Summer Running, Vol 1

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.

Queens 10K 2022 Splits

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.

Rest of November Recovery & Fitness

Immediately after the NYCM marathon, I wanted to take off any time needed to truly recover but also wanted to stay consistent with running and look ahead to training for 2022 races. I have a 10K early January that I want to be close to PR shape for (my PR is 53:xx from the amazing Monument Avenue 10K in Richmond).

11/8-11/14:

I did some serious recovery activities: steam room at the gym, low-impact Peloton ride, upper body/arms only weight lifting. It felt good to be active but low-key. I did two short recovery-pace runs this week as well since the weather was pretty nice. Saw my PT/acupuncturist which helped a lot as well.

11/15-11/21:

I actually ran less this week but stepped up the lifting at the gym. Got back to my squats and deadlifts but made a fatal error by trying to get back to my previous 10-rep max weights. Stupid. I was sore for days! Also got my flu and Covid booster shots Wednesday. Upper body lifts back to normal as well. On Sunday, I finally got out there for a ‘longish’ run again as per my 10K training plan: made it 6.9 miles/80 minutes. I was totally DONE and it was dark at the end so I didn’t try to hit 7 miles even.

11/22-11/30:

The real return to consistency. Easy shorter (30~ minute) runs Monday Wednesday Thursday, and a 20 minute treadmill tempo Tuesday (sandwiched between warm up and cool down). I had FOMO from all the Turkey Trot photos Thursday and will definitely try to be back in Brooklyn for it next year.

Totally off exercise Friday because we flew to Los Angeles! Then I had a charity 5K Saturday morning that I used as a fitness check. My Stryd Critical Power updated after which means my training paces will now be a bit quicker. Still not to where I was at March 2020.

Took off Sunday and Monday but went to Disneyland on a last-minute lark Sunday and logged a lot of steps.

We flew back Tuesday and then it was December!

Base Building 2021, Week 7

How are we 7 weeks into the year? And yet also, how is winter so never-ending? I think it’s because we got a ton of snow back in December, then kept getting more in January and February. So I keep telling myself the weather (and the sidewalks/roads/trails) will get better in March, but we all know it might take a few weeks into March to get and keep the weather in the 40’s and above again.

Monday 2/8: 40 minutes of spin with Peloton Britney Spears and Lady Gaga classes.

Tuesday 2/9: RowHouse Power class for 45 minutes. I hadn’t taken one of these in a while and you get off the rower 5 times instead of the usual 3 for a Signature class. The plank rows with weights crushed me and my splits were pretty slow, but I put in effort.

Wednesday 2/10: Workout Wednesday! I did 20 1-minute intervals with a 1 mile warmup and 1 mile cool down on the treadmill. My intervals were at an 8:30 pace which used to be my 10K pace (ha!) and they felt difficult but satisfying to hit. 4 miles total.

Thursday 2/11: 3 easy treadmill recovery miles. I finally did the Hamilton run from Peloton, which took me back to the period 2017-2019 when I listened to the soundtrack all the time and memorized all the lyrics.

Friday 2/12: 2 easy treadmill miles. More would have been nice but I’m happy just to be consistent. 3 miles used to be my minimum for a run but 2 is fine for getting back into it.

Saturday 2/13: 3 miles outside with some strides thrown in the middle. It was right around 30 degrees and I dressed exactly right if not a little too warm: Tracksmith long-sleeve Harrier, Athleta Rainier tights, buff, wool beanie, Nathan mitten/gloves, and Lululemon Down For It All Jacket. Makes me feel better knowing I could wear this for colder temperatures.

Sunday 2/14: 1 hour of Zoom yoga. I felt pretty good during the vinyasa portion (chaturunga still a struggle) and was much improved at the balancing/tree pose.

