Week 3 of of NYC Marathon 2021 Training

Monday 7/19: 3.1 miles outside, easyish in the morning (pre-8am).

Tuesday 7/20: 3.2 miles late morning with the terrible air quality. It was pretty bad but I caught myself not able or wanting to slow down.

Wednesday 7/21: I skipped a run because the smog was still gross. Upper body and core workouts at the gym from the Peloton hardCORE on the floor calendar’s recommended stack.

Thursday 7/22: 4.3 miles outside late morning – I wish I had gone out earlier before the sun really came up. I tried a new route but stupidly went uphill on the sunny side of the street. That was rough. I need to commit to doing these daily runs at an easy pace so that my weekend long runs don’t kill me. I keep not wanting to slow down into my Zone 2 or even 3.

Friday 7/23: Rest day. Went to the gym in the afternoon and did my squats and hex bar deadlift routine as well as hip adduction and abduction machines.

Saturday 7/24: Treadmill long run of 6+ miles (my Apple watch Stryd screen and Garmin connected . I did a progressionish one again where I sped up the last 1.5 miles because I was getting bored. I was watching The Olympics (USA mens volleyball and women’s water polo) and listened to three different Peloton tread workouts.

Sunday 7/25: 4.5 mile recovery run. It was ridiculously humid (got a few rain drops) then the sun came out at the very end. I still have to work on slowing down my runs.

Total: 21.1 miles, which is my highest weekly mileage since January if not last year.

I went back and looked at where my mileage was this time back in 2016, 2017, and 2018 (the years I’ve previously run full marathons in the fall) and I’m not that far behind. I’m definitely slower than I was but I’m doing ok!

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.

Rebuilding (not Base Building) Update

Hello again from my current mileage of roughly 0. I have a physical therapy appointment for an evaluation in April but have seen progress from doing many of my 2019-injury exercises at home and in our building’s gym. I ran Friday the 5th when the temperatures reached into the 60’s and felt amazing. The breeze in my hair! Tank top! So hopefully I get this weak left hip under control and can in fact eye a 5K or 10K this spring/summer then maybe something longer in the fall. I also want to hike more and do more trail running; all the things I listed in my 2021 goals post. I ran again on the 20th as part of an Asian anti-violence solidarity run with some teammates in the city and hit 4 miles. Seems promising?

What else am I doing, if not running? Still on my weekly RowHouse class as well as Sunday morning Zoom Yoga for Runners most weeks. Our gym got two new spin bikes; they’re sadly Echelon Connect and not Peloton, but they’ll do.

My main hobby (other than reading and attempting to watch Oscar and Golden Globe nominated new films) is of course cooking and baking. I have a catch-all Google Sheet for meal planning, but have over the last year added additional sheets to list out my cookbook collection (currently hovering around 65, half digital), pantry/fridge/freezer inventory (which was indispensable at the height of spring 2020 quarantine), new recipes I’ve tried the past year, and my current cookbook project. I’m trying to cook my way through A Common Table, the book from blogger Cynthia of Two Red Bowls. I bought it in 2019 and had already tried about 6 of the recipes but am turning it into a project this year. I’m up to two dozen recipes and use the spreadsheet to better plan it all out.

Made a bunch of potstickers for Lunar New Year

I’m also in a Cookbook Club (as well as two regular book clubs) and while we can no longer meet in person safely, we’re having Zoom meetings. I sadly missed the meeting for Jubilee, which I’ve had for over a year but still haven’t cooked anything from. Up next is Plenty by Yottam Ottolenghi. He’s famous for super long ingredient lists but incredibly well executed food. I checked out his book Simple from the library (but didn’t make anything) then bought his newest, Flavor, late last year. Still haven’t made anything from that. So some of my purposeful organizing is to get myself to cook from my growing collection. The area where I am weakest about all this is actually taking photos of my food. This used to be a thing I would do more regularly (remember all my beautiful food-centric posts from 2019?), but the light situation in our apartment (and the last one) is lacking. And I don’t quite have the commitment to do this with enough regularity to actually get a handheld light for this.

Eating at Ottolenghi’s London restaurant NOPI in 2014

I also signed up for SnackCrate, which ships a box of international snacks to your door from a different country each month. I got the Germany box first, which is mostly chocolate-based. Also doing a snack exchange with folks in other countries (Netherlands first) plus always trying new stuff from Target and H Mart.

German snack crate
Target has so many special/limited edition Oreo flavors

Base Building 2021, Weeks 8 and 9 and 10

A few down weeks due to bad weather, building gym being closed, and my right hamstring still acting up. I suspected weak hips again (same thing 2 years ago) and saw my physiatrist March 2nd who mostly agreed. So I’m back to my PT exercises and virtual PT and monitoring the situation. Banded side-walks, single leg step-ups/glute bridges/deadlifts, and more. What I could really use is a Multi-Hip machine which my PT gym had but no regular gyms seem to have one. And a wobble board.

