This has been a month of increased fitness activity overall and a slow return to running after a couple months mostly off. After a late July move, I’ve had access to a few forms of fitness I was lacking: tennis courts, an erg, and a spin bike. I joined Peloton (but do not have one of their bikes) and have loved having it for rides and am starting to explore their strength and HIIT content.
Up to now, I’ve only raced 1 virtual race this year, back in late May, and ran it with a mask on and 2 minutes slower than my 5K PR. I’m hoping to tackle some old PRs this fall either on the track or on a flattish course. I’m thinking 5K and 10K as my softest and some of my oldest PRs (August 2017 for 5K on a hilly course and April 2018 for 10K on a good course but a warm day). I’m also tempted to finally try a trail race; it’s virtual but the course is technically available to run at your own time. I bought some Nike Wildhorse 6’s on a friend’s recommendation and am excited to try them out. Hopefully some virtual race reports to come!
I really miss ClassPass and all of the boutique fitness studios I used to frequent in NYC that have been closed since March. I sort of bopped around to a bunch of them and never took the same classes (or even instructors) enough to fully get into the community vibe that a lot of regulars seem to get, but I still liked the energy. For a couple of years now, I had drafted a post with a list of all my favorite spin, barre, strength, etc studios that I had visited. I really hope they’re all eventually open to reopen safely.
After taking off the hottest months from intense baking and cooking, I’m also back at that as well! A few recent experiments below.
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.
After surviving my Memorial Day weekend test run, I slowly ramped up mileage. 2 miles here, 4 miles there, a few times a week. The goal is to get back to 5 days a week with medium midweek mileage for marathon training. I’m looking at a scaled down version of my original 18 week marathon training plan of choice. Maybe soon I’ll actually run enough to run off some of the baking I’ve been doing.
May 28 – June 3: 9.3 miles over 4 runs
June 4 – June 10: 11.6 miles over 3 runs. Double digits, woohoo! I also baked the Momofuku Milk Bar birthday cake thanks to the unique baking supply birthday gifts of my friends. It took some time but was worth it!
June 11 – June 17: 7 miles and some canceled ClassPass spin. I volunteered at a race to get credit for future races and had a great time at the bib pickup table. I also managed a full loop of Prospect Park for a total of 5 miles, which is my longest since the Monument Avenue 10K on 4/14. I had to break for water a few times but it felt good overall.
June 18 – 24: UK trip! I flew out Saturday the 16th and back the 23rd for my cousin’s wedding in Scotland with my parents and boyfriend. I didn’t get in as many runs as I had wanted in London due to food poisoning/stomach flu. I did manage a spin class, a hike up Arthur’s Seat, and a trail run near the castle that ended up with me getting lost in the woods and having to climb over cow pen gates. On Sunday, I did not use my jet lag to my advantage but finally staged myself onto the treadmill for another 3 miles. Total running mileage of ~8 miles but I turned my GPS watch off while I was lost and walking/running so we’ll never know.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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).
6/25: Achilles 4 Miler. 2 warm up miles before the start with some teammates.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Monday 11/28: Off day. Delighted to say that the fruity pebbles cookies I baked on Sunday were gone by 4:30pm Monday.
Tuesday 11/29: Mile High Run Club “The Distance”. Got a later start than last time but squeezed in 5.5 miles in just under an hour. The different intervals include a warm-up/cool-down pace, marathon pace, half marathon pace, 5K-10K pace, then an all-out sprint. My half marathon pace is very close to my 10K pace now so I tried to take those intervals at the 5K pace. For the final minute of sprints, I decided to really crank it up and saw sub-7 minutes for the first time ever. That was thrilling. I was also proud of myself for keeping it consistent for the whole class and not fading (ahem like the girl next to me).
Wednesday 11/30: Gym time. I did 2000m warmup on the Erg, then some light lifting and strength exercises, focusing on my core and abs. Kettlebell swings, medicine ball situps, planking. I was in and out in less than an hour. Time to start squatting and doing pushups again, plus making sure my deadlift form is correct.
