So this was technically Week 1 of Brooklyn Half training (3/12-3/18) but I was also taking a trip to LA with Gabby and didn’t manage to get in any runs before I left Wednesday 3/14. So this is mainly about our hikes and run in LA and all the things we ate!
We flew in early Wednesday afternoon, dropped off our stuff in Hollywood, then headed in a very long car ride to Venice Beach.
It was so nice to see and smell the beach! We then had dinner with some friends of mine at A-Frame, Roy Choi’s Hawaiian outpost in nearby Culver City. No pictures because we were starving but we had loaded fries, two kinds of spam musubi, Brussels sprouts, and crispy chicken.
The next day, we took off on a Runyon Canyon hike. We took what we thought was the main route but then realized we were on the Eastern side of it. We figured out that we could keep going around the rim and back down but we had no idea how steep it would be.
We made it! It was 2.8 miles roundtrip and 740 feet of elevation gain.
After showering (I got some mud on my hiking leggings from bouldering and scooting down), we got some delicious ramen from Urban Ramen, bought snacks at Ralph’s, then walked to Hollywood to see the sights, namely the walk of fame and Mann’s Chinese Theater.
Oh, and some churros. Later on, I had dinner with a friend at Bowery Bungalow, then ice cream from Scoops in Silverlake.
On Friday, we headed to Universal Studios Hollywood. I was excited to see their version of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter after going to the one in Florida in January. It was almost exactly the same, down to the butterbeer (hot, cold, and frozen). We did the hour-long studio tour, which was super cool because I got to see Jaws in action and see the set of recent favorite The Good Place.
Plus, huge donuts at Simpsons World/Springfield.
We hit up the race Expo on the way back and got to see some more of Downtown LA. I got street tacos, finally (was on the hunt after seeing the LA taco episode of Ugly Delicious). And it rained, which we were totally prepared for in our hooded jackets and umbrellas.
On Saturday morning, we ran The Big 5K, which is sponsored by Big 5 Sports and is affiliated with the Los Angeles Marathon (the next day). We signed up sort of on a whim, figuring that we were in town anyway and it would be a fun race. We didn’t look up the course profile until the day before the race because they didn’t really highlight it on the website. Now we know why. There were some brutal hills, especially for this relative flatlander. It starts off in the parking lot of Dodgers Stadium, then around nearby Elysium Park.
According to Strava/Garmin, you are climbing for 33% of the time. Most of the first mile started out great and I was on pace for a PR. There was a slight downhill coming out of the parking lots, then boom, climb #1 just before 1 mile. I chugged my way up and hoped that was the worst of it. But of course, what goes up must come down. Then back up again. Then down. Then up.
My grade adjusted pace for the first mile says it all; I went out hard then couldn’t hang on. Around mile 3, I got to laugh with other runners at what felt like an onslaught of hills. But I was pretty bummed that I couldn’t handle the hills.
Gabby and I grabbed our medals and snacks (she got the swag bag, I passed on it not realizing I could have had another Clif Bar). Then it was time to eat! I tried a pastrami egg and cheese burrito as well as a smoothie from some food trucks that were there. I was tempted by the taco truck too, of course.
We took a Lyft home, showered off, then headed back to Runyon Canyon for a gentler hike. We took the easy, paved road up this time then came down on the east side (where we had headed up on Thursday). It was a beautiful, sunny Saturday and so many people were out! It was impressed to watch all the runners, but we had a good time taking it easy and recovering. Lots of foam rolling that day! We had Korean BBQ bowls on the roof, coffee from nearby Blackwood Coffee, then I met with my friend Gina to hang out with her pup Riley and get donuts from California Donuts.
Before we headed to the airport (I had a red eye), we stopped off at a mural that Mabelle had wanted to check out. And it’s right next door to See’s Candy factory and store.
Then I spent the extra time before my flight screaming at the Houston-Michigan basketball game and eating chilaquiles. I missed out on all the NYC Half action, but I’m going to enter the lottery for next year.
Mileage: 3.6 miles of running, most of it spent wheezing up hills. 4.6 miles of beautiful, sunny hiking.
Freudian slip on my original post last week when I called it “Week 4 of NYC Marathon Training”. Whoops! Obviously I ran NYC last year and did the NYRR 9+1 this year for entry to the 2018 NYC Marathon, but this year the plan is to run Richmond.
