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 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 2

Week 2 and trying to keep myself accountable. This past week was rough and I was popping CBD every night just to relax from the terrible events of Wednesday. The workouts helped for sure to release some of my anxiety and anger. And my ongoing immense jealousy over how other countries have handled the pandemic.

I found a 5K in April (in person) that I might want to train for. Not signing up yet, though. Cart, horse and all.

Monday 1/4: 2.5 treadmill miles (Peloton 30 min race prep with Becs).

Tuesday 1/5: 30 minute Peloton strength for runners with Rebecca. I used two 10 pound dumbbells but might try to up to the 12 or 15 ones next time. I’m also leveling up my kettlebells I use from 15 lbs to 20.

Wednesday 1/6: 2 mile treadmill run at easy pace (Peloton 20 min pop run with Robin). After taking most of December off due to my tight hamstring, my paces have slowed but I’m trying to keep them honest and not push too hard. Difficult for the ego but good for the body.

Thursday 1/7: 45 minute spin class and I got my caloric burn to come close to matching ones from 2019.

Friday 1/8: 45 minute RowHouse class and I hit a calorie burn PR here (but not a distance or pace PR). Lots of pushups during the time off the rower.

Saturday 1/9: 2 treadmill miles, easy pace as per Stryd 5K training plan.

Sunday 1/10: 3.4 miles outside, doing a Stryd ‘time trial’. It was 10 minute warm up, a few little pick-up intervals, then 10 minutes hard at critical power, then 10 minutes cool down. I took the easy parts too hard and struggled to keep up the full 10 minutes at a push pace. But it felt good to run outside since it was 40 degrees and sunny. I overdressed and was dripping sweat at the end, especially from my elbows. I did my weekly Yoga for Runners class at 11am so my run was much later. Ideally I would have done the run prior to yoga but puppy care duties took precedence.

Total: 9.5 miles running, 1 yoga class, 1 spin class, 1 RowHouse class, and 1 strength session.

I have no good food photos lately, just puppy photos so they will have to do.

Herbie LOVES puppy playtime

Base Building 2021, Week 1

New year, new me! No, I’m just kidding. But there is something about the calendar changing and getting a new planner that inspires me to revisit the past calendar year, reflect on my goals and accomplishments (such an Enneagram 3), and set new goals. I also like to kick off every New Year’s Day with a workout to help set the tone. Last year was hot yoga, this year (like most) was a run. I also like to spend at least an hour doing the whole intentional reflecting thing.

After taking off most of December with an abnormally tight and painful right hamstring, I’ve been working to do a lot more strength training and more routine yoga, plus regular stretching and using my Theragun daily. I’d love to actually post in here more, both for accountability and because it should scratch the itch for some kind of running/fitness log since my workout history is split among Strava, Stryd, Apple workouts, and Peloton. I give myself little stickers in my planner calendar as well, but enjoy the idea of streamlining and actually posting here weekly. So let’s give it a try. I have no race to train for but am still toying with the idea of a virtual 5K or 10K in the spring.

Week of December 28, 2020 – January 3, 2021:

12/28: Peloton Glutes and Legs Strength class.

12/29: Peloton bodyweight strength.

12/30: RowHouse Signature for 45 minutes. I ‘leveled up’ to using the 5 pound weights for arm exercises instead of the 3 pounds.

12/31: Peloton Bodyweight strength.

1/1: 2.8 mile treadmill run using a Peloton ‘marathon training’ class. Then 2 mile hike with the pup in the afternoon.

1/2: Peloton Strength for Runners workout. I added heavier weights since I’ve been doing dedicated strength work the last few weeks.

1/3: Zoom yoga for runners for 50 minutes. Herbie (our Corgi puppy) loves to chew on my yoga towel and peed on it the previous week, so we tried to keep her entertained.

