Friday, October 26, 2012

Bienvenido a Miami!

Oh why hello Friday so nice to see you. What, you don't have to go to work today, you are going to Miami? Friday's status just escalated ten fold.

I am currently at JFK after what has to be the calmest travel experience I've ever had (we thus far, probably shouldn't get ahead of myself with this little storm situation called "Sandy"). But so far, I think that I am winning this morning.

And oh how a day off is needed. As I was leaving work last night I realized - at only 5:30 - that I had hit overtime 5 HOURS PRIOR. That, is the kind of week it has been. When you are headed in to Friday 5 hours deep IMO OT you know it has been a crazy week!

So a little escape is definitely what the doctor ordered. There is just that pesky little half marathon on Saturday and 5K on Sunday in the way...and a 7am flight home on Monday; but I mean, this is MY kind of getaway. Active with some relaxation thrown in there. A change of scenery and a change of pace. And of course some sister sister time. Oh yeah and Halloween in Miami. I'm sure that will be "calm". But seriously I am not one to go away and not want to run. Take San Francisco the one thing I most looked forward to was running to the Golden Gate Bridge and after a 13.3 mile round trip I was the happiest person alive. Site seeing and running. Heaven.

So as I stated this week was pretty nuts with work. But I did manage to get some quality workouts in and am already at 20.5 miles for the week. Pretty much dead on target. No matter how busy work gets, the only way I will skip workouts is if I feel as though the integrity of it is going to be compromised by my tiredness. If I think that the miles are junk miles and not going to benefit my training whatsoever then I will skip it. For example: over the last weekend my planned 16-18 with my friend. I was so tired, on the verge of being sick and scrapped running and wound up just doing an easy 5 on Saturday in exchange for feeling refreshed this week. Could I have managed my way through those miles? Of course. Would it have been productive? Absolutely not. And I doubt I would be going into the race this weekend feeling as good as I do.

I did my "goal" schedule during half marathon training season this week:

Monday: 6.5 miles - steady for the first 4 with pickup at the end

Tuesday: 4 miles - a little bit quicker - since it was shorter I upped the speed to keep the legs refreshed on turnover

Wednesday: 6 miles - mentally was not feeling this one going in - 12 hour work day and was beat, mentally, but once I started it was just what the doctor ordered and did the first 3 even and then picked up for 1/4 mile intervals for the remaining 3 miles

Thursday: 4 miles - did these a but quicker with the first 2 comfortable then the final 2 intervals hitting race pace

Overall, I think I got some good structured workouts in. Felt pretty good which is a welcome change to the hard couple of weeks.

So now down to this weekends plans. I will be in Miami around noon. We will just be taking it easy today. Picking up race numbers eating etc. The weather is not great otherwise I would clearly be plopping down on a lounge chair pronto. Which brings us to tomorrow.

Miami Halloween Half Marathon. I am super excited for this. This is a "fun" race. Dress up and run? Okay I'm game. I was never thinking about time for this - I have next weekend off then am running two half's the following weekend. My strategy is more a "we are at the home stretch let's survive this without injury and have some fun along the way" - with full marathon training beginning shortly. This is not a time for PR's. If one happens. Awesome but not the goal.

However, the storm is bringing with it some intense winds. The rain should not be a problem and should be done by the 7am start (ugh) but it will most likely be windy and perhaps not the most pleasant experience. Couple that with the fact that I am going from being acclimated to fall back to warmth and humidity again and I am just hoping that I am not TOO slow. But like I said, time doesn't matter (if you know me you are totally laughing at my attempt to try and NOT be competitive) and just running with my sister for fun is the goal.

Then, I get an email a couple days ago from my sister about a Halloween 5K on Sunday. Now I hate 5Ks with a passion and feel they are pointless. But I would run a few to shake out so was 150% in. After a night of Miami fun should be a great time. (insert sarcastic tone). Then doing her abs class - she instructs - and Sunday funday football Miami style! THAT I cannot wait for.

Overall I think this is going to be a great little weekend. I am sure that I will be a little beat up and worse for the wear by the time I get home on Monday (flight gets in to JFK at 9:45am and then I am headed straight to the office). But to see my sister, run some raves and get some R&R - it will be well worth it to be a little tired.

So now wish me luck that this flight gets off the ground at it's scheduled time and it will be smooth sailing from there.

Minus the whole little storm situation approaching the tri-state area Sunday. That, I have no concern for...possibly being stuck in Miami? Sounds pretty damn awful.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Going With the Flow

What a lovely little weekend this is turning out to be.
Finally got off my ass from relaxing and headed out for a run in the afternoon yesterday. It was absolutely gorgeous out, but I still kept it short. I purposely waited until it was late enough that I wouldn't have too much time to run with having to get home and ready for our date. I actually felt like I was running super slow but in the end my pace wasn't awful.

