Tuesday Topics: Rogue Running and group marathon training

My original plan for NYC Marathon training wasn’t group training, nor was it JackRabbit’s Rogue Running.  I realized early on that a DIY approach probably wasn’t going to work for me, and soon after that my Mile High Run Club idea wouldn’t either.

Rogue Runners

Linking up with Kim and Zenaida this Tuesday Topics to talk about group training for the marathon in general, and Rogue Running in particular.

TL; DR: I’m so glad I did group training and Rogue was a good fit with excellent coaches and fun fellow runners, but it’s not necessarily designed for Turtles.

I was mentally writing this on Saturday, my first Saturday “long” run with Rogue after the marathon and my penultimate workout with them. What was I listening to? Running Rogue’s Ode to Shalane from a few weeks ago when she announced her retirement. Two things that stuck with me?

  • Her comments on group training, and how it evolved from when she first graduated college & Meb & Deena at Mammoth were one of the only games out there. Subsequently how she asked the coach at Bowerman Track Club to add more women to the group to push and help her and how that evolved into the so-called Bowerman Babes.
  • Chris McClung‘s comment that there’s a little Shalane in all of us. It’s so so true. We might not medal, but we can all improve.

I was all over the place when I thought about how I was going to train for the marathon.  Runfession: I still haven’t read the Hanson’s book I bought, or re-read the Hal Higdon one I read early in my running journey.  One of the things I love about our office running group is it was helpful for bouncing ideas off one another, including how are we going to do this? I’m so glad we found Rogue and that it had a five day trial.

I’ll be honest – I nearly quit Rogue after the first Saturday workout. Well not really after – during, when I fell behind during the “easy” warmup.  I can’t keep upwhat’s the point? I still remember that thought and almost exactly where I was in Central Park — lower loop, coming around the curve at the south end of The Mall. I’m pretty sure that was my social anxiety talking, and I’m so glad I ignored it.

happy, sweaty runners after a buggy July workout

Because Rogue does a near twenty week marathon training cycle that includes base building, I began with them in mid-June. I am thrilled to say that I never really missed a session.  Some thoughts on why Rogue/group training worked for me:

  • almost every Friday night I was dreading the 6/5:30 wakeup for the long run. Every single Saturday I was so glad to have the run done. The accountability is huge. I’d have to answer to someone about why I didn’t come – and I was too tired/it was too hot didn’t seem legit. I moved a couple around due to travel, but I got all the long runs in. I missed one Wednesday when I took the workout indoors due to rain — slipping on a wet leaf wasn’t in my plan three weeks out. But that’s not really missing it.
guest runners and popsicles
  • We had fun. I obviously got to know some better than others if we ran at similar paces during a given workout, but everyone was fun. We cheered one another on at out and backs and in workouts. The coaches were AMAZING.  I wouldn’t change one thing about the cohort of people. We were split between first time marathoners, those who had run one or two, and two vets with nearly 20. It made for a great mix.
  • We had great guest speakers/runners/product demos. And popsicles. I got exposed to so many different facets of the running industry that helped my training – and they were ones I wouldn’t necessarily have thought to seek out.
  • I have a library of workouts. I actually went back to one of them today when I needed something on the treadmill-300m repeats. While I would have had said library from a training plan, I’m the type of person who learns from someone explaining it vs. reading it. We got weekly emails with the workouts as well as a spreadsheet at the start, but once the coaches explained it, I got it.

Downsides? Really only what I said above about it not being designed for Turtles. And it really wasn’t a downside for me.

  • This is true of every group training though – they have to be programmed to the most common group. So while I was usually lagging a mile or three behind on the Saturday long runs, there was one runner who was way ahead. I don’t think this is a bad thing — but it might not work for everyone.  As I tend to be a solo runner anyway, I was happy to run some with company and then be alone, or vice versa. Sometimes I enjoyed the challenge of keeping up with another runner, other days I just wanted my podcast. That first workout where I lost them on the warmup? That never really changed, although without fault they’d wait for me and if I asked them to hang back, I think one of the coaches probably would have. I knew our routes well and once they realized I really was fine solo, it worked well on both sides.

Do I know for sure that I ran faster because I did group training? Nope. I just have a good feeling that while I couldn’t do the 5-6 days Rogue prescribed, I think it made me a more consistent runner than I would have been on my own. I look forward to using some of these workouts in my half marathon training, because a Half PR is definitely a 2020 goal.  I’m not sure whether I’m going to sign up for Rogue again – but that’s a factor of some travel plans that make it unlikely I’ll get my money’s worth.

  • Have/do you do group training?
  • Do you think it improved your running?

Getting back to a routine, or trying

and a whole bunch of meandering thoughts on a weird week.

I didn’t end up getting as much of the routine as I wanted due to a mid-late week battle with food poisoning, but I’m back on my feet now and easing back into things.

Teddy brigade
close up of Marathon Teddy

I am not an I HATE WINTER person when it comes to running. There are mornings where I’ll be grumbling, but in general give me 20 over 80 any day for running.  Getting out of bed on a chilly, dark day? That’s another story. Especially with that marathon present to myself, marathon teddy

I was looking at my upcoming race calendar and where are they? Central Park, Central Park, Delray, Central Park (maybe, haven’t signed up for this one), Fort Lauderdale, Riverside Park, Central Park, Central Park, Bermuda. I guess I’m already escaping winter. I finally updated the race calendar/race recaps which I hadn’t. Oops

One of my expo purchases was the NYC Marathon edition of the 1080s, and I’m so glad I did, because I love them, and because the new 1080s are FUGLY.  I may need to put finding a new shoe on my 2020 list because no. Function > fashion, but NO.

Nicely done, Engravably Yours!

I never managed to get my medal engraved last week during Marathon Monday at the pavillion or later in the week at the Run Center due to lines. I wasn’t too worried as there were options and there’s nothing special about NYRR’s own engraving as they use a vendor. I was at mom’s over the weekend and remembered a shop we’d used for personalized gifts as kids and stopped in. Mom picked it up Wednesday and I love the font. Yay small businesses.

