Weeks 13 and 14 of NYC Marathon 2021 Training

9/27-10/3:

9/27: 3 mile recovery run on the treadmill after a full upper body workout. Definitely still had some soreness from the longer long run Saturday. Not as easy breezy as last weekend’s recovery.

9/28: 3 still-recovery pace miles in Central Park.

Jackie Onassis Reservoir in Central Park

9/29: Woke up feeling blah. Sinus pressure, sleeping in, just not feeling it. Didn’t even go on a walk.

9/30: Not much better! Slept in until 7:15 and had a busy morning at work. Went into the city for dinner and had a lovely meal at Noreetuh in the East Village.

10/1: HOW IS IT OCTOBER. Still blah. Got dressed and ready to run during some errands but speed walked instead.

10/2: Long run day with neighbor friend Dani. Did ok on the first half, but the back half was a struggle. Basically walked the last two of 17 miles (out of a planned 18). I sent Dani on her way to do the last few without me because she was flying up and down the hills and I was spiking my heart rate.

North Stamford Reservoir halfway through the long run
Hot pot at a friend’s Saturday night

10/3: Rest day. Brunch and boba in the city.

Total:23 miles over 3 runs.

Sunday brunch at Cafe Enrique in Long Island City

10/4-10/10:

10/4: Rest day. Rainy and pretty glum.

10/5: Easy/recovery pace 4 miles in the early evening after heavy squat/deadlift/etc day at the gym.

10/6: Treadmill warm-up, progression run, and cool-down for 3.3 miles in the AM. Acupuncture for my hamstring scar tissue etc in the PM.

10/7: 2 recovery treadmill miles and upper body workout in the gym (skull crushers, rows, French doors).

10/8: Rest day

10/9: Long run day. Goal was 19 miles. Mile 0-8 were a dream, then out of nowhere my heart rate started to spike. I was hitting a nice park where I planned to use the bathroom and refill my water bottle (decided to switch away from my beloved Hydration vest and to my Nathan QuickShot handheld since we won’t be allowed hydration vests during the NYC Marathon). No sign of real bathrooms, just some rough Port-o-Potties. I normally have no qualms using one, especially before or after a race, but these had no TP. I finally found a water fountain and it worked, but was only a dribble. I wasn’t able to get any into my water bottle. Defeated, I shuffled to town (New Canaan) and stopped at Dunkin Donuts after 11 miles. Used the bathroom, got a pumpkin cream cold brew and pumpkin donut, took an urgent call, and took the train back to downtown Stamford. I felt better and ready to run again, but then my whole right leg cramped up. I decided to shuffle home and call it a day at 12 miles. This was technically supposed to be a cutback to 14 miles between 18 (just did 17) and 20, but I was hoping to build confidence about my endurance.

10/10: Rest day. More delicious food in the city with friends.

Total: 21.3 miles over 4 runs. Eek.

Weeks 11 and 12 of NYC Marathon 2021 Training

I’m finally caught up – with blog posts, not with my training miles. But my long runs are finally where they should be, albeit a few weeks behind. It wasn’t smart to train like this (and have no real cutback weeks) but I did it out of mental and physical necessity. I’m honestly dreaming about a 5K, 10K, or in between PR attempt next year (this November/December is getting tight with race availability coinciding with any potential fitness gains). But for NYCM? Let’s just finish. Ideally before the sun goes down.

9/13-9/19:

9/13: 3 easy miles on the treadmill and lifting at the gym.

9/14: 4 miles running

9/15: 5.4 miles running including some speed pushes.

9/16: Weight lifting and 3 miles

9/17: Rest day. Sichuanese for dinner.

9/18: 14 mile long run with a neighbor/friend who is also training for NYCM. Turns out I need an accountability buddy all along. It was pretty humid so we tackled the hills first, then kept to a flat final 6 miles down by the water with walk breaks sprinkled into the last 3 miles. I used my Salomon Advanced Skin 8 hydration vest and loved it – drank ALL the water and Skratch by the end.

9/19: No running. Went to see the Yayoi Kusama exhibit again at the New York Botanical Garden and did a lot of walking. I felt shockingly good after the long run (since my longest in the 6 weeks prior was 7 or maybe 9 miles. Do not recommend). Going slow really helped as did all my recovery efforts after.

Total: 29.4 miles (of a recommended 36 – my midweek runs and long runs are still a bit behind).