8/21: RunCommutes are back! 6.4 miles home from work with my usual Lululemon ‘Run From Work’ backpack, very lightly filled. I missed my usual turn and cut through Commodore Barry Park and Fort Greene Parks.
8/22: Rest day
8/23: Loop around the park, walk to the bar, then run home from the bar. 6ish miles total.
8/24: Rest day
8/25: 4 easy treadmill miles in the AM. This is the first Friday I’ve run since May? June?
8/26: The most productive running day of my life. 1 mile warm up, then setting a new 5K PR at the Percy Sutton Harlem 5K, then running almost 10 miles through Central Park, down the West Side, and almost to the Governor’s Island ferry (but had to stop at the ATM first).
I grabbed my stuff, decided to forego the free tshirt, and strapped on my new backpack (Gregory Maya 16) then headed out with a friend from my beer drinking running group.
14 miles even for the morning (I think) though my watch died at 9.3 and my running buddy forgot to restart his after we paused and we lost 0.3 then we stopped it before I had to SPRINT to the ferry, blue Gatorade in hand. I found my friends and we rented a 5-person surrey to ride around the island. Even after a big lunch and afternoon coffee, I was exhausted but somehow rallied to make it outside again later for frosé and beer with friends.
8/27: 3 recovery miles in Brooklyn Bridge Park after walking 2 miles to donate my bicycle in DUMBO.
Total: 33 miles! My Sunday-Saturday total was 36.6 out of a recommended 34 miles.
7/31: Cross-training with tennis. More drills (I think my backhand is getting pretty good), more time to work on my atrocious serve. I’m nowhere near being ready to play against anyone, but am hoping that with more time, lessons, drills, and practice, that I could actually play next year.
8/1: I was heading to NYRR Open Run but decided to see if the new Park Slope Blink Fitness location was open and lo and behold, it was. And there were treadmills available. I did 4 easy miles while watching Teen Jeoaprdy! and quietly shouting out the answers.
8/2: Unexpected rest day because the Al Goldstein Summer Speed Series 5K #6 was canceled due to thunderstorms. My friends and I got delivery from Emily (their Emily pizza is in my top 5), stuffed croissants from Union Fare, and some fruit pies from Petee’s Pie Company.
8/3: Surprise mid-week 9 mile long run. I got out of a work training at NYU Langone Hospital early, so I put all my stuff into a locker at a Blink location (going to the gym twice in a week?!) then headed out along the East River. I was feeling good and the weather was perfect, so I knew I wanted to run more than 6 miles. I figured that since it would be likely raining on Saturday before/during/after Team Champs, I may as well get the miles in so I wouldn’t have to worry about adding extra on.
I turned around at 4.5 miles exactly in between the Manhattan Bridge and the Brooklyn Bridge. Strava was being weird and generous and gave me an extra 0.2, but the wild loops around the piers to get extra miles in are all me. The 8:42’s are not quite right. I also had to do a lot of weird mini loops at the end of the East River path near 40th St. I’m hoping to do the East side from 59th St. up soon, but am happy to skip the 40’s and 50’s because there is no path.
8/4: Rest day. I thought about doing a few miles at the gym after work but picked up my bib then made it out to the grocery store and that was it. Had Burger Garage for lunch and was full for a long time. Burgers, sweet potato fries, and cookies & cream milkshakes aren’t really conducive to working out.
8/5: Team Champs 5 Miler in Central Park.
Due to severe thunderstorms in the morning (I woke up early to the sound of thunderclaps and rain on my air conditioner), the men’s race was pushed to 8am and the women’s to 8:45am. I did a solo 1 mile warmup after cheering for the guys near the start. It was pretty humid, as is normal in August, so 1 mile felt sufficient, though I had hoped for two.
I had a miserable 4th mile and stopped for water at each stop, then caught up to my teammate LP. She had her earbuds in so we didn’t really speak, but we sped up for the final mile and the part past our teammates together. I got a wave of nausea at the 4.85 mark, but managed to hold off.
8/6: 7 easy miles including a park loop in my PureFlows. This is the longest run I’ve worn them for because I’m hoping to make them my speed shoes for 5K/10K at most, but things felt pretty good in them.
Total: 26.7 miles. It’s only 0.6 miles less than last week, but I know it was supposed to be a few miles more (and that last week was supposed to be a few miles fewer). Next week (week 3) is supposed to be the first above 30.