Total: 12 miles running, 1 rowing class, and 1 yoga class. My apartment building’s gym is closed Monday – Friday this week, so there will be no treadmill miles, plus we’re getting hit with another round of ice and one of snow. So running may be a bit limited as well. Signups opened for the early April 5K but I’m still undecided. I kind of want more than 6 weeks to train for it since my volume still isn’t consistent. I’ve added two upcoming 5K time trials to my plan so might see how those go first.

Nordstrom bathroom selfie

Base Building 2021, Week 6

I love it when a new month starts on a Monday and thanks to February being 28 days, we get it twice! The base building continues (IRL 5K race early April still TBD), but back on track this week after feeling off the prior week. I would like to get comfortably back into the 20something miles per week until I’m really training for something, preferably by extending my ‘daily’ runs to 5 miles and not really worrying about carving out time for a long long run (anything 8 miles or higher is pretty long to me since at my pace I have to spend over 1.5 hours for that). Seems doable, right? My other fitness goals include at least 1 dedicated strength workout per week, 1 45-minute spin or rowing class per week, more stretching and drills pre and post run, and improving my tennis level March-November (our outdoor courts are technically open but so cold).

All of the World Major Marathons got pushed to this fall, so it’ll be interesting to see which go on (if any) and what kind of precautions will happen. I’ll probably volunteer for NYCM in some capacity if it happens, but would run Richmond or Philadelphia given the option. Or maybe nothing will go on as scheduled, in which case I’ll stick to the virtual 5K/10K/maaaybe 10 mile options.

Monday 2/1: 5 treadmill miles at an easy pace. I listened to 3 different Peloton outdoor runs during this. (20, 20, and 10) The snow was really coming down all day, so I am thankful for the access to tread. I haven’t busted my Yaktraks out in a while because it gets so slushy here/in the city within a few hours.

Tuesday 2/2: 3 easy treadmill miles. I watched another runner outside do big loops of the better-cleared blocks plus run in the bike lane and was pretty happy to be outside. Then I headed to midtown and braved all the slush puddles to get my second vaccine shot. Afterward, I got some empanadas, then Magnolia Bakery banana pudding and a cold brew from Cafe Grumpy. The snow continued but at least the trains were running. My only side effects were a sore arm, but I think the ‘fighting off a cold’ thing I had the previous week was enough.

Wednesday 2/3: 5 minute pre-run warmup, 18 minutes spin (Peloton – Robin’s 30 minute 90’s playlist) then 3 miles on the treadmill once one opened up (half the treads are closed because of Covid). I felt warmed up already, so the Stryd workout was 15 minutes at a push pace (currently 11 minute mile for me though that’s my outside long run pace), 3 minutes recovery, then 5 minutes at more of a tempo (10 minute mile; how was it only a year ago I could run these in the 8’s), then cool down.

Thursday 2/4: 30 minute Nicki Minaj spin bike ride. This ride was so fun!

Friday 2/5: Easy 37 minute (was supposed to be 40 but that’s ok) outdoor run with strides. I did a terrible job keeping it easy but at least the strides were fun. I was trying to pick the puppy up from doggy daycare in time and ran way too fast for the last half mile, too.

Saturday 2/6: Easy 30 minutes on the treadmill; finally doing the Peloton Wicked run then a 10 minute cooldown run.

Sunday 2/7: Snowy run, about 3.4 total so that I could hit 20 miles for the week. Listened to some Peloton outdoor stuff so I finished a 7-day streak of activity on the app. Then I did an hour of Runners Yoga and my hip flexors screamed a little before making Buffalo dip and wings for the Super Bowl (then being bored by it).

This was my highest mileage week since Octobee 26- November 1, which was my highest mileage since March/April of last year.

Base Building 2021, Week 4

Monday 1/18: RowHouse 45 minute workout.

Tuesday 1/19: Easy 30 minute treadmill run for 2.5 miles.