9/20-9/26:

Great weather for lots of walks to the park, both with and without Herbie. Could have done with a few more runs.

9/20: 2.3 easy recovery treadmill miles after some lifting at the gym.

9/21: Longer walk with Herbie. 5.5 mile run with intervals. These felt good! I could mostly do them at my new estimated 10K pace of 9:15-9:20 (my old pace of 8:30, not so much). Recoveries around 10:15 minute miles.

9/22: Rest day – long walk

9/23: 3.3 mile run

9/24: Rest day – longer walk with Herbie.

9/25: 16 miles. The temperature and humidity dropped a lot from the prior week, so we definitely took this one a bit faster. I struggled on the bigger hills going up to the turnaround point (where we had bananas and Gatorade waiting for us). but the back half had a net downhill that was awesome (for morale and for my legs/lungs).

9/26: Rest day. Tried on more wedding dresses in the city. Got great Korean at The Jin in Hell’s Kitchen, had coffee at Rex, then got so many mochi donuts in Nordstrom at Oh Mochi. It was a perfect fall day, weather-wise.

Ddukboki, fried chicken, katsu, paleontology, and bulgogi at The Jin

Total: 27ish out of a prescribed 31 miles

Weeks 9 and 10 of NYC Marathon 2021 Training

Still catching up on these! I had a couple of weeks where my running was off. Physically I was fine, but I just didn’t FEEL like running. Especially the long runs. I think knowing that this marathon won’t be my fastest (and in fact will now definitely be my slowest) made it easy to take my foot off the gas during training. I kept thinking each week that I would turn it around, but then I would catch myself stacking up my Saturday with plans (and sometimes work) then being too tired/busy/annoyed with the rain or heat waves on Sundays. I considered my prior tactic of doing midweek long runs, but wasn’t really feeling those either. I think having the first few weeks of a marathon training cycle be ‘off’ is more normal for me, but this time weeks 6-10 were the hardest.

8/30-9/5:

8/30: Rest day

8/31: AM weight lifting then 7.1 miles along my favorite route in the late afternoon.

9/1: Rest day. My friend Carla visited from Chicago and I just missed the start of the downpours from Hurricane Ida.

9/2: 3 miles around town; flooding impeded one of my typical running routes along the Rippowam River.

Post-Hurricane Ida Flooding of Mill River Park

9/3: AM bench press and Peloton ride at the gym. Then the long drive up to Northern New Hampshire to my friend’s home in the White Mountains.

9/4: 3.2 mile hike up Mount Willard.

Herbie on the way up Mount Willard
View of Crawford Notch from the summit
Growing puppies and flowers at Sherman Farms

9/6-9/12:

Hmm, not much better in terms of running. In fact, even worse.

9/6 (Labor Day): 3 mile hike to Champney Falls. Pulled out the grill at night and had fun trying to perfect ribeye.

Labor Day Hike to Champney Falls
Ribeye, veggies, and pull apart garlic bread

9/7: 5 hour drive back to NYC area from NH. Finally tried the Starbucks pumpkin cream cold brew (TWICE because 5 hour drive). Exhausted regardless after I got home and did not run.

9/8: 4 mile run

9/9: Weight lifting and 4 miles including a 5K time trial. I did it as a progressive run. The 9 minute miles felt good, the 8:30s less so. Didn’t quite make it to the 8:00 zone as I had hoped.

9/10/21: 4 recovery miles

9/11: Tried the Dunkin Donuts pumpkin cream cold brew. Also acceptable and a full $2 cheaper than Starbucks.

9/12: Weight lifting in the morning, then seeing Shang Chi in theaters.

Snack Mix: ddukboki chips, shrimp chips, and Flamin Hots

Did you see any long runs? I didn’t see any long runs. More to come next time.

Week 7 and Week 8 of NYC Marathon 2021 Training

Week 7 already? (Ed. note – I wrote this 4-5 weeks ago.) After missing my long run last week, I initially felt motivated to be more consistent. Then I got hit with the combo of work (still doing every-other-weekend Covid surge call duty too), dogsitting, and bad weather.

Monday 8/16: 3.3 miles outside hitting the hills after an early afternoon full/lower body workout at the gym. Squats, deadlifts, banded lateral walk, and reverse lunges.

Tuesday 8/17: 2 easy treadmill miles at a recovery pace. Upper body workout at the gym – lat pull-downs, cable rows, assisted dip, assisted pull-ups. Squeezed in the treadmill miles right after since I was pressed for time.

