Post-marathon, I signed up for the Ted Corbitt 15K as an attempt to get some race redemption under my belt in what remained of 2018. I hadn’t raced much this year and got PRs at the half marathon and 10K, but not any other distances (well, just the 5K and marathon that I actually tried).
I came in to this pretty well-rested and had peanut butter toast and cold brew before. I didn’t pack any nutrition but figured I’d be fine.
Last year, my first mile was super slow (9:44) due to getting into the corrals after they collapsed, so I made sure to get in there early this year. I accidentally started my watch early then couldn’t delete it in time. So I went in with an extra bit of seconds on the clock and was very confused with my splits the whole race.
I managed to hold back a bit on the first mile then went way too hard on the 2nd mile. I finally got into a groove for the last two miles of the first loop and was feeling good (PPTC cheerers and volunteers really helped).
Then I slowed down again for most of the second loop. The last mile felt tough but with the added endorphins from smiling and knowing that I was going to get a PR, then I was able to drop the hammer on the last 0.3 and sprint to the finish.
The pace was a little faster than my 8:57 pace from the Bay Ridge Half 9 weeks ago, which was my A goal. However, it’s a little slower than it should be if you plug that half time into a calculator. My goal for my next half is closer to 8:48, so I’m hoping to bring it down as my volume and speed work comes up in the next 8(?) weeks or so.
I’ve started some heart rate training since I have a HR monitor on my new watch. I’m surprised to find I kept it steady on this run (part of me is wondering if I had any cadence lock). To be discussed in future posts.
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.
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.
I used the portapotties 3 times, pet a therapy dog, and got a photo in the corral with a teammate.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Special Note: This is my 100th blog post here! I know it’s been erratic at times, but I’m glad I’m writing this all down somewhere. I think (and talk) a lot about creation vs. consumption of content. I journal semi-regularly (off and on since I was 8). My Twitter and Instagram are private. Yet I find myself leaving detailed race recommendations, travel guides, favorite food spots across many platforms (namely Facebook Groups, Reddit, Strava comments and run notes, and Yelp Collections). I wish there was some perfectly organized way to harness everything I write and share all across the internet without necessarily linking it or turning profiles public.
Week 5 was kind of a bust and not the 34-mile week I had intended. I hadn’t cracked 30 miles yet this cycle and was concerned. Cooler temps prevailed this week and I finally got up for a pre-work morning run. Twice, even. Progress!
8/20: One of those regular run park loops where everything feels good. I was able to make it a tiny bit progressive and fought my way up the hill, then was flying on the way home. The lower humidity weather really helped, but this is exactly what I needed after a tough Saturday long run and a skipped Sunday recovery run. First mile was 11, last mile was 9:49. 5.1 miles total.
8/21: Easy 3 miles on the gym treadmill @ an 11:00 mile pace in the AM.
8/22: Intentional rest day. I went to the NYRR RunCenter and got a copy of Run Fast Cook Fast Eat Slow and got to meet Shalane and Elyse! They signed my book and Shalane asked what I was training for and I got so awkward. I said “NYC. Og my god, so are you! That’s right! I’ll be starting two hours after you. But I’ll add you to my tracker so I know when you’re done!”. I was cheering for friends last year during her victory and didn’t get to see her cruising in the park, but I am so excited that she’s going for it again.
8/23: I did another double at Mile High Run Club by taking The Build (primarily kettlebell and bodyweight strength with some short running intervals) at 6pm then The Distance at 7pm. I “ran through” the two classes and got 7.5 Miles overall. I haven’t had a good midweek medium long run in some time! I felt pretty destroyed after.
8/24: Easy AM recovery run on the treadmill listening to Who? Weekly podcast; 3 miles @ 11:00 minute mile pace. Made a berry protein smoothie after but still got a bagel once at work at 10am.
8/25: Long run. I kept it in Brooklyn because I was meeting some coworkers who are training for a half. I did 4 miles to and around Fort Greene Park, 7 with them in Prospect Park, then went further south into Park Slope and through tiny JJ Byrne Park for the final 3. It went much better than last week’s long run overall (better weather with lower dew point certainly helped) and it was fun to see so many PPTC folks. 14 miles @ 10:52 pace total.