Wednesday 1/20: Workout Wednesday, as per Stryd plan. 16 minutes of intervals (1 minute on, 1 minute off) nested in a 1 mile warm up and 1 mile cool down. I set up a Stack of Peloton running videos but didn’t preload them onto the iPad and they wouldn’t stream on the iffy connection I had so I just listened to random Spotify playlists.

Thursday 1/21: Easy 30 minute treadmill run for 2.4 miles. I had some Peloton outdoor runs preloaded on my phone and listened to those. Then 45 minute RowHouse in the PM. I hit my 2 minute meter PR, which was very cool.

Friday 1/22: 45 minute spin which was great to loosen up the legs. I didn’t push as hard as last time and decided not to also do a run because I’m not ready for multiple double workout days in a row (aside from post-run yoga).

Saturday 1/23: 2.2 treadmill miles to a Peloton 30 minute ‘outdoor’ run with Adrian. Stryd has been dictating my power output for these (more to come in a future post) and it’s frustrating to go so slow sometimes, but I think it will be worth it as my run frequency and duration build up. Trying to up my patience here.

Sunday 1/24: This was supposed to be a long run. I signed up for the PPTC Cherry Tree 10 Mile Virtual Race and am planning to run it with a friend mid-February. After 6.3 miles last week, I wanted to take on 7-8 this week. Then I felt kind of under the weather and figured better safe than sorry.

Total: Barely cracked 10 miles. Skipped long run. Fighting off cold (I have my flu shot and the first shot of the Covid vaccine at least). Better luck next week? It’s definitely time to extend my daily easy runs to 40+ minutes so that my long runs aren’t 50% of my weekly mileage.

A content nap

Base Building 2021, Week 3

Monday 1/11: 4 easy miles on the treadmill, mostly listening to The Weeknd but also a 10 minute Peloton long run warmup.

Tuesday 1/12: 1.6 miles/20 minutes easy on the treadmill (Peloton Hip Hop run with Robin). Current easy pace as per heart rate and Stryd is like 12 minute miles. As I’ve said before, no use getting my ego involved.

Then I got my first Covid vaccine shot (yay!) and my arm was sore that evening and the next morning.

Wednesday 1/13: Rest day. I timed a one-mile walk/run/stop/sprint we did with Herbie and we got it under 19 minutes for once. Girl loves to stop a lot and try to play with other dogs and sniff things.

Thursday 1/14: RowHouse 45 minutes with lots of body weight and 5 pound dumbbells for the arm parts

Friday 1/15: 1.6 miles treadmill to a Peloton run with Becs, plus a 10 minute warmup exercise and 5 minute cool down stretch.

Saturday 1/16: Rest day (unplanned; was going to do strength workout or easy short run but my right hammy was complaining).

Sunday 1/17: 6.3 mile long run, which is my longest since November 1st. I’m now planning to do the PPTC Cherry Tree 10 Mile (virtually) in Central Park mid-February so am trying to build my long runs to that on top of the Stryd 5K plan for early April. I realize that kind of long run could set me up nicely for a spring half marathon, but I’m not sure I’m ready to tackle that mentally or with my weekday runs. I’m also not signing up for any NYRR races for a while and will try to support smaller orgs putting on races, virtual or otherwise. I’m also going to choose not to get any medals or swag for races for a while because I simply have too many. I love that PPTC is letting us do the race only for $15 and then have the $30 option for medal and swag. Honestly, having in-unit separate washer and dryer means I can just always wash my favorite stuff again (Lululemon Fast and Frees, Tracksmith Harrier longsleeves) and am only using 20% or less of my running wardrobe.

I wish I looked this cute when I’ve just woke up from a nap

Base Building 2021, Week 2

Week 2 and trying to keep myself accountable. This past week was rough and I was popping CBD every night just to relax from the terrible events of Wednesday. The workouts helped for sure to release some of my anxiety and anger. And my ongoing immense jealousy over how other countries have handled the pandemic.

I found a 5K in April (in person) that I might want to train for. Not signing up yet, though. Cart, horse and all.