Thursday 12/1: Track night. We did a warmup, drills, 4 x 800m, then cool down. My splits were (if I remember correctly because I messed it up on my watch then gave up) 4:06, 3:58, 4:08 (coach said minus 10 seconds for tying my shoe after the first lap but it was a struggle after that), 4:01.
One of the coaches congratulated me on my 5-mile PR but said I needed to be running more miles in general (even though I’m “just” 10K training), closer to 18-21 a week. So that set the tone for my planning of the rest of the week/month/year plus my future spring half training. Also, I had Shake Shack for lunch which was delicious but not a wise decision before speedwork. Thought I was going to puke on the last one. It was great to be doing this with so many wonderful teammates.
Friday 12/2: Day off.
Saturday 12/3: Unexpected day off because I was hungover from several hours of happy hour the night before.
Sunday 12/4: Long run; I combined a ~4 mile run to DUMBO with my club with 3 beforehand to and around Prospect Park. This was my longest run since the marathon. It was a pajama run, so I tied my gingerbread man PJ pants around my waist for the first 3 miles (and felt a little ridiculous doing so), then wore them for the next 4 to a coffeeshop in DUMBO. Ended up walking home with pants tied around waist again.
Total miles: 16.5 miles.
12/5 – 12/10: No workouts except for some Friday night dancing at The Woods. I had to miss the track workout because I was hosting book club. I consumed some great cocktails, plus red wine and beer this week, which obviously did not lead to any morning workouts. #holidays
Sunday 12/11: My new longest run since the marathon, which was 9.6 miles to Levain Bakery from Brooklyn.If I had run from the original meeting point, it would have been over 10 miles and I’m still saying no freaking way to double digit runs, at least for a few more weeks. I stayed conversational the whole way but after we got a sub-10 mile for #7, I was so tired and hungry for the last 2.6. To be fair, it was after 12:30pm at that point since we had a post-10:30AM start.
Weekly total 12/5-12/11: 9.6 miles and some dancing.
Other things of note: I only booked and went to one ClassPass class (Mile High Run Club’s The Distance on 11/29), so I’m scrambling to fill up the last week of my cycle. This should be fun! I’m trying to incorporate more strength training and cross training, so I’m doing yoga (flow AND restorative), foam rolling and stretching class (heaven after I run there), plus my good old standby spin.
I got into the NYC Half AND the Fred Lebow Half, so I’m basically going to be training for halfs the next several months. Guess I’ll need some legit winter running gloves.
And my roommate and I put up the Christmas tree that was in storage above my closet. It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.
I haven’t run a race since the Mini 10K, but I’ve been trying to build my base mileage before I start marathon training for NYCM (November 6th). I’m also still a ClassPass member and am now part of the Core pan, where I can take up to 10 classes per month. Plus I still have a gym membership at Blink, but I think the last time I stopped in was to stretch before taking a Mile High Run Club class back in May. I know, I know. What happened to my pull-up goals? I guess they’re on hold for now. I feel like I’ve been doing enough bodyweight during all my barre classes that I’m still pretty strong overall. Just not pull-up strong yet.
I am somewhere between a Robin Scherbatsky and an Elaine Benes at the gym. Less grunting than Robin, less preening than Elaine.
But back to running and ClassPass. In June, I took 5 barre classes and 2 spin classes and logged 40something miles. Not bad, but I will eventually be running 40+ miles in a week. I’m trying not to add too much of any one thing in my running (whether that be miles, hills, or speed) in fear of tweaking my bursitis. I’m optimistic but still nervous about marathon training overall. I’m hoping to find a half marathon within a couple weeks of Labor Day to fit into my training plan (Hal Higdon Novice 2 but also buying into NYRR’s Virtual Trainer) and am taking suggestions.
I also played some tennis the other week at the West Side Tennis Club. Remember when I took tennis lessons on a clay court in summer 2011? Yeah, my backhand and racket haven’t seen much time on the courts since. I’m hoping to take some tennis clinics through ClassPass in the upcoming weeks to improve a smidge.
