I’m been running irregularly for the last 6 weeks, plus a fair amount of strength and cross-training as well as weekly physical therapy. I’m not signed up for any races this fall but am building a base to start training for the Richmond Half November 16. I’ve made progress in PT in terms of hip strengthening but still have a ways to go. The plantar fasciitis is 90% gone (pain-wise). I’m definitely regretting running through it for so long before, during, and after the NYC Marathon and not getting it checked out sooner. Having my current health insurance with my job at a health system means no co-pays for specialist visits or physical therapy, which really helps. I’m planning to see my physiatrist again soon then do a re-assessment with the sports medicine doctor to see if there are improvements in my form.
Summer so far has been very sweaty, both through heat wave temperatures and a lot of working out. Vacation #1 was to Fort Lauderdale in early June, which was hot, sunny, and unbearably humid. But the water was clear and warm and we rented a red convertible Mustang and zoomed around South Florida, eating stone crabs and Cuban.
Back in NYC, I’ve been taking a lot of workout classes through ClassPass, random deals, and getting a free birthday SoulCycle class that turned into 3 when my class was unexpectedly canceled due to a fire drill. Otherwise, it’s been a lot of time on the elliptical as well as doing my PT exercises and some strength training. Runs have been mostly solo, but I’m looking forward to getting back in with a group.
I only kind of have full fall marathon training FOMO because the temperatures do not have me missing the Saturday long runs. I have another month of base building before half training kicks off (if I follow a 12 week plan), and while the heat won’t break before then, I’m happy to skip it. Plus, Vacation #2 is to Austin, Texas and it’ll be even hotter there. I’ll hopefully get back on track with checking in weeklyish before then.
Now for a brief and highly curated selection of eats lately.
So the perks of doing a 12-week plan are that even after 2 weeks (and especially after a mentally iffy second week), you still have 10 more weeks. And then you go on vacation and get food poisoning and all your runs are still at a ‘tough’ or ‘massive’ or ‘historic’ relative effort according to Strava reading your Apple Watch Heart Rate Data. Huh. Shruggie arms emoji. I’m happy with the state of my long runs this early on, since they’re already in the double digits but I definitely have work to do on the quantity and length of weekday runs.
Monday 3/4: Rest Day, which was a relief since the Sunday night snow was heavy and wet and not everyone had shoveled sidewalks the next morning.
Tuesday 3/5: 3.2 quick-ish miles in the lower part of Central Park with a Jackrabbit store sponsored run trying out some On Clouds shoes. Got donuts for Fat Tuesday.
Wednesday 3/6: 5.7 miles in Central Park in the late morning. My plan called for 7 miles Tuesday, 8 miles Thursday, and a rest Thursday but I needed to modify. For now, I’m better off doing short runs over more days than the 4 days of very long runs and workouts. I’m hoping to adapt better in a few weeks with the increase in volume then really take to the lactate threshold workouts.
Had more donuts just because.
Thursday 3/7: Rest day
Friday: 3/8 8.4 miles in the PM around Prospect Park.
Saturday 3/9: Skipped long run in favor of getting brunch last-minute with a friend and his daughter, trying to bake a pie from scratch (dough is so hard!), and having an early dinner of omakase at Sushi Lab.
Then I met my bf for cocktails and okonomiyaki at Bar Goto.
Sunday 3/10: Woke up to pouring rain and a lost hour of time and skipped my club’s new member run in favor of relaxing. Saw Captain Marvel and loved it! Then baked another pie and made Instant Pot sweet and sour chicken.
Total: 17.3 miles. I shocked myself by not running at all over the weekend but I guess I still have some time to get my mental game on track and prepare my legs for the 30+ mileage again.
Monday 3/11: 5 easy miles, trying to keep it in Zone 3 for heart rate which invariably involves some walking and jog shuffling.
Tuesday 3/12: Rest Day and dinner at Ani Ramen to celebrate my friend’s 50K instagram followers milestone.
Wednesday 3/13: PM Central Park loop for 6.5 miles.
Thursday 3/14: AM Central Park recovery run including the reservoir for 4.4 miles.
Friday 3/15: Early flight to SF and bopping around, visiting friends and exploring the city.
Saturday 3/16: 12 mile long run along the Embarcadero and piers of San Francisco.
Sunday 3/17: Light hiking around Big Basin State Park in CA and checking out the Santa Cruz waterfront. Dinner at Din Tai Fung.
Total: 27.9 miles
Week 4 – Scheduled Recovery Week
Monday 3/18: 5.2 miles exploring UC Berkeley’s campus. The hills!
Tuesday 3/19: Flight to Seattle and dinner at Walrus and the Carpenter.
