I’m currently rethinking all my August/September races after getting hit with Covid July 7. My husband caught it and brought it back from a work trip to Indiana. His worst symptoms were that Tuesday and Wednesday but I didn’t feel a thing until Thursday night when fatigue hit me fast. I tested positive the next morning and spent all weekend at home.
I wisely took some time off of running (and the gym) then traveled to Oregon after I was negative. I did a test run on the 16th in Eugene, then have slowly returned to lifting and (slower, shorter) running since back in Connecticut.
My current plan is to run the Richmond Half November 12 but do a few local races as supported long runs. I really wanted to try Hartford and the SoNo (South Norwalk) Half. I’ve done the full Richmond Marathon and the 8K and am excited to try the half. My July miles/base sucks but hopefully I can get it back in August.
I have a quiet August and September then am traveling to the Bay Area for work October, DC for fun later October, then Boston for work early November (right after NYCM). Looking forward to a few runs in different places! I’ll hopefully rebuild a decent base in August.
I ran a race! Rather, I raced a race for the first time in two years. The whole training process lot a fire under me this winter that I hope I can sustain into summer and fall.
After a VERY easy taper week, I headed into the city fairly early Saturday to get my bib before heading to a lunchtime baby shower.
Long story short, the baby shower got delayed so I had to kill a few hours while staying off my feet. I ended up booking a last minute ticket to see Umma in theaters, then got a Blue Bottle cold brew and sat enjoying the sunshine before heading to Astoria for the shower. Got Korean for dinner – had a craving for bulgogi fried rice but also got Korean Fried Chicken which was possibly a mistake. Ate at 6pm but stomach was still full and churning at 9pm when I went to bed.
Got up and headed to Prospect Park where the start was. By the time I made it through security, checked my phone (and a jacket) with bag check, and used a Portapotty, it was time to get into my corral for Wave 2 start. The fields were super muddy so I was glad I wore throwaway shoes (and sweatshirt and joggers).
The first few miles felt really good – like I couldn’t have imagined moving up Zoo Hill that easily a few short weeks ago during the Cherry Tree 10 Mile. Was it the Next% that gave me a bounce in my step? Was it the perfect weather (though it did get warmer and sunny later on)? The crowds were amazing and I loved how I moved up and down the Manhattan Bridge. My race strategy went really well – take the uphills easy, have fun on the downhills, then zoom along the flat parts of the FDR. My watch’s GPS first messed up in downtown Brooklyn so I was doing a lot of mental math, making sure my splits were around 9:20. I knew I could get close to 2 hours but it could just as easily be a 2:05 day if all the factors didn’t line up.
Mile 8 was where the sun came out and I truly regretted my long sleeve. Singlet next time! But at least I was wearing shorts. Lots of people were super layered up and I knew they must be struggling. With the uphills on 42nd, I knew I had to dig deep. The crowds were awesome and my legs finally felt tired but that would normally happen much sooner during a half! I kept reminding myself that I had so much fun training under my belt (that 15 mile long run though) AND the benefit of all that strength training. I dabbled in the gym back in 2015 but never could squat or deadlift like this (much less the overhead press).
Entering the park was great and I saw and heard from friends cheering (plus caught up to and passed some teammates). I look like absolute death from some of the Central Park South photos but look great in the below!
Once I was in Central Park, my body was starting to face its limits. My heart rate shot up and my legs felt like Jello. I had to slow up a bit on the little uphills then push toward the finish. It was tough but I knew I could get under 2 hours if I didn’t fall apart.
I almost puked at the finish and the long walk before I could get water was terrible. People kept stopping for photo ops but I was dying. Happy with my time and performance but felt awful. Was able to get my goody bag and take the subway and chug the Gatorade. Met up with friends for dim sum before getting a cold brew and heading home (this part took a couple hours and I’m so glad I had a solid meal).
Reflections: This was my fastest half since October 2018 and my first race where I truly raced the whole thing since November 2019. The Next% have been sitting in my closet for a long time and I’m glad they got their chance to debut. It would seem the move to 30something miles a week was a strong one for me and I’m hoping to be able to do that again for a fall half.