For the first time in a very long time (i.e. the year that I quit #GoTheDist), logging my steps is making me mad. I still track them as I wear my fitbit 24/7, but seeing that I’m not hitting my goal isn’t making me happy. Luckily it’s mostly (see above re: food poisoning) within my control, so time to take those steps. No pun intended. That said, I think no junk steps during marathon training was a good one, and I might need to re-look at step goals for 2020. Onto steps..

Weekly run down with birthday girl Deborah and Kim. Also, happy birthday Coco and Deb:

  • never miss a Monday: missing my brain. Had plans to meet a dear friend for a run/walk as she re-starts running after some medical down time. I forgot: my socks, my Garmin. Luckily I can run in work socks and she tagged me in Strava. Definitely one of those I’d forget my head if it weren’t screwed on days.
  • Tuesday: work craziness had me at the office long after I planned on being at the gym. I still made it for some strength training, PT and foam rolling.
  • Wednesday: was meant to be my first workout with Rogue post marathon. I bailed a mile into it as my stomach wasn’t having it.
  • Thursday: minimal steps as the body is not meant to exist on 400 calories
  • Friday: did not push recovery
Love the accents on my new shoeses
  • Saturday: six Central Park miles. I missed that loop.This felt good. I was not pushing the pace as food had been minimal since Wednesday, and it was a smart move to take a chew on a short run given the lack of food. I had water with me but forgot the park fountains would be off. Guess it’s back to the hydration belt, although I did just buy myself an SPI belt with the JackRabbit Bunny Bucks in the marathon goodie bag
  • Sunday: spectating the ultra. Gym PT. Continuing closet clean out & organization. Hardcore adulting.

Plan for the week:

  • Monday: run with friends
  • Tuesday: off
  • Wednesday: dinner with Darlene, Elizabeth
  • Thursday: return of the office run group?
  • Friday: off. Birthday mischief with friends
  • Saturday: birthday miles. Distance TBC. Tickets to A Christmas Carol and dinner with mom & Bob
  • Sunday: Race to Deliver 4M. My 4M PR is almost two years old and I’m not sure I’m anywhere close to it, but it will be fun to try. Or set a new benchmark. I’m very curious to see what effect marathon volume had on my speed overall. I did see that pace in a time trial in July, but 4M very different from 2M.

Weekly (Not Much) Run Down: Recovery Edition

In case you missed it, my marathon length race recap. I’m still walking on air and part of me can’t believe the marathon is over.

all the NYC Marathon gear

No, I’m not jumping into another one. I’m looking forward to properly training for Fort Lauderdale and Bermuda (and maybe Lebow, since I just can’t quit Fred).  I’m starting to think about the rest of 2020 and what that might look like racing wise. For 2019, I have God’s Love We Deliver on November 24 thanks to some last minute bibs,  my beloved Ted Corbitt on December 7 and maybe a Florida race if stars align.

Along with the post-marathon euphoria, some of the shopping has continued. I knew I needed some gear for running in the dark and NoxGear’s Daylight Savings sale meant I wasn’t going to wait for Black Friday to finally get the vest I’ve lusted over as I’ve seen runners with it in Central Park. It looks so Batteries Not Included. More fun after dark tips from Angela here.

 

Weekly run down with Deborah and Kim:

  • never miss a Monday: there was no running, of course.  Lots of recovery walking, two Normatec sessions and some foam rolling and light yoga. Finally got the long overdue cut & color
  • Tuesday: back to work. Long foam rolling session on my knotty calves and some light yoga. Iced the achilles when I got home.
Rogue One meeting to celebrate
  • Wednesday: post-marathon celebration with Rogue One, as Chris from Rogue dubbed us. What an amazing night to celebrate Berlin, Marine Corps and NYC runners. I really, really love this group.
Runrise at the NYC Ferry dock
taking Watch Me Go and the new NYC Marathon gloves for a spin
  • Thursday: I felt like running. Nothing fancy or fast, just an overcast runrise on the East River. So easy to just step out my door and go. 2.62 miles. All felt good after, with minor chirping from my right Achilles. Was a great chance to wear Watch Me Go for a run. It’s definitely warmer than Cool It, but is perfect for these weird temperatures. I am obviously a fan of the Dunkin’ NYC Marathon hat.
  • Friday: rarely ran two days in a row during training, definitely not about to now. Headed upstate after work to celebrate mom’s birthday.
  • Saturday: ahh, not needing to pop out of bed like a toaster at 5:30. Especially when it’s 32F.
  • Sunday: sunny, beautiful & still chilly day. Trail running perfection. Took me a while to get loose but once I did I could have run forever. Had chance to run in hat & windbreaker at top, perfect for the temperatures.

Total for the week:

  • 35.39, Sunday to Sunday and obviously including the marathon

Plan for the Week:

still playing it by ear, or feel really.

  • Monday: run?
  • Tuesday: cross/yoga/PT
  • Wednesday: I’m paid up for Rogue through 11/23 so may run with them although I won’t do a workout
  • Thursday: off?
  • Friday: off/cross
  • Saturday: run?

GoTheDist October

  • 530,647 steps
  • 243.02 miles run/walked
  • 97.3 miles run

Marathon training: when a 500K step goal became normal. I need to get back in the habit of hitting my step goal on non running days later this month. Winter is always hard. Gym visits: 9. 20 for September – February cycle.

GoTheDist Year to Date:

  • 5,079, 285 steps
  • 2,272.98 miles run/walked
  • 748.35 miles run.

Officially surpassed 2018’s running mileage.

 

Tuesday Topics: MARATHONER!

the 2019 NYC Marathon is officially in the rear view and I DID IT. Linking up with Kim and Zenaida to discuss. Apologies in advance for the all caps and exclamation points, but you’ve all been there and totally understand it. Oh, and it’s ridiculously long.

#MedalMonday: my long thoughts on becoming a marathoner Click To Tweet
Spoiler, I finished: Marathon Monday with Fred

It’s impossible not to think of Fred Lebow while running anywhere in NYC, but especially true for the marathon. As Ron Rubin’s biography said, Anything for a T-Shirt. True when Fred started the marathon and still true now.

But rewinding…

I was originally going to bucket this as good/bad, but other than 26.2 being the challenge it is, there was nothing I’d really call bad. Just some wardrobe adjustments I’ll make for my next Half.

