Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Hartford Marathon Training Week 14

And just like that, the final LONG LONG run is done and we have entered the taper. #holyshit

Monday: 7 miles: 9:31, 9:31, 9:22, 9:22, 9:22, 9:17, 9:05 + Core work

Tuesday: I worked out with a trainer who put me through fun (read: hell) circuits (think mountain climbers, pushups, air squats, jump squats kettle bells, lunges, shoulder presses…) then 30 mins on the arc trainer

Wednesday: 6 miles: 9:31, 9:13, 9:05, 9:03, 8:57, 8:53 + Core

Thursday: 12 miles tempo: 2 mile w/u 8 @ MRP or under 2 c/d: 9:40, 9:31, 9:05, 9:05, 9:02, 9:00, 8:57, 9:05, 8:57, 8:55, 9:05, 8:57 Note: no real cool down and my stomach was a disaster, which would be a theme (even until now)

Friday:  9:19 miles (1st 5 normal, then progression/fast finish) 9:50, 9:50, 9:40, 9:40, 9:31, 9:13, 9:05, 8:57, 8:49

Saturday: REST!! And I DID YOGA!!! Woo hoo! And then got another massage. Happy day.

Sunday: Long run: 21.5 miles with the Newport Half thrown in. My Garmin is still charging I wound up avg ~ 10 min miles but also paused it for my SEVERAL bathroom breaks. I was in hell.

Total mileage: 55.6 miles.

So not much to discuss. 

I'm as ready as I am going to be at this point. I've done the work that's all there is to it.

My legs felt great, my stomach, not so much.

And, not hard to pin point. I kind of ate like crap. A lot. AKA everything I KNOW will mess with my stomach.

And I have been continuing that trend.

So as of today I am back to being super careful until the marathon. The last thing I want is to be the cause of my own downfall on race day.

Goodbye dairy and sugar. It has been fun. See you October 12th after I sub 4!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Hartford Marathon Training Week 13

Week 13! Holy moly. 

All I can say is, I'M BACK! 

I was so scared about resuming training like normal post flu but it appears that the rest has put me in a better place! 

Monday: "Triathlon Day" - Run 4.15 miles, 45 mins elliptical, 15 mins bike - was still a little congested but getting better

Tuesday: 8 miles + Core - 78:30 - took it easy as a progression run starting pace at 10 and ending at 9:22

Wednesday: 12 miles: 1 easy / 2 at MGP x 4 = amazing! Splits: 9:40, 8:57, 8:52, 9:34, 8:55, 8:49, 9:13, 8:45, 8:41, 9:05, 8:41, 8:31 - I was ready to keep going and going and going. 

Thursday: 90 mins cross train - I was so bored. I wanted to run. Nothing to write home about.

Friday: 9 miles, Fartlek style 1-2-3-4-5-4-3-2-1 built in: (9.61 miles because I started the fartlek's too late and was going too fast "oops") 9:39, 9:05, 8:56, 8:43, 8:26, 8:20, 8:24, 8:17, 8:21, 8:08 (.61) - amazing run

Saturday: 45 mins cross train + 2.58 miles: 8:54, 8:26, 8:02 - again legs still feeling fresh! (and then had a lovely sports massage - human foam roller - hurts so good)

Sunday: Long run - 18 miles: (18:15 total) 10:25, 9:52, 9:56, 9:49, 9:44, 9:37, 9:33, 9:32, 9:11, 9:51, 9:54, 8:57, 9:33, 10:17, 9:36, 9:39, 9:51, 8:51, 8:10 (.15) - As I said in my previous post - ecstatic about this run. 3 full loops of Central Park and I felt strong throughout. Great confidence booster!

Total mileage: 54:49 !!!! 

I think that I bounced back from the flu quite nicely. 

Bring on the marathon. 1 more high volume week before taper. 

I am beyond excited. And surprisingly not really nervous. I am sure once taper begins and I get all stir crazy that may change but for now, totally can't wait. 