Went to Red Rooster for dinner, finally. Had a bourbon negroni, cornbread, and shared this seafood jambalaya for 2. Spoiler alert: we ate all the fried soft shell crabs and most of the lobster but still had a couple pounds of leftovers.
8/26: Recovery run; 4.5 miles in Central Park. Easy, peasy, a little sunny. I love coming here near-weekly for a change of scenery and since the final miles of the marathon are in this park.
Total: 37.1 miles, my highest weekly mileage since the first week of January (actually higher but my non-Monday to Friday mileage there was 39.5).
Back at it for week 2 with slightly increased mileage (Virtual Trainer recommended at least 28 miles this week).
7/23: 5.5 miles at Mile High Run Club (The Distance, as always). I was feeling real good this time! Things just sort of clicked and my paces better reflected that. I saw low 7:xx during the sprint portion again.
7/24: Rest day. We had a Filipino kamayan and some pies (banana cream pictured below) as a birthday tribute to my friend who passed in March. She would have loved it.
7/25: Run to and from volunteering at the 5th Al Goldstein Summer Speed Series 5K race. I was posted up at the water table after the finish and had a great time seeing lots of runner friends and chatting with teammates. 3.5 but I also ran a bit to and fro without turning on my watch, so I rounded up to 4 on the NYRR Virtual Trainer.
7/26: 5.7 miles down to Brooklyn Bridge Park and back. I’m definitely going to use this route (the long way) again and add in more piers and DUMBO for extra mileage.
7/27: Rest day.
7/28: 9 mile long run while also cheering on teammates at NYRR Team Champs. I had hoped to squeeze out another mile, but between the humidity and the chafing, I couldn’t. I did start to jog to the Q train for an added 0.5 miles, but ran into teammates and quit after 0.2 miles. Then we stopped for some blue Gatorade and all was right with the world.
Recovered with brunch, team beers, dinner at French Louie, then dessert at Brooklyn Farmacy.
7/29: 5.7 recovery miles but run at a faster than recovery pace and negative split since I was the slowest person at the PPTC group run. Whoops! Felt pretty good, considering. Went off and had food adventures with my friend Lori who’s an Instagram food influencer. Then ate even more (Szechuanese and 3rd serving of ice cream) on date night.
Yeah, y’all read that right. I’m now 80% sure that I’m going to try to run a marathon this fall. This % has ranged from 10% back in January all the way up to where it is now. It’s been a wild ride mentally. I was still 50-50 on the issue back in early July but then I repurchased the NYRR Virtual Trainer on a whim on the 12th after playing around with the inputs on the 11th. I was on a Conservative plan last year for the New York City Marathon but wanted something with higher mileage this time around since I’m not coming off of injury and had a pretty solid spring racing season with a decent base of summer miles (and hit some time goals). I’m now on the Moderate 16-week plan which will have me running more consistently into the 30’s and up to the low 40 mpw. This would be a 10-20% increase from last year’s training for the NYC Marathon.
The Virtual Trainer begins its weeks on Sundays but I’ve been mentally starting mine on Mondays, so I’m going to keep up that convention here on the blog. That should also help couch weeks like this past one where I did my previous week’s long run on Saturday but the current week’s had been on a Sunday.
On with the mileage!
7/24: Tennis clinic then on to a Filipino kamayan feast seen below from Ugly Kitchen for J’s birthday. Then we went to Snowdays and I split the Made in Taiwan for dessert. They were out of grass jelly so I got Captain Crunch cereal on it instead (along with mochi and a condensed milk drizzle all on a base of green tea snow cream). It was perfect! No pictures because I ate it all too fast.
7/25: 2 mile to Open Run, then 3.1 at increasing tempo pace. I got to run with NYRR President Peter Ciaccia for a good chunk of it and we talked about some NYRR races. I was a little starstruck but he was very friendly and chill.
7/26: 4 easy miles in Prospect Park later at night after trying out sushiritos and sushi nachos from Sushirito on 23rd Street with E early on (pictured below). Sylvan Esso was playing at the Bandshell and there was also a showing of The Sandlot so it was cool to have some ambiant noise and more people around.
