Powerful Podcasts and Love Thyself

It wasn’t love at first sight
Some of our initial encounters
Were awkward
An up and down friendship
But you grew on me
Then one day I realised
I was in love with you
I love running
We have the odd bad day
But I can’t resist
I always come back
I want to grow old with you

Such a great find on twitter earlier this week from @RunningMrJones.

I’m still not entirely sure how my random treadmill try in January 2017 turned into marathon training, but I’m so glad it did. On the two year anniversary I did my first ever double digit, two hour training run and less than eight months later I ran 3.5 hours and sixteen miles. Who am I?!?

As I’ve mentioned, podcasts are what gets me through the long runs. I switch to music to “cross the finish”, but it’s not enough of a distraction. I had three on this Saturday’s long run and while all were good, the one that really resonated was Running Rogue’s Believe in Your Body with Jessie Barnes. I don’t have the exact quote, but she said something to the effect of “our bodies are meant to be more than cute”. Once upon a time, this blog was a weight loss blog – but running isn’t about that for me. Partially glad because I really have majored in winning and losing the same 2 lbs, but also because I think it would stress me out if I had to worry about that too. I loved the two guests and how they talked about PRs in running vs. on the scale and the comfort needed to run shirtless. I’m not sure I’ll ever be team sports bra, mostly because I burn so easily, but I did ditch the cover up on the beach and celebrated my strength. A really, really powerful lesson and great episode.

Also listened to: Marathon Training Academy’s Ask The Coach Part 2+ Books (link complete with the list of her reads this summer) and Running Rogue’s Staying Fit Through Injury with Sasha Gollish. Three excellent episodes to pass the miles and hours.

I started dreaming about the marathon – or more precisely that I booked a vacation that meant I’d miss a long run. I know where that came from, lamenting a possible long weekend trip that wouldn’t be wise, but it’s still silly. More on that if/when I get my “costs of Marathon training” post done.

On nutrition:

delicious, but troublesome

TMI territory: This week I learned – well experienced first hand, I definitely knew this but head to learn the hard way – that here there be dragons when it comes to salad. I had poke most days for lunch thanks to MealPal, but was craving some greens come Friday. It kept me full most of the day thanks to a good mix of fat and protein (eggs, bacon, avocado) with the veggies. It also made for my first mid-run I need a bathroom moment. Luckily, one was close and all was fine, but never had to go mid run before. 18-20 hours before a long run is a no go for salad.

Otherwise, all good. A very Science in Sports week with the tabs on Wednesday and for Saturday’s long run, which also featured Cliff Blocks. I need to figure out more of the in-run fueling, which will be the 18/20 mile runs plan. This is why we practice!

Weekly Run Down with Deborah and Kim:

  • Monday: I tried to run, but my head was not up for the treadmill and I couldn’t stay on it. Turned this into a full PT and some yoga as I was sore from Saturday and tired.
  • Tuesday: planned off. Dinner with a friend. I walked home from work though, so it wasn’t a totally sedentary day
love at first sight
  • Wednesday: Lumberjack Twists take two with the addition of a 15m “steady” effort.  I set a personal goal of 8 repeats this time, since 7 was all I could manage last time with my Achilles. I managed ten! My Achilles was not happy, but I walked back to the store after the second effort and by Thursday morning it felt mostly OK thanks to an Epsom soak. Post-run I wanted to take advantage of JackRabbit’s double points and our 15% discount and I went to look at the 1080s as my April ones are nearly out of miles. They come in purple! Alas, they don’t come in size 9, so I spent the week on a quest for them while the blue ones stalked me.
yay exploring Central Park with Darlene
  • Thursday: walk/run/visit the Turtle Pond with Darlene. I forgot my watch, but think we called this 2 miles
the bottoms are cool, but the top will be filthy too quickly
a much needed pedi
  • Friday: a rest day, but still lots of steps ISO those shoes. A longer than planned series of errands meant I missed my window for avocado toast. That came back to bite me during the long run, but it’s a teachable moment. I realized mid-pedi that I have to keep my toes painted. They’re a mess. One not at all running related as someone stepped on it causing a fugly while healing bruise.
why are you heavy cotton? nopity nope nope nope
do I really need another pair of shoes? YES
forever my favorite, and I take a photo every time
imagine indeed. I lost my group, but so many out there I never felt lonely
open splash pad, Happy Cari ca. mile 13 Who is this person whose hat, shirt and SIS tablets matched?
I have a runner’s body
  • Saturday: Sweet 16!  I really, really wanted to do 16.21 so that I could say I had singe digits to go, but at the end I was just done and didn’t want to chase garbage miles. The route/the reality. Pretty close. I wiggled in the w 60s as I wanted no part of Wednesday’s ramp or the stairs leading up from the water. I felt this on my pre-Vermont shakeout, but today endorsed my “latter half of the Great Saunter is boring” feeling as I’ve run it twice this month. I love my East River, but the Hudson is so much prettier. Since we ran the lower third of Manhattan (nuts!), I really should bring back my beloved #GreatManhattanLoop tag.As I mentioned, missing the avocado toast window came back to bite me on the run. My dinner ended up as a scoop of peanut butter and a couple scoops of dry Cheerios. Yep, that fuels nothing. Coupled with the salad above, this was a weird run. I was hungry during, which hasn’t happened before. The Cliff Bloks got me through, but as I mentioned to Liz in text, I should have had two packs with me. Was glad to have had the extra tabs of SIS Berry as I needed those vs. pure water. Luckily lots of spots on the Hudson side to refill the water and add a tab. As I’m not sure I’ll ever manage Gatorade, this was good fueling practice. I need to work out the logistics to take water from stations and add it to bottle in belt during the run though as I can’t add it to cup and hold. Hi NYRR 18M plan.
  • I’m pretty sure that my beloved Cascade (RIP :(, but I did manage to snag one more in yesterday’s flash sale ) is going to be my race skirt if the weather is at all conducive. Aside from some mid-run wardrobe adjustments that had nothing to do with the skirt and everything to do with a stretch, it just doesn’t move and I had no chafing on my lower body. That’s unheard of for me – even in Skirt. I love Gym Girl and will probably get it in Rebel Fleur, but I can’t imagine it for 26.2. Backup plan is Lotta Breeze Capri, which I wore for two Halfs earlier this year, but I’m really thinking Cascade.  Ever think on a race outfit this far out? Given how often I wear that pink shirt, it might be part of the ensemble, but I have a different one in mind.
  • Post-run I hit up the New Balance store at the NYRR run center to see if Juan could find the purple for me. He’s a wizard and even he couldn’t, but he did turn up a pair of darker blue that I like and won’t be filthy, so I should have them in a week or two.  I LOVE these 1080s and might switch to the blue ones now so I can still run November in the black.  The shoes above? Coral are my cross trainers, the navy Vongo2s got me through three Halfs and are nearly out of miles, the 880s didn’t quite work for me but are OK on short distances. And then my two existing pair of 1080s. So glad I found and my feet fell in love with New Balance. Post-run sushi and sunset.
  • Sunday: rest. Maybe beach

Training mileage:

  • Week: 21.21 not counting  Darlene’s and my walk/run. That happy accident parallel is too funny
  • Total cycle: 188.32. Even with a down week, going to have a hundred mile month 😮

Plan for the Week:

  • Monday: run with Darlene
  • Tuesday: cross/off
  • Wednesday: Rogue
  • Thursday: cross/recovery depending on meetings
  • Friday: off
  • Saturday: 10/12. I love down weeks
  • Sunday: off

On gym visits:

I was more than a little stressed about hitting the 50 gym visits and then when I requested a print out I realized I’d been 61 times. I guess I’m not as good at tracking cross train and / or yoga visits in my spread sheet. That’s a relief, claim filed for my $200 reimbursement which is going right in the travel fund for Bermuda and/or toward a post-marathon treat.