TAPER WEEKS. How pleasant, how boring. Less running, then eventually a decrease in my heavy weight lifting at the gym.
Monday 3/7: Rest from running; back and chest and some arms at the gym. I was doing such a good job keeping track of my gym routine last fall during marathon training but I’ve slipped which is silly since I have a paper planner for my running (and of course Strava and TrainingPeaks/Garmin).
Tuesday 3/8: Last longer workout – 2×25″ steady state intervals with warmup and cooldown and easy in between the two. I did it all on the tread and cut my cooldown short but still got over 8 miles. I was pretty mentally over it. Squat heavy day at the gym. But only squats. Still so sore from Monday.
Wednesday 3/9: Rest day from running and gym.
Thursday 3/10: 5 miles easyish. Finally, finally tried the hot pink Nike Next% that I bought back in fall 2019. I wish I had used them at the Atlanta Half 2020 or the Richmond 8K 2019; if only I had known I wouldn’t race for such a long period of time. They felt amazing, honestly. Every step felt just a little easier and with more response. At the gym, back-focused lifting (but also bench press).
Friday 3/11: Rest. Arms at the gym (skull crushers and tricep kickbacks).
Saturday 3/12: Last long run on the tread for 1 hour, 40 minutes (8.7 miles). I kept it mostly at 5.0-5.2 mph just to keep it truly easy.
Sunday 3/13: Daylight savings right after going out for karaoke for my bachelorette hit me too hard. I skipped my recovery run, took 2 naps, and had McDonald’s for dinner at 5pm.
Total: 22 miles out of a prescribed 25-26.
Week 12: Race week. I got what my friend Carla calls the Taper Lazies (not the Crazies as others have deemed it). I was raring to go but also decided not to even go to the gym, lest I overdo it.
Monday 3/14: Rest day. My first time taking two days off in a row in a long time. Weird!
Tuesday 3/15: 50 minutes easy but I cut it to 44 minutes/4 miles. This was after a long day going to different hospital campuses for work so I was beat, but the weather was so nice and springlike!
Wednesday 3/16: Rest day
Thursday 3/17: Rainy day. Easy 30″ run.
Friday 3/18: Rest. More incredible weather, so took a walk around the arboretum trails with Herbie.
Saturday 3/19: I was supposed to do a super short shakeout (sigh strides at the end) but was heading into the city for packet pickup and a baby shower and knew I would have too much time on my feet anyway.
Sunday 3/20: RACE DAY. Full race report to come. 13.1 miles but my GPS went crazy and said I did 17.
Week 9: PEAK WEEKS. I was not feeling great after the 10 Mile Race race mentally, but at least I recovered physically pretty quick. My Garmin says I got into ‘productive’ range again after that first full rest day.
Monday 2/21: Rest day
Tuesday 2/22: Decided to move my hard workout again since I was mentally on shaky ground after the Cherry Tree 10 Mile. Did super easy 30 minute treadmill recovery run .
Wednesday 2/23: Warmup, 1 hour at steady state, then cooldown. 9.1 miles total with 6.3 tougher miles in the middle. Squats and deadlifts in the evening.
Thursday 2/24: Recovery – 4 miles on the treadmill(s), plus upper body lifting at the gym.
Friday 2/25: Hour-ish tread recovery with 25 minutes at steady state (currently 9:40 minute mile/6.2 mph).
Saturday 2/26: Rest day
Sunday 2/27: Long long run. 2 hours and 40 minutes but I called it quits at 2 hours and 34 minutes. I did the last 1.4 on the treadmill. Once I hit 14 miles, I was so done and hit stop on the tread so quickly.
Switched to Gu after my Cliff Block chew disaster. I could have used a second gel in that final hour of this run (so hungry) so will definitely come prepared for the next (and final) long long run of this block. I unexpectedly hit some PRs on routes that I’ve been taking since marathon training, so it is cool to think about progress, even if it comes from an easier long run.