On a side note, I will obviously need distractions during taper...please feel free to occupy my time!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

NYRR New York City Marathon Tune-Up: 18 Miles

I think I have mentioned it but if not, my long runs this cycle have been shit-tastic. Seriously. Struggle bus for the majority. Just NOT inspired. It has been more about my heart just not being in it and having to will myself through the miles and to not walk. Boredom? Idk. But there has been a serious mental block.

For that very reason, with 2 weeks of long runs left before taper for the Hartford Marathon, I decided to run the NYRR 18 Mile Tune-up (and luckily with TFK for NYCM we get a free entry!!! They are the BEST!). I needed the inspiration of the masses. I am a solo runner but a good environment is helpful.

The only thing NOT happy about, was the start was on the UES and that is a plain BITCH to get to at the crack of dawn.

Alarm clock threats ensued.


I was out the door finally around 5:25. That was fun. Although to be honest I am out the door around then most of the week. I guess I just get some anger about doing all week and then all weekend? Not sure.

Anyways. Realized once I got to the PATH that I didn't have breakfast. Oops? Luckily I had packed a Quest bar for post run so ate that before.

I finally got to the park around 6:50 (7am start) only to find a MASSIVE line for bag check. It was total shit show.

Which led to starting the run 20 minutes after the official start. NBD. Thanks NYRR.

I was nervous - 3 loops of Central Park. I have been doing about half my runs on the treadmill and as we all know, there are just a FEW hills in the park. I was surprised the first hill up was Harlem hill and went up it like it was nothing.

My strategy for this run was to take it easy, and run based on perceived effort (easy) versus trying to maintain specific pace. Also I planned to take in water at the majority of water stations to practice for the marathon. I have not been drinking a lot during mine or really fueling. Oops? So I planned on 2-3 gels as well.

The first mile was slow but I guess as I warmed up because my pace started to drop under 10 and would pretty much stay there.

I spent the majority of the race waiting for the bottom to drop out (awful I know) but figured there was NO WAY that my legs should feel this good with 35 or so miles on them already this week and no rest days (XT days but I ran I think 6 days? I have to recap that...)

With the first loop done I again headed up the hills on the west side feeling good. And it was a great feeling. There was some nice energy out there today and as always am impressed an inspired by the variety of runners pounding the pavement. Kudos to those who have many years on me and are doing it still. I aspire to be there.

I took my gels at miles 9 and 14 with no incident. For a moment around mile 11 I thought things were iffy and made a pit stop but all was good. Thank you stomach!

Right before finishing the 2nd loop I was actually on the phone with my sister while running because she had sent me a text and I figured since I was running "conversationally" to call her and that mile wound up splitting under 9! While I was talking to her. A big note of improvement on fitness.

Third loop began and was definitely a bit more fatigued going up Harlem hill and a little achy in the glutes but I just kept running. I was happy I walked while getting water (because I will seriously choke running and drinking) but other than that ran consistently.

Once we started down the south end of the park I got really excited. I knew with 3 miles left that I was finishing up the 18 really strong.

And strong it was. That final mile I pushed. I wanted to finish at MRP. Only downfall was that I totally thought the finish was sooner than it was - and then realized I had about another 1/10 of a mile to go. Oops.

Maybe this wasn't totally slow enough but I feel marathon ready right now. Whatever happens on next weeks 20 I am confident that I am ready to go for it and race the crap out of Hartford. And could not have done it without my coach. I have full trust in her and do what she tells me, and clearly if you put in the work you improve.

Without further ado, splits:

Mile 1: 10:25
Mile 2: 9:52
Mile 3: 9:56
Mile 4: 9:49
Mile 5: 9:44
Mile 6: 9:37
Mile 7: 9:33
Mile 8: 9:32
Mile 9: 9:11
Mile 10: 9:51
Mile 11: 9:54
Mile 12: 8:57
Mile 13: 9:33
Mile 14: 10:17
Mile 15: 9:36
Mile 16: 9:39
Mile 17: 9:51
Mile 18: 8:51
Mile 19: 8:10 (.15)

Couldn't be happier with that! And all done by 10:20 and the glorious day ahead (and seriously what a frickin gorgeous Sunday!!! Running perfection).

