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!

Week 1 of NYC Marathon Training 2021

It’s kickoff week 1 of 18 and I’m coming from 0 running mileage base. I did a few test runs in late June just to make sure I could survive it and kept doing weightlifting at the gym along with weekly Peloton bike riding.

Week 1 Rundown:

Monday 7/5: Rest day. I prefer to kickoff a marathon training cycle with actual running, but my plan called for rest and I had done a several mile hike up Kaaterskill Falls the day prior.

Tuesday 7/6: 3 easy treadmill miles in my apartment gym. I did this as a progression run and took it up 0.1 mph throughout but starting at ‘super ‘easy’ and moving to just ‘easy’. Later on at fancy gym, I did upper body strength stuff including my first attempt at Romanian deadlifts.

Wednesday 7/7: 3.8 easyish treadmill miles on a Woodway in my fancy gym. I meant to do 4+ but accidentally pulled the emergency stop cord prematurely and figured I was close enough. This one was already pushing to the top of Zone 3 heart rate halfway through so I actually took it back in pace as I went on.

Thursday 7/8: 3.2 easy non-Woodway treadmill miles. I did hex bar deadlifts first but didn’t make time for squats. At home, I had a very painful Theragun session.

Friday 7/9: Rain from Hurricane Elsa greeted me. Off day from running. 20 minute Robin Arzon ride on the Peloton (her last one from before maternity leave) then squats to make up for the day prior, abduction, and adduction at the gym.

Saturday 7/10: 5 miles on the Woodway. I had some work stuff in the morning and kept pushing off my run in the morning. Didn’t have time at the gym for anything else but the run since this distance at my current pace takes an extra 10-16 minutes than when I was in shape for previous training cycles. I did this as a ‘progression long run’ and sped up by 0.1 mph every half mile for the last couple

Sunday 7/11: HIIT class at the gym, focused mostly on core. We did arm hang off the bars and I really sucked. I was way more in my element during the mat work with abs and planks.

So far, there are a lot of treadmill miles because it’s been hot and humid. For shorter runs, I really don’t mind! I just pop on a podcast or watch a Peloton workout (I got a shoutout from my favorite run instructor Becs Gentry on my 50th app run during this week). For anything over an hour, I definitely prefer outside. And I’m trying to make scenic run plans for all those future 12+ mile long runs in the future – Central Park, West Side Highway/the Palisades, Rockefeller State Park, etc. I want to have the trail option available for at least half those runs if possible. Good for being in nature, great for the joints.

Total: 15 miles, all treadmill.

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.

2018 NYC Marathon Race Recap

Ouch. No, I’m just kidding. It’s been 2 weeks and I’ve had a lost of rest and recovery (and a massage), so I’m going to try and write this up so I can reflect on it later.

The Nights Before: I stayed out way too late on Halloween night (the 31st) but went to bed early on the 1st and 2nd, then by 10pm on the 3rd.

Night Before Flatlay

Start Village: Back in 2016, I took the Staten Island ferry to the buses and barely made it into my wave and corral in time. This time around, I wisely wore enough throwaway clothes and packed some snacks and handwarmers for the 3+ hour wait in the start village after taking a direct bus from Brooklyn with my teammates. It was a lot of fun to catch up with people and compare our training and race plans.

Cheesin’ at Fort Wadworth

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PPTC’s Magic Tree

I used the portapotties 3 times, pet a therapy dog, and got a photo in the corral with a teammate.

Lining up and getting psyched

Splits:

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Thoughts and feelings recap:

Miles 1-4: I was smart for exactly one mile and took it easy on the Verrazzano (formerly the Verrazano but they finally changed the name to actually be spelled correctly). Us green corral folks had a slightly different loop through Bay Ridge than the orange & blue runners, then messily converged with them. I didn’t realize it, but I was flying here.

Miles 5-9: My brain’s main thought was “THIS IS SO MUCH FUN!” I saw a lot of people here on 4th Avenue, beginning in the 20’s, through the PPTC cheer spot at 3rd, and some friends at Union St. and then on Lafayette Ave. I was having such a good time, as you can tell from this succession of photos.

Carly ran back to get a shot of me

Miles 10-14: Oh hmm, it sure got quiet. I slowed the pace a tiny bit in efforts to conserve energy, but felt good after doing a systems check. I hit the half in 2:07, which was on pace for a PR.

Miles 15-19: This segment finally presented me with thoughts of “Oh no, this isn’t going the way I wanted it to at all”. I felt fine approaching the Queensboro Bridge but slowed considerably running up 1st Avenue in Manhattan. I started walking through fluid stations then running again.

Surprised to see Mike on the bridge

Mile 18 2018 NYCM
My friend Eric caught me fighting for it around Mile 18

Miles 20-23: The Bronx sucked for me and I knew it was going to be a struggle until I got back into Central Park. I saw a very well-placed friend at 129th St and my boyfriend at 116th who gave me the best “I can tell you’re hurting” grimace.

