2020 PT Week 3/4: Return to Racing

Previous post topics when I thought I’d get this posted sooner:

  • I’m taking my talents to South Florida

Yep, that made the rounds after the NFC/AFC Conference Championship Games with the Super Bowl in Miami. I can’t believe Lebron’s decision was ten years ago this summer. Where did the last ten years go?

While it wasn’t Miami, the cold snap had me looking very much forward to a long weekend in Florida. To be honest, deferring the Half didn’t bother me at all. It’s not a dream or bucket list race, and I’ll be back stronger in 2021.


  • Shakira’s Hips Don’t Lie

was on Wednesday 1/22 at PT and can’t say how true that was. So many of the exercises focus on the hip. I swear I need glue to hold mine in alignment.

The PT is really helping to the extent I was able to run back to back days twice. That’s something I typically don’t to and probably shouldn’t generally, but I was able to. The PT student I was working with just graduated & finished her internship, and I will miss her. The one she was working under is the same one I saw this time last year, so I know he’s wonderful, I’ll just miss the one on one focus on how bad my coordination is.

This year’s candidate for dead bug‘s I Can In No Way, Shape or Form Do This status is this shift into running stance from Stork. Nope, one too many steps.

and finally

Hamming with Palm Trees, for reasons you’ll see later.

Don’t ask. I Ham therefore I am

Pleased to learn that I was selected again as a Skirt Sports ambassador this year. Among the many things I learned from this wonderful run/blog group is how running clothes need pockets as much as dresses do. As I said to Elizabeth when we ran, it was nice to have on my windbreaker for all the pockets, but Skirt spoils me. I was home a few weeks ago and the random leggings that live at mom’s don’t have pockets. I can run without my phone (and honestly usually do) – but I didn’t have where to put a key.

In the odd event you don’t already have a Skirt Sports ambassador you shop with and/or aren’t one yourself, use SS15Car75 to shop with me.

Skirts for Florida and NYC running. Pleased to return in 2020 as a #SkirtAmbassador. use SS15Car75 to shop with me Click To Tweet

Linking up with Deborah and Kim for an abbreviated two week Weekly Run Down:

  • never miss a Monday: office closed due to MLK, but the day started off with PT. One of the many ways running has changed me. In the past I’d have rescheduled this and slept in. Instead I was there at 8a for a fun session of single leg squats and other oh so fun things. Hurts so good! I opted out of running there due to a frigid wind chill and after coffee with a friend who’d recently moved back, I headed to the gym. I saw a really awesome speed workout that Birchwood Pie did and knew I needed to try it. I warmed up for a mile at 5.5 and then alternated 5.2, 5.8 for 1-2-3-4-5-4-3-2-1 with two minutes easy between. The end was a little crunched as I a ) lost track and b) had the start of a blister. Still it was a good nearly 5 miles. I think those sneakers are getting binned though – they’re also the ones I’m blaming for the IT Band issues.
  • Tuesday: worked late. Nothing else to speak of.
  • Wednesday: PT. Lots of work trying to keep my hips in alignment. Run commute home as I worked from home before my flight. I love the backpack, although it’s going to force some minimalism in what I haul around. My shoulder thinks that’s a good thing.
Windy much?
I <3 Palm Trees
  • Thursday: one of those back to back runs. Couldn’t resist a beach visit before we went to Manatee Lagoon.
  • Friday: no running, but a wonderful visit to the Morikami Museum & Gardens.
Timer fail, but I kind of love it
  • Saturday: wanted to try six, and I got six running along A1A to Atlantic and back. I like Delray, but one reason I prefer Lauderdale is the beach side isn’t built up and there’s a better breeze. Run felt good. We followed it with a visit to Flamingo Gardens, which was amazing.
  • Sunday: it was “chilly” which is actually perfect beach weather for me because I don’t get too warm. Perfect Florida farewell. I didn’t run because I wanted to run to PT Monday and knew running three days in a row would be Bad.