Went for a nature walk earlier in the day with the pup.

Wednesday 8/18: 4.2 miles at a moderate pace. Tried to keep it in heart rate Zone 3 to keep me honest. Lower body still sore from Monday’s workout.

Thursday 8/19: (Unplanned) Rest Day.

Friday 8/20: AM run of 3.4 miles (cut short by work stuff), then PM Peloton ride and bodyweight workouts.

Saturday 8/21: Rest day. Dinner (pho and ramen) and cocktails at Mecha. My cocktail below was made with ube liquor and was incredible.

Sunday 8/22: Tropical Storm Henri derailed my long run plans, so I did 5 on the treadmill late morning.

Total: 18 miles, still no long run. Better than last week but not by much. Mostly easy miles so the room for long runs of 14+ is definitely there.

Week 8:

Monday 8/23: 1.7 miles in the pouring rain with my friend’s Husky.

Tuesday 8/24: 4 miles in Central Park between work meetings (I was at the hospital for one).

Wednesday 8/25: 6 miles on the Woodway treadmill at an easy pace, which takes over an hour at my current pace. It was 90+ outside and I didn’t run early AM, so the gym was the best. I should have also lifted but runs this long take it out of me and I also didn’t want to be sore (should have lifted my usual Monday).

Thursday 8/26: Rest day. Was going to run more at the gym (I did some drills on the tread) but knew rest was probably best.

Friday 8/27: 3.4 easy miles at 7am in high humidity. I hit my 100th Peloton run and got a shotout from my favorite running instructor Becs.

Saturday 8/25: Jackson Heights Mile – 7:31 chip time and gun time (not sure but I think there should have been a 1 second difference at least). Humidity was still there but it had cooled off a lot thanks to overnight rainstorms. I did a little warm up but gave up on the cool down miles. I was 13th in my 30-39 women age group.

Womens 30-39 waiting for the gun to go off

Sunday 8/26: ANOTHER skipped long run. My dog was sick and that took up my whole day.

Weeks 9 and 10 to come. Will my training get back on track? Stay tuned!

Week 5 of NYC Marathon 2021 Training

We’re in the thick of it.

Monday 8/2: 3 recovery treadmill miles at a 14 minute mile pace. Upper body weight lifting at the gym.

Tuesday 8/3: Trying to take my easy days easy and my hard days hard. AM 4.6 mile tempo run, then PM lower body lifting at the gym. So hard. I was exhausted and crawled into bed by 9pm and missed the women’s 400m hurdle final.

Pre-gym selfie

Wednesday 8/4: Active recovery – 30 minute Peloton ride at the gym (Spice Girls class!). I took it super easy, adjusting both cadence and resistance down as needed.

Thursday 8/5: Normal run at what I hope is a normal speed. 5.6 miles (yay) around a park. Went to Target and got a lot of snacks and ate too many of them before this. Needed a late (4pm nap) and some tea to finally get my rear in gear at 6pm.

Target Snack Haul

Friday 8/6: 3.4 Easy treadmill miles in apartment gym.

Saturday 8/7: Long run cut short. I had hoped for double digits and was going to take my COVID work call on the run (well, on a park bench since I have to write down some of the numbers) but I couldn’t log into Zoom on my personal phone and didn’t have the login details. So I ended up sprinting for home after 7 miles. I thought about adding another 3-5 miles after the call but decided to just take the rest.

I got out of the house at 7:30am which was a win (watched the women’s 10M Olympic final first). But the run was definitely a struggle fest. The heat was normal but humidity was on its way back and my heart rate was shooting up the first few miles, so I took a few walk breaks as needed. I got Summer Streets FOMO and wished I was in the city for this and to hit double digits. Onward and upward to the next one.

Sunday 8/8: I did a 4.4 mile Hike to Mount Beacon and the fire tower with a friend and my pup. My legs were pretty tired after the initial steep ascent. I put Herbie in the backpack for some of the ascent but she held her own on the rest.

Casino Ruins

Total: 23.7 running miles, not counting the hike. I wanted to hit 27 but I think I will get it next week. Only did two strength workouts but they were good ones!

Week 4 of NYC Marathon 2021 Training

The Olympics are in full swing! I’m obsessed with men’s volleyball and women’s rugby for their TikTok presence alone, but I also love watching gymnastics and of course Track & Field.