6/12: Recovery from Miami. I think I went to bed at 9pm.
6/13: 5.4 at MHRC The Distance. I was close but not quite to hitting my distance record for this class. I didn’t want to sacrifice any of the stretching for an extra 0.2, though.
6/14: 5.5 miles loop of the park with a friend at my easy pace.
6/15: 5 miles around Brooklyn Bridge Park and the Promenade, then my first PureBarre class in a couple of months. It didn’t hurt to laugh the next day but I struggled through the push-ups. The instructor called my forearm plank form perfect, so that was a win.
6/16: Rest day.
6/17: 6.2 Queens 10K. I was hoping to do a warmup mile, but was being social then cheering on Wave 1 runners, then it was time to get into my corral for an 8:15am start. My A Goal was to PR which I knew I could do with even splits in the 8:40’s. Humidity was at 99%, so I decided not to be aggressive and push to the 8:30’s. The out-and-back was torturous, but I did see a lot of teammates who cheered for me, which really helped.
I’m pretty proud of those splits! I got so lucky that it was overcast, which really helped with the high humidity. I would have wilted in full sun, as this course is pretty much out in the open. Finish time of 54:36, which is over a minute down from my UAE 10K.
6/18: 3 warm recovery run miles around lunch time, which I ended at Bagel Pub for a smoothie and an everything bagel with bacon cheddar cream cheese.
Total: 25.2 miles and a new 10K PR.
6/19: Rest day
6:20: Park loop at an easyish but too-quick pace for 5.5 miles. I really need to slow down my easy runs but it’s hard by myself without conversational pace. I’ve started saying the Pledge of Allegiance as a test.
6/21: I volunteered at the 5K, originally having hoped to do a loop or a few miles. My left calf was hurting a little so I just did course marshal duty at the finish.
6/22: Fly 45 and trying a new-to-me instructor at Flywheel. I thought I had set a new “high score” for myself, but nope, not even close. I did get 2nd female in the one sprint, though.
6/23: Calf still a bit sore, so rest day.
6/24: Cheering at the Pride Run. I was hoping to get more miles in (4 or so) but it was pouring down rain until the race started. My socks and shoes were soaked, then the sun came out at the end of the race and I was hungry, so we high-tailed it to Tal Bagels, then home for a total of 0.44 miles.
At night, I attended the Prospect Park Soiree and ate, drank wine, and danced the night away (ok, there was a 10pm hard stop with the DJ).
6/25: Achilles 4 Miler. 2 warm up miles before the start with some teammates.
I accidentally got in one corral behind mine but decided to stick with it because I was already feeling thirsty and tired. My A goal was even splits in the 8:30s and I just wasn’t feeling it after the first mile, so I backed off. All the way off. I decided not to try to beat my 4 Mile PR from April and just try to get hydrated at each water station.
No time for a cool down. 6 miles total but my calf was feeling normal again.
Total: 12 miles. My lowest since a freak 11.9 mile week in April with only 2 runs.
This is truly one of those ‘no news is good news’ situations.
I had been worried about my relatively low mileage the weeks after Broad Street Run and before the Brooklyn Half. We had a brief heat wave for a few days before the Half, which was very worrisome but kept my easy runs easy.
Mileage and running and food highlights from this month:
5/15-5/21: 21.9 miles, including a half marathon PR. Volunteered at the Brooklyn Half expo and had a great time. Went to Hey Hey Canteen twice and have now tried most of their menu.
5/22-5/28: 21.8 miles, including leading an 8 mile group run to Red Hook and not getting us lost. Had a strawberry matcha boba from The Boba Guys and it was heavenly. Tried a red velvet cake concrete from Shake Shack and had to put it in the freezer for the next day because it was so intense. Had Xi’an Famous Foods’ spicy cumin lamb noodles and the cucumber salads, which are my must-orders. Wow, I really need to take pictures of all my delicious food.
5/29-6/4: 12.4 miles, including 6.2 on my birthday 6/2. I ate a lot of amazing stuff this week, including pastrami from Ben’s Best in Rego Park, a Yelp Elite Event at Atlantic Social and some of Dale Talde’s amazing wings, AYCE hot pot, stuffed croissants from Union Fare, Ample Hills, and some of the many Momofuku Milk Bar and gummi treats my friends got me. Also, I saw Hamilton.