Monday 1/4: 2.5 treadmill miles (Peloton 30 min race prep with Becs).

Tuesday 1/5: 30 minute Peloton strength for runners with Rebecca. I used two 10 pound dumbbells but might try to up to the 12 or 15 ones next time. I’m also leveling up my kettlebells I use from 15 lbs to 20.

Wednesday 1/6: 2 mile treadmill run at easy pace (Peloton 20 min pop run with Robin). After taking most of December off due to my tight hamstring, my paces have slowed but I’m trying to keep them honest and not push too hard. Difficult for the ego but good for the body.

Thursday 1/7: 45 minute spin class and I got my caloric burn to come close to matching ones from 2019.

Friday 1/8: 45 minute RowHouse class and I hit a calorie burn PR here (but not a distance or pace PR). Lots of pushups during the time off the rower.

Saturday 1/9: 2 treadmill miles, easy pace as per Stryd 5K training plan.

Sunday 1/10: 3.4 miles outside, doing a Stryd ‘time trial’. It was 10 minute warm up, a few little pick-up intervals, then 10 minutes hard at critical power, then 10 minutes cool down. I took the easy parts too hard and struggled to keep up the full 10 minutes at a push pace. But it felt good to run outside since it was 40 degrees and sunny. I overdressed and was dripping sweat at the end, especially from my elbows. I did my weekly Yoga for Runners class at 11am so my run was much later. Ideally I would have done the run prior to yoga but puppy care duties took precedence.

Total: 9.5 miles running, 1 yoga class, 1 spin class, 1 RowHouse class, and 1 strength session.

I have no good food photos lately, just puppy photos so they will have to do.

Herbie LOVES puppy playtime

Los Angeles Trip and BIG 5K Recap

So this was technically Week 1 of Brooklyn Half training (3/12-3/18) but I was also taking a trip to LA with Gabby and didn’t manage to get in any runs before I left Wednesday 3/14. So this is mainly about our hikes and run in LA and all the things we ate!

We flew in early Wednesday afternoon, dropped off our stuff in Hollywood, then headed in a very long car ride to Venice Beach.

It was so nice to see and smell the beach! We then had dinner with some friends of mine at A-Frame, Roy Choi’s Hawaiian outpost in nearby Culver City. No pictures because we were starving but we had loaded fries, two kinds of spam musubi, Brussels sprouts, and crispy chicken.

The next day, we took off on a Runyon Canyon hike. We took what we thought was the main route but then realized we were on the Eastern side of it. We figured out that we could keep going around the rim and back down but we had no idea how steep it would be.

Making new friends on the way up

We made it! It was 2.8 miles roundtrip and 740 feet of elevation gain.

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Taking a chill break on the way down

After showering (I got some mud on my hiking leggings from bouldering and scooting down), we got some delicious ramen from Urban Ramen, bought snacks at Ralph’s, then walked to Hollywood to see the sights, namely the walk of fame and Mann’s Chinese Theater.

Oh, and some churros. Later on, I had dinner with a friend at Bowery Bungalow, then ice cream from Scoops in Silverlake.

On Friday, we headed to Universal Studios Hollywood. I was excited to see their version of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter after going to the one in Florida in January. It was almost exactly the same, down to the butterbeer (hot, cold, and frozen). We did the hour-long studio tour, which was super cool because I got to see Jaws in action and see the set of recent favorite The Good Place.

Plus, huge donuts at Simpsons World/Springfield.

We hit up the race Expo on the way back and got to see some more of Downtown LA. I got street tacos, finally (was on the hunt after seeing the LA taco episode of Ugly Delicious). And it rained, which we were totally prepared for in our hooded jackets and umbrellas.

On Saturday morning, we ran The Big 5K, which is sponsored by Big 5 Sports and is affiliated with the Los Angeles Marathon (the next day). We signed up sort of on a whim, figuring that we were in town anyway and it would be a fun race. We didn’t look up the course profile until the day before the race because they didn’t really highlight it on the website. Now we know why. There were some brutal hills, especially for this relative flatlander. It starts off in the parking lot of Dodgers Stadium, then around nearby Elysium Park.