Week of 1/27:

  • Monday: spoiler, I didn’t run to PT. I didn’t even get to the gym because of two end of day meetings. PT means I didn’t miss a Monday though.
  • Tuesday: some fun Lunar New Year art to and from a meeting. Gym after work for PT, yoga.
  • Wednesday: I don’t remember. Oops. Probably worked late.
  • Thursday: return of the office run group. We’ve done this route seventeen times. This was probably our slowest as we’re both in PT for various injuries. It was a cold but manageable evening.
hey. Ball. Sit. Stay!
  • Friday: yoga ball taming! AKA, PT and yoga and bib pickup for Saturday’s Frozen Penguin
Running the River
  • Saturday: my fourth Frozen Penguin, and first with Elizabeth. It was so (relatively) warm & foggy it was nuts. More on this Tuesday. It was great.
tree limbs trying to brush my hair
drunk Garmin
  • Sunday: Super Bowl Runday! My Garmin had a bit too much beer, but it was a lovely day to be in Central Park. More on both of these races Tuesday.

Plan for the week:

  • Monday, Thursday: PT
  • Run when I can, rest & PT when I can’t
  • Sunday: Manhattan 7 Miler. Nervous about Harlem Hills, although I had no issue with Cat Hill this week.


I meant what I said. No goals for January or even 2020 as I focused on healing.But I did track my numbers because it has just become habit:

  • 400,508 steps
  • 175.31 miles run/walked
  • 43.78 miles run

I didn’t even think about daily step goal other than Friday, January 31 as my spreadsheet told me that if I hit goal that day I’d get 400K for the month. Not chasing pointless steps was a smart move.

12 gym visits; 49 for September – February cycle. Whee. On track.

No goals for February. Just continuing PT/prehab/yoga and running when I can. Bermuda is going to be amazing whether I run or walk the Half, or some combo thereof.

Dancing into December

why am I dancing? PTO is in sight. I love what I do, but I am in dire need of a vacation and I can almost taste it. By the time this is published, I will be officially off work.

Anyone else have massive issues with the WordPress “upgrade”? I had to enable the classic editor plugin to be able to edit this post when it didn’t work on either Firefox or Chrome. Fail. While trying to figure out how to be able to access this draft, I played with my themes. I don’t love this one, but I like it more than the old one.

Was looking at something on Fitbit today and according to my dashboard I’ve walked 21,095,,17 steps. Nuts! I remember when I switched from Jawbone to Fitbit when the former died after 2m steps. I wish I remembered what year it is.

On to Running…

I had an amusing realization when I picked up my Ted Corbitt shirt: it’s the first race where I can wear last year’s shirt. Even for those I repeated, the shirts didn’t always work:

  • Frozen Penguin was one of the layers, but the 2017 shirt was short-sleeved and way too cold for March (or February like it is in 2019)
  • NYRR Retro – it’s a cotton tee that doesn’t mix well with a July race. However it’s super comfortable for weekend lounging.
  • Women’s Mini, I don’t like running in singlets. Way too much exposed skin to chafe/wear sunscreen. I think I finally tossed both Women’s Minis, the Pride 5M and Queens 10K shirts as I will never wear them.
Do the best races come with the most memorable shirts? #RunTheYear Click To Tweet

I was curious to see how many others wear last year’s. It’s a vivid blue and one I’ve not seen at other races, so it will pop especially on I thought likely to be a grey, winter day. 2018 shirts are almost fitting in that regard.

2018 Ted Corbitt shirt.

It’s early NES graphics meets ugly sweater and I kind of love it. I don’t own a grey long sleeve, though it seems to be a theme as Brooklyn Half and Bronx 10 were (darker) shades of grey.

For as much as don’t wear the shirt before you earn it is a “rule”, it’s not one heavily followed in NYRR races, or so it seems. I saw a fair number of the 2018 shirts consistent with what I typically see at the weekly races

Race Recap:

Flat Cari: how many people were running from my apartment?