Super busy, wonderful week

A wonderful week with friends, both running and non, as their summer & work travels brought them through the city. A whirlwind of many late nights, but wouldn’t trade it for a second.

Linking up with Kim and Deborah for the Weekly Run Down:

Home sweet home
  • Never miss a Monday: two running weeks in a row, Kim, you’re rubbing off on me! Six miles after work and while I’m not one to complain about summer exiting stage right, but it’s heading toward dark too early to do six solo miles after work. The path is populated and lit, but considering I jumped sky high at a car backfire on the loop back, these will need to start earlier or come to an end. The run itself felt great. SiS lemon tablet, no gels or chews. Hungry toward the end but that was a factor of no afternoon snack due to meetings.
  • Tuesday: a 23K step “rest” day as Darlene and I walked from the Little Red Lighthouse to the 79th St. Boat Basin.
I really wanted to upload the bouncing live version, but a .mov won’t work
  • Wednesday: run group with a post-run birthday party for one of the coaches. The workout was a repeat of the lactate threshold one, although 2x 20m this time. I had my watch and for the latter portion, a partner. Overall pace was 11:09, which I was happy with. I’ve known this since our office run group, but a partner/pacer is a huge help for me. Also, a help, not being hungry post-run so the cake wasn’t tempting.
Friends <3 Pattern <3
is a friends selfie a friendsfie?
  • Thursday: I am so glad Darlene’s work travel brings her here so we can get together so often. This was a year to the day from when we first met. We walked to meet up with Elizabeth – have I mentioned lately how many great people SkirtStports has introduced me to? – for a chat by the water and then we headed off on a short sunset walk/run. A beautiful evening.
  • Friday: Giants game and a trip up the river to Katonah to see a friend for our annual lunch date. Late late night which was poor planning ahead of long run, but life goes on.
Friends and former colleagues
isn’t Fred every runner’s friend?
  • Saturday: 14 miles! Summer Streets down and back and then a loop of Central Park up to the 102nd Street transverse. I have to say, this felt good. It wasn’t too sunny so for the second week in a row I could ditch the hat. I prefer the Buff, but really can’t wait until my hair is long enough for a ponytail. It was faster than my first fourteen miler, but that was also a factor of some wonky GPS in midtown as I did not run a sub10 minute mile at the eight mile mark. I went out ahead of the group as I knew I’d be doing this solo anyway and had plans to meet my college roommate and her kids in Westchester. The group passed me as we entered Central Park. Three podcasts: Marathon Training Academy’s Ask The Coach + Road Trip, Running Rogue’s NYC Marathon Race Planning, and MTA’s Running Outside the Comfort Zone with Susan Lacke, which I’d started in Stowe. Podcasts are the best for a long run and Aftershokz allowed me to hear Rachel call my name when she spotted me. I loved SummerStreets for the Nuun stations and the samples they handed out which allowed me to flavor my water when I refilled in Central Park. It was super humid, but manageable. I bought the belt that Kim recommended last week and although I used my disposable bottle more, it was good for Nuun sample storage. Also took two (orange, lemon lime SiS gels. Day finished with spending time with my godson and his sister and then dinner with friends. I so needed a nap.
  • Sunday: off running, but Yankee game will mean steps.

Week’s mileage: 26.46

Total in marathon training: 167.11

Plan for the Week:

  • Monday: run?
  • Tuesday: off
  • Wednesday: rogue
  • Thursday: off/cross
  • Friday: off
  • Saturday: 16!!

Vermont and other mischief

July finished with 84.79 miles. 84! That is, by far, a personal best. And yes, that missing .21 miles bothers me just a little because round numbers. But only a little because I’m really proud of this mileage increase that, touch wood, has been without injury.

On nutrition:

as I mentioned on twitter, I finally got to try the Science in Sport gels at a group workout and I’m a fan. Not as thick or overly sweet as some of the others and, touch wood, good on my stomach even in the heat. Know a number of you have these already via BibPro, but if anyone wants to try, this code should get you 20% off.

Instant lemonade slush

I also tried the powder mix on the 8/10 long run and at half strength and frozen it was a perfect lemonade slushy for the first mile or so.

