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.

Global Running Day Plans, Shoes Threedux

as I’ve mentioned, I love how much NYRR does to give back. I always try to get to Global Running Day events, but June is always a crap shoot work wise. I was glad this weekend when they announced a 7AM 5K that starts even closer to me than most Central Park runs. And there’s enough time to run home to shower & change. I was originally indifferent to these races with shoes giveaways.. until I graduated out of stability shoes.

Oh, about that.

I noticed when I ran the NYC Half that the outside of my feet were sore, with the right being the worst. These were the new-in-January Vongo2s that got me through two prior Halfs this year. Truly thought it was a blister until the medical tent, but it wasn’t. I didn’t think anything of it really until I happened to look at my feet last Saturday while being aware of potholes — I’m now running on the outside of my feet when in stability shoes thanks to PT success. Um, OK

After an email to PT and conversation with podiatrist office I went to New Balance knowing I wanted the padding of the Fresh Foam (I like the 860s, but not for long runs) and after some conversations and Q&A, I’m the proud owner of a pair of 1080v9s.  I really love the manager of the Run Hub’s New Balance store as he’s also a runner and really listens as well as selling. So we’ll see.

Weekly Run Down with Deborah and Kim: spoiler, when there’s time off work there’s more time for running

  • Monday: off in that I didn’t run, but definitely not a rest day. Some 17K steps between commute, dentist and playing tourist with visiting friends. I hadn’t been to the 9/11 Museum in nearly five years, and was glad to see it still struck a nerve.
New shoes, skirt
  • Tuesday: what happens when spring goes away and you don’t want to layer back up? You run inside so you can run in a skirt. Was 90% weather and 10% I wanted to try out the new shoes. 2 miles. 5.5/5.7/5.8/6.0. Speed and shoes felt good. Closed with PT exercises.
reaching new heights!
  • Wednesday: a half day opened the door for a long run but once I ran to the park I decided I was way more interested in a walk in the glorious temperatures. It was actually warm enough to be in a skirt and tee without much chill. It was a gorgeous day.
helping a friend navigate a new world pays off in surprising ways
  • Thursday: selfie lessons from the master > time at the gym.
  • Friday: dear Mother Nature, please pick a season. 40s and rainy = no desire to run outdoors so I went for some speed work for the second time this week. Two miles again: 5.5, 5.7, 5.8 and 6.1. 6.1 was definitely comfortably hard. Shoes and Achilles felt great. I have no delusions of matching my best 4M race on Sunday, but think I’ll have a good showing.
pretty in pink!
  • Saturday: spring came back. I had some errands and also wanted a chill day of sitting & reading, so I had a short run into the Park and around the reservoir. It was definitely easy as I didn’t want to overdo it before Sunday’s race.
note to self, put down the cup next time
  • Sunday: Run to Breathe with Team Boomer. I know better than running three days in a row. This wasn’t pretty, but it was a glorious day to be outside and without layers Could even have gone with a skirt vs. Lotta Breeze capris. More on Tuesday. In the mean time, time to go play outside again.


Plan for the Week:

  • Monday: off. Probably walk home as it’s meant to be 70
  • Tuesday: cross train?
  • Wednesday: run
  • Thursday: office run group
  • Friday: off/cross train
  • Saturday/Sunday: long run depending on weather.

January, Gyms and Fred Lebow

Winner winner chicken dinner: Run Like Duck winner is the wonderful Wendy!
I emailed you via the address that showed. If you didn’t get it, DM me on twitter/IG with an email.

Gyms and January are a hot topic. Blink is a place where the crowds don’t ebb and flow drastically, at least not the two locations I typically go to. While it’s not a Planet Fitness, it’s not one with extensive equipment which tends to cut down on some of the nonsense. I had my first personal encounter with resolutionist shamers and it just made me laugh. Apparently unpacking a new sports bra and taking off the tags in the locker room is a heinous crime worthy of comment. I resisted the urge to invite them to access a print out of my visits, but really it shouldn’t matter.

Lebow Hat 2019

It’s crazy to realize Fred Lebow is next week. I also just realized that with New Years Day a Tuesday, MLK is a week later and whee, I have Monday off after the Half. Although walking around was good recovery last year, it’s going to be a push to do my stairs when I don’t have to for work.