Surprisingly I was able to sleep Saturday night. I went to bed on the early side and while I woke up once or twice, I woke refreshed at my alarm. After adding some raspberry, because you can’t have grey roots in your first marathon photos!, I was out the door to get the train to NYPL. The line was long and moved quickly and efficiently. Darlene and I had boarded a bus and were en route to Staten Island by 7:05.

I never did plan and fully try out a breakfast, but I went with a tried and true for most of my nearly 40 years… PB&J. That was one of my errands Saturday as I wanted avocado on a bagel for dinner the night before. Yeah, never did get around to buying a toaster this training cycle. I ate half the PB & J on the bus as I sipped Science in Sport.

Priority #1 on arrival at the Fort
follow that truck!

While the starting area wasn’t exactly organized logically, it was relatively easy to follow signage. We were through security in 5m, tops, and wandered around to find our hats and hit the potties before heading to our respective villages.

Shoes’ last ride
so many clothes!

I’d brought a copy of Runners’ World, but by the time I hit the potties again for a nervous pee, finished the PB & J sandwich and switched out my shoes, it was almost time to go into the corrals. Yes, my first pair of 1080s that got me started with marathon training ran out of miles and I decided to donate them in the best way possible as I already have two pair of knockaround sneakers.

hanging out with a hashtag

I had to stop here on my way to the corrals. Dunkin also had plastic topiary but there were too many people around it. I followed some of the great advice to keep layers into the corrals, but had ditched the warm up pants by this point.

Battery Weed from the Verrazano

I’ve been to Fort Wadsworth before, but if you told me then I’d have seen it from the bridge I’d have laughed in your face. Verrazano, like the Henry Hudson, is the rare NYC bridge without a pedestrian path. Everyone talks about the emotion of New York, New York on the bridge, but I admit I didn’t hear it. Downside of corral F. We had Joan Jett’s I Love Rock and Roll , which really set the tone for the next 26.2 miles.

We crossed the start relatively quickly given the large number of runners in Orange Wave 4 and suddenly I was taking in the span of the Verrazano. This was when it hit me that I was officially running the NYC marathon and was going to be running for a very long time. There are almost no photos as I focused on running and taking it all in. I wanted to experience it in the moment, but did take this photo from the bridge because New York harbor is just stunning.

Everyone told me that you could hear the crowds coming off the 59th Street Bridge, but I could hear the amazing Bay Ridge crowds from the Verrazano too. The 2.62 mileage signs, DJ playing Beastie Boys. It was an amazing but LONG run up 4th. Like Ocean Parkway when you’re doing the alphabet, the street countdown reminds you how long it is. My amazing friend Rachel found me and ran with me for a minute or two and I just took it all in.

As we turned onto Lafayette, it was great to see BAM and this area of Brooklyn before turning into Williamsburg. Someone in the start village was warning others about the quiet zones of the 59th Street Bridge and Hasidic Williamsburg, but I didn’t find Williamsburg to be that quiet. Compared to the raucous earlier streets, yes, but the little kids out cheering were amazing.

Shortly after this as we headed through Greenpoint was my first supremely happy moment – someone handing out Swedish Fish. I opted for the theory that no one was going to try & poison the marathoners and took one. The actual nutrition was going well, starting with a Gingerade Gu in the corral,  but I already needed something different.

I was happy to find the “secret” bathrooms with no line just before the Pulaski Bridge and in the short stretch in Queens I was super stoked to find one of my Rogue coaches, Justin. I should have warned anyone within arms’ reach that they were getting a flying hug. Justin ran with me for part of a mile and took one of my too many gels off my hand. It was on the Pulaski that the 6:00 pacers caught up with me. They started before me so I’m not sure what pace they were relative to my start, but didn’t worry too much about it. I was enjoying it.

Mile 16 and still happy. Photo: Mom

I didn’t find the 59th St. bridge to be that quiet because we runners were making a ton of noise. Both celebrating a wheel chair coming through and generally whooping it up to make noise on the lower level. Not quite the CP tunnel noise with the open sides, but still loud. We could hear 1st Avenue coming off the Bridge and I knew Mom & Bob were watching from the New Balance party at Treadwell Park. The surprise lasted until Saturday night when Bob had to tell mom – I call that mission accomplished. I was looking for Bob since he’s 6’4 and mom is shorter than I am, but I was able to spot mom’s sign and started blowing kisses.

The most awesome thing that has changed on 1st Avenue since the last time I spectated there was the bike lane on the West side. It allows the crowds to be in close. Best decision I made was writing my name on my shirt. I had so many “friends” on the course it was awesome. I won’t lie — passing my apartment was a challenge.  The only real quiet zone was the charity zone, most of whom had gone home by the time we came through. Fred’s Team was out there though and amazing.

Willis Ave. Bridge headed to the Bronx. Photo: Jordan

While I was plotting to surprise Mom, my brother was doing the same with Bob to surprise me. Bob really enjoyed being the linchpin of all the surprises. Jordan texted me Sunday morning with a video of my nephew and telling me where he’d be. AMAZING. Did I mention that he lives in Albany?!? So I knew to expect him at Mile 22 – and as a marathoner himself he told me runners’ left. I didn’t expect him just shy of mile 20 headed into the Bronx. Loved this.

I was struggling by this point. It wasn’t The Wall-I don’t think I ever hit that. This was just tired legs. I never once thought about dropping out though. I knew I’d finish even if it was walking. I’ll be honest, part of the reason I never had nerves about NYC was not finishing was never an option even if i was crawling. I detoured into the Biofreeze spray station in the Bronx and that was great for my calves.

There were so many great signs on the course but my favorite might have been Welcome to the Last Damn Bridge on Madison Avenue. Luckily this one was just an overpass and was basically nothing. After we hit Fifth Avenue I was ecstatic to find my colleagues’ water station and flew into them for a hug. By this point they knew I was running (and it eventually made our Insta), but it was so good to see them. Shortly after this I saw Jordan again and unloaded a pace band I was mad at and a gel I’d taken but didn’t want and didn’t want to waste.

I knew Fifth Avenue would be hard. We ran it last week. But I didn’t anticipate how hard it would feel this late in the race. At about 110, I made a deal with myself that I could walk until the museums at 105th. I then ran a little until a water station where I walked under the condition that I would run the park. This was absolutely the right decision as I felt rejuvenated in the park. No doubt the downhills helped. The weirdest thing was a large screen suspended over Fifth Avenue at the Park’s entrance. It was cheer cards, I think, but so disorienting as there’s no TV there!