7/27: NYRR R-U-N 5K in Central Park and a 2 mile warmup. The humidity crept back up after a lovely Tuesday and Wednesday, so I was alsresdt getting very warm and sweaty during my warm-up. I tried to take the first mile easy but not too easy which ended up being an 8:05 pace. This is faster than my PR pace, so whoops. The second mile felt rough and I had to slow down. I regret not getting water after the first mile marker but managed to grab some after the second. By that point, Cat Hill had already happened and my breathing wasn’t great. My final half mile was at a great pace but the rest was a struggle.
They gave out popsicles after and I was all about that. My final time was 25:35, which is a 2-second PR. I’ll take it, considering the weather and that my 25:37 previous PR from June 7th was in conditions 20 degrees cooler and less humid. I’m probably not done with this distance yet for this year.
7/28: Rest day but I managed to have Chipotle for lunch and Shake Shack for dinner with a lot of rosé in between.
7/29: 4.7 miles around noon due to feeling the effects of the previous night’s drinks and 11pm Shackburger and Concrete. I was so glad that I went out at all and felt much better afterward, thanks in part to some extra blue Gatorade laying around the fridge. Then I hightailed it to Long Island City to meet up with out-of-town friends to try some beer at local breweries.
7/30: 8.3 miles over the Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan Bridge with Chaya. I didn’t get a smoothie after so I’m already off from my goal of doing that after each marathon training long run. My plan called for 8 but we just hit so many lights that I was growing annoyed trying to add another 0.2 to make it more even.
Total mileage: 27.4 miles and some tennis (plan called for 26 miles).
7/17: I ran the inaugural NYRR Brooklyn R-U-N 5K in Prospect Park. I got in 2 miles as warm up and it was pretty humid, so I was quite warm by the time I finally reached the start village at 6:35 (for a 6:45pm start, eek!). I dropped my phone and water bottle at bag check and hopped in the H corral when I spotted a teammate.
I had originally signed up for this race and originally hoped to PR but adjusted my expectations due to the weather and aimed to keep a steady 8:20 first mile then speed up accordingly. Unfortunately, the elevation profile had Zoo Hill/Battle Pass Hill during the 2nd mile, then a fairly flat 3rd mile. There were lots of teammates cheering along the way, which really helped my morale, but I just couldn’t hold the pace. Sweet kick at the end, though!
Thanks to my teammate Ned for the photo; I spotted him after this. Afterward, I hung around after with some teammates after I finally got my stuff back and we made the NYRR instagram! I had planned to shuffle home (since it was downhill after all) but got a ride instead. Total of 5.3 miles.
7/18: Rest day and another trip to Coney Island to see the Cyclones play as part of a Yelp Elite Event. We were treated to local beer, hot dogs, chicken tenders, and beautiful sunsets.
7/19: 4.7 miles, including 3.1 as part of a failed tempo at the PPTC Al Goldstein 5K #5. Gabby and I tried to take it easy but easy was not happening thanks to the heat advisory. We had a brilliant kick at the end, at least.
I had put my bib on my shorts just in case I was tempted to try some sports bra only running, but then realized I had nowhere good to put my shirt since I had already checked my bag.
4.7 miles total; 1 warm up, 3.1 race, and 0.6 cool down where I stupidly took us up a hill then just couldn’t handle it any more.
7/20: Rest day. Went back to Atlantic Social for trivia. Ate the General Tso’s chicken wings, pepperoni pizza, and manchego-chorizo potato skins. We got 2nd at trivia but were the real winners for getting so many of those delicious wings again. They have a huge game room and I hope to bring my foosball skills to it soon.
7/21: Unplanned rest day. I brought all my running stuff in the hopes of going to the gym right after work, but stayed at work later than usual and opted for earlier dinner (Thai red curry chicken) instead of a few miles.
7/22: 8 mile long run mainly along the water in Brooklyn Bridge Park. I ended it with a smoothie at AMLA Cafe, which is the new incarnation of Brooklyn Juice Company, where I got some smoothies last summer during marathon training.
7/23: 6.3 miles with the PPTC Group Run. I ended at Trader Joe’s and got a green juice and many other goodies. I ran with some faster people so it speedier than I had planned.