I’m going to hit publish on this post even though I feel like I have so many more words possible, (both on marathon training but mainly this week’s news events, but I feel like I’ve largely said my piece on Twitter and Facebook and now need to work on being a more active ally IRL.
Now that I’m in better physical health and running semi-regularly again and racing, I feel very energized about the next few months of running. Jazzed, even. But I’m trying not to get ahead of myself, knowing that I need to prioritize preventing re-injury and trying to make it to the start of mid-July marathon training for NYCM, much less that November 6th actual date. I ran (haha) an analysis via my data on Strava and MapMyRun (which I used for a few years before getting my Garmin 220 in June 2015) to see what my highest weekly and monthly mileage is historically. I knew that my mileage never got as high as it should have been for any of my half marathons in 2015 due to both injury and falling off my training plans. I have a tendency to cut long runs short and skip that 3rd or 4th run of the week, even when uninjured. I also don’t document my cross-training particularly well digitally, but all those ClassPass spin sessions and strength at Blink lives on in my paper planners, Google Calendar, and vaguely in my memory. All of the apps are interconnected in that Garmin uploads to Strava and Strava uploads to MapMyRun and MyFitnessPal. I’m going to try to increase the inputting of my spin sessions going forward since FlyWheel tells you how many miles you biked.
For my paper planner, I bought a couple sets of these running and barbell stickers from FayeCreates’ Etsy. This is the only decoration my planner (a $15 one from Sugar Paper’s Target collection, I might add) receives. But it’s so satisfying to see an array of pastel running stick figures and weights fill up my calendar, especially now that I’m running more frequently. This is also where I let you all know that I’m fascinated by planner communities, having once been part of (but never posting to) the LiveJournal community for organizers and sometimes browsing the YouTube planner gurus.
The general update is that I DNS the Run As One 4 Miler.I was coming off a very busy week and hadn’t slept well that Friday night (the night before the night before the race is a crucial sleep night, right?) and was dogsitting Elle’s pup Bandit and just wasn’t feeling it. Had much more fun sleeping in and doing a brief run on my way to Smorgasburg with some runner friends in Prospect Park. I got to eat my beloved Outer Borough again, try some fries with duck confit on top, and sample a few flavors of Ooey Gooey Butter Cake. Still on my must-try list are Big Mozz’s mozzerella sticks, Jianbing, and Wowfulls. I think I can skip the rainbow cake, but let me know if it’s any good.
I did, however, end up completing the Japan Run on Sunday, May 8th. The skies opened up and poured down rain as I was picking up my bib at 7:15AM. A bunch of us hung out under the Bethesda Terrace and I ran into a PPTC Teammate then checked my bag and hid in the Meet Hello Kitty tent. Sadly, Hello Kitty didn’t appear until after the race and I wasn’t feeling very photogenic.
They let up for the first couple miles of the race, then began pouring again during the final mile. My third mile had been slower than I planned and I knew I was no longer in the running for a PR (had been feeling hopeful after the first 2 miles but my fitness just isn’t there yet). I had to remove my glasses and put them in my jacket pocket because they became too foggy and streaky for me to see. I managed not to run into any fellow racers since my vision isn’t too bad, and had a great sprint finish. NYRR and MarathonFoto did not capture any pictures of me (probably for the best). There was a guy running with his long hair down and in only a leopard-print Speedo who passed me on the third mile. I had hoped to be in some of his pictures but didn’t make it.
My next race is the UAE Healthy Kidney 10K. I had originally wanted this to be a PR attempt, but I think I’m going to instead shoot for the Mini 10K on June 11th instead. That’ll give me enough time to increase my long, slow runs and also try some of the mile repeat 10K workouts from McMillan. I’ll be gambling with the weather but am hoping to be out there more often in heat and humidity in the next month anyway. I feel like my barre and strength classes and spin are helping me get stronger (I kind of love forearm plank pushups now?), so we will see.