Christmas cheese and charcuterie

November and December Workouts and 2020 Wrap-Up

I’m going to keep this short and sweet; I did my Turkey Trot the day after Thanksgiving and haven’t been running that much since. I picked out a 1.25 mile loop and was able to keep a pretty consistent 9:30ish minute mile pace, which is a far cry from my PR pace (closer to 8:2x now) but honestly faster than I thought I would do after my volume nosedived this year.

Unfortunately since then, I developed a bit of a strain in my right hamstring and have taken a couple weeks off of running and am trying to focus on strength and such. It’s fine though because I’m not planning to do any spring races (hopefully something in fall) and we just got a Corgi puppy. So my days are spent taking her on walks and behavioral training and playtime and watching her snooze (plus working remotely still). I’ve pushed all my fitness goals toward 2021, assuming I can kick said hamstring injury relatively quick.

My 2020 Year in Running:

  • ran 3 in-person races and 2 virtual ones
  • ran in Boston (parkrun), Atlanta (half marathon), Ithaca, and the Catskills (plus hiked in Maine, New Jersey, upstate NY, and Connecticut)
  • hit my all-time highest mileage in March
  • did a lot more trail running and got some Nike Wildhorses for that and hiking
  • did NYRR group training until mid-March
  • did not make any new PRs
  • fell and ate pavement in April 5 blocks from home
  • watched my mileage tank in June and July
  • bought and used a Stryd and saw my critical power grow, fall, and grow again
  • made my Strava private and honestly still feel pleased with that choice most days
  • highest mileage weeks: 35.5 in March, 27 in November
  • fastest time: lots of high 6 and low to mid 7:xx sprint repeats during group training

Running Goals for 2021:

  • consistency
  • avoid injury
  • PR….something
  • run with Herbie once she hits the 1-year mark. She’ll probably never be a distance pup because of her breed and size but she’s great at sprinting, stopping, and sprinting again
  • more trail running, maybe even a trail race
  • consistent strength trainning
  • continued rowing/spinning and a spring return to tennis

Hopefully I don’t jinx myself by typing all of that out!

Herbie loved the snow
Snow “hike”

February Training

I’m looking at February as a big month of base building. Just over 100 miles for the month and a push toward medium volume (for me).

2/3-2/9: 30 miles of training, finally. By only half a mile, this is my highest mileage since when I ran the NYC Marathon in November 2018. I did a trail run at South Mountain Reservation in New Jersey with a group, which was fun. It’s pretty easy to get to and just challenging enough for someone like me who loves running on trails but doesn’t yet have trail shoes with a rock plate.

South Mountain PPTC Group

Muddy from South Mountain

2/10-2/16: 12.5 miles since I moved my long run to the following Monday, President’s Day while also missing my Thursday tempo and Saturday 5-mile Open Run.

Funfetti cupcakes for Galentine’s Day

2/17-2/23: 34 miles, including the final long run. Amazing eats at Golden Unicorn, Smith & Wollensky, and The Dough Club.

Dim sum at Golden Unicorn

2/24-2/28: x miles plus a short shakeout 2/29 before spectating the Olympic marathon trials

Next up in March: Atlanta Half 3/1, cheering the NYC Half and the UAE 10K, eating my way around Montreal, and some more trail running.

Winter Training Miscellany

I’ve been more consistent getting out there a few times a week and my long runs were going well enough in the low double digits. The lack of Polar Vortex weather has helped me get outside, plus I have treadmill access at New York Sports Club which has a ton of locations. I’m doing speed training Tuesdays and Thursdays, which is also helping.

Weekly Mileage:

January 13-19: 29 miles. This is my highest weekly mileage since April, right before my plantar fibroma ended my spring/summer season.

January 20 – 26: 21.5 miles out of a proposed 31 because I moved my long run then didn’t get it done.

January 27 – February 2: 28.6 miles, including a 4 mile race. I wanted to extend my warm up and cool down to hit 30 for the week, but was pretty beat after.