I knew I was feeling relatively good in the park as I didn’t even flip off Cat Hill which always happens in Lebow. We exited the Park and I was feeling strong. I knew the look toward Columbus circle was long from prior reads so I focused on the crowds and hugged a Santa. I didn’t do all the high fives I could have for stamina, but I got as many of the kids as I could.

The stage at the entrance to the park was a pick me up and I honestly did not notice the incline to the finish. Before I realized it, we were done. The actual finish is almost anti-climactic as there was a slight backlog of medical spotters, but we were done and I remembered to smile for the camera. Photos TK, I absolutely bought the MarathonFoto package because you’ll never have another first marathon.

I got my medal, had a couple of photos with the sideline backdrops and headed up the path to my poncho and meetup. This was absolute walking on adrenaline and it didn’t seem as bad as the recaps sound. We had a meeting place at the Starbucks at Columbus and 73rd and getting there was fine and relatively quick. The hardest part was holding the recovery bag with the heat wrap & poncho, neither of which had arms.

my original NYC running buddy, Mom & Bob
Utopia Diner medal shot. Photo: Mom or Bob

The best decision was asking mom to bring me flip flops because I wanted out of my shoes. She thought to bring me pedi socks and I may have laid the poncho on the ground to change into the flip flops and stash my sneakers in the recovery bag. Beth, who I first met in an NYC running meetup in March/April 2017, lives in the UWS and my question to her was where coudld we eat right there. I wasn’t hangry – and still haven’t really been hungry – but I just wanted to sit. She delivered with a recommendation of this diner.

All in all, a super successful day. Capped off by an epsom salt bath, Biofreeze and Advil.

On Pace:

I knew my idea of 6:00 was gone by about half way, but I was OK with that. I just wanted to enjoy it. Wasn’t worth pushing it and hating the race. I got mad at my wrist for telling me, so I ripped off the pace band in the Bronx, but didn’t want to litter so handed it to Jordan.

I actually didn’t know my finish time at all until we sat at dinner and Beth showed it to me. I never had an A/B/C goal, as I mentioned, but I was fine with 6:18ish. I really need to look it up.

On nutrition:

This went well. But by mile 20 or so, I couldn’t really chew the hardening margarita blocks and found the honey stingers too sweet. I was SO GLAD for the random Starburst and Swedish fish. Race nutrition by Cari. I hung on to a 20 oz water bottle for 25 miles and refilled it every / every other water station.

This wasn’t about weight loss, but my scale does all the data and I somehow lost 3.8 lbs between the first day of training and the NYC marathon. I’ll take it.

On wardrobe:

Capris were the perfect choice. I could have tossed my long sleeve on a couple of occasions but glad I didn’t as it was chilly as the sun went down. For future halfs, I’m going to get an SPI or Flip Belt. While I need the water on training runs, I do not need the heavy belt for a race. It was great to have the bib toggles but otherwise it mostly just annoyed me as it shifted around. If it didn’t have the bib on it and phone in it, Jordan probably would have taken it to Albany with him.

I was most excited by my epsom soak that nothing chafed. Literally nothing. That never happens! I brought extra body glide to reapply in the starting village and it was perfect. My favorites along the course besides edibles were vaseline and tissues.

On future plans:

Yep, still one and done. That was always the plan going in and nothing in the race changed that. I enjoyed the training – and as someone said in a comment (Marcia, I think?): I had a sparkly unicorn cycle. Weather especially. I made some sacrifices I was willing to make for my first marathon, especially travel, but I can’t see fitting marathon training in again. I loved almost every second of this. But I’m looking forward to a return to Half land. It’s my happy place.

I’m so glad I trained with Rogue. More to come on that in a later post, and probably things I’m forgetting in this post.

Marathon Monday:

by the boat house
Cherry Hill
by the Pavillion

 

I took the day off work not knowing how I’d feel and the only plans I made were a Rēcover session and lunch with Darlene. Surprisingly I was awake early and feeling relatively good save for some stiffness and decided to walk for coffee. That felt good so I extended the walk into Central Park as moving felt better than not. I skipped Marathon Monday in the Pavilion as I had no pressing need to have my medal engraved today or shop.

Rēcover
Friends! As Darlene said, we make her look tall

I did hop the subway as I was running late for my recovery session (officially in love with Normatec). After a quick gym visit to stretch and roll, I met up with Darlene and Lacey for lunch and a post-race debrief. It was great to see Lacey as excited after 22 as Darlene and I were after one.

After a trip to JackRabbit Union Square (more Normatec!) and Columbus Circle for the 30% off sale, which was 100% off as I bought nothing, I went to my hair appointment and came home to my couch which was very comfortable.

and an excellent “Dinner”

So glad I took the day off as it was beautiful day to play tourist and enjoy the finishers walking around.

So so glad I ran this. Best city. Best marathon

Other 2019 NYC Marathon Posts:

NYC Marathon Week 2019

Remembering my experience with the strategy sessions, I opted to skip the Monday pavilion one and then proceeded to skip most of the rest of the events save for the Expo and one organized by my running group. Big rah rah events don’t work for me and I don’t do well with big groups.

This doesn’t mean I missed the excitement – I loved running through the finish line construction on Monday and all the signage as it popped up. I am so excited to be a part of this even though I was bummed to miss the Night of Champions that I loved last year.

Flat Cari is ready

By the time you read this, I should be on the Verrazano as I scheduled it for my wave’s start . I’m 66044 for those of you who want to track.

