Surprise! I decided on an early spring half as I alluded to in a previous post. I don’t have a definite plan picked out but am currently reading Jack Daniels’ Running Formula and recently finished Pfitzinger’s Faster Road Racing and still have the Kara Goucher 10 Week Plan I was kind of trying for January’s Austin 3M Half. Mainly I’m hoping to just up the mileage into the 30’s and do some half marathon pace-specific work and see what happens as I attempt a slight PR. I’ve been using my (optical wrist) heart rate monitor and trying to keep my easy runs to Levels 2 and 3.
Week 1; 12/3/18 – 12/9/18: 26 miles over 4 runs, including the Ted Corbitt 15K. (9.3 miles plus warmup and cool down).
Week 2; 12/10/18 – 12/16/18: Only 9 miles (2 runs) because of work and hosting a friend. But time-consuming work project ended, so hopefully it’s back to some AM runs again. I won’t be up by Central Park as often on weekdays, but it’s worth it for the extra sleep and flexibility.
Week 3; 12/17/18 – 12/23/18: 23.9 miles over 5 runs; long run of 8.3 miles.
Week 4; 12/24/18 – 12/30/18: Ended up with 2 unplanned rest days on top of my actual planned days. There was travel and Christmas too. 12.4 over 3 runs.
Week 5; 12/31/18 – 01/06/19: This was supposed to be a higher mileage week. I pushed my long run from the week before to Monday the 31st and went for 9 miles. On New Year’s Day, I did 3 on the treadmill after being tired all day. Then I woke up in the middle of the night with a sore throat that kept getting worse. I took off Wednesday – Friday as a cold took over. Other then some seasonal allergies, I haven’t been sick-sick in some time. Boo. I managed to get another long run in on Saturday for 9 miles in the rain then took off completely Sunday. Total: 21 miles. Pushed off the Super Week until the next week.
I read a quote on instagram that “the off-season is key for a good on-season” and have been thinking about it a lot. I’ve been focusing on recovery from the marathon first and foremost in the past 3+ weeks, but am slowly picking up the mileage again. I signed up for a race (NYRR’s Ted Corbitt 15K on December 8th) because I think I can nab a PR (last year I got off to a slow start) and might use it to see how I feel about an early spring half marathon. Otherwise, I have no races on the docket until Broad Street Run and Brooklyn Half in May. I toyed with the thought of a spring full marathon, but am already less into that idea and would like to have a solid half training cycle injury-free.
I took my Classpass off of hold and now will try to do a mix of indoor cardio, lifting, and yoga classes. So far, post-marathon, I took tantra yoga, treadmill intervals and a strength for runners class at Mile High Run Club, and a Barry’s Bootcamp Arms & Abs class for my friend’s birthday.
Other than the occasional running, I’ve been cooking and baking and eating a lot! I went to an All You Can eat Korean BBQ spot with my boyfriend, then we hit up an AYCE seafood and sushi buffet only a few days later. I made a lot of dishes for Thanksgiving and Friendsgiving: sweet potato casserole, miso butter kale, ciabatta stuffing, cornbread stuffing, Brie en croute and have been eating the leftovers ever since. I made some ooey gooey butter cake for a work potluck but haven’t been baking that much otherwise.
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.