These babies are so fall appropriate!

It was a gorgeous fall night out so wound up meeting up at the PATH when he got in from the city and, just starting to stroll up Washington debating where to settle for dinner. Somehow got lost in conversation and wound up all the way up town at The Madison. One of my favorites, so I was perfectly fine with that!

Had a really good dinner, a wasabi panko crusted grouper that was absolutely delicious! I was definitely a happy girl. I don't go out to eat much because I prefer knowing what exactly is going in to my food, so am happy when I do that it is well worth it.
We then started to head back down town to go to find another bar to continue our night but be able to actually talk - we were at dinner for a couple hours so by the time we left it was after 10 when a lot of the places start upping the volume of the music making conversation impossible. Wound up at another one of my favorite places, The Brass Rail. Love it there, for another couple of hours. Finally realized just how late it was and decided that it was time to call it a night. 
I've been so focused the past few months on weekends with racing or training and such that I haven't really had a "normal" weekend where I didn't have to worry about being out late, drinking or what time I had to wake up in so long that I very much have been enjoying this one. Nice to have it thrown in every once in a while. Especially because in about a month or so I will have to be doing REALLY long runs with marathon training! plus the next three weekends coming up I have early wake ups for each.

Had a nice lazy morning - no alarm set, let myself sleep in (you know, 9:00, crazy kid that I am!) stroll for coffee before getting my day under way.
On the agenda for today is brunch, some Giants football and of course food prep! Look at all this goodness all set for the week:

Grilled chicken, roasted acorn squash and carrots, washed and cut spinach and broccoli - some kepts fresh and some frozen. I am set for the next few days until Miami!
Still haven't decided whether or not I am going to run today. May take a rest day may run a few shall see if the spirit moves me later on or just how things are going. But some times it really is nice to just sit back, and, just breathe.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Lazy Weekend

Another weekend has arrived and I do not have a race! Not sure I know what to do with myself! Oh wait, yes I do, enjoy my time that is not revolving around a wake up schedule and eating based on running. Woo!

I had told one of my friends that I would do a 16-18 miler with her today for her NYC marathon training but I woke up yesterday morning feeling kind of on the verge of being sick and I want to enjoy this weekend so I had to bail on that plan.

So I will figure out my mileage once I get outside and just start running because I have these new babies to try out! Well, not try out since they are the same Mizuno Wave Creation 13's that I have been running long in for a few months but, they are new which means they will feel oh, so good. And they are bright. Don't bright shoes give you a little more pep in your step? Or is that just me....

I'm already over 30 miles for the week so I don't want to go too long. I am pretty much at my threshold around 40 miles per week before my body starts to take a dive to overuse/susceptibility to colds. Going to slowly work on training it to a few more but don't plan on going too much higher even with marathon training.

This week was actually craziness with work (I feel like that is kind of every week though, oh well). But I got in some good workouts and some fun!

Tuesday I hit the treadmill at work for a 4.25 mile recovery/progression run. Went well, nothing to write home about. Wednesday hit the gym in the morning for some straight cardio, then at night my friend Tara and I hit Central Park after work. We ran up the east side, then to the reservoir for a couple laps, back down and then across to Columbus Circle for just under 6.5 miles where I met up with the boy and his pup for a walk around the park. Overall...the run felt HARD again. Ugh. It was nothing to write home about but it was nice to meet up with the boy and to be outside. Thursday morning did some easy cardio in the morning then at night hit back the treadmill for 4 miles. Friday did a morning workout of cardio and weights and took the night off.


So today debating just how much mileage I am going to do before date night tonight!!! So excited and looking forward to it.

I go back and forth between being a little burned out by running and then really dying to get out there and run. I don't know what has been going on lately. I feel like running but the typical energy levels I have seem to be waning. I think it more has to do with the amount of BAD runs I have had lately. I think I have definitely been doing too many of my runs at race pace and it has caused me to just be tired. In the scheme of things though running isn't everything, and if I do feel burned out and like it is more of a chore I will skip the run, since it will not kill me. I'm trying to not get in junk mileage and wear myself out for no reason.

I will actually plan to take off at least 1 maybe 2 days before the Miami Half this weekend. Then I have the following weekend off (NYC Marathon weekend! I am volunteering for the 5K Dash to the Finish and CANNOT wait - Shalane Flanagan and Kara Goucher are both running...AWESOME) before doing a two half marathon weekend the following: Trenton and Verrazano Festival of Races Saturday and Sunday. Not quite sure how that is going to shake out but I'm pretty sure not to expect crazy stellar times for those.