Part weekly run down with Kim and Deborah, part marathon week musings:

  • never miss a Monday: I’ve been on a good streak with these being runs. Mostly East River, but I was missing my no workout, no pressure Monday funday runs. So I did one. Two laps of the lower loop and I took in the finish line construction. I am so excited to cross that finish
  • Tuesday: meetings at the Met.
Rogue Runners
  • Wednesday: last Rogue workout. Super bittersweet. I’m ready to be done training, but I’m going to miss seeing these faces twice a week. It was really a wonderful group. Definitely found myself singing Vitamin C’s Friends Forever, which I hadn’t thought about in ages.
  • The workout? 5m at marathon pace, 3m easy. I’m not sure how many repeats we wee meant to do. I stopped when I saw others finished. The workout was followed up by a strategy session from Chris, the founder of Rogue who came to see us before the race. I love that he dubbed us Rogue One. And his Cs:  something I forgot for the Verrazano , Consistency for Brooklyn, Conserve for the 59th St. Bridge, Cruise up 1st Avenue and into the Bronx, and Crush the final five miles were helpful tips.
Expo ham
ooh my new 1080s
who me?
a little expo crazy
  • Thursday: Expo! So much fun. And glad I went early as really the only lines were for the photo opportunities. I pretty much knew I’d buy myself the new 1080s as I’m retiring my April and very soon my July ones. Plus what better souvenir than race shoes to remember New York with every step, literally. The teddy bear? Well he was too cute not to come home with me. And then I ordered this jacket because PURPLE. Never can have another first marathon, right? A pleasant surprise was the Trekz Air, which I won at the Aftershokz booth. I’ve been running with Bluez 2S, which I love, but I look forward to trying these next week. I surprised myself by listening to the strategy session when I went to get a pace band. It was Coach Mel, who I adore. Surprisingly, it didn’t freak me out any more than the idea of running a marathon did anyway. Nervous butterflies.
missed my East River run rises
runrise bliss
Queen of the River
Joyful Heart runners dinner
Joyful Swag Bag
  • Friday: couldn’t sleep, so went for a sunrise shakeout. Felt so good.  Also had the chance to try out the results of the sale-Lotta Breeze capris and a Cool It top. Can’t wait to wear those for a longer run. After work was the amazing dinner for those of us running with Joyful Heart. It was wonderful to meet the other runners and the Foundation staff. It’s an amazing organization that does so much important work.
  • Saturday: mostly laid low. Packed my start line bag, went to the gym for their foam rollers and just relaxed. I did “need” to buy a glitter pen to accent the writing on my shirt, but that was an easy one. Reading back through last year’s post, I thought my achilles was an issue from December but it was a month prior. Lesson learned, prehab.

Total weekly/training mileage: 8.32 // 427.64. Wow. I’ll probably round up the Joyful Heart donation after.

Crazy to think I’ll be a marathoner in 24 hours. Thank you for being a part of this crazy journey with me.

The amazing running community

Yes. YES

All of you. Everyone I’ve met over the last nearly three years. Everyone I’ve run with since beginning training in June.

There isn’t much substance to this weekly run down as I was somewhat down with a cold throughout the week. But I’m not dwelling on that – I want to focus on Saturday’s route of the last ten miles of the marathon and the absolute running block party it was.

Three crazy Rogue runners. (c) KatyMariposa
When you need to hop on the counter to be heard

Saturday morning came bright and early. I won’t say dawned as it was absolutely pre-dawn when we gathered at the JackRabbit on the Upper East Side as one of the many groups tackling the last ten miles. I truly think every NYC based running group was out there this weekend or last. We at Rogue joined the larger JackRabbit team and general public with one of our coaches as a pacer.

We headed out of the store a few minutes after seven and over to 1st Avenue to start the run up to the Bronx. I’d never run the Willis Avenue Bridge before and was somewhat surprised at its incline. From there we wiggled around surface streets until a rest area (with Gu, Nuun and a puppy!) and then a longer rest area as the Madison Avenue Bridge was undergoing some work and not open at the moment.

a few more awake Rogue Runners

 

waiting for the Madison Avenue Bridge to reopen

You really can’t stress it and no one really was. It was a meet and greet on the go while keeping our watches out of power save mode.

When the bridge re-opened it was a right turn and then a relatively straight shot down Fifth Avenue with a slight wiggle around Marcus Garvey Park before heading into the Park at Engineers Gate. I was glad for that – not so much the final stretch as the water fountain. It was slightly warmer than I’d expected and I need more than a 20 oz without water stations. That also lead to the wonderful fashion statement of my long-sleeve shirt shoved in my belt. Nice to know that’s an option too.

I actually ran all of it with a Rogue runner who had to drop back in pace and it was nice to get to know her as we ran. We were also running at the same pace as a group of women wearing amazing & fun skirts. I know I’d met one of the women at the Mini or one of the other summer runs, and it was nice to see them again.

nearing the finish. (c) Katy
imagining people in the stands in a week! (c) Katy

I crossed the “finish” with two of those women and “apologized” for eavesdropping as the one who had run NYC before – I later learned three times – told her friend where the finish was, what the exits would look like. This was super helpful even as Rogue Wednesday workouts crossed the finish a few times.

The running community is such a help – it’s not a competition, everyone is really helping and coaching either other. It’s just fun and I cannot wait to run with 49,999 of my BFFs NEXT SUNDAY.

The choice of Cascade over Gym Girl for “only” ten was deliberate. If the weather is in the 50s, I might go Cascade over Lotta Breeze and I wanted one final test, although I’m pretty sure I wore it for the first twenty miler. A spurt of cleaning this morning found my disposable pants to go with the sweatshirt. Yay not scrambling later this week.

what about your friends!
twinning. Note my AWESOME sandals
is there a better post-run meal?

The other up side of “only” ten miles is you don’t feel trashed and can have some fun with friends. Leaf watching. Twinning. Brunching.

Friends absolutely make our lives better.

Weekly Run Down with Deborah and Marine Corps Marathoner! Kim :

  • Monday: squeezed in 3.5 miles after a long ass day at work. The run ended at a diner for matzoh ball soup for the second day in a row, which should have been a sign of what was to come, health wise. There’s just something in that chicken fat.
  • Tuesday: plan was to go to the gym to cross after work. I worked late and had a sore throat coming on by the time I left.
  • Wednesday: Rogue, Little Inferno. I felt  pretty awful by this time but decided to try it. The planned workout:
– 2 minutes at 10K pace followed by 1 minute easy
– 6 minutes at HMGP followed by 1 minute easy
– 10 minutes at MGP followed by 1 minute easy
– 6 minutes at HMGP followed by 1 minute easy
– 2 minutes at 10K followed
  • the reality? My watch worked. My lungs not so much. I hit the intervals, but my paces were all over. It was great to run through the finish line a couple of times.
  • Thursday: went home after half a day at work and worked from my couch to try and kick this.
  • Friday: made it through the day of work, but there was no activity beyond some yoga and PT.
  • Saturday: the running block party I detailed above.
  • Sunday: off completely. It’s pouring and I want to rest. Watching football, tracking my friends running Marine Corps.