Oh my, so cold. Yes, it’s December in New York, but it was int he 50s last weekend and my blood isn’t ready for this. This is post-race when I peeled off the layers since pre-race Flat Cari was a pile on the step stool as normal and you didn’t quite appreciate all.the.clothes. Pictured:

  • Bottom layers: the amazing Climate Smart CuddlDudds leggings under a random pair of hot pink & black leggings I wear all the time (including last year). First time in a while I’ve gone with leg layers, unclear if they actually helped as my legs were still frozen.
  • On top: last year’s shirt as mentioned over a TekGear whose thumbholes were useful for keeping gloves on and a t-shirt. Not sure why I made that layer short sleeves other than it was what I did last year. That top shirt was a Brooklyn Half casualty when it was lost to a puddle.
  • Other: turtle fur buff I swear by, Lebow hat, random touch screen gloves that I love because they clip together.
Indoors: why do you do this again? Outdoors: running is serious business. No smiles allowed!

I ran to the start in surprisingly good time. Original plan was to leave apartment at 7:30, but I pushed it to 7:45 because I didn’t want that long in the corrals with the wind chill in the teens. Was still there by just after 8 as I didn’t hit any lights and headed into the Park at 86th even though the start was up at 102nd.

um, there is a race today right?

The volunteer said “welcome to Corral K, or whatever your initial is or you’d like it to be, since it’s yours”. I always love the NYRR volunteers but especially on a frigid day. One man joined our chat and a few filled in but we really didn’t have company until the corrals collapsed. The race was sold out, and the recap indicated 4,971 finishers, about the same as last year, but maybe both had more no shows?

No staggered start due to the loop course (still hate doing the short loop first) and we were lapped by the male leaders around mile 3. *Shrug* I knew this wasn’t going to be a PR, my only goal was to finish and enjoy it.  Some first: salted areas in front of the water stations due to freezing splashes and frozen waters (I blame Erika as I read that post last night) from about mile four on. That was good for a laugh – drinking slush? Interesting texture. I guess it not hurting is a sign of a complete root canal?

I was a bit bullheaded about not wanting to walk despite being undertrained. I’d bet if I had done some intervals I might have had a better time vs. the slogging 12+ later miles. Stubborn much? Also, it was just damn cold. My lungs were fine but my quads hurt early. I’m not sure if it was the hills or that they were frozen, but they definitely didn’t feel as if they were propelling me much. One issue? No food. I meant to take a breakfast bar to eat in the corral but realized halfway to the park that I’d forgotten it. No food, no gels, nine+ miles. Yep, that’s a recipe for fading in the final 5K.

I saw the clock at mile 8 and officially knew the PR was gone, and wondered if I could push it. Nope, not on these frozen legs. Lebow is going to be *fun* if it’s this cold. I lucked out with both of these last time.


I used Becca’s trick of wearing the Garmin over the base layer, which had the added benefit of keeping base layer in place. When I looked at my heart rate in Strava post-race I was momentarily confused until I realized why it was so low. I don’t run by HR so it’s a non issue. It was just amusing. One of the best things about this Garmin? Even in cold, even for ~11 miles including warmup, only down to 84%

Official: 1:50:53 ahead of about 400. It’s about two minutes slower than last year, but unlike the Bronx, this really doesn’t bother me. I knew it early, and didn’t have high expectations going in due to November’s struggles. Do I wish I’d PRed? Of course, who doesn’t. Do I realize I’m past beginner gains and went into it undertrained again? Yep. While I can’t say I completely had fun due to the cold, I enjoyed the race and didn’t hate life.


Post-race I met up with my friend and former colleague who I’d missed at recent races. She completed her 9+1 so we caught up while waiting for her to ring the bell before heading back to the subway.

Over for another year, I’d still do this race again. It’s a fun winter race.