Now off to contemplate that run I am going to do...and leave you with my actual normal looking running picks from Grete's Gallop Half this weekend! I don't look like I am dying for once!!! (although I felt like it!)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Grete's Gallop: Recap (and then some)

Another weekend another race and then some! 

I will elaborate on that, but first let’s talk about my fail for Friday’s run. Sigh. Well intentioned. Had my gear with me and was going to run in the work gym since it was just a few miles. OF COURSE, the gym was closed because of a leak in one of the locker rooms. I didn’t get back to Hoboken until 7:30 since I had worked late in general and decided to nix the run in favor of a stop at Fleet Feet as well as Aspen Garden and getting a good nights rest. 

I made plans to go for a run in the morning first thing and then have some fun with Tara. So all was not lost on my running plans!

Saturday was a great day. It was kind of chilly but we wound up doing a nice little 4.5 mile shake out. I have to say though my legs were still feeling like lead and in general I just couldn’t find a groove and felt lethargic. 

I’m pretty sure that it is because I have been kind of deviating and indulging over the week. Being tired and getting home from work and skipping runs/scheduled workouts just makes me tired. Nutrition is such a big part of the equation and while all day long my eats are great dinners/snacking at night last week were definitely too much. By Friday I was reigning it in because I knew it was imperative for the half marathon but it would prove to be a little too late. 

We also wound up back at Fleet Feet, hello cold gear tights and compression socks! New loves. Getting a Halloween costume for my sister and I for the Miami Halloween Half as well as manicures. All by 1pm. I love it. I’m ready to crash when most people are finally leaving the house!

It's official I want to live in compression socks
Wound up doing things around the apartment the remainder of Saturday afternoon then heading out for a little bit for a friends birthday before calling it a night and in bed by midnight.

Which brings us to Grete’s Gallop Sunday morning! 

This picture is inaccurate in that I changed my shirt last minute.
The race had a start time of 10:30 because there was a 1.7 mile race and kid’s race prior to that. Kind of an awkward start time but being able to sleep in until a normal hour was pretty nice. Ever since signing up for the marathon I have decided that I am going to be trying out eating and fueling since there is NO way to get through a marathon without it. So I had a prerace meal of pumpkin oat pancakes (or rather one gigantic pancake!). It was delicious.

The weather was also pretty great. Sunday was a lot warmer than Saturday so was able to race in shorts and a tank and my lovely new compression socks! (I know I know never race in something new but turned out just fine. And I never want to take them off).
The route for the race was 2 loops clockwise of Central Park plus an extra 1.2 miles around. I thought that going up the west side was easier than attacking Cat and Harlem hill. Boy was I wrong.

From the start of the race I struggled to find a groove. I couldn’t really get to a pace where I just felt comfortable and like I was cruising. It got HARD. The west side is basically uphill the whole way. Not. Cool. Not to mention the wind coming down the East Side. I felt like I was trudging along the entire time. 

What was pretty cool though was as we were getting to the finish line the first time around the top runners were arriving! So awesome to be able to cheer them on. It definitely gave me a little boost of alright this isn’t too awful! But then I kept going and yeah, it was definitely a fight. I am sure that if there are race pictures I look like hell. I felt like a hunched over elderly person trying to make it up the inclines. They felt like mountains. 

I knew that there was no way I was going to PR not that I came into the race hoping to, but when my stomach acted up for the first time I stopped. Not once, but twice at miles 11 and 12. I figured why not be comfortable than run with a totally upset stomach? Official finish was 2:04:33. So I didn’t run AWFUL or anything (plus I mean, I stopped!), but the run was just TOUGH. It is kind of nice though to be humbled every once in a while by a truly challenging run for all of those that come easily. But note to self; Grete’s Gallop is no breezy run in the park, hehe. She got the best of me for sure. Splits weren't too bad. And actually a PR for the park but nothing to write home about. I was just happy when that race was over. I need to run hills more. Let’s see if I actually heed this. 

So now brings us to the really fun part! My legs were crazy beat after the race. But I had promised my friend I would help her reach 22 miles for her NYC Marathon training after. Which had me running a little more than 3 more miles around the reservoir. Which brings me to my highest mileage ever! 16.4 miles baby! I feel so accomplished! Bring on the marathon training.

I would like to add that my Garmin time is literally my EXACT time. First time!

After all this we were beat. We stretched out and then decided a Mexican fiesta was in order! Insert Charritos and we were happy little runners. 