Monday 2/28: Rest day
Tuesday 3/1: Another long workout with steady state portions at 6.2 mph and easy run at 5.0 mph for 9.3 miles total. Mentally I just could not get outside, so it was all on the tread at various (small) incline amounts. I had procrastinated on this until it was 6pm (taking Herbie outside, calls with wedding vendors, work) and finally finished at 7:40 despite cutting off significant cooldown time.
Wednesday 3/2: Recovery jog – went just under 2 miles through midtown Manhattan on a mad dash to JackRabbit to buy more gels. After stuffing my belt bag with them, I moseyed over to the NYRR RunCenter to get my bib and shirt and this Sunday’s Washington Heights 5K. Then I was laden with stuff and decided to just take the subway back to the office instead of the planned 1.7 mile run back. The 5K is just for fun because I got a last-minute entry from my club but will have very tired legs after my last long long run the day prior.
Thursday 3/3: Mini Tempo/Fartlek in the middle of 20 minute warm up and cool down blocks. It was super windy but this was really fun. I hit more PRs during each segment which felt great to see after. My easy pace is steadily getting a bit faster – I’m not quite to the 10:30s of my heyday but I’m around an 11:15 now which is super encouraging because I spent the fall in the 12:30-13:30 minute easy range. Training consistently works, who knew? 6.3 miles total.
Gym after for lower body accessory work – single leg stuff, leg press, etc.
Friday 3/4: Rest day
Saturday 3/5: Long run with 40 minutes of steady state effort. I woke up and was in a grumpy mood (and also had some rumblings in my stomach), so I started on the treadmill downstairs to be safe. It was a good call. I did 1 hour easy, then a quick bathroom and water break, then did the 40 minutes harder push at 6.2 mph. Then was able to do the final 5+ miles outside once it was a little warmer and my stomach was feeling calmer. I took a little Starbucks detour and got a nitro cold brew with sweet cream, downed 1/3 of it, then ran the final mile home as I sipped it. I hit 14.5 miles total but missed a little bit where I forgot to start my watch after heading outside.
Sunday 3/6: NYRR Washington Heights 5K. I did a little warmup and some drills for 1.5+ miles, then the race itself. It rained a little bit before the start while we were in the corrals, then again later after I finished. I tried to take it easy on the hills (and boy are there some hills), then push on the flats and downhills.
Got to see a lot of teammates too! That was fun and made me want to do more of the northern Manhattan and Bronx races this year (or at least cheer for them).
Total: 37 miles, though I did some cooldown after the 5K that made it closer to 38. Hay is in the barn!
So we hit the halfway point and now we’re getting to the home stretch before taper (but of course I’m writing this at the end of Week 10, and hitting publish in the middle of Week 11).
Monday 2/7: Rest day
Tuesday 2/8: Tough workout with time at steady state/close to goal HMP. 8.67 miles total
Wednesday 2/9: 3 miles recovery treadmill, upper body lifting day
Thursday 2/10: 5 miles easy on the Woodway. Can you tell I’m just hopping on the tread because I’m so sick of winter? Lower body lifting after.
Friday 2/11: Rest day. Had planned to get my long run done early before heading upstate with friends, but made more sense to do Sunday LR.
Saturday 2/12: 3 miles easy upstate with a friend
Sunday 2/13: 2 hours 20 minutes of running for 12.61 miles. My longest run since the marathon. I did a mix of treadmill and outside again, which I really like.
Total: 32 miles
Monday 2/14: Rest day
Tuesday 2/15: Moved my hard workout because I still wasn’t feeling recovered; did 4 easy treadmill miles.
Wednesday 2/16: Skipped the workout because my calf was still super tight.
Thursday 2/17: 6 miles on the East River because the weather was warm and incredible. Went faster than normal.
Friday 2/18: Rest day
Saturday 2/19: 3.25 mile shakeout with strides.
Sunday 2/20: Did the Cherry Tree 10 Mile race in Prospect Park as a tuneup and it did not go super well. I did 1.5 miles warmup (had hoped for a full 2 but ran out of time).
My heart rate spiked after the first hill then barely recovered. I used the water stations as a little walk break then was still struggling up the hill after. Then at mile 7, I was chewing on a Clif Bar Block energy chew and my back rear molar crown popped off. So I had to retrieve that and tuck it away while I kept running.