Wednesday 3/20: 4.2 miles around Seattle. Poke and Dole Whip for lunch in the International District, buying too many Japanese Kit Kat flavors, then beers and burgers for dinner. Falling in love with Seattle one bite and view at a time.
Thursday 3/21: Light hiking and exploring Deception Pass State Park. Then I got food poisoning on the way back to town from Anacortes.
Friday 3/22: I had planned to run 8 miles but chose to take it easy in light of the food poisoning. I went to the UW campus to see a James Turrell exhibit and some other art, then flew back to NYC later afternoon after some final Seattle coffee and touring Pike Place Market.
Saturday 3/23: Rest day – platelet donation, lunch, then seeing US and my friend’s band.
Sunday 3/24: 7 miles as a cutback long run, enjoying the weather. My plan actually called for 9 miles but I had told myself it was only 8 and that 7 was good enough. Yoga in the morning (my first time since late January, whoops). Had huge Italian sandwiches in Bensonhurst after.
I used my guaranteed entry for the Brooklyn Half (from deferring last year’s due to peroneal tendon injury) and am setting it as my goal race for the spring season. I’m also doing the Broad Street 10 Miler again since I had to defer last year’s entry. I’m using a 12 week half marathon training plan from Pete Pfitzinger’s Faster Road Racing with some adaptations. He’s big on mid-to-long midweek mileage (8 miles for a Wednesday run) and keeping the long runs double digits until taper.
Monday 2/25: Day 1 was a rest day and the weather was awful, so I was glad to take it.
Tuesday 2/26: The plan called for 6 general aerobic miles, but I did 2 easy, 3 tempo, and 1 easy.
Wednesday 2/27: Rest Day and my club’s annual Awards Night.
Thursday 2/28: My plan called for 8 miles, but I was so done after only 5.
Friday 3/1: I ended up doing my long run this night, with a loop of the park, then running to and around Williamsburg with my club and ending with snacks and beer before eventually getting pizza. 10.2 miles total
Saturday: Rest day, and I really mean rest. Went to a Korean spa and got a massage.
Sunday: 8.3 miles with friends in the afternoon before more snow.
Total: 29.5 out of a prescribed 31. Not bad for my first real week back at it.
Halves? I’m already kicking off my next half marathon training plan (this one being 12 weeks and very aggressive with the workouts and mileage) for the Brooklyn Half on May 19th. I have a couple tuneup races in April and May but am trying to just build the mileage in March. But I got back from New Orleans February 12th and the rest of the month flew by. Below are some eats and such from the tail end of New Orleans and back in New York.
I did a little recovery run around the Marigny and French Quarter the day after the race, then had to skip a run the day we left New Orleans because it was downpouring and I needed to do laundry and pack. I barely ran the week I got back from New Orleans because I got a cold on Friday the 15th and took 3 days off on what was supposed to be a busy running-filled weekend. I did manage to host a small Galentine’s party and volunteer at one of my club’s races.
I started running again on President’s Day, then showed up to the start line of the Al Gordon 4 Miler Saturday the 23rd feeling pretty unprepared speedwise and still pretty snotty. I was able to do it as a progressive run and not blow up in the back half like last year, so that was nice. I’m hoping my next 4 mile race in April will go a little better. I’m not racing at all in March, but doing lots of easy/recovery miles, going long with double digits pretty much every week, and trying out some speedwork. I’m planning to post training recaps in the hopes that this is my fastest dedicated Half Marathon training cycle ever. My PR of 1:57:04 is from this past October but that was during the height of marathon training. My A Goal at this point is under 1:55, but I’ll see how the tuneup races go.
And the briefest race report. I’m going to just frontload this by saying that I don’t think late winter or early spring half marathons are for me. This is the third year in a row where I arrive at the start line very undertrained and crabby with myself for paying over $100 to race without having a real shot ay my goal time. So the previous twoyears, I was a little closer to said goal times but now I’m older and wiser and didn’t want to have a big blowup in the back of the race. This is good in a way because it makes me really examine my intrinsic and extrinsic motivations for running. And also think about how much I, as a Southerner living in the Northeast for the past decade (!!), still don’t really like winter. We’ll see if anything changes on that front.
Monday 2/4: It was a smidge warmer than usual but I missed a morning run and already had dinner plans at the amazing Krok for some spicy Isan Thai. I had the perfect view of the route to Brooklyn Bridge Park to watch all the runners go by as my mouth slowly burned.
Tuesday 2/5: 3.4 miles on the Hudson River Park before taking a class on the erg at RowHouse.
Wednesday 2/6: Lunar New Year dinner at Golden Unicorn.