Oh right, grape Nuun isn’t purple!

As soon as I dropped in the tablet I remembered someone’s post — grape Nuun looks so weird. Even though grapes are green and wine can be white, I so expected it to be purple. Judy was that one of yours I’m thinking of? Used it for cross training, but definitely a fan.

One thing I still need to find/buy is an insulated water bottle as even freezing them isn’t keeping them cold on summer long runs. I saw one reviewed when I was catching up on the last of my print Runners World, but I want to look around some more. I tried this Nathan one, but it splashes and I don’t like having a wet hand. Do you have a favorite?  After that I am done spending. Feel like money is running out of my wallet these days even if it’s (mostly) necessities. I am not going to buy a Sarah Marie Design Studio NYC shirt. No, I am not. Not at all. And the 11th commandment, thou shalt avoid the Gap Factory sale.

Two week Weekly Run Down with Kim and Deborah:

Week of 7.29

  • Monday: it was too hot to breathe outside. I tried the treadmill but was having a wardrobe malfunction and instead landed on the rower. Had been a while since I rowed 5K. Felt good, as it subsequent PT exercises.
  • Tuesday: another aborted run turned cross train. Decided to listen to what my body was telling me.
  • Wednesday: Rogue training. The prescribed workout:

The workout: Lumberjack Twist

What? Runners will do a combination of short hill sprints of 60-80 meters in distance, combining with 20 minutes of steady effort work, followed by more hills.

Runners will start on the hills with marathoners doing 5-6 hill sprints. Then, runners will take a 1 minute break before rolling into 20 minutes continuous at steady effort. Then, runners will take another 1 minute rest followed by another 5-6 hill sprints to finish up their work. The hill sprints should be at a hard effort, short and fast, with easy running back down. The steady section is intended to be comfortably hard and should fall somewhere between half marathon and marathon effort, likely erring more on the marathon side of that given the summer conditions.

Why? This workout is all about working to improve aerobic threshold on tired legs. The early hills are designed to introduce fatigue so that runners have to work a little bit harder in the middle section, sustaining a comfortably hard rhythm after working those sprints.

  • the reality: not exactly. But not because of weather or fitness. The hill repeats were on the ramp above Pier I and my Achilles just wasn’t having it. I did five of the six in the first set and then managed two in the second. I called that a smart decision. Yes, the NYC course is hilly, but not hill repeats hilly and not breaking is my priority.
  • Thursday: off due to moved long run.
  • Friday: Fourteen solo morning miles. Well really, 14.35 and 3h10m running. Whoa. No more “longest training run” and more “longest run ever” territory. I had a couple of route plans but ended up with the simplest due to time, an out and back down to the Seaport area. It was gorgeous and not too hot. My knees were really sore the rest of the day, but otherwise felt OK.
  • Saturday: 3m shakeout before my road trip. It was humid and I was so sore from Friday but it meant negative splits as I did ten! laps of a .3 mile trail segment near mom to get in three miles. I wanted the cushion of a trail, but the longer segment is still closed due to construction, so a crazy back and forth it was. Luckily there was a work crew with a water jug in their truck as the water fountain was shut due to construction.



row row row your view!
  • Sunday: cross train with a gorgeous view.

