy range. Training consistently works, who knew? 6.3 miles total.
Gym after for lower body accessory work – single leg stuff, leg press, etc.
Friday 3/4: Rest day
Saturday 3/5: Long run with 40 minutes of steady state effort. I woke up and was in a grumpy mood (and also had some rumblings in my stomach), so I started on the treadmill downstairs to be safe. It was a good call. I did 1 hour easy, then a quick bathroom and water break, then did the 40 minutes harder push at 6.2 mph. Then was able to do the final 5+ miles outside once it was a little warmer and my stomach was feeling calmer. I took a little Starbucks detour and got a nitro cold brew with sweet cream, downed 1/3 of it, then ran the final mile home as I sipped it. I hit 14.5 miles total but missed a little bit where I forgot to start my watch after heading outside.
Sunday 3/6: NYRR Washington Heights 5K. I did a little warmup and some drills for 1.5+ miles, then the race itself. It rained a little bit before the start while we were in the corrals, then again later after I finished. I tried to take it easy on the hills (and boy are there some hills), then push on the flats and downhills.
Got to see a lot of teammates too! That was fun and made me want to do more of the northern Manhattan and Bronx races this year (or at least cheer for them).
Total: 37 miles, though I did some cooldown after the 5K that made it closer to 38. Hay is in the barn!
So we hit the halfway point and now we’re getting to the home stretch before taper (but of course I’m writing this at the end of Week 10, and hitting publish in the middle of Week 11).
Monday 2/7: Rest day
Tuesday 2/8: Tough workout with time at steady state/close to goal HMP. 8.67 miles total
Wednesday 2/9: 3 miles recovery treadmill, upper body lifting day
Thursday 2/10: 5 miles easy on the Woodway. Can you tell I’m just hopping on the tread because I’m so sick of winter? Lower body lifting after.
Friday 2/11: Rest day. Had planned to get my long run done early before heading upstate with friends, but made more sense to do Sunday LR.
Saturday 2/12: 3 miles easy upstate with a friend
Sunday 2/13: 2 hours 20 minutes of running for 12.61 miles. My longest run since the marathon. I did a mix of treadmill and outside again, which I really like.
Total: 32 miles
Monday 2/14: Rest day
Tuesday 2/15: Moved my hard workout because I still wasn’t feeling recovered; did 4 easy treadmill miles.
Wednesday 2/16: Skipped the workout because my calf was still super tight.
Thursday 2/17: 6 miles on the East River because the weather was warm and incredible. Went faster than normal.
Friday 2/18: Rest day
Saturday 2/19: 3.25 mile shakeout with strides.
Sunday 2/20: Did the Cherry Tree 10 Mile race in Prospect Park as a tuneup and it did not go super well. I did 1.5 miles warmup (had hoped for a full 2 but ran out of time).
My heart rate spiked after the first hill then barely recovered. I used the water stations as a little walk break then was still struggling up the hill after. Then at mile 7, I was chewing on a Clif Bar Block energy chew and my back rear molar crown popped off. So I had to retrieve that and tuck it away while I kept running.
Laps 1 and 2 were the warmup, then the first loop (laps 3-5) of 3.3 miles went pretty well. I slowed on lap 6 with the water stop and eating my chews, then picked it up again on that sweet downhill (9:09, really?) before trudging to the next downhill. My finish was not terrible and I was able to almost sprint it in, but my legs felt very un-springy the whole time.
Total: 25 miles out of a planned 36 or so. Womp womp.
Monday 1/24: Rest day. Did upper body stuff at the downstairs gym after work.
Tuesday 1/25: My longest, hardest running workout since March 2020. Warmup, 2×15 minutes @ Lactate Threshold pace with 7 minute recoveries in between, then cool down. I could feel the struggle in the second one so had to slow it down a bit, lest it not be a true LT workout/veer into something too fast. I got 7.95 miles total because I cut the cooldown short, but let’s just call it 8. Deadlifts and squats at the nice gym in the evening, but definitely not at my heaviest weights.
Wednesday 1/26: Recoveries – did 2 miles on the fancy gym treadmill then another mile at the downstairs gym treadmill after. Light to moderate upper body stuff at both gyms.
Thursday 1/27: Hour long easy run on the treadmill for 5.3 miles or so. Did Bulgarian split squats at the gym before moving around the rest of my schedule due to the blizzard, so I then switched to upper body (bench press, cable rows).
Friday 1/28: New long run day due to the impending snowstorm to hit that night. I got a later start than I would have liked, but did 5 miles outside, then the rest of the time at the gym. I was hoping to hit 6 miles on the treadmill but ran out of time, so I only got 1 hour, 50 minutes total instead of my planned 2 hours, 10 minutes. It was just about 9.5 miles instead of the 11 I had hoped for.
Saturday 1/29: Total rest day. Could have hopped on the treadmill but stayed inside (taking Herbie out for fun in the snow of course) but decided to recover
Sunday 1/30: Treadmill recovery run. Went for an hour for about 5 miles. Hit the gym later for squats, cable rows, and bench press.
Total: 31.2 miles out of a planned 33-34 or so. Still bummed about cutting my long run short; I think hitting 11 would have been a good ego boost.
Monday 1/31: Rest day.
Tuesday 2/1: Hills @ Lactate Threshold pace workout, which I took outside then regretted. The parks are well cleared but the ones near me don’t have any kind of hills, so I was left with lots of sidewalk slush and ice (the streets weren’t much better since the snow was plowed into the bike and parking lanes I would normally run in). It took me a few tries to find a decent hill with clear-enough sidewalks, but it was by a hospital and had lots of cars entering and exiting. I had to cut the repeats short and skimped on the cooldown, but still got 4.8 miles (instead of 8). I haven’t had a failed workout in some time, so it was definitely bruising to the ego, but I was glad it wasn’t a question of fitness, just conditions.
Wednesday 2/2: 4 easy miles on the treadmill to recover. Deadlifts at the gym later, along with bent-over rows and lat pull-downs.
Thursday 2/3: 1 hour+ easy on the treadmill. The snow and ice was finally reduced on the streets but that’s because it rained all day. I took Herbie on a walk in my waterproof On shoes and they got pretty wet inside.
Friday 2/4: 3 miles on the tread as a warmup before lifting and cooldown after.
Saturday 2/5: Rest due to my schedule but did 1 hour of Cardio Tennis class at the gym in the morning. I’m great at the cardio, still working on the tennis.
Sunday 2/6: Cutback long run – 9.3 miles total. Did 1 hour 5 minutes on the treadmill, then 4 miles outside. I love doing these hybrid long runs in the winter.
Total: 26.5 miles cutback. Would have hit a little more if I hadn’t cut the workout short.
The weather has still been so-so but I was able to mostly run outside.
Monday 1/17: Since I had moved my long run to Sunday, we moved my recovery run to today. 4 miles on the dot.
Tuesday 1/18: Lactate Threshold blocks (3×8 minutes) on the treadmill with a warmup and cooldown for 6.1 miles total. Deep tissue massage in the PM. Only two weeks after my last massage, which is a nice cadence if you can get it.
Wednesday 1/19: 40 minute recovery run.
Thursday 1/20: 1 hour easy with some strides in the middle.
Friday 1/21: Rest day
Saturday 1/22: 2 hour long run (my longest since before the marathon). Did 10.5 miles with some light hills (except for the 10% grade one which I walked up).
Sunday 1/23: Recovery run with strides.
Total: Finally over 30 miles! I’m planning to keep Mondays as rest days going forward, then have the option to do a little shakeout on Fridays. Trying to keep up with SAM and core work, as my heavy weight strength has been slipping.