Laps 1 and 2 were the warmup, then the first loop (laps 3-5) of 3.3 miles went pretty well. I slowed on lap 6 with the water stop and eating my chews, then picked it up again on that sweet downhill (9:09, really?) before trudging to the next downhill. My finish was not terrible and I was able to almost sprint it in, but my legs felt very un-springy the whole time.
Total: 25 miles out of a planned 36 or so. Womp womp.
Monday 1/24: Rest day. Did upper body stuff at the downstairs gym after work.
Tuesday 1/25: My longest, hardest running workout since March 2020. Warmup, 2×15 minutes @ Lactate Threshold pace with 7 minute recoveries in between, then cool down. I could feel the struggle in the second one so had to slow it down a bit, lest it not be a true LT workout/veer into something too fast. I got 7.95 miles total because I cut the cooldown short, but let’s just call it 8. Deadlifts and squats at the nice gym in the evening, but definitely not at my heaviest weights.
Wednesday 1/26: Recoveries – did 2 miles on the fancy gym treadmill then another mile at the downstairs gym treadmill after. Light to moderate upper body stuff at both gyms.
Thursday 1/27: Hour long easy run on the treadmill for 5.3 miles or so. Did Bulgarian split squats at the gym before moving around the rest of my schedule due to the blizzard, so I then switched to upper body (bench press, cable rows).
Friday 1/28: New long run day due to the impending snowstorm to hit that night. I got a later start than I would have liked, but did 5 miles outside, then the rest of the time at the gym. I was hoping to hit 6 miles on the treadmill but ran out of time, so I only got 1 hour, 50 minutes total instead of my planned 2 hours, 10 minutes. It was just about 9.5 miles instead of the 11 I had hoped for.
Saturday 1/29: Total rest day. Could have hopped on the treadmill but stayed inside (taking Herbie out for fun in the snow of course) but decided to recover
Sunday 1/30: Treadmill recovery run. Went for an hour for about 5 miles. Hit the gym later for squats, cable rows, and bench press.
Total: 31.2 miles out of a planned 33-34 or so. Still bummed about cutting my long run short; I think hitting 11 would have been a good ego boost.
Monday 1/31: Rest day.
Tuesday 2/1: Hills @ Lactate Threshold pace workout, which I took outside then regretted. The parks are well cleared but the ones near me don’t have any kind of hills, so I was left with lots of sidewalk slush and ice (the streets weren’t much better since the snow was plowed into the bike and parking lanes I would normally run in). It took me a few tries to find a decent hill with clear-enough sidewalks, but it was by a hospital and had lots of cars entering and exiting. I had to cut the repeats short and skimped on the cooldown, but still got 4.8 miles (instead of 8). I haven’t had a failed workout in some time, so it was definitely bruising to the ego, but I was glad it wasn’t a question of fitness, just conditions.
Wednesday 2/2: 4 easy miles on the treadmill to recover. Deadlifts at the gym later, along with bent-over rows and lat pull-downs.
Thursday 2/3: 1 hour+ easy on the treadmill. The snow and ice was finally reduced on the streets but that’s because it rained all day. I took Herbie on a walk in my waterproof On shoes and they got pretty wet inside.
Friday 2/4: 3 miles on the tread as a warmup before lifting and cooldown after.
Saturday 2/5: Rest due to my schedule but did 1 hour of Cardio Tennis class at the gym in the morning. I’m great at the cardio, still working on the tennis.
Sunday 2/6: Cutback long run – 9.3 miles total. Did 1 hour 5 minutes on the treadmill, then 4 miles outside. I love doing these hybrid long runs in the winter.
Total: 26.5 miles cutback. Would have hit a little more if I hadn’t cut the workout short.
The weather has still been so-so but I was able to mostly run outside.
Monday 1/17: Since I had moved my long run to Sunday, we moved my recovery run to today. 4 miles on the dot.
Tuesday 1/18: Lactate Threshold blocks (3×8 minutes) on the treadmill with a warmup and cooldown for 6.1 miles total. Deep tissue massage in the PM. Only two weeks after my last massage, which is a nice cadence if you can get it.