And of course this:

Time to eat ALL THE FOOD.

Happy Sunday - and GO GIANTS!!!!

How a Saturday Should Be...

Today was a little bit of perfection. 

First, I slept in. I turned off all alarms and my behind was in bed by 10. I woke up at 6 but after a little bit made myself stay in bed and try and sleep. The next time I woke it was after 9 and that was glorious. And needed. 

Then, there were pancakes. Specifically, pumpkin pancakes. Heaven. Fall is in the air! 

I then got my butt in gear. 

Headed into the city, made a quick stop at the office (okay maybe not part of a PERFECT Saturday but details...) 

Then went to the gym where I did 45 mins of cross training, lifted for 20 or so then threw on a short run which was added per my coach to up my mileage even more this week before 18 tomorrow. 

Please note this was easy and I was moving pretty quick considering I've run a crap ton already this week. 

This was then followed up by an amazing sports massage: aka my human foam roller. There was nothing relaxing about it as she worked me. But it was needed. And will happen weekly. 

All rounded out by a little shopping extravaganza before heading back to Hoboken. 

At which time I promptly put myself in bed for dinner and a movie. 

And now am off to sleep as I prepare for 18 miles tomorrow. I am less anxious about this long run than I have been in a long time. I've been stressing about them hard core through this training cycle but am just taking tomorrow nice and slow. 

But all in all. THIS is how weekends should go! It is about time that I implemented this kind of weekend behavior more often. 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

New York City Marathon: Running for Team for Kids!

As I had mentioned earlier: I am going to be running the New York City Marathon this year. However, since by a glitch I should have qualified for guaranteed entry but didn't (my membership was not valid until March '12 but I did I think 12 + 1) I did not want to miss out and thought that this was a great opportunity to give back to the sport and a good cause.

NYRR Team for Kids was decided on after looking into various charities and organizations that I could run for but thought that TFK was a good fit for me. Growing up while I was athletic I was overweight for the majority. It took me until 3 years back to really get a grasp on my health and that is when running took over. 

If I can help a child gain what I have through fitness and running at an early age, then this marathon has served it's purpose. 

So for those that may be interested please take a look at my TFK fundraising page! 

Every little bit of support is appreciated and helps tremendously!

I can't wait to run NYCM and plan on this being my face for all 26.2!!!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Hartford Marathon Training Week 12

I am going to use the term training loosely since well last week I was sidelined the majority of the week flat out with the flu. 

I stubbornly fought it but finally had to throw in the towel and ride it out. 

10 days later I want to say I am functioning at about 75% still not back to normal. 

The upside - when you don't run ALL the miles you don't eat ALL the food so I am a few pounds closer to race weight. Yay? 

Without further ado here is my (pathetic) week: 

Monday: 2 miles - tried to run, it was awful I was supposed to do 11 with 7 at MRP - laughable. 

Tuesday: 3 miles stubbornly tried to run again wanted to pass out. Then walked a mile and did 30 mins of XT 

Wednesday: 60 mins XT / lift - still attempting to "sweat it out" 

Thursday: REST finally gave up

Friday: REST yup more 

Saturday: 60 mins arc trainer / 60 mins stepper / 25 mins lift / Core - yup marathon at the gym - felt better but not quite at running kind of better

Sunday: my big return to running! Or so I thought. 3 miles: 9:26, 9:28, 9:30 - this sucked ass - congested, unable to breathe, this just plain hurt. Threw in weights and core and a shit ton of stretching and foam rolling. 

There it is. 

I can't even bring myself to think of my mileage. I can't remember the last time I ran fewer than 20 miles a week and even 20 would depress me. 

*Side note: 50 miles on tap for this week so bring it on* 

No long run. NBD just missed a 20 miler and only have 2 more long runs prior to taper. And haven't had a good long run in weeks. 

Needless to say confidence isn't at the highest right now. 

I know I am in marathon shape but cutting 20+ minutes off my time kind of shape...time will tell. 

I am definitely not ready to be at the intensity I was just before getting sick but just trying to stay as positive as possible. 

