The Off-Season; Month 1

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.

Central Park on my way to pacing a friend at the NYRR 60K

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.

Post-Barry’s Flexin’

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.

Poutine and deviled eggs at Jacob’s Pickles

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Plate #2 of many at Port of Call Seafood Buffet in Hackensack

Friday’s Friendsgiving with two ducks and many sides

Thursday’s Thanksgiving with goose

Mileage: 4 miles, 15 miles, 16.3 miles.

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Week 16 of 2018 NYC Marathon Training

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.

Total: 30.4 miles out of a prescribed 37.

Week 15 of 2018 NYC Marathon Training

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.

Week 14 of 2018 NYC Marathon Training

Week 1 of taper!

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.

Total: 28.9 miles out of a recommended 28.

Week 13 of NYC Marathon Training

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.

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Looking Up Fifth Avenue

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Port Tasting

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Portugese style gambas al ajillo

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!

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Total: 35.5 out of a prescribed 37. That’ll do, Pig.

Week 11 of 2018 NYC Marathon Training

PEAK WEEK. My longest run won’t be until 3 weeks out (then taper time), but this week is supposed to be the highest mileage overall of them.

9/24: Unplanned rest day because I was at the (further away) office from 8:15am-7pm. By the time I grabbed groceries and got home at 8:15pm, I could not bring myself to run or do anything except meal prep and eat mini Haribo rainbow gummi frogs.

9/25: Another long day at work, but was able to squeeze in 4 mostly easy miles on the treadmill at night while listening to the Forever35 podcast.

9/26: Brooklyn Beer Runners loop of Prospect Park but with 3.86 miles done beforehand for a total of 7.65 miles. I really earned that kiwi IPA at the bar afterward. I had put my sweet potato chili in the crockpot before and came home to eat that over brown rice and quinoa (with a little cheese on top). Recipe to come once I actually take pictures.

9/27: 4.6 miles around the Central Park Reservoir, Bridle Path, and Harlem Hill. It was humid but cool and the rain started only during my last mile.

9/28: 3 easy miles at dusk.

9/29: 19.5 miles mostly with other people on the group run. I was so thankful for the company! My long run pace finally improved back to where it was at this time last year, which bodes well for the marathon. The miles were clicking away at the same pace like a metronome for a while there. I took 1 gel and 6 chews with water along the way. I tried to end it at 19 miles even with something from Juice Press but the line was too long and I was in a rush to get to the Bronx Zoo, so I shuffled home to make a smoothie. Almost looking forward to my 20-21 miles in two weeks.

9/30: 3.2 miles with my favorite dog in Morningside and Central Parks. We had to pause a lot for sniffing (and bodily functions) but he’s pretty fast when he gets going.

Total: 42 miles. a new weekly mileage PR.

Week 4 of 2018 NYC Marathon Training

This was supposed to be a down week with 2 full days off and only 27 miles. But I was feeling weird about my last week where I missed the goal by 7+ miles. The weather was topsy turvy (heat wave, thunderstorms and lightning, etc).

8/6: I took the Mile High Run Club The Distance class and was able to get in 5.5 miles of intervals in 57 minutes. I pushed my paces just a bit and am starting to feel ready for some speed again. I’m shooting for a 5K PR in September (race TBD) so any time spent running in the 7:xx range is good.

8/7: I was planning to do a full but slow ~6.5-7 miles (with a run to the NYRR Open Run Brooklyn Bridge Park course and back). But Open run got canceled due to lightning about halfway through! I was able to run and just make a bus and avoid the rain on the way home and ended up with 4 miles for the day.

8/8: I was able to volunteer at the Al Goldstein Summer Speed Series #6 due to work conflicts easing up, so I ran there. Then ran to a water station to help out. Then ran back to race HQ then out of the park with a teammate and to the bar to meet the Brooklyn Beer Runners group. 5.2 miles total at a very easy pace. So hot, so humid. It rained a little bit which felt great.

8/9: Off day

8/10: Unplanned rest day. Got home from work and didn’t feel like doing the 9 miles for the Fireworks Group Run. Thought about running to spectate Take the Bridge in Williamsburg, but enjoyed my quiet night in, elevating my feet.

8/11: I had again planned to do my long run as part of Summer Streets, but woke up to some pains in the middle of the night and wasn’t feeling 100% when I got up at 7. I watched the thunderstorms and rain blow in and eventually made it down to the treadmill for an easy 3 miles. I also did a strength workout (bent-over rows, shoulder press, kettlebell deadlifts). Then it was time for more food adventures with Lori. We hit up The Nugget Spot for their special fried chicken sandwich with hot honey ice cream and Flip Sigi for the special burrito (but also longanisa poutine and short rib wonton nachos).

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8/12: 12 miles around Central Park. I ran with friends and was glad to run a 12:xx minute mile instead of pushing to my current 10:40 pace. The humidity was brutal but it was good to get time on my feet and with good company.

Total: 29.7 miles out of a prescribed 27. This makes me feel more prepared for the ~34 on tap next week and for all of my future long runs (some cutback weeks go down to 11 miles).