Wednesday 1/19: 40 minute recovery run.
Thursday 1/20: 1 hour easy with some strides in the middle.
Friday 1/21: Rest day
Saturday 1/22: 2 hour long run (my longest since before the marathon). Did 10.5 miles with some light hills (except for the 10% grade one which I walked up).
Sunday 1/23: Recovery run with strides.
Total: Finally over 30 miles! I’m planning to keep Mondays as rest days going forward, then have the option to do a little shakeout on Fridays. Trying to keep up with SAM and core work, as my heavy weight strength has been slipping.
As mentioned in my previous entry, I’m training for the NYC Half on March 20th. My big goals are 1) consistency in training and 2) a solid performance (not necessarily a PR). I feel like I’m already on my way toward the first one, though it might take me to more treadmill workouts on days that have freezing rain and icy sidewalks. I have my go-to clothes and accessories for sub-freezing weather: Sugoi SubZero tights (my 6th winter with these), Tracksmith Harrier (merino wool blend) long sleeves, Lululemon Down for it all jacket, and various buffs, SmartWool tall socks, and gloves. I have half a dozen pom pom wool fats from various races and a reflective Oiselle headband.
I have hired a coach because I thrive on accountability and knowing that someone is looking at my training and ‘relying’ on me to get the run done. I had to overcome my initial “someone at my low running volume doesn’t need a coach; I just need to run more” feelings. Of course I need to run more. But it also feels good knowing that someone will adjust my workouts or long runs as needed and was committed to my (slow, steady) progression in terms of volume and quality intensity. He has also prescribed auxillary work like SAM, balance/proprioception drills, foam rolling sessions, and epsom salt baths.
My long runs have increased from 80 minutes to 90 to 100 (and will keep going up). I had a great one Sunday 1/2 where I planned my route to end at Starbucks and get bonus stars for mobile ordering, but they were out of everything except hot coffee. You all know I’m just into it for the shaken espresso and various sorts of cold brew; it was warm (50’s) and humid and I was starving, so I trudged home.
Monday 1/3: Rest day
Tuesday 1/4: Another VO2 Max Ladders workout, this one with longer intervals. Slow to start since it was in the 20’s outside, but got some good paces in the back half.
Wednesday 1/5: easy 40 minutes on the treadmill since there was freezing rain outside.
Thursday 1/6: Serious Theragun time in the morning. Easy hour of running before sunset. The days are getting longer!
Friday 1/7: Rest day and a snow day. Herbie loved the snow! I trudged around in my snow boots and saw the new Spider-man movie.
Saturday 1/8: Long run day – took to the Woodway treadmill for 1 hour, 45 minutes. Broke it up with 1 easy mile with drills @ 4.7 mph, then 2 miles at 5 mph, 2 miles at 6 mph, 1 mile at mph, 1 at 6.2 mph, then 2 between 4.7-5 mph.
Sunday 1/9: Recovery 45 minutes with some strides in the middle.
Total: 28 miles
Monday 1/10: Rest day. Arms/shoulders/back strength training in the downstairs gym.
Tuesday 1/11: Hill workout day – warm up, 12(!!) 1 minute hill repeats, cool down for 6.4 miles total.
Wednesday 1/12: Recovery 40″ but I made it 45 minutes accidentally for 3.98 miles total. Legs were feeling a bit beat up, so lots of Theragun and stretching and resting in the evening.
Thursday 1/13: Easy hour for just over 5 miles.
Friday 1/14: Rest day – 30 minutes Taylor Swift Peloton spin class and some upper body strength training. Got stomach sick (not Covid) later at night and had to move some things around over the weekend.
Saturday 1/15: Total rest.
Sunday 1/16: Felt better by morning but did my long run later in the day. 6.1 miles outside, then 3.9 on the treadmill as it got darker and colder.
Total: 25.4 miles – would have hit 29 or even over 30 if I had done LR Saturday then recovery Sunday but I had off work Monday 1/18 and did my recovery 4 miles then.