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According to Strava/Garmin, you are climbing for 33% of the time. Most of the first mile started out great and I was on pace for a PR. There was a slight downhill coming out of the parking lots, then boom, climb #1 just before 1 mile. I chugged my way up and hoped that was the worst of it. But of course, what goes up must come down. Then back up again. Then down. Then up.

My grade adjusted pace for the first mile says it all; I went out hard then couldn’t hang on. Around mile 3, I got to laugh with other runners at what felt like an onslaught of hills. But I was pretty bummed that I couldn’t handle the hills.

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Glad to be done

 

Gabby and I grabbed our medals and snacks (she got the swag bag, I passed on it not realizing I could have had another Clif Bar). Then it was time to eat! I tried a pastrami egg and cheese burrito as well as a smoothie from some food trucks that were there. I was tempted by the taco truck too, of course.

We took a Lyft home, showered off, then headed back to Runyon Canyon for a gentler hike. We took the easy, paved road up this time then came down on the east side (where we had headed up on Thursday). It was a beautiful, sunny Saturday and so many people were out! It was impressed to watch all the runners, but we had a good time taking it easy and recovering. Lots of foam rolling that day! We had Korean BBQ bowls on the roof, coffee from nearby Blackwood Coffee, then I met with my friend Gina to hang out with her pup Riley and get donuts from California Donuts.

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Runyon Canyon Ups

Before we headed to the airport (I had a red eye), we stopped off at a mural that Mabelle had wanted to check out. And it’s right next door to See’s Candy factory and store.

Then I spent the extra time before my flight screaming at the Houston-Michigan basketball game and eating chilaquiles. I missed out on all the NYC Half action, but I’m going to enter the lottery for next year.

Mileage: 3.6 miles of running, most of it spent wheezing up hills. 4.6 miles of beautiful, sunny hiking.

Week 5 of Richmond Marathon Training, 8/21-8/27

Freudian slip on my original post last week when I called it “Week 4 of NYC Marathon Training”. Whoops! Obviously I ran NYC last year and did the NYRR 9+1 this year for entry to the 2018 NYC Marathon, but this year the plan is to run Richmond.

8/21: RunCommutes are back! 6.4 miles home from work with my usual Lululemon ‘Run From Work’ backpack, very lightly filled. I missed my usual turn and cut through Commodore Barry Park and Fort Greene Parks.

8/22: Rest day

8/23: Loop around the park, walk to the bar, then run home from the bar. 6ish miles total.

8/24: Rest day

8/25: 4 easy treadmill miles in the AM. This is the first Friday I’ve run since May? June?

8/26: The most productive running day of my life. 1 mile warm up, then setting a new 5K PR at the Percy Sutton Harlem 5K, then running almost 10 miles through Central Park, down the West Side, and almost to the Governor’s Island ferry (but had to stop at the ATM first).

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Ran into Sam on the train

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Larry caught me during my warm up

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Proud of my splits

I grabbed my stuff, decided to forego the free tshirt, and strapped on my new backpack (Gregory Maya 16) then headed out with a friend from my beer drinking running group.

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14 miles even for the morning (I think) though my watch died at 9.3 and my running buddy forgot to restart his after we paused and we lost 0.3 then we stopped it before I had to SPRINT to the ferry, blue Gatorade in hand. I found my friends and we rented a 5-person surrey to ride around the island. Even after a big lunch and afternoon coffee, I was exhausted but somehow rallied to make it outside again later for frosé and beer with friends.

8/27: 3 recovery miles in Brooklyn Bridge Park after walking 2 miles to donate my bicycle in DUMBO.

Total: 33 miles! My Sunday-Saturday total was 36.6 out of a recommended 34 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.