Weekly mileage: 21.83

Week of 8.5

mom and I have A Thing for covered bridges. This has also become a running Thing
  • Never miss a Monday: and a beautiful one at that running past corn and cows in Stowe. I love this Stowe tradition of running into town for breakfast. We followed this up with a hike to the Von Trapp chapel, which was stunning.
  • Tuesday: cross train with a view because I didn’t want to run three days in a row. Trip up the Stowe gondola with a short hike before heading to the airport for three hour delays (on a 45m flight)
  • Wednesday: grumbling about Tuesday as it turned into an unplanned off day with run group rained out & postponed to Thursday. In truth, the off day was much needed as I could work late to catch up after a few days off.
another runner’s photo of the pre-storm sunset
  • Thursday: the planned workout:
The workout: 600s @5k pace/effort
What? All runners will do 4-8 x 600m at 5K pace (or effort) with 200m easy jog in between each. Add warm-up and cool down to get the necessary mileage in for the day. The pace should feel hard but controlled. Runners will want to find a strong rhythm and start conservative, progressing as they go through each repeat.
Why? This is a down week, and as you know we like to work on speed during most down weeks.
These 600s at 5K pace are a VO2 Max workout. The workout’s aim is to improve the amount of oxygen the body can deliver to the muscle cells (used to produce energy) by stressing the maximum of the heart, lungs and circulatory system (your VO2 Max).
  • The Reality: pretty close. The benefit of doing this on the Great Lawn was that it equated to essentially 3/4 of a lap for the 600 element and the final 1/4 for the recovery. I went out too quickly and as a result, my pace suffered toward the end, but I was happy overall. Still had enough in the tank for coach to pace me the last lap. When a wind gust spun up, we had a feeling we were in for an unexpected storm. We were just taking a cooldown when we saw lightning and the cooldown turned into a fast “sprint”. I learned what running at a pace I couldn’t talk meant! I was OK, save for the side stitch which passed when we took a breather to cross the street. I have to say, this was definitely the most fun workout of the training cycle. I still love rain runs.
Mismatched tree

Friday: I was tight as a rubber band so after work I went to the gym for some PT and yoga. This was probably due to a lot of sitting around at the airport on Tuesday and not properly stretching after the rain. I can always count on Romance and my first NYRR Retro shirt to keep me from matching.

it’s too damn early face
a rarely-seen view of Mr. Vanderbilt. Thanks SummerStreets!
I’m strong to the finish cause I eat my spinach err sushi!
you can pry my treat food from my cold, dead hands


  • Saturday: what did I say about not matching? Daybreak is another wonderful one in that effort. Aggressive non-matching is my favorite sport. The weather was gorgeous and this down-week run was perfection. I missed last week’s Summer Streets run and didn’t realize how much water was available on the course so I over packed water. Oh well. We ran across 59th St. and down Park Avenue to the Brooklyn Bridge and back up, with a little smidgen of Central Park to get to ten miles. I ran the whole thing with someone else from the run group! I’ve never done that over a long run (full disclosure, she stuck with me- I did not keep up with her). Considering we stopped at two Nuun stations (strawberry lemonade, lemon lime), took a couple of photos and got stuck behind people walking four abreast in the last mile, our pace was pretty good. Slightly faster than the Cherry Blossom 10m (all the photos!) and slower than the Bronx. Much better than recent long runs, thanks to the weather. Run buddy called for the “wonder woman/popeye” shot, but it also felt fitting after a conversation Renee and I were having on twitter. People, and by people I mostly mean women, are the worst sometimes. Went to the gym after for a solid foam roll and some more yoga before treating myself to sushi and a sunset read.
  • Sunday: probably off. I had some vague plans of a morning shakeout or beach trip, but after sleeping in (9!) I woke with a sinus headache and with a busy week/weekend coming up I decided to chill with coffee and catch up on email, blogs and what not. I will go out as it’s a gorgeous day, but will be a low key one.

Weekly mileage: 19.79 Yeah, not really an overall down week for me since I am not reaching the plan’s mileage (deliberate choice)

Overall this cycle: 153.1 I’m really, really proud of that.

Plan for the week:

  • Monday: run
  • Tuesday: walk with Darlene?
  • Wednesday: Rogue training
  • Thursday: run with Darlene?
  • Friday: off, Giants game
  • Saturday: 16!!
  • Sunday: TBD/Yankee game

Go The Dist August:

I touched on the run mileage to start the post, but it was an overall strong month:

  • 537, 348 steps
  • 84.79 miles run
  • 240.91 miles run/walked.

WOW. I beat my best ever month by 4K without even walking all around London. Marathon training does a step goal good.

Gym visits: 12; March-August total: 44. A nice rebound over last month. I’ll be good for the reimbursement.