Thursday 2/7: Halal combo for lunch and dinner aka the best $6 ever spent.
Friday 2/8: Flight to New Orleans with my friend Jay. We immediately started eating everything in sight, from chargrilled oysters at Felix’s to beignets at Cafe du Monde. There was gumbo, jambalaya, and baked ham at Mother’s. Everyone else arrived later that night while I caught an all-female brass band and saw my first (unofficial) Mardi Gras parade.
Saturday 2/9: No shakeout, just more good food. Brunch at Ruby Slippers, more beignets from Cafe du Monde, carb loading with great pasta from Little Gem Saloon, then cheering on a Mardi Gras parade.
Sunday 2/10: Race Day (oh, did you think I just came to eat? Pretty much). I showed up to the starting line downtown unsure of what to shoot for. I thought about going out at 9:00 minute miles then trying for a negative split for the last 5K, which would have been my 3rd fastest half marathon (maybe even 2nd). But honestly I didn’t really feel trained for that. So I decided to run the first mile however I felt, then evaluate from there. I hit it in 9:30 and didn’t feel like it was sustainable as the sun came out a bit (then slunk back into the clouds) and the humidity worked its magic, so I slowed to a 10:00 minute mile pace for the rest of the race. I had some King Cake from spectators around mile 6 and a Jell-o shot at mile 12, determined to have a little fun with it.
We hung around the finish area as a group, enjoying the snacks and some free Michelob Ultra.
After showering and a nap for me, we went back to Felix’s for more poboys and chargrilled oysters, drinks at Carousel Bar and Pat O’Brien’s, then several pounds of seafood at the well-named Cajun Seafood.
All in all, not my best half marathon or even close, but definitely one of the most fun! I think it rivals and bests the Nike Womens San Francisco Half since the spectators wanted to get us drunk.
Week 6 should have been the second meatiest week in mileage but I was definitely still feeling the effects of the cold I caught the first few days of 2019. So then I tried and failed to pass the buck t o Weeks 7 and 8 but was somewhat thwarted by freezing temps and a vacation to Walt Disney World. It’s official: winter running is not my jam, even when properly attired. I’m very hesitant to sign up for an April/May marathon or even another January/February/March half in 2020.
Monday 1/7: 6 miles, split running to and from the monthly PPTC meeting. I mainly went to grab a slice of ravioli pizza, which is exactly what it sounds like. I’m planning to make my own soon but you really need a crispy crust to contrast with the pasta. TBD.
Tuesday 1/8: Rest Day
Wednesday 1/9: 5 mile outdoor run during sunset.
Thursday 1/10: 3 treadmill miles and a strength workout. Kettlebell deadlifts
Friday 1/11: Yoga class at a new-to-me studio (Sacred Sounds Yoga), focusing on stretching. My hamstrings were so tight to the point that it was comical.
Saturday 1/12: 3 treadmill miles after not being able to drag myself outside into the 20-degree weather. Somehow managed to make it to Ktown for soju and karaoke with the girls later.
Sunday 1/13: 5 frigid but sunny miles with a friend aka I didn’t do my long run. We ended at the bakery Ovenly, which semi-recently opened a new location near us in Park Slope. I had an everything croissant (a croissant with some everything bagel seasoning on it) and a hot chocolate. Brooklyn Museum and Asian fusion at Hunger Pang for dinner.
Total: 21 miles
Week 7: I took a lot of days off, so I’m going to just focus on the few days of running and the long weekend food highlights.
Monday 1/14: Somewhere between 5.2-5.7 miles at Mile High Run Club’s The Distance treadmill class. My treadmill said 5.7 and my Apple Watch’s Strava app said 5.3, so I’m inclined to go with upwards of 5.5 or so.
Friday 1/18: 5 miles along the East River in the dark and cold after work. It was so quiet and sort of beautiful. It was amazing to feel like I had the city to myself.
Emmy Squared pizza and fries for dinner.
Saturday 1/19: No pictures but I had Petee’s pie for breakfast, all you can eat Korean BBQ for lunch, and Taco Bell for dinner before a Planetarium show in Long Island.
Sunday 1/20: 10 mile late morning long run in Central Park. Later we went to Mitsuwa Marketplace in New Jersey for ramen and Japanese snacks (I bought so many Hi Chews) strolling the fancy mall in Short Hills, then Benihana for dinner.
Total: 20.5 miles
Week 8: My backup week for ‘most mileage’. Except I skipped Monday, traveled Tuesday, then walked 8 miles a day around the parks until flying back Saturday night. I did an easy 5 miles Sunday before getting groceries and trying to get out of vacation mode.
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.