Weekly Wrap with Wendy and Holly:

so bad. So good
Good habits!
Sweaty SkirtSports stork
  • Monday: when I walked out the door, I immediately wished I’d woken early and gone for a run as it was absolutely beautiful. Beautiful for December? Sure. But straight up beautiful for fall at nearly 60 and ever so slightly humid. Luckily my evening plans fell through and I have a habit of carrying my gym bag with me, so I was prepared to hit the gym. I needed it because of the above. Fried pickles (we split), boneless wings and Anchor chips. Tracked and moved on. I really didn’t have a plan for my workout, so I went to my standard intervals: 5.5/6.0 for .25 miles with .02 walk breaks after the 6.0 intervals. That’s a huge improvement from .05 miles when I started these, and they’re really just because I still can’t run and drink. I LOVE running in my first SkirtSport but this outfit was so a missed opportunity to wear my sneakers with the pink #SweatPink laces. My soundtrack for this run was Morning Shakeout with Des Linden-listening to it with the benefit of hindsight is even more fascinating. She really is a great subject and this is one of my favorite podcasts. They’re the perfect length for gym workouts. This was the first Monday I’d managed a workout in the last couple and it felt so good to set the tone.
  • Tuesday: I’ve come to an important conclusion: gym bag is a bit like Santa Claus. Make a list, check it twice. I got to the gym after work and realized that while I had leggings, sneakers, sports bra and socks I didn’t have a t-shirt. Oops. Not like I don’t have backups of all but sneakers in my desk, but I was already at the gym two subway stops/half mile from the office. Oops. I knew if I left the gym I wouldn’t go back. So it was a short cross train row and a long stretch in my work shirt, which was luckily light. Better than nothing.
  • Wednesday: all gear accounted for. I struggled running so after half a mile of intervals with a line for treadmills, I went to the LateralX for a mile. I decided to finish the running as a cooldown. Weird workout, but it felt good. I really like the LateralX.
  • Thursday: after-hours work event knocked out office run group and the event didn’t end until 8. I did some errands and went home. Break needed at times, don’t regret it.
  • Friday: no formal exercise, but Mom and I did our annual museums & holiday lights hop to the tune of 19K steps.
  • Saturday: race day.
matching? What’s that?
  • Sunday: oh my sore quads. I went for a short bike ride and a long stretch on my poor legs. Oh and of course any reason to not match with my cross training shoes. Beyond that, just some errands before settling in for a quiet day.

2019 Spring Half Marathon training mileage: 21.88. I’m OK with a slow build back up, I don’t want to be injured.


Crazy week! Week of 9.16

This is one of those weeks that turned into the reason why I was historically very good at gym reimbursement for the first half of the year but until I started running I never did a year of visits. It just gets too busy. This week ended up less than ideal, but I’m proud of myself for pushing through and getting in what I could. I finished strong, and that’s what kept me optimistic about progress. This is also the reason I missed many posts this week. I’ll try to catch up, but I am not optimistic.

Not at all running related, but a bunch of us here in the Wrap are height challenged, and I know you’ll appreciate this chapter of #ShortPeopleProblems featuring a winter coat. That’s right up there with running tights that continue on for a foot past the end of my ankle. On the plus side, I found another one that might work, and an insane Kohls fall sale. I definitely shape shifted this summer as my fall clothes definitely needed some replacement. Mainly pants. I’m feeling more comfortable in tossing the too big clothes as this running journey has showed me an ability to maintain even if I’m not actively losing.

I’d worry about purging clothes leaving me without enough but that notion was thoroughly disabused when I dropped off my laundry yesterday in an alternate bag as I hadn’t put away the load I had done two weeks ago. Oops. Looking forward to less laundry and hopefully lowering my laundry costs in fall. $128.55 Jan – May 31; 89.15 June 1-today. Eek!

Speaking of shopping, thanks all for your watch answers. It’s looking Garmin, and luckily Charity Miles has a 20% off promo running through month’s end, although I’m not sure I’m buying that soon.