NYRR Open Run

Winter/Spring race calendar so far:

February 2: NYRR Gridiron 4 Miler

February 16: 10 miles as a tuneup race

March 1: Atlanta Half

April 5: Cherry Blossom 10 Miler in DC. I’m in but need to secure accommodations and travel.

Early May: Ragnar Cape Cod May 8-9. I’m also in for Broad Street Run in Philly May 3rd since I had to defer in 2019 (and 2018, sigh). I don’t think I should race and relay three weeks in a row.

May 16: Brooklyn Half, after much agita getting in.

I’m trying to pick an actual 5K or 10K to hopefully PR, but might put those off until summer.

Eats: I’ve still been eating and cooking tasty things, but not taking a lot of pictures of them.

New Year, New Running Goals

2019 was not my best year for running (though many other good things happened in my career and personal life). I hit just over half of my yearly mileage goals (~640 miles out of a desired 1200), only eked out one PR (Richmond 5K), and DNS multiple races (most due to my injury and then sadly Ted Corbitt 15K in December due to illness). My mindset suffered even once I was cleared to run and I was definitely scared to put the pressure on my body and risk injury again. Then just before the holidays in December, I took a little week-long break from running due to mental fatigue and due in part to a murder in one of my local parks which shook me up.

After wrapping up work and flying across the country on December 18th, I did a PureBarre class in Las Vegas, then hiked a few miles in Zion National Park, then finally felt the urge to run again in San Diego. And it’s been decent ever since, whether on treadmill or trail or road. My mental game is getting stronger; I guess doing various workouts and even some heart rate zone training on the treadmill helps. I’ve bundled up and gone outside to run during cold gale warnings and I’ve been pushing myself to run in the rain more often, though it can be a bit annoying since I wear glasses. My new mental mantra as I try to push toward some speed or grind up some hills is the simple yet effective “You can do hard things”. I’ve got the same PR goals as last year in mind (sub-24 5K, sub 52-10K, sub 1:55 Half) and am signed up for a 4 miler, two 10 milers, and a hilly half in Atlanta between now and early April. Other races and possibly a fall full marathon TBD. I’m not sure where the spring season and 2020 will take me, but I’m excited to enjoy the process.

Some fun eats were had both before and during my travels, notably fish tacos in San Diego and getting all-you-can-eat Korean BBQ twice. I started drinking more nitro cold brew on the west coast, but have eased back into my normal coffee routine back in NYC. Plus that stuff’s usually $5+.

Hometown BBQ in Industry City NYC: pastrami sandwich, jalapeno cheddar hot link, mac & cheese, and a Topo Chico

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Uni on top of roe at Uogashi

 

Mid-November through Mid-January by the numbers:

Longest long run: 11 miles with Gabby, including 3 before the Joe Kleinerman 10K and 2 after. I’d only planned to do 8 but it was so great having a warmup and cooldown partner and getting to catch up. So now my long runs are set until my half 3/1 and second 10-miler 4/5.

States run in: California, Virginia, and Massachusetts (and New York), plus some hiking in Utah and some PureBarre in Nevada (thanks to ClassPass).

Fastest speed: 7:19 minute mile in the wild/outside a couple times and 6:00 minute mile on the treadmill at Barry’s Bootcamp.

Hot yoga classes taken: 4, 3 of which were at Y7 on ClassPass. I’m surprised at how much I love this!

Highest mileage week: 26. Now to build for a bit.

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Zion National Park

Richmond 8K 2019 Race Report

My action shots from MarathonFoto are so awful, so there aren’t many photos to share. But I had a really great race, despite it being only my 2nd in the last 9 months. The others were Al Gordon in February where I was sick, then a tuneup 5K last weekend. And of course, many months of being injured in between. I’m so glad this was my comeback! I was hemming and hawing about doing the half in Richmond but knew that I wouldn’t PR and didn’t feel extra ready for the distance as my long runs had dropped off since mid-October. Plus, by the time I signed up, the half cost $100 and the 8K was only $40. Done!