Getting ready for the #FredLebowHalf to kick off my @nyrr running in 2019 Click To Tweet

So with it a week out, goals:

  • Finish strong. This is really about pacing myself. I know I’m undertrained and my achilles/calf is still a slight issue. If this means walking up Harlem Hills so I finish, I need to do this. I want to finish, yes, but I’d prefer it not be a limping crawl over the finish.
  • Have fun. Yep. This really is number one. I want to enjoy this day. Lebow was my first and I hope it’s just as magical the second time around.
  • 2:45? 2:50? Yeah, that’s not a PR but I’ve done minimal hill work and I think I’m going to regret it. 2:41:09 was this course, 2:50:08 was Ft. Pancake/Flat Lauderdale where I walked a lot due to heat, gel queasy. Honestly? I don’t care. I just want to finish this feeling good about the run. I was injured last year too so not sure extent to which that’s a deciding factor.

My regrets about the training cycle? No Mile High and not changing shoes sooner (more on that below). Lesson learned. Both within my control vs. November’s challenges.

Monday is D-Day. Err, M-Day. It’s the first day I can claim my guaranteed entry for NYC Marathon. I think I’m going to be smart and wait until next Sunday to be sure my leg is OK. I’m 99% sure it is and I’ll be fine, but I want to be cautious. It’s the same logic I used after last year’s Lebow and before Fort Lauderdale.

In the mean time, weekly wrap with Wendy and Holly Kim. Subtitle? All the cross training:

  • never miss a Monday: I’ve really enjoyed the Monday routine I re-established in December and wanted to keep it up although I needed a running off day. So I rowed for the first time in about a month and the first long row in nearly two. That’s not a six minute fall off in ability, but rather fidding with YouTube buffering because I cannot get through rowing without a “soundtrack” and for some reason it was being a toad. Oh well. I then had a good, long stretch and roll.
Hi calluses. Calli?
  • Tuesday: I tested the achilles on the treadmill and it started to be annoying, so I decided on another cross train day. 15M on the LateralX almost a year to the day after I first tried it and another 5K row. Between a flare of winter hands and two days in a row of rowing, I’m glad I’m not a hand model.
  • Wednesday: off. Didn’t even get step goal. Start of cold coming on and thought a full off day smart to rest achilles ahead of Thursday’s Central Park hills. Decided the best way to heal is not chase pointless steps.
  • Thursday: office run group expanded to three on one of our coldest runs so far. With an additional person the pace picked up and I was surprisingly able to keep up even on Cat Hill. But going up that hill was also a doozy on my left foot and calf. When we finished, I gathered my stuff from the office and headed to NYRR to collect my bib and hat. Came to love last year’s, but think I like this one even more. I stopped in at the New Balance store to see if the staff thought my shoes were the issue, which I was beginning to think. The staff person did the scan, but surprisingly for that store’s staff, wasn’t helpful so I headed to the Jack Rabbit at Time Warner where I got a little more help. Unfortunately she thought it was probably just that the shoes ran out of miles early. She suggested I stick with my backups and then come in when Lebow is done and “we’ll play” which I think is a good one.
  • Friday: felt like something was pulling at the outside of my ankle, although it wasn’t painful. Luckily I have a flexible offices and sneakers will occasionally fly. Decided to be smart and not run two days in a row. I rowed 5K and then stretched and rolled. Rowing actually made the calf or whatever this is feel really good. Iced when I got home as I’ve done most nights. The frozen roller from my first PF flare is a godsend as the size/shape is perfect.
  • Saturday: I woke, no pain. I dreaded going for a run -not because the wind chill was in the 20s – but because I was worried the shoes weren’t going to fix everything. I finally went out with a plan to run along the water which, when I avoid the ferry stairs, is almost flat. My feet didn’t feel great at 1.25 miles so I doubled back and finished at about 25m. But it was better than Thursday and I think I’ll be OK even if I only run Thursday. Cross train has been good.
  • Sunday: no pain! I still played it smart and didn’t run. I did a mile on the elliptical since the branch open Sunday doesn’t have a LateralX, 2K row, and a long roll and stretch. Officially cautiously optimistic.

Spring 2019 Half Marathon Mileage: 86.13

Plan for the Week:

  • Monday: off, after-work event
  • Tuesday: run or cross train
  • Wednesday: off or cross train
  • Thursday: office run group
  • Friday: cross train
  • Saturday: off
  • Sunday: Fred Lebow Half Marathon.