Week/total mileage: 15.85 // 419.32

Plan for the week:

  • Monday: run
  • Tuesday: off, back to back meetings. Outside shot at morning run if I don’t run Monday
  • Wednesday: last Rogue group workout
  • Thursday: Expo. Gym cross maybe. Walk home maybe
  • Friday: dinner with the other Joyful Heart runners.
  • Saturday: a walk maybe?
  • Sunday: 26.2!!!!!!!!!

I’m excited. Nervous. Ready. Proud.

Runfessions: NYC Marathon edition

It’s that time of the month. Linking up with Marcia and everyone else for Runfessions: NYC Marathon edition.

Like I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, I’m really enjoying marathon training. It’s for some of the same reasons Kim mentioned.  I have learned so much about what my body can do since I started running. But I runfess that I’m looking forward to dropping back down to Half training. As a slow runner – not knocking myself, I’m a proud turtle! – long runs just eat an entire day. I’m not saying never to another marathon, but I don’t feel the pull for another one right now even with my run group talking about Paris, Rome, NY again and the Chicago lottery open. I’m going to enjoy the 2+ Halfs on the calendar for 2020 and figure out some more as I really, really love that distance.

I love reading everyone’s posts about Race Plans. Particular recent favorite: Becca’s for Chicago, but I can’t even begin to start writing one. I looked at Runners World‘s guide and I kind of have that, but thinking about all of it is way too stressful. Especially splits. With that said, here’s my “plan”

  • Finish smiling, strong.  I know there’s something to be said for finishing having left it all on the road, but that’s never been my priority. I want to enjoy the race, not feel destroyed. I would like to finish under 6, which seems realistic based on my finish times for the two 20s and what McMillan said, but if I don’t, I don’t.
  • Clothing: probably the Lotta Breeze capris that I wore for my second 20, but outside chance at Cascade if it’s in the 50s.  Haven’t decided on the shirt yet, but leaning my beloved Frozen Penguin. Throwaway will be my hooded Yankee sweatshirt that I never actually threw away at the NYC Half.
  • Nutrition: going with just water as far as hydration. Food wise, Gu Margarita Chews and Honey Stinger cherry blossoms. Not sure about breakfast yet. Ugh. I did not plan this part well, but the late start makes it hard.

I runfess that I don’t mind one bit that I’m undertrained. The Rogue plan was too much for me and my injury history. I go back to what I heard on the eve of Lebow: “It’s better to be ten miles undertrained than one mile overtrained”. Notwithstanding my whiny Achilles and hamstring and fingers crossed for the next ten days, I came through this cycle un-injured. This was a smart decision early to scale down. The only Wednesday night group workout I missed was last week, and I did it indoors due to weather. The only long runs I missed I did the day before or after.

I runfess that I’m glad I got a cold this week. Not glad glad, but glad it’s over with so I can stop freaking out about getting sick before November 3. It hit Tuesday night and I’m starting to feel better, although I’d like to drain my ears. It’s not at all training related, I seem to always get a cold this week.

Do you race plan?

Are you eager for your off season?

 

Running through fall

What a crazy couple of weeks. All is good on life & work front, but work is so busy and to be honest the last thing I want to do when I get home is sit at a computer.

Linking up with Kim and Deborah for a double the fun Weekly Run Down

Week of 10.6

  • never miss a Monday: running long on Saturdays has been good for Monday runs. This one nearly didn’t happen as it was supposed to storm, but I made it out and I was glad as it rained all week. 5+ miles on the east side. Yeah, this is that route that never ever measures the same. Six ish is fine with me.
  • Tuesday: gym. Probably PT. I don’t remember as it was ten days ago as of this writing.
  • Wednesday: Rogue. The prescribed workout:
The Workout: Speed Fartlek
Runners will do 2-4 sets of a 30/60/90 fartlek. One set equals:

– 30 seconds ON at 5K effort followed by 30 seconds easy

– 60 seconds ON at 5K effort followed by 60 seconds easy

– 90 seconds ON at 5K effort followed by 90 seconds easy

  • the reality: this was chilly hard fun. Fast too! I saw times I hadn’t seen since our July time trials (almost on the dot!), and this included easy/recovery. I was happy with this especially as no one was pacing me. This was on my own. I can push it when I need to. I like fall speed work.
  • Thursday: off. Tickets to the amazing production of Little Shop of Horrors. Sometimes theater way better than running.
  • Friday: benefit of a Sunday race is I could run Friday. I went home with Mom & Bob after Thursday’s show and had a gorgeous fall run through my hometown. The funniest thing about this route was that the first part was the route Dad gave me and a friend for riding to tennis camp to make the best of some hills between home and the courts. I was happy to incorporate and alleviate those hills for something other than my usual out and back down Broadway to the Hook.
  • Saturday: off, drive to Albany and five year old’s Batman party.

Week’s mileage: 13.66 due to long run moving.