That guacamole didn't stand a chance.
Homemade Sangria! We barely made a dent in it.

A close up :)
I was officially spent by the time I got home and showered and was asleep by like 8:30. Rock star status.

Monday morning I did a quick 30 minutes on the elliptical to stretch out. I was surprised I was not as stiff as I thought I would be considering my legs felt dead Sunday. I actually think doing those super slow few miles after the race on flat ground helped me out. No running yesterday though as I had a date last night! This morning I am tried to get back into my two a day groove. I did an easy 30 minutes of cardio and then lifting: shoulders and arms. And deadlifts because they feel; oh. so. good. But tonight we are planning on a nice 4 miler through the park. Just a little one to shake out. I can't wait to RUN. A day without feels like eternity some times.

I have also told another friend doing NYC that I would do 16-18 with her this weekend. I don’t know who I think I am. Obviously I am capable of it. And I don’t have a race this weekend myself so why not? Sure. That is totally how a rational person thinks. Or not.
I think it is time to end this long rambling post filled with a mish mosh of my past few days! But the overall takeaways to myself are to start running some hills damnit and figure out just how the heck I plan to fuel during the marathon without my stomach fighting me the entire time. Sounds like a lot of time to figure it out since it isn’t until the end of January but there really isn’t. Sigh. #runnerproblems

Friday, October 12, 2012

It's Official


I registered for a marathon. ING Miami Marathon January 27thhere I come!!!

My absolute resolve that it was not on my “list” or “radar” for the near future was clearly a blatant lie. Over the past couple of weeks I had been feeling slightly sad to not have an active goal on my agenda. For months all I could think about was coming back from my injury, training my butt off and getting a sub 2 hour half marathon. First one of fall, I killed it just under 1:55. I of course was elated and giving myself high fives for my awesome training program but then was a tad depressed and lost with the “what do I do now”. 

I ran the half the following weekend at 1:57 and of course I have 5 more left this fall; including traveling to Miami for the Halloween Half as well as back to back Saturday/Sunday: the Trenton Half Marathon and the Verrazano Festival of Races Half November 10th and 11th. So there is some fun as well as a big challenge. But I still wasn’t feeling complete. 

I had been planning to travel to the Bahamas for the Bahamas Half Marathon the weekend prior to my birthday. Then I got in to my head that I should run the full in the Bahamas – and my running buddy was more than game for a destination race. After much research and debate though; realized only a little over a hundred people ran the race last year and running a first marathon alone at times may not be the best situation mentally. Half marathon on my own, no problem. Double that…and I think we may have some issues come mile 20 or so. 

Thankfully I know many experienced runners…and enter in the suggestion of Miami. Perfect because not only is it the day before my birthday, but, my sister lives there, and is contemplating doing the half. So vacation, family and marathon all rolled into birthday weekend? I’m 100% in! And literally had us registered that afternoon. No backing out now! 

The gauntlet has been thrown. (and money spent!)

Now the goal is to get through fall and all these races and figure out when to begin to add in some mileage on the weekend long runs/races. I have plenty of time and have a solid base which is great and to my advantage. It is not as though this is something I pulled out of thin air. I am doing a lot of weeks 30-40 miles and think I am good to go. 

I cannot wait to call myself a marathoner! I smile ear to ear every time I think about it.
So now, how have I stacked up to my schedule I threw down earlier this week:

Monday – Night 5-6 miles – 6.05 miles @ 8:31
Tuesday – Morning – lift / Night – 3-4 miles – legs/abs morning and 4 miles @ 8:34 night
Wednesday – Morning – lift / Night 5-6 miles – fail on the lift and 5.5 miles @ 9:37 night
Thursday – Morning – lift / Night 3-4 miles – fail and fail I needed a rest day
Friday – Morning 4-5 miles – well morning didn’t happen I was still beat tonight planning on 5 or so
Saturday – Active rest/yoga – turning in to a 3-4 mile day
Sunday – Grete’s Gallop – Half Marathon – and race, obvi!

So, I started out the week great! I don’t know why I was doing those first couple runs so speedy but it felt good so I (literally) ran with it. I did a pretty tough morning session on Tuesday and that on top of another speedy run at night, left my legs hurting Wednesday. Hence choosing to not gym it for weights in the morning. At night I ran with my buddy and we tackled the 59th Street (Queensboro) Bridge. 