But lesson learned you can only have so many crazy work weeks on top of hard marathon training and thinking you can get by on only a few hours of sleep a night. Probably should have toned it back earlier on vs trying to power through. 

It always seems so clear in hindsight. 

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Training Interrupted: When the Flu Strikes

I have not run in a week.

Okay, that is a lie. I had a miserable 2 miles on Monday and equally if not more so miserable 3 miles on Wednesday.

I can't remember the last time I went 2 days without running, I have been in my version of hell this week.

I know I love running, but take it away and I realize JUST HOW MUCH it is a part of my life.

I knew that I was getting sick last Friday. I struggled through 13 miles on Saturday and was literally down for the count for the next 2 days. I took off of work on Monday (didn't have OFF OFF hello broadcast 24/7 TV) and attempted to sweat it out.

BIG FAIL. Tuesday I made it through a miserable half day of work before calling it quits and stubbornly tried to sweat it out yet again; since that worked so well the first time (what is the definition of stupidity...?). Yeah I could barely get my pace under 10 min/miles and threw in the towel and did some cross training.

Wednesday again did some cross training in the morning and temporarily felt better but within a couple hours at work knew it was a done deal and went home.

Thursday morning contacted the doctor finally...and well yes this moron has the flu. And down for the count the rest of the week.

You know, the fever, night sweats, inability to eat, difficulty breathing and such should have been a bit of a clue. But I am always more of a deal with it and tough it out kind of person...bad decision.

Perhaps if I had taken it easy at the beginning of the week I would have started to mend sooner but hind sight is 20/20, right?

So now we have it, I missed basically a full week of runs. Including today's 20 miler.

Not freaking out (total, blatant, bold-faced lie).

I haven't had a decent long run in a couple weeks now...and have two weeks of long runs left before I begin to taper.

I felt remarkably better today when I awoke and had a minor marathon in the gym but tomorrow will be the first time I lace up feeling better (fingers crossed I am only improving from here!) and see how the running goes.

I am definitely not stupid enough to have any illusions of a LONG LONG run but am hoping I can get some moderate easy distance on my legs. It will be a true test of just how recovered I will be and if I can dive back in full force with the training. The last thing that I want is to do too much too soon and wind up back where I have been all week long.

But I can't help but think that this training interruption is a bad bad thing for my 4 hour marathon goals. I have told myself it is a wait and see I would be lying if I said it didn't have me nervous.

I think if I had been having spectacular long runs all along I wouldn't be quite as concerned. But I have been hitting my week day workouts, intervals, repeats etc very well and the long runs have been sucking.

Only time will tell.

Apologies if a lot of this is just my rambling, but my mind is racing - and my legs itching to just run!

Anyone else been in this situation? Sidelined for a significant amount of time close to your race?

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Fall Race Schedule

So by now if you have been following me, it is quite obvious that I am in training for the ING Hartford Marathon. Since you know, that is all I have actually posted about for a while now.

Sorry about that and the blog boredom.

But, I thought that I would enlighten about what I have planned thus far for the rest of the fall!

I had planned on integrating some races into the last few weeks of my lead up to Hartford but, unfortunately my marathon is on a Saturday and those races are all on Sundays. I have been doing some long runs on Sundays lately but as of the last one am trying to do them on race day so that I am "practicing" for the actual race scenario.

I am taking off of work the day before the race to head up to Hartford and pick up my packet and such and oh you know to REST, but am training my body for the long run on Saturday.

So, it is looking like my first race of fall will be the marathon! Here we have most of the "major" stuff on the schedule:

10/12 - ING Hartford Marathon

10/26 - Miami Halloween Half Marathon

11/3 - NYC Marathon (!!!!)

12/8 - Palm Beaches Marathon


That has all happened.

I knew that in the back of my head I would want to run NYCM because, well, like EVERYONE is.

Did I mention the reason I ran a full in the first place in January after months of swearing against it was due to NYCM training jealousy? Ha. What is wrong with me. Now this year I have managed 2 fulls and an Ultra and have put 3 marathons on my schedule for fall.