Week of 10.13

Finish Line focus!
  • Sunday: Hannaford Half Marathon + a couple warm up miles.  Nice to have some free race shots, but Judy and Heidi’s were better, mostly because I heard them and could Ham
who says there are no east river sunsets?
  • never miss a Monday: lazy lazy lazy Monday. Finally got myself out the door and although my legs were sore & stiff from car ride home from Albany, ran some. It was a true shakeout run wherein I needed to stop in mile one to stretch, but was overall good. Six wasn’t happening and I’m OK with that.
  • Tuesday: off, Jack o Lantern Blaze. So much fall fun.
  • Wednesday: Rogue, Dellinger redux. I came down with a case of, as Liz introduced me to, maranoia. We had a n’oreaster come through and I was so worried I’d slip and fall on wet leaves especially in the super dark segment. The group was tiny and did not include me as I went to the gym instead. I realized just how spoiled rotten I’ve been with a not terrible summer. This is the first time I “had” to take my run inside since July’s heat wave. Since I began running in January, I was never anti treadmill (I was actually anti outside! ” I jogged outside for the first time. It was.. underwhelming. I realized quickly I didn’t actually like running on pavement. It was too jarring.”), but I’m glad to have trained almost exclusively outdoors. The run was 13 seconds slower than last time, but I had a pacer then. I was proud of this effort and consistency.
  • Thursday: what I have taken to calling yohab. Yoga, PT exercises. I probably could have run, but it was dark and chilly by the time I left so I decided a solid gym session would be better.
  • Friday: planned on PT/yoga again for the hammy. Reality was at my desk until 8p. Unplanned off day. Despite success with real food last Saturday, I went back to the avocado for dinner. I need to fix this for spring.
Wind burned and smiling
  • Saturday: 14 never felt so short after the 18s and 20s of the last month or so. A picture perfect fall day for a run up to the lighthouse and back. I did the first five with Mo until she turned back as she’s only doing ten with Marine Corps next week and then the next two-ish with Nicole and Sarah to the lighthouse. I went out too quickly trying to keep up, but held it together for a solid 14m run. Only one podcast as I was social the first half. Marathon Race Questions sounded good, but was mostly a recap of current events and not enough on questions. This felt strong and like I’m ready. The most surprising thing came post run – normally I pick up my laundry on the way home, but I was carrying too much for that so I went up my stairs and willingly back down. My knees didn’t hurt! I’ll be honest though, I’m looking forward to this being my max distance. I am tired. Second surprise, I was not craving sushi for the second long run in recent weeks. Wonder if that’s lack of a need for salt as in summer. Speaking of salt, has anyone else tried REFIX? It’s a seawater based drink. JackRabbit had samples yesterday post run. I think I’m a fan.
  • Sunday: off, Giants game

Weekly/total mileage: 37.7 // 403.47. Holy cow.

Plan for the week:

  • Monday: run after work
  • Tuesday: off/cross
  • Wednesday: Rogue
  • Thursday: run?
  • Friday: off
  • Saturday: the last ten miles(!)  with JackRabbit/Rogue

 

Tuesday Topics: Hannaford Half Marathon

13.Done. Spoiler: I finished

Linking up with Zenaida and Chicago Marathoner! Kim to talk about Sunday’s Hannaford Half Marathon. I’ll do a double up Weekly Run Down next Sunday as I haven’t even started it.

Recognize the shirt? No, not the race shirt, which was also pretty awesome. My finish shirt. Yep, that’s the shirt from my first ever race. Besides being adorable, it has turn into a little bit of a crutch and might be a marathon shirt.

Rewinding a bit. With family in Albany, this race had been on my radar for some time. My brother actually ran the full some years ago. This year it happened to coincide with my nephew’s birthday party and thanks to a little bib swap magic courtesy of an injured friend of Darlene’s, I was able to run it this year.

Pre-Race:

it’s even prettier live

First, I have to say the race shirt is one of my favorites. It’s so soft. Perfect recovery shirt, although I never did get a photo wearing it. It & my bib were waiting for me on arrival in Albany thanks to one of my local sherpas.

This was an interesting trial race in a number of ways: namely being outside my environment. I am very much a creature of habit, but I know that isn’t going to fly on November 3 with the later than normal start. This week’s chapter: being out of my own environment. Before every half marathon and most long training runs I’ve eaten the same dinner, avocado toast. Being at someone else’s home, I couldn’t. I decided to eat smartly, but normally. I’m not sure where the (not my) birthday cupcake fit into that. Otherwise, tortilla chips, salsa, guacamole and mom’s chicken cutlets. Not ideal, but not bad and no ill effect on Sunday morning.

In addition to forgetting to pack a small Ziplock of my Science in Sport, I forgot to freeze my water bottle the night before. Given how chilly it was at the start, not freezing my hand was a good plan.

on her turf instead of mine for once

My original plan was to run to the race’s start shuttle from my brother’s house, but he decided to drive me. It was easy enough to find a trail to run down for a few warm up miles, even though I wasn’t too stressed about not getting in the five necessary to bring me to 18 on the day. As I was running back toward the start I circled back as I saw a woman wearing Skirt Sports and we chatted briefly. As she knew Darlene she was able to tell me where I could find her so that we could get this photo before heading toward the start.

During the Race:

peekaboo Hudson!

My brother and Darlene told me about segments of the race, so I knew to expect the Watervliet Arsenal, and then the Hudson at about mile nine. Beyond that, I didn’t really know much and I kind of loved running into the unknown. I listened to one episode of Running Rogue before going to music to get me through the dead zones.

The first miles were through the park and onto the trail I’d warmed up on before we hit the streets of Cohoes and Watervliet. I have to say, my favorite thing about this race was the course marshals and water station volunteers. Everyone was so upbeat and when we’d thank them for being out there, they’d thank us for running. It was an awesome environment. Personal favorites: The Team in Training water station and inspiration, the water bottle table outside a fire station and an older person sitting at a small table with tissues, paper towel and vaseline. I wasn’t chafing,  but the tissue came in handy for a runny nose.

As I mentioned last week, my tongue and electrolyte tablets are going through a break up. This made water stations easy. I took a cup at the first few water stations and as I felt myself getting dry due to the cool air, I took the offered water bottle at the fire station and then filled that from cups at subsequent water stations until I tossed it at about mile twelve.

The Finish:

all smiles hearing my name. Thanks, Heidi!
and Judy!

After re-joining the bike path, we followed the Hudson for the next few miles. At about mile twelve and a half or so, we came into some amazing crowds.

I knew Mom & Bob planned to get there if they could get there, and Judy had texted me that she’d be somewhere near the finish. She ended up getting the second photo above and one more great photo of me on the run. It was so awesome to hear her and some of the Albany runners call my name. I wished I’d been able to linger longer and meet/see them. Cheer Squads are the best.

I was able to find mom & Bob easily (can’t miss 6’4) and we quickly headed back to the house for the rest of the birthday festivities.

Other thoughts:

I really enjoyed this race and would do it again if schedule stars aligned. Although it wasn’t as gorgeous as I’d hoped – late changing leaves all around – it was a pretty course along the bike paths.

I was glad for the chance to try my Lioness Capri on a longer run. It was OK up to 13, but I’ll be doing Lotta Breeze if it’s not Cascade weather in November. I thought I overdressed for this race based on the other runners, but I was comfortable even in the long sleeves until about mile eleven. I’m just not (yet?) an arm sleeve person.