Monday 7/26: Rest day for running. 20 minute Peloton ride, then 40 minutes of core/lower body strength from the Hardcore on the floor calendar. My glutes and hamstrings were on fire from all the lunges.

Tuesday 7/27: Easy 3 miles outside early AM. Difficult upper body workout at the gym after (seated cable rows, bicep curls, lat pull-downs, etc)

Wednesday 7/28: Rest day. So sore from the previous two days/cumulative fatigue of all the miles. I took Herbie to a friend’s farm and she got to herd the chickens a bit.

Herbie and the barn

Thursday 7/29: 4.3 mile run in the rain. I timed the storms a bit after my meetings and thought I might be able to run back home and hop on the treadmill if I saw the rain coming my way. The next big wave of the cell hit about 1.3 miles in and I decided to just keep going with my planned loop. I ended up completely soaked but felt really great (once I was sure there was enough visibility for drivers to see me at crossings).

Friday 7/30: I didn’t run in the AM because I was watching Track & Field at the Olympics (finally!), so I did 3 easy miles on the apartment gym treadmill in the afternoon to some rolling hills. Anything over 5% grade was rough for me, but good practice for NYCM.

Saturday 7/31: I had a friend over and squandered my AM workout time by watching the Olympics then was too full/tired in the evening to work out. It’s a shame I missed such a cool morning, weather-wise. But we walked around town and went to the Farmers Market and got boba.

Herbie and a new friend at the farmers market

Sunday 8/1: Sunday long run due to necessity. I did 9 miles just under a 12 minute mile pace. I got lucky again with the weather since I waited until 9am to start (live Olympics coverage again) and chose a new-to-me route. I just had some UCAN in my water bottle but will bring Gu chews to anything longer than 2 hours (this was an hour and 40 minutes). This run made me feel more confident about my training overall, so I’m trying to write about it and bring that positive energy around. Perhaps I will try some tempo runs or speedwork in the coming weeks? I’ll also report back about the increase in long runs.

Total: 19.4 miles; slight dip from last week since I only ran 4 days and did shorter miles for a couple of those.

Week 3 of of NYC Marathon 2021 Training

Monday 7/19: 3.1 miles outside, easyish in the morning (pre-8am).

Tuesday 7/20: 3.2 miles late morning with the terrible air quality. It was pretty bad but I caught myself not able or wanting to slow down.

Wednesday 7/21: I skipped a run because the smog was still gross. Upper body and core workouts at the gym from the Peloton hardCORE on the floor calendar’s recommended stack.

Thursday 7/22: 4.3 miles outside late morning – I wish I had gone out earlier before the sun really came up. I tried a new route but stupidly went uphill on the sunny side of the street. That was rough. I need to commit to doing these daily runs at an easy pace so that my weekend long runs don’t kill me. I keep not wanting to slow down into my Zone 2 or even 3.

Friday 7/23: Rest day. Went to the gym in the afternoon and did my squats and hex bar deadlift routine as well as hip adduction and abduction machines.

Saturday 7/24: Treadmill long run of 6+ miles (my Apple watch Stryd screen and Garmin connected . I did a progressionish one again where I sped up the last 1.5 miles because I was getting bored. I was watching The Olympics (USA mens volleyball and women’s water polo) and listened to three different Peloton tread workouts.

Sunday 7/25: 4.5 mile recovery run. It was ridiculously humid (got a few rain drops) then the sun came out at the very end. I still have to work on slowing down my runs.

Total: 21.1 miles, which is my highest weekly mileage since January if not last year.

I went back and looked at where my mileage was this time back in 2016, 2017, and 2018 (the years I’ve previously run full marathons in the fall) and I’m not that far behind. I’m definitely slower than I was but I’m doing ok!

Week 2 of NYC Marathon 2021 Training

This post is going to be long on photos of Northern Michigan but short on running. After a decent kickoff week, I took my first girls’ trip since March 2020 (for the Olympic marathon trials and Atlanta Half) and flew into Traverse City, Michigan Monday morning. Carla and I hopped into a rental car and proceeded to log hundreds of mile, eat dozens of cherries, and see 3 out of 5 Great Lakes.

Monday 7/12: Hiking up and down Sleeping Bear Dunes – just under 2 miles. I kept my Teva Hurricanes on and was thankful for them. We decided not to go all the way down to Lake Michigan but had a good time trying to get closer.

We bought cherries and a whole pie at a roadside stand so sat down to eat it after the hike. It’s always the $15 pies by the road that you can never get again that have the perfect crust and fresh sweet cherry filling.