I’m looking at February as a big month of base building. Just over 100 miles for the month and a push toward medium volume (for me).
2/3-2/9: 30 miles of training, finally. By only half a mile, this is my highest mileage since when I ran the NYC Marathon in November 2018. I did a trail run at South Mountain Reservation in New Jersey with a group, which was fun. It’s pretty easy to get to and just challenging enough for someone like me who loves running on trails but doesn’t yet have trail shoes with a rock plate.
2/10-2/16: 12.5 miles since I moved my long run to the following Monday, President’s Day while also missing my Thursday tempo and Saturday 5-mile Open Run.
2/17-2/23: 34 miles, including the final long run. Amazing eats at Golden Unicorn, Smith & Wollensky, and The Dough Club.
2/24-2/28: x miles plus a short shakeout 2/29 before spectating the Olympic marathon trials
Next up in March: Atlanta Half 3/1, cheering the NYC Half and the UAE 10K, eating my way around Montreal, and some more trail running.
A great couple weeks of running and pretty boring weeks for food. After last week’s vacation to the West Coast, I got back on my meal prep grind and started really looking at (ok, and tracking to some extent) what I’m eating.
Monday 3/25: Rest day. Had a huge Korean BBQ (and other entrees) feast at The Woo in SoHo.
Tuesday 3/26: 5.5 treadmill interval miles at Mile High Run Club’s The Distance. I was feeling ready for some speed again and it felt good. I’m planning to do some shorter distance races this summer or a tuneup 5K if I can find a good one in April. I need to practice running more at my 5K and 10K paces as well as doing more aggressive half-pace tempos.
Wednesday 3/27: 3.5 easy miles on the way to yoga. I had planned to run home but the temperature was dropping and I hadn’t brought gloves.
Thursday 3/28: Rest day. I did a strength circuit workout which kicked my ass. And my abs. Days of DOMS.
Friday 3/29: 7.5 mile run-commute home from work. It was overcast and in the low 50’s and just perfect. I felt really strong plodding up the Manhattan Bridge and could have kept going for a few miles.
Saturday 3/30: I went out for my long run mid-afternoon to meet with other folks, still feeling pretty thrashed from the strength workout DOMS Thursday and the longer runcommute Friday. I got 5 miles of progressively faster miles in solo, then 2.5 quick miles with the group, then did a slower cool down home for 8.3 miles total. I should have gotten in closer to 11 since last week’s was a cutback, but I scheduled poorly.
Sunday: 3/31: Unplanned rest day. Got brunch with friends, got a haircut, and bought some groceries to make Instant Pot short rib ragu, which was delicious. I served it over chickpea penne pasta.
Total: 24.8 miles. Almost back on track with mileage but definitely missing that 5th day.
Monday 4/1: Rest day. Ate dinner at The Osprey in Brooklyn Bridge Park and though it was cold (in the lower 40’s), I enjoyed staring at the water and seeing the first signs of spring.
Tuesday 4/2: 4.6 easy PM miles in Central Park.
Wednesday 4/3: Rest day
Thursday 4/4: Unplanned rest day from running, but I did the same strength workout as the week before and upped the dumbbells for arm rows from 7.5 pounds to 10 pounds. Way less DOMS this time!
Friday 4/5: 4.4 miles in the (relative) cold and rain. I came prepared with gloves and a hat (Lululemon’s Baller Cap has such a long brim, it’s great for rain). I had to stop by Petee’s Cafe to pick up some chocolate cream pie for my bf’s birthday and nabbed myself a slice of banana cream pie as well.
Saturday 4/6: Longish (6.8 miles) run where again my end destination was for desserts. I had scheduled a run to the new location of Bibble & Sip in Chinatown with friends to get some of their cute stuffed cream puffs. Alas, they were closed for the weekend after experiencing too much demand at their opening night party. So we hoofed it slowly to Supermoon Bakehouse for stuffed croissants and donuts and coffee.
Sunday 4/7: 6.7 easyish miles, soaking up the sun and enjoying the Brooklyn waterfront with my friend Alison.
Total: 22.5 miles; I really need to up my long runs again and add that fifth day of running.