Training has made me a bad racer:

  • When people asked me, I said this was my sixth half marathon. I didn’t realize until late afternoon on Monday that it was my seventh: Lebow x 2, Lauderdale x 2, Brooklyn, NYC.
  • I know my Half Marathon PR, but not the other times. I had no frame of reference for where this race fell, although I was only ever running it as a training run. My only goal was not to get hurt, and while I was sore today, it was manageable.
  • I picked the belt based on the one I used a few weeks ago that fit my phone & gels. This is not the belt that has bib toggles, so I was left pinning it to my Skirt. Must fix this before November 3.

 

September. Wow. Peak Month

  • 120.38 miles run
  • I ran an average of 1:37:25. Wow

That took me from being seven miles ahead of 800 miles on the year pace at the end of August to sixty five ahead at the end of September.  65!

I’ve run 651.06 miles on the year. I might hit 800 just after the marathon. WOW.

Speaking of the marathon, my run just went public-ish on Thursday when Joyful Heart tweeted it. It has been on twitter before from the occasional tweet of a blog post, but this seems more real. I still don’t think it will be “Facebook official” until I finish.

signs of fall on Saturday

Upside of looking down, this little critter did part of mile 18 with me.

Weekly run down with Kim and Deborah:

A productive Monday
  • Never miss a Monday: reservoir with a friend. I could grow to like intervals. Finally got to try the Lioness capris. I’m not sure they’re going to work for 26.2, but I loved them for this five mile cool fall evening. I’m looking forward to trying them without a phone in my pocket as that’s typically the undoing with my LBCs as well
  • Tuesday: stretch, roll, PT exercises. I said I wanted to incorporate more cross training, and I do, but I think the focus has to be on the prehab.
  • Wednesday: Rogue. Planned workout:
a. Marathoners: 2-4-6-10-6-4-2 Fartlek
– 2 min at 5K pace with 2 min easy
– 4 min at 10K pace with 2 min easy
– 6 min at HMGP with 2 min easy
– 10 min at MGP pace with 2 min easy
– 6 min at HMGP with 2 min easy
– 4 min at 10K pace with 2 min easy
– 2 min at 5K pace
Why? This workout is about changing speeds in a ladder format. We start with short reps and as the workout goes on the reps get longer before coming back down the ladder. The paces will change as well from faster paces to slower paces and back to faster. The kicker is the recovery. It’s short and that will spike the HR and increase breathing.  Runners will not feel recovered going into the next rep so the back half of the workout is the most challenging. Runners will have to dig deep and stay focused to stay on pace. Runners need to figure out how to stay engaged and relaxed while in this uncomfortable (pain cave) state. Learning to be efficient and smooth when uncomfortable is a lesson that will pay massive dividends on race day.
  • the reality. I don’t know.  My Garmin picked the wrong day to have a moment, and it wouldn’t record. I re-set it after and it’s fine, so gremlins. It’s too dark now to see the Garmin on the go, so I guessed at the intervals and speeds. I’m fine with the effort especially given that it was 80s, humid. October?
  • Thursday: yoga and PT exercises never felt so good.
  • Friday: walk with Darlene to get her Grete bib and an early bedtime
who knew a supermarket was so exciting? (c) Katy
runners are silly
is there a medal for inconsistent splits?
sunny, but still chilly after 20.19
  • Saturday: oh this was fun! It wasn’t as monumental as the first twenty, but we had a blast. The weather was absolute fall perfection of mid 40s when we headed out and about 60 when done. This was no doubt a huge part of why 20 felt so much better than last week’s 18. This was the same route as the prior 20, except we (yes, stuck with people for the first ten!) didn’t miss the turn on Flushing and thus got treated to Wegman’s. I know Deb knows it — not sure if the rest of you will appreciate the sheer glee (and silliness). But Wegman’s is magic and it’s coming to Brooklyn. It was nice to know that was “only” 8.5 miles from the start (and about the same from home) as I forsee a true Wegman’s run when it opens. There are no close subways so run to and buses home might not be a bad idea. After ten I lost the lead two, I pushed through the last ten with varying speed. I wanted to finish, not necessarily finish at a certain pace. I know I can pick it up (see mile 20, mile 3 was GPnonesenSe), and this run left me optimistic for 26.2. Nice entertainment at miles 16-17 or so when they were running a Mutt Strut. I’m not a huge dog person, especially dogs I don’t know, but that was fun.

 

  • Overall I felt good. One weirdness: second week in a row, my tongue decided it didn’t like Nuun or Science in Sport tabs, so I switched to plain water. Will make life easier for race day. The cool weather meant I could try my marathon bottoms: Lotta Breeze capris. They were perfect. Phone in the belt meant no slip and slide and I only had to adjust them after a bathroom pit stop. Zero chafing. Happy Cari. Two podcasts in the last ten before I went to music: Running Rogue’s Mental Tips (useful, but I’m not a mantra person so couldn’t really relate to all of it) and MTA’s interview with Dean Karnazes. I would have liked more Dean and less MetPro, but such is the life of sponsors.
Found: toes
  • Sunday: I was very surprised I wasn’t  super sore given I had time for neither a post-run stretch nor epsom bath.I headed to the gym for a good stretch and yoga session before crashing to watch some bad football. Yes, it went from nearly 90 and humid to long sleeve weather. Hi fall, I <3 you

Mileage this week/overall: 29.38 // 352.11 (so glad I rotated shoes)

Plan for the week:

  • Monday: run
  • Tuesday off/cross
  • Wednesday: Rogue
  • Thursday: off, Little Shop tickets
  • Friday: run
  • Saturday: off, drive to Albany
  • Sunday: Half marathon + 4-5! Look forward to trying my fueling plan

GoTheDist

September

  • 643,276 steps
  • 294.88 miles run/walked
  • the aforementioned 120.38 miles run

11 gym visits to start the September – February period off strong.

Q3:

  • 1,777,037 steps
  • 806.77 miles run/walked
  • 311.11 miles run (that’s fun)

That step total is scarcely less than seven months in 2013!

2019 To Date:

  • 4,548,638 steps
  • 2029.96 miles. Yep, completely missed my Run the Year goal, again, a month ahead of last year’s timeline.
  • 651.05 miles run