6/5-6/11: 17.7 miles, including a new 5K PR then a trip to Miami.
Easy miles during Open Run in Brooklyn Bridge Park.
New 5K PR time of 25:37 on the 7th aka Global Running Day. I’m now imagining what I could do with more even splits and without that first mile hill.
I took it easy on the first mile, then decided to loosen up on the second, then see what I had left on the third. My previous 5K PR was 26:10 on the same course and I had a faster first mile there and a third mile at 7:55 which was my fastest mile ever in a race.
Needless to say, seeing 7:40something was wild, especially since my recent mile PR was 7:19. I’m definitely gunning for my next mile time and 5Ks later this summer.
In Miami the 8th-11th, we feasted. Had my new obsession, cuatro leches cake at a Cuban spot. Tried Haitian food. Had Cuban tacos from a stand after viewing murals in Wynnwood. Got the fried chicken, watermelon, and waffles at Yardbird. Went to da club. Got Vietnamese and Sri Lankan as my first meals back in NYC. East Coast Appetite, what can I say?
I also went on a humid 6 mile run along the South Beach and mid-beach boardwalk then got an açai bowl afterward.
It’s definitely harder to write about this so many weeks later, but the splits tell the story. I held back a little up the hills but tried to keep a steady pace. My splits averaged out to be just about 9:09 or under and I knew I was on pace when I exited the park.
I was still rolling on Ocean Parkway, even when the cheering crowds thinned out substantially. I was pretty sure I had a PR in the bag and sped up to lower 9 minute miles, then was able to drop below 9 for the final few miles. That last mile got to be painful but I felt like that meant I was doing it right. My struggle up the boardwalk was apparent and my final “0.2” was at an 8:23 pace.
I collected my medal, got a bag with yellow Gatorade that I traded some dude for because he had blue Gatorade (best flavor). Then I tried to get my stuff. Well, turned out the truck with my stuff had broken down and it wasn’t there yet. They gave us heat sheets and vouchers for a free hot dog but eventually it pulled up so I could put my jacket on. Then the rain started, just as I finally pulled up to our club’s beach picnic.
Well, I’m a marathoner now! As for the days leading up to the race, I had no doubts about my abilities to finish this. But I also knew anything could happen and that I should respect the distance. Between all the love and support and reading stories like this, I am very emotional. Disclaimer: I am even more emotional after the events of this week and delayed publishing this by a few days in an effort to start coming to terms with the election results.
As of writing this Tuesday, I am also very sore. I got a massage Monday which apparently might have been too soon and maybe I just made more micro-tears in my muscles. Whoops! It felt good, that’s for sure. Anyway, back to race day:
If you’re unfamiliar with the course, this is an excellent primer.
Getting to the start at Fort Wadsworth was an experience. I boarded the 8:15am ferry, which should have left me plenty of time after the shuttle buses dropped us off for my Wave 3 10:40am start. But there was bus traffic the whole way and what should have been a 10 minute ride (according to others who have done it before) took 40 minutes. Apparently an earlier ferry broke down. I made new friends on the ferry and while waiting for the bus who came from all over. It was so nice to talk the time away and not worry about the ticking clock. I scarfed down my strawberry Uncrustable (saw others were having PB&J and it had been 2 hours since my freezer waffles). By the time I hopped off the bus and used the bathroom, the corrals for my whole wave were about to close. I quickly shed my throwaway layers, then ran into a PPTC member who had run this before and calmed me down a lot. I didn’t feel ready, but I knew it was go time. I ate my honey stinger waffle slowly and got a picture.
Miles 1 & 2:
I knew I should take the Verrazano Bridge very slowly, and I did. You definitely don’t feel the incline because of the adrenaline, so I focused on taking in the views and not tripping over throwaway clothing. The fire boats were shooting out water and there was a rainbow! I was Orange, so we were on the left side of the bridge and did a neat little turnaround before entering 4th Avenue. Blue was on the right side of the bridge and had their own route, then Green was on the lower level and seemed to come up then over to their special route, as seen below from the NYT. 11:12 for mile 1 and 10:26 mile 2, enjoying that downhill a bit.