How do you push through a busy week and get workouts in? #RunTheYear Click To Tweet

Weekly Wrap linking up with Wendy and Holly:

doing the colorful thing on crosstrain day
Shoes-and best leggings ever. Spur of the moment Walmart purchase when in Palm Springs as the ones I’d brought with me had fallen apart. Shoes are the running ones that didn’t work for me.
  • Monday: knew I didn’t want to run after two days in a row. I also knew I likely was going to be exhausted after two after work events so I decided on a 2K row. Surprisingly I had more in me so I went for another 2K with a goal of beating my first time. Done! Followed this up with a good stretching & foam roll session because I was quite tight despite rolling at home.
  • Tuesday: didn’t have time to run long, so did what I could. My usual intervals, which I now know I can increase.
  • Wednesday: mental health off day. I had my gym bag, and my dinner plans cancelled due to both of us being slammed so I could have gone, but I decided I needed a day off and hopefully an early night. Don’t regret this choice as it was also the day my period arrived which always makes me feel slightly physically off for about 24 hours.
  • Thursday: TribecaTV screening for SVU 20th. Plan was gym after, reality was a light dinner with old and new friends. Was wishing I could have run, but was so glad to see them
Quick catchup with Judy. Photo: Mr. Judy
  • Friday: speaking of new friends! Judy was in town for a few days and although our schedules didn’t align for a run, we got to meet up and I can confirm she’s just as lovely “live” as she is to read. 🙂
  • After another long day at work I got to the gym. I knew I was too tired for a long run and had two runs planned for the weekend so didn’t want to overdo it. Since I’ve been wondering whether my sub 10 mile splits were accurate, I decided to see whether I could run a mile when I knew what the pace was. BAM! Goal was to try for one mile, hope was .5 or even .75. Total? 1.28 (yep, Strava math) If I had water, I probably could have gone further. This is insane to me. I think my immediate next step is to change my speed work from .25 mile intervals to .5 mile. Curious to see whether I can sustain 6.2 over a second or third interval. I’m excited about this development.
stretching after 5K. Peekaboo #sweatpinklaces
  • Saturday: one of my first world problems in loving my New Balance Vongo2s is the black ones are my favorite and I have two, both with mileage left on them. They’re two different sizes and I knew the tongue size tag wouldn’t differentiate them for too long. Luckily I spotted Sweat Pink’s laces on a freebie and knew I had my answer. Plus, who doesn’t love a splash of color?! Coupled with busy week, I had a late start today. I slept in and then enjoyed coffee and email catchup while watching Notre Dame football. At least one of my teams is making me smile this season! I didn’t have an exact plan, other than not going to Central Park. I decided to head along the route I did last week, but to see how far I could go on the Promenade now that I knew where to cross the FDR. I was pleased to see it’s open almost to Target. When I saw my splits for miles two and three I decided to pause the run at 5K to see how I was time wise. I knew it wouldn’t be a PR due to traffic lights in the first mile, but I was curious. Not too shabby! After the stretch above, I decided to see how strong I could close out the final mile-ish. It wouldn’t be as good as Friday night due to the lights, but I was happy with the pace as it came after three fairly hard miles. Training for the 10M hasn’t been what I wanted it to be, but I think I’m ready.
final stretch, in both meanings
action shot at the Boat Basin
  • Sunday: NYRR/New Balance hosted a shakeout run ahead of next week’s race and I was excited about a new route, but slightly nervous about the available pace groups. Spoiler: I not only didn’t get left behind, but I stuck with the front pacer of the 11mm-ish group for about six miles. Backing up, after running to the train because I was running late, I got to Yankee Stadium around 9:30 and we milled around a bit enjoying the crisp fall morning  before heading off on this fun route. I wish I had my phone out because it was gorgeous as we crossed Macombs Dam, ran across 155th and then had a wonderful downhill alongside Trinity Cemetery before going under a tunnel and down stairs to cross the West Side Highway ramp before hitting the greenway. Otherwise dark, overcast but perfect running weather. I was flagging by the Boat Basin as my hip was sore and I had a bizarre side stitch which first flared yesterday. I said I had to run until the end of the Greenway and then I could walk the hills to the Run Center. My first and last mile reflect the walk/run periods but overall pleased with this run ahead of next week’s race even though it was probably too fast for me after yesterday’s run. Definitely going to rest the hip this week and rolled today as I watched some football.
Run center ham. I am a total buff convert
Starbucks’ smoothie

Was eager to try the new Starbucks’ smoothie as I’m not generally a fan of cold brew. It was OK — I think I prefer Just Salad’s one, but it’s nice to have another non-dairy on the go option especially one that encompasses coffee.