#GoTheDist, August 2018

Weird week. The heat was a lot of it. As much as I enjoy being active and found myself missing running, it was easy to not because it was just so hot. Think that was why eating was off – but tracked. Also, two really late nights (i.e. get home, go to sleep) wore me out. Insane too to think I walked more than half a million steps in August. More on that below.

It's possible to walk half a million steps in one month? #GoTheDist Click To Tweet

In the mean time, linking up with Wendy and Holly for the Weekly Wrap:

  • Monday: Surprisingly jet lag didn’t have me up at ass o’clock and I made it through the work day to dig out. Headed to the gym on the early side for some cross training as I’d run two days in a row. Luckily the rower was free and I enjoyed a nice 5K where I challenged myself to do the second half faster. Barely. I think I was tired which contributed to the overall slower pace. After that I found an inch of space in the stretching area and did some stretch and strengthening. My running schedule in England wasn’t conducive to time for stretching and my legs were feeling it. I also hadn’t been able to do kettle bells after I fell because my elbow was really really sore and I was glad to be able to get back to those.
what did we do before WTForecast?
  • Tuesday: oh hello jet lag at 5:30 AM. I’d already moved to sleep on the futon Monday night since it was gross at 11 PM so I knew there was no way I was running outside. When I got to the gym I realized wow, my thighs and knee were sore from the kettle bell workout squats. Also, this branch of the gym is way too hot on really warm days and I thought it might be OK in the morning. Nope. So after two minutes on the treadmill I headed instead for the LateralX which has the fan built in. This was all a bonus since original plan was pure rest day due to after work plans. Elbow is finally not sore enough for me to be able to forearm plank so a September goal is re-visiting the 5M plank challenge.
  • Wednesday: wow, my thighs are still sore. Complete off day anyway due to after work plans and so hot that I didn’t feel at all guilty taking the train two stops. Yes, I’m back to an unlimited Metrocard. Thanks to the trains having a complete moment, I still got my step goal.
I plank, therefore I am
  • Thursday: office run group went the way of summer vacations with the office itself being a skeleton crew due to the upcoming long weekend. I was spoiled rotten with my outdoor runs last week, but there was no chance of that with 87 and 52% humidity at 5:45PM so treadmill it was. It was another run that wasn’t though. The plan was to do intervals and between the heat and some poor food choices, I was struggling in the first. I decided a good workout was better than a bad run and so after one mile, I rowed and then went to do some serious strength training. So glad to finally cross one minute for a forearm plank for the first time since my fall.
why so serious!?
  • Friday: how Stella got her groove back. The weather was a magnificent 70 degrees and overcast. I could not wait to get outside. When I left the office it was drizzling and I did.not.care. No photos as, since I’m belt less, I didn’t carry my phone, but it was a beautiful three mile mud run. I don’t know if this week’s issues were burnout, jet lag, heat, or what, but it was lovely to just be playing outside. No watch (well, I had it. But didn’t have my glasses on so I couldn’t read it), no training plan. Just sneakers. Cannot wait for more of these in fall. First run of length with my new haircut and it wasn’t an issue. I was so over summer hair – it’s freeing in some ways. I’d say we’re oh 358 days from the next repeat of this cycle.
  • Retail therapy aside: Luckily this was one of only two outdoor runs, because life without my belt was annoying. I’m so used to stashing phone, ID, keys and water. Luckily after visiting a couple options and realizing I can’t deal with re-usable bottles I ordered this one from Amazon, which will be here Wednesday. This was also an interesting read from Runners World as I explored ideas. I went up to the New Balance store after getting my stuff from the RunCenter locker and saw this shirt for the Bronx 10 miler. I love it, and I bought it. The material is amazing, I really need some new casual tees that fit me. Do I worry about jinxes? Maybe I am by saying I don’t — but I don’t see this as worse than prepaying for the shirt upgrade for Cherry Blossom (which I haven’t worn!). It doesn’t say finisher, so I don’t have an issue. Certainly won’t wear it before the race though.
Running in London was wonderful, but something about being home
  • Saturday: planned mileage was all over the place today. I got a very late start because I needed some down time and although it was relatively cool, the humidity was back up. The first half of the run was a hot mess. I decided to do the reservoir loop because I wasn’t feeling hills, but I soon regretted that. I had the same issue I had yesterday on the bridle path. They’ve put down some gravel to fill in the erosion, but it hasn’t been graded so the terrain is fairly uneven. When I stopped to get some water, I turned off the watch and decided to walk some. When I came around the bottom of the loop I told myself I needed to run home, both for the mileage and because I was running late on time. I ended up going the long way around to get to one mile, and that mile with street crossings was way faster. Go figure. Missing my long run these last two weeks isn’t good, but I’m still pretty confident I can do ten miles at the end of September. This shake out run the week before should be a good barometer as well. It looks like a mostly fun route and much as I love running Central Park, I’d love to see/do something different. Got home and planked, foam rolled during Notre Dame/Michigan: Go Irish!
rocking my new buff from Liz!
  • Sunday: complete rest day. Beach and books calling my name.