Miles 24-26: I got to finally enter Central Park and vowed to not walk again, then promptly broke that vow. I ran into a teammate who was also having a rough race, so we tried to stick together for the final mile. She sent me on ahead for a while. I checked my heart rate during this portion and 20-23 and it was really high. Like 85-90% of max. I used the walking breaks to lower it, but was definitely concerned.

Mile 24 4
Embarrassed that Eric caught me walking around Mile 24

The final 0.2: I got a side stitch right at the 26 mile marker! While frustrating, I was relieved that it didn’t happen sooner. My teammate caught up to me so our finish photos are together, which is pretty cool. It was so nice to have a sounding board for the long walk to get our ponchos and exit the park. I headed to my team’s meetup spot where my boyfriend was waiting with a cold brew coffee. We then went to Sushi of Gari for a pretty nice post-race feast.

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Medals and Ponchos on Central Park West

Sushi of Gari

Phew. While only 10 minutes slower than my marathon PR, it was a poorly executed race. I have since compared training data and realized that despite the mileage PR, it wasn’t as far and away a monster training cycle as I had wanted. I keep vacillating between wanting to do another marathon in 2019 with more mileage under my belt and just waiting until I exact my revenge on the NYCM course in 2020. More to come!

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 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 10 of 2018 NYC Marathon Training

Another cutback week.

9/17: Rest Day

9/18: 6.9 mile RunCommute home (well, to Whole Foods). It rained all day from the remnants of Hurricane Florence but stopped just in time for me to do this humid run. It was neat to run along the East River path again, as it’s been quite a while. I noticed that the track is open again! I’m excited to have another option for speedwork soon.

9/19: Tempo run with Brooklyn Beer Runners. 1 mile warmup, 3 @ half marathon goal pace, 1 mile cool down. It felt good to see stuff in the 8’s again for this long. Had my first pumpkin beer of the season after!

9/20: Unintentional Rest Day but the bf and I ended up at Gramcery Tavern for dinner and ate until it hurt.

9/21: Rest Day

9/22: 12.2 mile long run. Started too late to catch the 8am group run and finally left my place after 10am. This went pretty well (I was hitting low 10’s) until the last few miles when I stopped to chat with people in the park. Three times (I was already paused getting water two of those times).

9/23: 2.1 mile recovery run. Cut short for time but felt great with cooler temperatures. Then we headed to Governor’s Island to check out the lobster roll at Island Oyster before some very fast tandem bike riding, and ending with some serious hammock time.

Total: 26 out of 28 miles.

Week 5 of 2018 NYC Marathon Training

8/13: Unintentional rest day. I was waiting for a thunderstorm to pass over, then ate dinner. It was 9:30 by the time I was less full, and I figured early bedtime should beat trying to squeeze in a few miles.

8/14: After-work Central Park loop once the 5pm thunderstorm blew through. I had forgotten my watch at home so started Strava on my phone and put it in my shorts pocket and only pulled it out when changing podcasts. The hills were hard but doable at this pace. Not sure what happened on the last mile except dodging pedestrians and waiting for cyclists to pass.

Capture

Shake Shack with the bf afterward. The blueberry pie concrete really hit the spot.

8/15: Taco Run with PPTC; 4.5 miles total down to the Tacos El Bronco truck. It was a little dark so I didn’t bother trying to take photos, but I got al pastor, suadero, and lengua tacos with a pineapple Jarritos.

8/16: My plan called for both intervals and hill repeats this week. I…did neither. East 5.2 miles that did not feel easy. A humid, sweaty slog.

8/17: Rest Day but I had a Field Day for work in Central Park. There was Tug of War, mountain climber/starburst jump Tabata sets, and a three-legged race that I took very aggressively.

Then Korean for dinner and seeing Crazy Rich Asians.

Budae Jigae at Her Name is Han

8/18: Long Run Day. 12 prescribed, but since I jumped up to 12 last week, I wanted to get 13 or 14. I just barely made it. I took the long way to SummerStreets instead of braving the crowds on the Brooklyn Bridge and got to conquer my old nemesis, the Williamsburg Bridge. Back when I lived on the Lower East Side and my runs were short (usually under 3 miles), I would sometimes run to Brooklyn and back. Things got hard once I was in Central Park (and a little before, honestly). You can see the drop from a 9 minute mile (??) to a 12 (up Cat Hill and including the search for water and a bathroom break at the Boathouse). This run led to Chafe City but I ended at Juice Press before the long C train ride back home. During my time underground, I apparently missed a downpour.

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8/19: Bo’s Bagels in Harlem for breakfast, cortado from Shuteye Espresso then a massage. Ouch. I could have used more time spent on my legs, but my back certainly feels rolled out.

I should have gotten my 5-ish miles in pre-massage and was just feeling too beat up after. My sports bra chafing from Saturday was hurting, my left heel was feeling off, and my hips were screaming. 0 miles.

I had more food adventures with my friend Lori in Greenpoint in the afternoon. Pastries and sushi galore.

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Total: 28.6 miles total out of a prescribed 34.

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).