I am also doing NYC for Team for Kids. Last year I did 12 + 1 for NYRR but my membership wasn't valid until March 2013 and they WOULD NOT BUDGE on letting me in. #beyondirritated especially since qualifying for 2014 with 9 + 1 - you don't have to be a member until December 2013. But, whatever. I think it is about time to do what I love for a good cause anyway. Right?

I ran the Halloween Half in Miami last year with my sister (as Angry Birds FTW) and it was amazeballs. Probably one of the most fun races I have run. Even though I was crippled with severe stomach issues, and we missed the official start so our times were several minutes off. But one of the best races ever. I can't wait.

Then, I thought I would round it out with another Marathon and trip to Florida. How convenient that there was one for the weekend I was looking at!

Forget the fact that after ING Miami I swore I would never run another full in Florida. I say things like that a lot and don't REALLY mean them.

Plus my sister is probably going to run the FULL as well!!!! As her first full. I mean, perfection.

Then there will be random NYRR races like Ted Corbitt and such to round out my 9 + 1 just for the hell of it.

Clearly, that is a hefty race schedule.

I am only planning Hartford as a time goal race. If I hit sub 4 for this one I do...but if I don't I don't really have illusions that I can race full out another marathon that soon.

I am running a half the weekend prior to NYCM less than a month out from the previous full...it will be for fun and the shear experience.

Same for Palm Beaches...more of an excuse to get away than a goal race of any sort.

And there it is. Just in case anyone was confused by my lack of racing this summer...I will more than make up for it from October to December!!!

...and mind you I keep even asking myself how much I really enjoy marathons. I definitely can admit I am a little bit warped in what I set myself up for.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Hartford Marathon Training Week 11

Happy Labor Day!!! Hope everyone is having a nice long weekend.

I should be at work right now, since live TV doesn't care about holidays, but le sigh, I am home sick.

Life is getting a little closer to normal. Still some long hours but last week I was finally able to not work 12 hours every day! Progress people, progress.

But what happens...by Friday, I found myself sick. Really body? We made it through months of craziness without a hiccup and then I start getting to relax and you go to shit. Great timing as I am in the most important training weeks right now.

Sigh. Nothing is ever too easy, right?

So week 11! It was a doozy as will the next few until we hit the taper.

Monday: 9 miles with fartleks: 1-2-3-4-5-4-3-2-1 in the middle: alright so I began this run (Sunday had run 18 - which I swapped out from Saturday) and legs were like oh okay lets warm up and get to it...haha that lasted not too long. By the end of this run my legs were more tired than they were at the end of the 18. That is what I get for doing my runs totally out of order and not asking my coach if I should switch it up (at 8am she sent me a text that she was switching...but I had already finished :)

Tuesday: am xt: 40 mins arc / 20 mins stepper, pm: 25 mins arc / 20 mins lifting

Wednesday: 3 mile w/u, 5 x 1 mile repeats (3 min active rest) 3 mile c/d  Splits: 8:20, 8:20, 8:18, 8:16, 8:13 - this, was a good one...I even kind of wanted to do another repeat at the end. Yes I am warped.

Thursday: 5 easy shake out: avg 9:50

Friday: 8.5 miles with every other @ MRP or under: 9:50, 9:05, 9:40, 8:57, 9:40, 8:52, 9:35, 8:48, 9:26 - more and more runs at MRP - should be making me confident but I am seriously still scared shitless.

Saturday: 13 miles (step back) avg pace 10:09 - I felt like absolute shit. I had to walk some because of that. Being sick and running aren't the most fun.

Sunday: REST. Finally. Yay.

Total mileage: 46.5 woop.

Overall a week of well executed workouts! But honestly I just don't feel prepared for sub 4. I don't know what it will take for me to feel prepared because I am hitting my workouts distance wise and pace but there is a big mental barrier about the thought of actually doing it on race day.

I find myself with a lot of trepidation over the race but am trying to step back and just take it one workout at a time. And for a type A over analyzer like myself that whole relax thing is often lost on me.

Weeks, please slow down. Thanks.