Training Mileage for 10M (July 31+): 62.9 miles


At the end of July I thought August would come in between 450-475K due to travel. I wasn’t particularly worried about London steps, but rather the heat and a lack of steps in Vermont. Verdict? Way off.

August Totals:

  • 533,069 Steps
  • 232.36 Miles Run/Walked
  • 56.85 Miles Run

WOW. The prior 500K months were just over the mark at 503,417 in August 2017 and 501,524 in April 2018. This was my best by nearly 30K. WOW. As I said in a Fitbit challenge, London was good for the soul… and the steps. Running wise glad to not have knee, foot issues continue.

Q3 To Date:

  • 1,012,970 Steps
  • 439.74 Miles Run/Walked
  • 102.45 Miles Run

I think that’s the first time I crossed one million steps in a quarter only two months in. I remember when that used to be my quarterly step goal.

2018 YTD:

  • 3,838,152 Steps
  • 1676.49 Miles Run/Walked
  • 446.77 Miles Run


I am just shy of 30 miles off my running total for all of 2017, topped my miles for 2016 and just shy of that year’s step total. It isn’t fair to compare running v. non-running years, but it’s amazing to see the growth. I think I have an excellent chance at topping my steps goal for 2018 and getting to 2,018 miles sooner than last year. 2,500 miles in total and 700 miles running still slightly off but within range, I think.

In keeping with non-food rewards, my present to myself, a new pair of my favorite running shoes and the aforementioned tee shirt. Yes, I just got my last pair at the beginning of July and they have plenty of miles in them, but the members’ only sale on top of a discount had them at $79 vs. $125 so that was a no brainer.


I failed #20BooksOfSummer, which I kind of expected.My reading fell off in August. As of the end of June, I was at 61 books, 17 ahead of pace. Currently 79/19, but I’d hoped August would be better because fall is always busy. I had a ton of books come available at the library, but neither trip allowed for much reading time. I’m still working on the book I got on the way to meet Liz, and not because it isn’t good. I’m just the worst at carrying a dead tree book around and too much train time was spent looking out the window. 100 books is probably now not going to happen, but let’s see if I can finish the two in progress today.

A healthy mix, week of 7.1

As I left the recap last week, I was leaning toward not running on Sunday. Could I have? I think so. Would it have been a good idea? Probably not. Listened to my body, and the foot is feeling so much better. Really hope I nipped the PF flare in the bud. Also spent some time Tuesday shoe shopping.

The latest New Balance I have just don’t wear the same way the prior two pair of Vongo2s did even though they’re only ~90 miles in. I think they’re part of the PF flare. So I went to the New Balance Hub at NYRR and then JackRabbit in case New Balance are no longer the right shoe for me. JackRabbit tested me and said they, or a hideous Adidas were, so I’m sticking with the Vongo. The 3 is out (and I love the purple!) but they’re not worth a $35 premium so I got a new pair of black Vongo2s and may relegate the coral ones to walking/cross training and donate the original hot pink ones. The clerk told me the 8.5 was too small after scanning my feet, and after Saturday’s run I actually felt that with summer swelling. I guess it may be 9 for me for summer and 8.5 at other times?

Weekly Wrap

with Wendy and Holly:

  • Sunday: didn’t make it into last week’s as I posted before heading out. I went to the gym and decided while I could run, I shouldn’t. So I did a 5K row and 3.1 mile recumbent ride. Still cracks me up how some machines are metric and others not. Rowing is still my favorite cross train as it feels like a full body workout. I really need to do it more often. Although I don’t find the recumbent to be as solid as a workout as I did pre running, it was still good. From there I headed to the splashpark near the Intrepid because it was just too hot to be anywhere else. I played like a kid, read a bit before heading back home. Summer days are the best.
  • Monday: I did a short run just to test my foot and while I thought it was OK, I decided better not to push it so I rowed again, 2K this time because the Bryant Park branch of my gym does not have nearly high powered enough air conditioning. Then had a quick date with my old injury friend the LateralX, which has a built in fan. Followed this with a good stretch and a kettlebell workout. I’d gone to do some errands at lunch so my steps didn’t suffer too much for a lack of run.
  • Tuesday: I felt ready to run. We had a half day at work so I headed to the well air conditioned gym as it was still approximately 900,000 degrees out. I decided I was going to run by feel and not overdo it on the foot. It ended up as a hybrid of intervals and fartlek with varying speeds and intervals. The foot mostly felt fine and despite the amazing AC, I was a happy sweatball.