Miles 3 – 6:
Bay Ridge was fun! I come down here sometimes for work or food, so I knew different stretches of the route. The crowds really started to come out and had some excellent signs. I saw a few PPTC people who ran past me and my pace was remaining steady with the same effort much closer to 11 minute miles than 10. I had hoped for more easy, breezy even 10:30’s like during my longest training run, but it seemed it wasn’t happening. I was afraid to push harder in case my body fell apart on the back half, so I reined it in. I untaped my pace bracelet for my A Goal time of 04:29 and threw it onto the median around mile 6. So long, A Goal! I had my first Gu of the day, Salted Watermelon around the 1 hour mark. Writing these down seems very important for any future marathon training I may do. This was a little later than usual but I figured the extra Honey Stinger waffle on top of the two-part breakfast had given me plenty.
Mile 7 – 9:
The best running miles of my life! This stretch included seeing the first of my coworkers, then one of my besties, then the PPTC cheer zone, then finally my parents and roommate. I have no words left to describe how exciting this part of 4th was. Then we did the Flatbush to Lafayette turn around mile 8 and I was equally impressed by Fort Greene. The party had really started. I saw great costumes, another coworker, and enjoyed the music. I took these miles a little fast and then my GPS messed up and told me I had run a sub-8 mile through Lafayette. I was fast, but not that fast! My watch had been beeping a little ahead of the mile markers but this is where it started being behind and I didn’t even realize. NYRR says I did the 10K in 1:07:28. Gu #2 (the other Salted Watermelon).
Mile 9 – 12:
I saw a few more people along Bedford (another coworker, old roommate who ran the marathon last year, and a team captain) then enjoyed the more quiet miles of Orthodox/Hasidic Williamsburg. I had a work assignment in this area the last few months that just ended on Halloween, so I’ve become more familiar with the area and the culture. There was still a fair amount of crowd support and the course was just chock full of Northern Europeans. I felt like I was surrounded by Swedes, Danes, and Germans. Then Williamsburg re-brought the party. I could actually smell the booze! I saw 2 lovely coworkers in Greenpoint before the Pulaski Bridge and was riding that high.
Miles 13 – 16:
The Pulaski Bridge was short and sweet, then we were met with a large crowd throughout Long Island City, where my main office is. It was so weird to see my work building then just keep running right by! Some friends were having their usual marathon party and I almost missed them because I couldn’t remember which side of the street they were on. I ended up making a beeline for them and coming in for a quick high five before zipping off again. Then the Queensboro Bridge happened. It was rough, to say the least. I still had dreams hitting my B Goal (4:30-4:45) and I hit the half in 2:23:01, which would make the tail end of that goal doable with a slight negative split. But the bridge ended that, as I chugged along at a 12 minute mile. Gu #3 (Strawberry Banana) was chased with water still.
Mile 17 – 19:
The Wall of Sound on 1st Avenue was no joke and I loved seeing the throngs of people five deep cheering for us. I, however, got totally confused about which mile I was on because of my GPS mishap and missed a couple of friends here. I sped up just a little bit but couldn’t get back under 11. I also chose to address my underboob chafing with some Vaseline. Unfortunately, they had run out of sticks so the medical volunteer just had to hand me a glob of it. No shame at this point and I smeared it where I needed. Gu #4 at the 3:20 mark, plus 2 shot blocks and some Gatorade at this point.
Miles 20 & 21:
The Bronx was really short and sweet and people were out in droves, contrary to what I had heard. The guy running next to me (who I saw again toward the finish) was a local and kept welcoming all of us to the BX. Also, it is just wild to me that we take such a detour around the Western Beef supermarket. I’m glad the afore-linked NYT article mentioned it because it was so confusing. Then right before the bridge, a lady had a great sign that said LAST DAMN BRIDGE. And yes, it was.
All aboard the pain train! Actually, it wasn’t so bad at first. I got another Vaseline stick and swabbed myself on 5th Avenue, then we went around Marcus Garvey Park, which looked autumnal and lovely. I was apparently shuffling along in the 11:40’s here and had a great butt slapping hello with my friend Allison in the upper 120’s. Then I ate half a banana since I had taken my final Gu (Salted Caramel, which has a little more caffeine, though not as much as the Caramel Macchiato I meant to take) at the 4 hour mark. Then somewhere around mile 23 marker (my watch was still behind), I got a nasty side stitch on my right side. I tried to keep jogging through it, but it brought me down. The worst grimacey photos are from this point, but my friend Brittany hopped in and gave me water and talked me through it. She reminded me how to stretch and breathe then sent me into Central Park with a smile on my face, ready to run down Cat Hill and make the finish in under 5 hours (C Goal!).