During this time, I took a RowHouse class each week, a short run 2/24, several Peloton spin classes, yoga, and one Peloton Strength for Runners class. Plus lots of sprint-stop-walks and hikes with the pup.

I recently read both Win at All Costs by Matt Hart, all about the Nike Oregon Project and doping accusations, as well as Alexi Pappas’ memoir Bravey. I found the latter really inspiring and it was a much more emotional book than I would have thought. I heard her speak back in October 2015 at the Nike Womens Half and since that time, she’s released two movies, ran in the 2016 Olympics 10K, and been through a whole lot.

We have pretty bad lighting in my apartment for food photography, so I sadly have no pictures of our home cooking to share. Just got some sisig from a food truck (it has been a year since I had Filipino food so this was a delight), lots of cold brews, and a brief foray back into junk food and candy to mark the anniversary of my friend Joyce’s passing.

Sisig and garlic fried rice from a Filipino food truck
Snack medley of Flamin’ Hots and gummis for a friend’s online memorial

Hopefully more running or other fitness updates to come as I do my PT exercises and the weather warms up again. I’ve been dreaming of temps in the 50’s and 60’s for months now! Trying to pencil in a late May 5K but we’ll see how the recovery and training goes. The apartment building gym has new treadmills and spin bikes and I’m very excited to get down there and try them out along with my weighted single leg step-ups.

Base Building 2021, Week 7

How are we 7 weeks into the year? And yet also, how is winter so never-ending? I think it’s because we got a ton of snow back in December, then kept getting more in January and February. So I keep telling myself the weather (and the sidewalks/roads/trails) will get better in March, but we all know it might take a few weeks into March to get and keep the weather in the 40’s and above again.

Monday 2/8: 40 minutes of spin with Peloton Britney Spears and Lady Gaga classes.

Tuesday 2/9: RowHouse Power class for 45 minutes. I hadn’t taken one of these in a while and you get off the rower 5 times instead of the usual 3 for a Signature class. The plank rows with weights crushed me and my splits were pretty slow, but I put in effort.

Wednesday 2/10: Workout Wednesday! I did 20 1-minute intervals with a 1 mile warmup and 1 mile cool down on the treadmill. My intervals were at an 8:30 pace which used to be my 10K pace (ha!) and they felt difficult but satisfying to hit. 4 miles total.

Thursday 2/11: 3 easy treadmill recovery miles. I finally did the Hamilton run from Peloton, which took me back to the period 2017-2019 when I listened to the soundtrack all the time and memorized all the lyrics.

Friday 2/12: 2 easy treadmill miles. More would have been nice but I’m happy just to be consistent. 3 miles used to be my minimum for a run but 2 is fine for getting back into it.

Saturday 2/13: 3 miles outside with some strides thrown in the middle. It was right around 30 degrees and I dressed exactly right if not a little too warm: Tracksmith long-sleeve Harrier, Athleta Rainier tights, buff, wool beanie, Nathan mitten/gloves, and Lululemon Down For It All Jacket. Makes me feel better knowing I could wear this for colder temperatures.

Sunday 2/14: 1 hour of Zoom yoga. I felt pretty good during the vinyasa portion (chaturunga still a struggle) and was much improved at the balancing/tree pose.

Total: 12 miles running, 1 rowing class, and 1 yoga class. My apartment building’s gym is closed Monday – Friday this week, so there will be no treadmill miles, plus we’re getting hit with another round of ice and one of snow. So running may be a bit limited as well. Signups opened for the early April 5K but I’m still undecided. I kind of want more than 6 weeks to train for it since my volume still isn’t consistent. I’ve added two upcoming 5K time trials to my plan so might see how those go first.

Nordstrom bathroom selfie

Base Building 2021, Week 6

I love it when a new month starts on a Monday and thanks to February being 28 days, we get it twice! The base building continues (IRL 5K race early April still TBD), but back on track this week after feeling off the prior week. I would like to get comfortably back into the 20something miles per week until I’m really training for something, preferably by extending my ‘daily’ runs to 5 miles and not really worrying about carving out time for a long long run (anything 8 miles or higher is pretty long to me since at my pace I have to spend over 1.5 hours for that). Seems doable, right? My other fitness goals include at least 1 dedicated strength workout per week, 1 45-minute spin or rowing class per week, more stretching and drills pre and post run, and improving my tennis level March-November (our outdoor courts are technically open but so cold).

All of the World Major Marathons got pushed to this fall, so it’ll be interesting to see which go on (if any) and what kind of precautions will happen. I’ll probably volunteer for NYCM in some capacity if it happens, but would run Richmond or Philadelphia given the option. Or maybe nothing will go on as scheduled, in which case I’ll stick to the virtual 5K/10K/maaaybe 10 mile options.

Monday 2/1: 5 treadmill miles at an easy pace. I listened to 3 different Peloton outdoor runs during this. (20, 20, and 10) The snow was really coming down all day, so I am thankful for the access to tread. I haven’t busted my Yaktraks out in a while because it gets so slushy here/in the city within a few hours.