    Sweaty McSweatFace
  • Wednesday: Complete off day. Did not even hit my step goal.  I went to the Yankees/Braves game with friends and then walked to the park to enjoy this beautiful show . Staking out a good spot early killed a couple hours that could have been used for a walk, but a break was good.
  • Thursday: first ever run with our office run group. We’ve been talking about it for some time, but finally got it on the calendar once summer schedules eased up. It was only three of us this week due to July 4th holidays and I thought that was a perfect start. One was an experienced marathoner and two of us were relatively new to running. We headed into Central Park to the familiar lower loop and we were off. Luckily it was less humid than it had been, but I was still struggling and couldn’t quite work out why until the lead runner needed to slow. We started at a 9:15 mile or so! So no, wasn’t struggling at my normal pace. Whew. I was surprised I was able to keep this up, to be honest. We walked some and then the lead runner was off again. Luckily for me, she couldn’t sustain that and we walked it in. I’m not sure how it’s going to work if it ends up being a larger group regularly, but I’m looking forward to doing this again. As the one who knows the route the best, I don’t mind being left behind if I’m the slowest. It was also a nice way to get to know two relatively new colleagues.
Row Row Row your PR!
  • Friday: knew I was planning a longer run Saturday and didn’t want to run three days in a row on the foot, so I decided it was going to be a cross train day. I was feeling like it was a rowing day, and I felt strong. While I didn’t know what my PR for 5K was exactly, I decided to see what I could do. BAM! It’s not the PR above, that was this December row, but oh so close. If I’d known what it was, I’d have gotten it since I was close to a sub 29 until about 23m in. When done I knew I had time to catch sunset so I headed west. What a beautiful night. Despite no running, ended up with a 20K step day. Been a while since one of those.
  • Saturday: plan was to go long, however reality involved sitting on the couch until 4PM. I won’t knock it, it was great sleeping/relaxing weather and I think I needed it. I also decided I wasn’t pushing my foot to hills so rather than my typical counter clockwise loop, I entered the park at E. 85th and headed south along the last third of the Women’s Mini loop before heading up the bridle path. I was tired and this felt harder than it should have. Although it was a gorgeous day to be outside-mid/high 70s-it was a little warm for a run and I found myself thirsty. I probably drank too much at the water fountain as it was bouncing around and I had to stop to walk after just half a mile. Although the plan was two laps around the outer reservoir track for an additional ~3, I knew I didn’t have it in me so I decided to go on the inner loop for some speed work. 4.5 wasn’t what I wanted, but it worked. I then walked home as a good cool down.
  • Sunday: off, heading out to the Rockaways with a friend for an art installation and hopefully a beach walk. Yes, I’ll keep my shoes on this time.

While I still haven’t perfectly figured out run v. rest, I think I did a good job this week of listening to my body. Even with two complete off days, it was one of my more intense weeks due to the solid rowing. It’s also crazy to look back at that post and see I was at 382 miles in November and am currently around 350. 😮

I don’t have a plan for this week as I’m still going to listen to my foot. I know I’ll take Friday off since I have the Retro on Saturday.  While I’ve enjoyed the sleep these two weekends provided, I miss the head start on the day a race provides.

“Getting Real About Running” and Workouts week of 2.5

You know those books that stick with you? It doesn’t happen with every book for me, but generally when it does it’s a sign of a good book. This time, I’m not sure.

Jogging v. Running

The book in question is Gordon Bakoulis’ Getting Real About Running: Expert Advice on Being a Committed Athlete and that is basically the passage that’s still bothering me a week later. If running is about 6.0mph and jogging is below, well then a whole lot of runners aren’t real runners according to Bakoulis. In her defense, this book is fifteen years old and said runners or joggers likely aren’t measuring their runs with chronographs either.  She’s also a former elite runner and I think her views of slower runners are different from that of mainstream runners – but I think this passage is a disservice to new and slower runners all of whom run. I wonder whether her opinion on slower runners has changed during her tenure as Editorial Director at Road Runners, which is open to and welcoming of all paces. There’s no sub group for New York Road Joggers.