Miles 25 + 26 + 0.2:
The last two miles were a magical blur, full of spectators and my last wind. I chugged a final shot of Gatorade just to get me through the finish and managed to pick up my pace on 59th St. I passed a couple teammates but couldn’t really form sentences any more. I remember seeing the ‘800 meters to go’ sign and being excited, then feeling crestfallen when I realized just how far that was. Bronx guy was with me here and yelled out the sign, but it wasn’t enough. I pushed so hard just to get under a 10 minute mile then sprint in the finish, arms raised and feeling triumphant.
Then the epic shuffle to retrieve our medal, apple (yum), heat sheet, goodie bags with snacks, and finally the exit poncho. I pulled my phone out of the Ziploc bag and turned off airplane mode since I hadn’t turned it on to listen to music even once because I never needed it. The energy of the race was more than enough to get me through the tough parts). I tried to answer the many texts and WhatsApp messages I got and let my family know I was alive and heading to the reunion point. My walk speed was actually pretty quick and I tried to get out of the park as fast as I could while thanking all the volunteers. I entered the reunion school and got applause and cheers like a rockstar. Instead of chocolate milk, I was handed some delicious hot chocolate by a volunteer and grabbed some Milk Duds thanks to my Dad. After wiping down and changing and a mini photo shoot, we went to Bar Boulud for an amazing post-race meal. After a long cab ride back to Brooklyn, I tried to facebook and instagram a quick post before bed at 8:38PM.
The crowds make this race. I mainly mean the million + people cheering us on, but I do also mean the runners themselves. Everyone I talked to, smiled at, or otherwise wasn’t elbowed by (there were a few of those but most were apologetic) was so thrilled to be running this race. It was really something special to run through all 5 boroughs of this city I love and have called home for over 6 years. NYC is the place I’ve lived longest in my adult life and that is for many reasons, but the people are overwhelmingly the biggest one.
I brought too much nutrition with me. Fortunately my pockets were huge (thank you, Lululemon Speed Track Shorts), so my leftover Shot Blocks and extra Gus will be used in the future.
I feel very sure about my decision to not run another marathon until 2018 at the earliest. I’m looking forward to a leisurely summer and fall next year, where I can sleep in past 8am on weekends and not plan my vacations around my long runs. I also hope to get faster with the help of more speed work, and plan to try my hand at more shorter distance races that I didn’t want to risk this training cycle. I would hope that I could try a higher mileage plan for an future marathons and honestly, the thought of it right now is a bit much. I’ll probably end up doing the 9+1 in 2017 just so I have the NYC option open to me in 2018, but would of course consider other full marathons. My only definite 2017 races (barring injury) are the Philadelphia Broad Street Run (deferred entry from last year) and the Richmond Half Marathon.
Monday 9/26: I got back from Cancun on Sunday the 25th and had smartly taken the day off on Monday. Since I didn’t do a run Sunday (or Thursday), my legs were a little eager to go. I slept in (until 8am) but lazed around all morning and didn’t get going until after noon. 4.3 total, slightly faster than I needed to go and slightly warmer than I expected.
Tuesday 9/27: 6 miles even (1 mile to the park, 3.5 miles tempo, .3 miles to friend’s place to get throwaway clothes, then 1.2 miles home) but my watch died at 4.8.
Wednesday 9/28: Taco Run with PPTC. Ran to the park and meeting place for 2 miles, then most of a loop and down to the Tacos El Bronco truck. Got lengua, al pastor, and chorizo tacos ($1.75 each) plus a pineapple Jarritos. I was so hungry I didn’t even take a picture. 6.7 miles at a conversational pace.
I came home and finally tried to sign up for the Bay Ridge Half, a race I had been thinking about doing for weeks (months?). I knew I’d have either an 18 mile long run or a half to race this weekend and figured the flat course here would be nicer than Grete’s Gallop the next day if I was going for a PR. So of course the link was no longer active! Fortunately they corrected it within the hour so I was able to sign up.
Thursday 9/29: Off day. Packet pickup for the Bay Ridge Half after I inhaled some goat curry roti from the Bronx, then beer and nachos at a friend’s birthday.