Lake Michigan/Sleeping Bear Dunes
Roadside pie and cherries after the dune hike

Tuesday 7/13: After strolling around St Ignace and having the rest of the cherry pie for breakfast, we took the ferry to Mackinac Island, which is car-free. Our original plan was to rent bicycles and get in a good cruise around the island but the rain started when we boarded the ferry and didn’t let up for hours. After getting back to the car, we crossed into the Upper Peninsula and did a 3 mile hike/trail run at Taquamenon Falls, then changed into swimsuits and got into the falls.

Lower Taquenemon Falls
Arch Rock on Mackinac Island
Loving the trail run but unprepared for the vert

Wednesday 7/14: After driving to Munising post-run and settling in, we did a boat tour of the Pictured Rocks area. Later on we tried the local special, pasties. I got to hop into Lake Superior and the cold water was super refreshing. We had missed the window for a morning run then it rained all evening, so we settled for an early dinner and a dip in the hotel’s hot tub. My legs were delighted by the hot and cold water combo and I tried to use the jets for extra massage pressure. I didn’t bring my Theragun on this trip, just a spiky ball for my feet, but was glad I brought it.

Pictured Rocks, Lake Superior

Thursday 6/15: We left Munising early for long drive back to Traverse City for our early evening flights. No fun stops except lunch at Culver’s and some pie to go. I could have definitely used another day or two up this way and would have liked to spend more time on Lake Huron. I think I hit my cap on pasties and whitefish but could have eaten several more cherry pies.

Who needs fries when you have cheese curds?

Friday 6/17: Back to CT and back to the gym. I did a 30 minute Peloton ride to the music of In The Heights and hit a PR! Then I did my upper body strength routine and some single leg stability exercises.

Saturday 6/18 and Sunday 6/19: I went out Friday night (footage not found) and was wildly hungover Sunday morning. I could already tell my ambitious schedule of long run, gym, and grocery shopping wasn’t happening. I hydrated and got delivery Szechuanese food and peeled myself off the couch slowly. Many hours later, I headed into Queens to meet up with friends and get pho.

Sunday was no better; I woke up a little late after getting home at midnight and skipped my long run again. Didn’t make it to the gym before friends came over for pizza and the pool. Went to Whole Foods and PetSmart with the fiancé then we got Dairy Queen at night in my final act of “I’m on vacation”. Onward and upward!

NYC Marathon 2021 Training Kickoff

It is time to start writing in here because it’s once again time to run a fall marathon after a spring of injury/taking time off from running. I had completed NYRR’s 9+1 in 2020 by running a couple races pre-pandemic then signing up for a bunch more. They of course were all canceled (as was my volunteer opportunity) but NYRR gave us credit. Folks who were already signed up I’m for the cancelled 2020 Marathon we’re given first dibs on this year’s entry, but enough of them chose 2022 that I was able to get into this year’s running.

I’ve been doing my physical therapy exercises as well as a legitimate strength training program and some Peloton bike action at the gym since April. Meanwhile my PT/acupuncturist has been doing dry needling and e-stim on my hamstring to deal with TVs scar tissue there from last year’s tear. Things are going well enough! TBD once I start running regularly

I’m planning to do a lower mileage marathon training plan; I currently have Hal Higdon’s Intermediate 1 downloaded onto my calendar. In the past, I went with something closer to the Intermediate 2 but through the NYRR Virtual Trainer. I’m looking to have this be my slowest marathon yet – if it takes over 5 hours, then that’s what it takes. I hope to dabble in speedwork during the 18-week process (kicking off July 5th) but will not be racing a tuneup half this year. Maybe a 5K or 10K? The focus is just on getting those long runs done with some decent weekday mileage, then taking race day nice and easy and enjoying the experience. More high fives and free food from strangers this year for sure.

Why all this work for a marathon I’m not even racing? Well, you see, it’s the 50th running of the NYC Marathon (2012 was cancelled for Hurricane Sandy recovery and obviously 2020 was off). And my current plans for 2022 are to raise money for charity to run the Berlin Marathon. So I made 2021 my first choice when given the option because doing two marathons next fall sounds even worse than doing one this year.

TCS New York City Marathon

I’m planning some posts on non-running activities (hiking! favorite Peloton rides/workouts! recent eats!) soon but am excited to get back in the groove of weekly or near-weekly training recap posts.

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.