While this was overall an OK read, I think I’ll take a pass on her other two books. I’d actually gotten this one from the library once prior and hadn’t finished it. It’s not that it isn’t well written – it is – it’s just not the kind of running book I find particularly helpful. In a bizarre timing coincidence, Bakoulis was on NYRR’s Women in Running panel that Jen Lada hosted and she was fabulous as someone who had been directly impacted by Title IX’s passing vs. the younger runners on the panel. If there had been an opportunity, I’d have liked to ask her about the book, but it didn’t work out.


Unrelated to the book, this showed up in a Facebook group I’m a part of, and it was exactly what I needed to see/hear. I don’t think I jog, I run. It took me the better part of a year of running to realize that I absolutely am a runner. It still feels weird.

On to the rest of the week

  • Monday: cross train. Not exactly intentionally as my knee felt OK after Sunday’s run and I could have run two days in a row, but I got to the gym earlier than normal and could not get a treadmill. So 23 minutes bike (don’t ask, I don’t remember), 10 m elliptical and 13m row (that one I know, it’s 2K). I’d forgotten my watch and headphones, this was not easy to focus.
  • Tuesday: .6 mile run after a work event. Yep, still can’t eat and run. So I went on the LateralX for the rest of my steps

  • Wednesday: aforementioned panel and a day off (more on that later). Before the panel, I went to the New Balance store because NYRR was doing a promotion where in exchange for a shoe donation, you got 10% off a new pair. It was time to say goodbye to the shoes that got me started running. The mileage tracker is off as I wore these to and from the gym and general use (although they were new when I started running). There’s almost no cushioning left, and they’re too small. I’d hung on to them as backups, but I think they were the culprit behind January’s injury and it was time. I also have no room to keep them as a souvenir. So I took the picture and chose my running journey as the souvenir for these shoes. The purchase was another pair of Vongo2 (I’m in love) in Blue Iris & Fiji. Not as fun as my fuschia ones, but more fun than the November black ones. I’m probably going to run in them for the first time on Tuesday. Oh and they’re a nine. The fuschia ones have felt too tight and I’m not sure whether I documented it or not, but when I got the new pair in November I ended up trying an 8.5 W which worked. But when I had my feet measured this time I realized the 8.5 is really just too small. My toe is right u p there, so 9 it is. Eek.
  • Thursday: had dinner plans and after Tuesday I knew I couldn’t dine and run so I got up early. I’d have preferred running outside, but it was just too cold so I headed to the gym. On arrival I realized my headphones weren’t charged. Oops. I wondered whether I could get through a treadmill workout without music. It wasn’t easy, but I did ~5K. What I realized when switching to cool down and feeling a tweak in my knee: it isn’t the running that is an issue for my knee, it’s the speed changing on the treadmill. It was manageable and didn’t really have an impact on my day. I wisely decided not to go back to the gym after dinner.
  • Friday: I didn’t have a set distance planned, I ran by feel and wore my knee brace. I was able to maintain 5.5 over ~40m and felt that was a smart stopping point. I made sure to stretch, and roll the IT Band after.
  • Saturday: off. Errands, including a knee strap. My brace is stretched out and uncomfortable to run in, so wanted to try this before getting a new brace. I don’t think my knee is “injured” so much as irritated. This is the one that was surgically repaired and has never quite been 100%, but I don’t think it’s getting worse so much as flaring especially with three days of horrid rain this week. It hasn’t required Advil since the day after my Half, and everything needed Advil that day.
  • Sunday: knee was stiff, so decided to play it smart. Ran about 25 minutes in the aforementioned strap and it was OK, so decided not to push it. The rower was free so I followed the run with a 5K row. All in all a great workout and while I’m icing my knee, it doesn’t hurt.

I’m happy with the week and think I’m ready for Sunday’s half. I’m hoping to get in an outdoor run or two before then to test my theory that it’s the treadmill, not running that’s bothering my knee.