Friday: Personal Day off work and off day from activity unless you count traipsing around the Met Breuer and (regular) Met. It was raining outside all day, so I’m glad I skipped what would have been a nasty shakeout run. This was an amazing food day, with Pastrami Queen for lunch and Korean fried chicken and cheese ddukkbokki for dinner. I also had a single pumpkin beer at a friend’s birthday before dinner. I walked several miles this day in my Frye boots and tights and they began to rub against a tender spot near my left ankle.
Saturday: Race day.
My plan was to aim for straight 9:30s and see how I felt at mile 10. I hadn’t actually raced a half since Brooklyn 2015 (since I was super injured for Nike Women SF) and I went back to look at those splits (pre-Garmin 220). I had trouble with the rain and maintaining my pace back then, so I wanted to do better here. Ideally, my A+ goal would be to go sub-2 but I knew that 9:10 even splits were just not possible at this point in the game.
I did a nice, easy warm-up mile since NYRR Virtual Trainer said I should hit 14 miles total for the day.
I stayed pretty consistent, though definitely got too excited at mile 4, then too slow for some reason at mile 7. I took a caffeinated PowerGel slowly from miles 6-8, then a couple Honey Stinger chews at mile 10. They had blue Gatorade but I just sipped my own water then took some of theirs when I was running low.
I knew I was going to hit my sub-2:04 goal, so I felt amazing coming in. I was flagging a bit the last 2 miles but got my kicks the last 0.5 miles by passing a ton of people and hitting that sub-9 mile.
Final time of 2:02:11 and a smile on my face. I input my time into Virtual Trainer, knowing it was faster than the predicted range and my expected marathon time range shot up by 10 minutes. Easy there slugger, you might say to me. I’m trying to keep my full NYCM expectations in check. With just 5 weeks to go, I am still just delighted my training has gone so well, but I still want to make sure to respect the distance.
I made it to the Grub Street Food Festival and chowed down on fried mac & cheese bites, a chicken and bacon cheddar waffle sandwich, and Taiwanese/Japanese wheel cakes.
Sunday 10/2: Recovery run shuffle. The plan was 1 mile each to JackRabbit and back because I needed compression socks and a new non-handheld water bottle. I was halfway to JackRabbit when I realized they might not be open yet. Stopped to check Yelp and sure enough, they wouldn’t open for another 30 minutes. Rather than scrap the run, I added on extra mileage to and just into the park, then when it was 10:54, I scrambled around the surrounding blocks. I then watched football (HTTR, phew) and drank 3 different pumpkin beers. 3.7 miles total.
Total: 34.8 miles out of a recommended 34. It felt weird not doing 18 miles as my log run, so I’m glad I did the recovery the day after.
This post is late because I was attending a work training for 2 days. I now have a White Belt in Lean Six Sigma and actually have thought about how to apply some of my newfound process improvement skills toward marathon training (namely, morning runs). Look out, world!
Monday 8/15: Red-eye back from Vegas was rough, so I slept until 11am then napped in the afternoon. Meant to get a run in but didn’t. Still had some desert sand on me from the hike.
Tuesday 8/16: My usual snooze struggles were coupled with a touch of jet lag. I brought my running gear to the rock climbing gym but ended up just climbing for several hours. I completed my first 5.7 (and then my second) and tried a couple of 5.8s that I did not summit.
Wednesday: The final Al Goldstein Summer Speed Series 5K. I wanted to try for even splits of 8:20-8:30 but had some digestive unrest for the first mile, so hit 8:55 (this mile has the big hill, too), then sped up to 8:15 for the second (mostly downhill) mile and was feeling great. I saw some teammates ahead and hung back for a while before passing them in the last 250 meters then sprinted it in for a barely sub-8 final mile. I don’t think I’ve seen a sub-8 mile on my Garmin since I raced the Fifth Avenue Mile last year. The last 0.1 was sub-7, so I guess I have some untapped sprinting speed in me yet. I did a warm up and cool down mile as well to bring it to 5.3 miles for the day.
Thursday: Quick run-commute jaunt to book club, picking up some duck liver mousse and buffalo cheese on the way for tartines. 2.5 slow miles with my running backpack on. I contemplated running home but had some wine and a lot of tartines, so enjoyed a leisurely walk.
Friday: Off day.