After flying in Thursday night and going to bed at the late hour of 11pm, I skipped doing a shakeout on Friday. After picking up my packet, I ate way too much at ZZQ, Richmond’s new Texas-style BBQ joint. Then I had some pasta for dinner and slept poorly until my 5am wakeup call. The 8K went off right at 7am, so I hopped out for a 1 mile warmup and settled into the corrals. Times under 48 minutes were Corral 1, and I was shooting for 43. My previous 5 mile best time was 43:28 and I was pretty sure I could get this under an 8:43 pace.

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Those Splits tho

I met a fellow NYC-er in the corrals and we chatted for 5 minutes, then we were off! I took it out a smidge too fast then got concerned on mile two (plus that mile had the most elevation increase). Then after the turn onto Mulberry and move to Grace Street came the cobblestones. At one point, my foot got temporarily lodged into one and I stumbled. That was a real adrenaline rush and I recovered then was able to speed it up on the fourth mile. Then came the real downhills. I remembered the finish from running the Richmond Marathon two years ago and loved it again.

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Flying downhill

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PR Victory!

I was done by 7:43 and met my parents at the post-finish party. I rang the PR bell, ate a banana and my Dad kindly purchased me some Richmond gear to warm me up until we got back to the car. My pockets are bulging with the snacks I took at the end, though I skipped the Papa John’s pizza this time.

Then I met up with college girlfriends and we ate amazing food at Perch.

If my lottery entries for Berlin and NYC in 2020 are both no-gos, then I am strongly considering running the Richmond full again. I recommend their race series to everyone.

Richmond 2019 Training

This post originally titled Richmond Half 2019 Training and was supposed to cover everything in September, but then I never published it in September. Or October. My running has been pretty good (some weeks higher in mileage than others) but I’ve kept my weekend long runs right around 10 miles for the most part.  Essentially, I feel like I could run a half at any time, but I couldn’t hit a PR. I got medical clearance from my doctor and PT to run a half this fall/winter (but not a full marathon, which is fine). But the consistency of training never really happened. So I’m just going to do the 8K in Richmond on 11/16/19.

I moved out of Brooklyn in September and have been exploring Central Park a lot more. There are so many paths and trails and things to see (namely waterfalls) off the main 6-mile path. My goal is to run them all, plus run the entire perimeter of the park on 5th Avenue and Central Park South/West/North. It’s a lot easier to get to the many NYRR and other races in Central Park now, so I’ve popped by to cheer on friends or pace long runs.

In late September, I did a Tracksmith-sponsored long run in Rockefeller Park State Preserve and loved hitting the trails. The hills were killer, but I stayed steady and on the slower side. Obviously I wore Tracksmith.

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I went to Chicago in mid-October to spectate the marathon (for the third time in four years) and see friends from across the country and eat deep dish pizza. I ran a Nike-sponsored 4×800 race at Soldier Field and was pleased enough with my time. If anything, it made me want to get back to the track a bit more. In my injury-prone state, I haven’t been doing much speed work. Also, our team met Colleen Quigley!

 

Fall by the numbers:

Longest long run: 11 miles

Fastest speed: I hit 10 mph (a 6:00 minute mile) for maybe a minute during a Barry’s Bootcamp treadmill session and didn’t die or fly off the treadmill

I ran my first race since February, a 5K on Randall’s Island in 26:26, about 90 seconds off my PR.

I ran in Saratoga Springs NY, Chicago IL, and San Juan Puerto Rico.

Plus, I went to a driving range for the first time in over a decade, got into sourdough bread baking, am a happy owner of a Theragun, and kept up eating delicious stuff all over town (and other places).

Lunch specials at Cho Dang Gol

Piña colada and red snapper in Old San Juan

Deep dish pizza and the best salad at Lou Malnati’s in Chicago

Apple cider donuts upstate

Waiting for seafood boil