I love this. Unknown source, Facebook


Other Notes:

  • I’m probably not going to hit 400K steps this month and I’m remarkably OK with that. I’ve learned that rest days are essential. And days like today and Monday when the workout felt great, but rowing is just no good for steps. The increased step goal was to get me to be active — I’m doing that with the gym. I don’t feel my body will be worse off if I come in until 400K on a 28 day month. Not listening to my body would be worse.
  • Running has been amazing for gym visits. When I was gym shopping I knew location was primary because I wanted to be able to keep running through winter. Blink has been perfect, and the towel concern has mostly been a non issue. As I was near the end of my six month window I asked about getting a report on visits and how they handled it. I need 50 to be reimbursed and as of Friday I had 63! Granted some of that was from how awful this weather has been, I wish I’d been able to run outside for some of those, but it’s so nice to know that with some time away coming up I don’t have to stress it and I can start anew in March for March-August. It was also really nice to know that even with the annual fee billed in November I’m under the $200 reimbursement from Oxford so the gym is free.
  • Pre-packing for Florida has been fun. I asked in a running group about things people wished they had for their first destination run-and some things came up that I hadn’t even thought of, like bandaids.  I did finally find my sunglasses, so that’s a win. Need to trial running in a ballcap as I never have and think I’ll hate it.

On to the next, probably after my Half.

Happy Feet

New Balance Vongo 2

I don’t want to jinx it, but I think I may be to the point where I don’t need to dedicate any Taylor Swift songs to my shoes. The shoes in the aforementioned tweet were OK but eventually went back because they were just cut too narrow. This is apparently a thing with recent ASICS. So, after I went to the NYRR Club event (complete fail in terms of finding one that’s a fit, but worse ways to spend a summer evening) I wandered upstairs to the New Balance Run Hub. I can’t recall ever wearing New Balance for anything, but I was beginning to think I wasn’t going to find a solution in ASICS after trialing three different kinds.

It was quiet despite the club fair crowds and as I was semi browsing, one of the staff approached me to see if I needed help. I explained the plantar fasciitis issue, and that I’d been failing ASICS and the first words out of her mouth were “have you had your feet scanned?” I’ve heard & read that this is a “thing” but in all my shoe stops, it was never offered so I said yes. I found the results creepy but was glad to see they generally confirmed what my feet told me: flat beyond belief, ankles rolled slightly inward. She brought me two pair, the Vongo 2, and the 860v7. As soon as I put on the Vongos I felt as if I were walking on a pogo ball. Yes, I’m an 80s child.

We had a brief discussion about 8.5 vs. 9, and I walked out carrying a shoe box. I’d left my gym bag at work so I didn’t want to carry these in so my second run this week was in my old shoes that are seriously running out of miles. Come Friday I headed to the gym after work in the new shoes hoping for the best.

2nd Fastest 5K

That was far and away the best “best” I could have expected and led to my calling it FriYAY in Strava (which I’m not counting, time wise, because it was way off). I had .05 walk/stretch interludes at .5, 1.65 and 2.6 because I hadn’t gone this far in nearly three weeks but overall felt really good. I knew I wanted to go at least 30 minutes (that damn spreadsheet is going to be the death of me) but wasn’t sure about the 5K. Like my first (and eerily also on the 4th!), it kept feeling good so I kept going. Math tells me that translated to a 38:45 5K (yep, missed it on the treadmill display to avoid math) which puts me just behind the one where I killed my feet and my PR prior to that one and ahead of my final 4x5Kchallenge run. Why does the above say second fastest when it’s really 3rd? Runkeeper couldn’t “see” the July 1 one as a 5K due to the watch malfunction. Either way, I’m thrilled. I did the first .5 at 4.8, .5-1.55 at 5.0, 1.6-end at 4.9 as 5.5 felt like too much on my foot earlier in the week and it wasn’t about pushing it.

When I got off the treadmill, the first thing I noticed was my feet didn’t hurt. The cushioning in these is amazing. I did what has become my typical stretching and then went for a walk and was pleasantly surprised when my feet continued to not hurt. A little sore when I stood after dinner but also fine for a walk home. I tentatively got out of bed this morning and just tender, not sore. No ice or Advil needed. Decided not to run today but to go for a nice walk because it was beautiful and 16K+ steps, nothing but a little tender. I feel like I maybe maybe finally turned the corner. I really think walking to and from work in fit flops which have way better support than dress sandals has also been a help, but this is less pain than even in my good shoes.

I did change them today for 8.5 as even with runners’ loop they were too loose, but I’m so happy and may do another three miles tomorrow. Going to listen to how I feel.

And yes, this made me happy. I was missing running. Words I never imagined I’d say.

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