Image Source
Mother of god. My legs were on fire already and they felt like lead during this run. Not cool. Enter Thursday. I was supposed to have a date at night but we rescheduled due to him being sick. I took that opportunity to throw in a rest day. Work has been crazy and I just needed it, and a night of sitting in front of mindless television. After an awful night of sleep (thanks drunk neighbors) I slept in and will be hitting the treadmill at work tonight for a few. I also decided to run with my friend tomorrow just some shake out miles I think I will need it. Still a tad sore.

Kind of excited though – date has been rescheduled for Sunday post race since he lives near Central Park. I foresee a lovely little (sweaty) brunch in my future!!

So overall, I will continue to be writing out my schedule ahead of time I think it is a great tool and keeps you focused but I am also happy that I am not beating myself up for not sticking to it 100%. I by no means slacked off but I am feeling on the verge of a cold and throwing in a rest day was definitely for the best. I am realizing there is not point to running if it will run you down.

So here we have it, made it to Friday!!! Hope that everyone is having a fabulous day and has some fun lined up for the weekend!

Monday, October 8, 2012

A No Race Weekend???

Well now, my weekend didn’t quite shake out according to plan. 

I was supposed to be running the Staten Island Half Marathon on Sunday – however, when my friend went to pick up our race numbers, they had no record of my registration. Low and behold; I actually never registered. That oops turned out to be for the best though. And with running two half’s two weekends in a row taking a week off (because I have another this weekend) is not exactly detrimental. 

Oh yeah, and did I mention that I decided to go long and do a 10 miler before work on Friday (at which point I still thought I was doing a half on Sunday) no rhyme or reason to why I decided to other than that I couldn’t sleep and was wide awake shortly after 5 with time to kill. And didn’t exactly take it super slow or anything. Pretty much the second I got 5 miles out I was thinking to myself that it wasn’t one of my brighter ideas (also a recurring theme in my life). 

Friday morning sunrise from Hoboken.
So I had a very different type of weekend! I was social, I did things, it did not revolve 100% around my running schedule. Craziness. It was kind of nice going into the weekend having already done a long run before it even began. So Friday night I was able to enjoy a lovely date night. And of course 3 glasses of wine when I was so busy that I did not eat much plus being dehydrated from my run meant I was quite the tipsy lady by the time I got home.
Saturday mornings quick run was not one bit of fun. I got a side stitch literally in the first two minutes of starting my run. I was clearly super dehydrated and the entire run I battled between wanting to speed up even more because I wanted it to just be done and then also needing to slow down because I was feeling a little nauseous. Oh wine you little devil. I just banged out a few miles and then, it was time for us to head into central Jersey for wedding fun! 

These miles were probably tougher than the 10 miler.
This was a whole family affair. It was really nice to be home. My sister was up from Miami as she was in the wedding and the whole affair was a ton of fun. It was also nice to not have the pressure of not drinking and being on a train after getting home at 2am then heading to run a half at 6am. It is all about balance and it was funny but everyone was pretty excited by the fact that I was drinking and was not going to be running. I definitely had a little bit TOO much fun (is there such a thing, why yes, yes there is). I woke up at 5am Sunday and thankfully chugged a bottle of water and advil and after a couple more hours of sleep woke up feeling refreshed much to everyone’s surprise! 

Natirar in Peapack

Weddings at Mansions FTW!

Me and my sis

Sisters! And classy photo bombs

Mom + Girls
Sunday was spent in full on recovery mode. I did not run. I didn’t do anything excessive. The most I did was some cleaning, grocery shopping and cooking once I got back to Hoboken. And not going to lie, I am still not feeling totally normal. I do not forsee drinking like that again for a while. But, it was worth it for a lot of fun over the weekend. Tonight I plan on doing a moderate run which should be fun. And by fun I mean it is either going to really be awesome or I am still going to feel nauseous during it. Time will tell. 

I need to get back on track with lifting (I didn’t set foot in the gym ONCE last week since I ran the entire time outside). So this is my schedule I have made for myself for the week:

Monday – Night 5-6 miles
Tuesday – Morning – life / Night – 3-4 miles
Wednesday – Morning – lift / Night 5-6 miles
Thursday – Morning – lift / Night 3-4 miles
Friday – Morning 4-5 miles
Saturday – Active rest/yoga
Sunday – Grete’s Gallop – Half Marathon

Wednesday I am running with my friend in the city which should be great. Thursday might have to do that run in the morning as well as lift because I may have plans but that is my “goal” for what the week should look like. I do modify mileage based on how my body feels. Plus I want to keep the mileage between 30-40 each week. That amount seems do be doing well with my body at the moment. 

Oh and have I mentioned…I am going to do a full marathon in January. Yup. Just decided. Bahamas Marathon the weekend before my birthday. And a week ago I said I had no desire to do one. I am clearly very decisive.