Saturday: 8ish mile long run to celebrate Summer Streets. The last time I crossed the Brooklyn Bridge was on a run was last September and it was rough; my Achilles were acting up and I got water on the Manhattan side of the bridge then turned around to shuffle home. This time, I was loving life. Endorphins all over the place. We took a few moments to appreciate the views at the top, then paused at the start of Summer Streets for free coconut water. My Garmin got confused after the Brooklyn Bridge and gave me an extra mile (at a blistering pace). I peeled off the route at 59th St. and got a Sprinkles cupcake and some blue Gatorade before taking the subway home. I wish Summer Streets was every week (in the summer or otherwise) and Citibank replied to my Tweet about those sentiments.
Sunday: France Run 8K plus 2 miles warmup and 1 mile cooldown. I’m not giving either race this week the full race report because I’m trying to focus on the marathon. But I’m inclined to agree with whoever called this the France Swim. The rain began right as we were still in the corrals, then intensified in mile 1. I took my glasses off and put them in my pocket (yay for my Lululemon Speed Track shorts and their ample pocket space) and tried to take the Harlem hills as best I could. I stopped for water only after mile 4 because I had foolishly eschewed it before. Overall, my pace sped up just a touch from Team Champs 3 weeks prior.
I later visited the Museum of Ice Cream and mainly got my money’s worth in candy.
total: 23.8 out of 26-29 total recommended. Not bad but I do wish I had squeezed in a few more Thursday night or you know, made my Tuesday workout happen.
Tuesday: 7/26 Ugh, overslept/hit snooze for 6am marathon training again. After work, I did 3 x 800s on a treadmill at the rock climbing gym with a half mile warmup and recovery jogs in between. I was pressed for time because of my 6:30pm belay class but glad I got in some speedwork. Less than 3 miles overall, though.
Wednesday 7/27: 5.2 miles of a park loop in the morning. I only had 2 ShotBlocks for breakfast instead of my usual frozen waffle with almond butter (ok, cookie butter) so I was struggling a little. I did 5.2 to compensate for Tuesday’s 2.8 miles.
At night, I went to the rock climbing gym and climbed with friends for a couple hours. I tried a 5.6 and 5.6+ route and was pretty sore the next day.
Thursday 7/28: I planned to run commute to work, but ended up run commuting home from work. I took Google’s recommended route home from a bar in Long Island City (after drinking just water and eating only cake). It went along the BQE for a while as well as the Orthodox South Williamsburg area and there were a lot of long lights, so I will try a more pedestrian-friendly route next time. I did get a feel for the Pulaski Bridge, which is part of the NYC Marathon route. 6.3 miles total and I ended it at Bklyn Larder to buy fondue provisions for a work lunch the next day.
Friday 7/29: Rest day. Ate a ton of delicious foods at work because we had an international food potluck. Went out at night with coworkers and ‘carb loaded’ with ddukboki and budae jigae at Pocha 32 (along with some watermelon soju). Then wisely drank lots of water at the bar.
Saturday 7/30: NYRR Teamp Champs Race! Virtual Trainer suggested 7 total miles, so a mile each of warmup and cooldown before and after the 5-mile race, but I didn’t have time for even a half mile warmup. The womens’ race began at 7:30am this year (moved up an hour because of heat), so I knew I would have to do 2 miles after.
I originally had loftier time goals for this race (sub-9 or close for every mile) but my current conditioning plus the humidity led me to believe I should adjust my goals toward something more reasonable. I asked a few pals what their pacing plan was and latched onto a teammate’s who was trying for 9:15ish then dropping for the last 2 miles. We ran 4.8 miles of the race together and her positivity was so helpful during it. Well, we took the first mile a little too quick and the hills on the next 3 were not great.
I got confused by the last 200-400 meters of the race and accidentally hit stop too early on my Garmin, then restarted. But my official race time was 46:51, so that part is right.
I ended up with 2.3 after because I got confused on the bridal path and around the reservoir. I expect to hit up Central Park for my long runs more soon, including the dreaded 18-mile tune-up in mid-September.
Sunday: Quick 1.2 mile shakeout run to Bagel Pub, where I got an everything bagel (toasted) with bacon scallion cream cheese and a peanut banana smoothie.
Total: 22.8 miles out of a recommended (by NYRR Virtual Trainer) 23 miles. So close! This was my highest mileage week ever, but they will of course continue to increase.