Tuesday 2/2: 3 easy treadmill miles. I watched another runner outside do big loops of the better-cleared blocks plus run in the bike lane and was pretty happy to be outside. Then I headed to midtown and braved all the slush puddles to get my second vaccine shot. Afterward, I got some empanadas, then Magnolia Bakery banana pudding and a cold brew from Cafe Grumpy. The snow continued but at least the trains were running. My only side effects were a sore arm, but I think the ‘fighting off a cold’ thing I had the previous week was enough.

Wednesday 2/3: 5 minute pre-run warmup, 18 minutes spin (Peloton – Robin’s 30 minute 90’s playlist) then 3 miles on the treadmill once one opened up (half the treads are closed because of Covid). I felt warmed up already, so the Stryd workout was 15 minutes at a push pace (currently 11 minute mile for me though that’s my outside long run pace), 3 minutes recovery, then 5 minutes at more of a tempo (10 minute mile; how was it only a year ago I could run these in the 8’s), then cool down.

Thursday 2/4: 30 minute Nicki Minaj spin bike ride. This ride was so fun!

Friday 2/5: Easy 37 minute (was supposed to be 40 but that’s ok) outdoor run with strides. I did a terrible job keeping it easy but at least the strides were fun. I was trying to pick the puppy up from doggy daycare in time and ran way too fast for the last half mile, too.

Saturday 2/6: Easy 30 minutes on the treadmill; finally doing the Peloton Wicked run then a 10 minute cooldown run.

Sunday 2/7: Snowy run, about 3.4 total so that I could hit 20 miles for the week. Listened to some Peloton outdoor stuff so I finished a 7-day streak of activity on the app. Then I did an hour of Runners Yoga and my hip flexors screamed a little before making Buffalo dip and wings for the Super Bowl (then being bored by it).

This was my highest mileage week since Octobee 26- November 1, which was my highest mileage since March/April of last year.

Base Building 2021, Week 5

Another meh week in terms of training because I still felt like I was fighting off a cold since Sunday the 24th (when I skipped my long run).

Monday 1/25: Rest day

Tuesday 1/26: Short run (17 minutes moving time plus a couple minutes waiting at lights) in the snow. I wore my new Lululemon Down for it All Jacket with tights, gloves, Tracksmith Harrier long sleeve, and a Lulu Baller cap to keep the precipitation off my glasses. I should have gone longer but left my Stryd in my apartment and had to go back up then was picking up Herbie from doggy daycare.

Wednesday 1/27: Spin for 45 minutes, focusing on rhythm.

Thursday 1/28: Unplanned rest day but I still wasn’t feeling much better and took two naps.

Friday 1/29: RowHouse and feeling mostly better.

Saturday 1/30: Easy 30 minute treadmill run (so cold outside); 2.3 miles to Becs’ British Pop ‘outdoor’ run.

Sunday 1/31: Skipped run and took a 9am nap instead. Now that I’m getting up early so regularly, my coffee/sleep/workout/work schedule is a little off. Logged 5 miles walking to the train station and around the city though. Better workouts next week!

Herbie and her other Corgi friends from daycare

Base Building 2021, Week 4

Monday 1/18: RowHouse 45 minute workout.

Tuesday 1/19: Easy 30 minute treadmill run for 2.5 miles.

Wednesday 1/20: Workout Wednesday, as per Stryd plan. 16 minutes of intervals (1 minute on, 1 minute off) nested in a 1 mile warm up and 1 mile cool down. I set up a Stack of Peloton running videos but didn’t preload them onto the iPad and they wouldn’t stream on the iffy connection I had so I just listened to random Spotify playlists.

Thursday 1/21: Easy 30 minute treadmill run for 2.4 miles. I had some Peloton outdoor runs preloaded on my phone and listened to those. Then 45 minute RowHouse in the PM. I hit my 2 minute meter PR, which was very cool.

Friday 1/22: 45 minute spin which was great to loosen up the legs. I didn’t push as hard as last time and decided not to also do a run because I’m not ready for multiple double workout days in a row (aside from post-run yoga).

Saturday 1/23: 2.2 treadmill miles to a Peloton 30 minute ‘outdoor’ run with Adrian. Stryd has been dictating my power output for these (more to come in a future post) and it’s frustrating to go so slow sometimes, but I think it will be worth it as my run frequency and duration build up. Trying to up my patience here.

Sunday 1/24: This was supposed to be a long run. I signed up for the PPTC Cherry Tree 10 Mile Virtual Race and am planning to run it with a friend mid-February. After 6.3 miles last week, I wanted to take on 7-8 this week. Then I felt kind of under the weather and figured better safe than sorry.

Total: Barely cracked 10 miles. Skipped long run. Fighting off cold (I have my flu shot and the first shot of the Covid vaccine at least). Better luck next week? It’s definitely time to extend my daily easy runs to 40+ minutes so that my long runs aren’t 50% of my weekly mileage.

A content nap