Bronx 10M training mileage (July 31 to date): 111.87. Pretty sure I’m just going to roll that into 15K training. We’ll see longer term whether I do a Half before February. Even better, just 1.8 miles off pace for 700 miles run on the year.

This Week:

Hopefully work a little less busy as I’d like to get in a couple of solid runs ahead of the Bronx 10 Miler. Do I have a goal? It’s going to be weather contingent. Currently looks like good running weather, but who knows. 1:57:11 is my record at the distance on a cool day but with a very photogenic course. The Grand Concourse? Not so much. So 1:57:00?

Race LinkUp: Building off the Tuesdays on the Run post earlier this month because I’ve since added a few. My updated fall running plans are:

London Calling, weeks of 8.12, 8.19

So London was meant to be part of an organized runcation, but that didn’t get the minimum number of people to go forward. By the time it was cancelled I already had the time off work and the itch to go to London for the first time in 17 years-not counting a layover 11 years ago- and I decided why not.  I’m an obsessive trip planner and immediately hit up a Google map. Grown ups think of literature based London prompts. Me? All nursery rhymes. I had Pussycat, pussycat in my head throughout. I also picked up a London version of the Moleskine City books and while I didn’t use the features for which I bought it: the maps, I really loved it for making trips before and during the trip.

While I was unsure about pre-booking a run tour I hit up Strava for a couple of routes including a River Thames sightseeing loop, a 6-7 mile run of the Royal Parks, and Regent’s Park/Primrose Hill for the views.

More to come on the London front in another (series of) posts. In the mean time, weekly wrap catch up. I’ll do what I can to catch up on reading as well.

Weekly Wrap with Holly and Wendy:

Week of 8.12:

  • Monday:  for the first time in a while #NeverMissAMonday was running based. I had an epic case of do not wanna and had to literally bribe myself to get an additional quarter mile from miles 1-3. Some things never change. I did the same workout as this Monday and came in about thirteen seconds faster. I alternated quarter miles at 5.5 with 6.3 with .05 miles of walking at 3.3 after each 6.3 segment. The walk segments were consistently shorter and the running quarter mile segments didn’t fluctuate in speed.
  • Tuesday: was supposed to be a cross training day, but I was at the office late getting some deadline items done and really needed to pack for London, so it turned into a rest day. I also think four days in a row was not a smart plan with the distances I wanted to do to run/sightsee in London.
  • Wednesday: finally got the chance to meet Darlene who seems to run here as much as I do, despite not living in the city. It was a beautiful evening with relatively little humidity and we had a comfortable run/walk through Central Park. Other than office run group I don’t typically run with others, so this was good practice in running at a conversational pace. Not linking Strava because holy hell did my watch have a hissy fit or six.
  • Thursday: office run group and my watch worked! Alas it was 85+ and 60% humidity so we weren’t setting any land speed records. Still nice to catch up with some folks between vacations.
  • Friday: London bound!
  • Saturday: I wanted to shake off the plane stiffness and explore a little so I’d be tired enough to go to sleep on London time. The training plan called for 8 and I got in 9.10 photo taking, sightseeing miles. It was super crowded by the Eye and across Tower Bridge as I took the very long way from my hotel to Buckingham Palace via a version of the Thames Path above. Couldn’t get Strava to work properly offline, but it was easy enough to follow the riverside paths. London is a great running city.
  • Sunday: no running, but sightseeing took in 12.38 miles, so I’m not calling that a rest day!

Week of 8.19

Some of this fell under Saturday and Sunday, above, but it’s still insane to look at. When I left for London I’d walked about 238K steps on the month, run 30 miles and run walked 112. I ran/walked 89.31 miles, ran 20.56 miles in the UK. Most insanely? 204, 202 fitbit steps! There’s a chance for my third 500K step month. I was 13 miles off my 700 miles on the year pace when I left and less than five off when I got back. What did that look like? Note: some of these links are more London sightseeing than running photos. Assume I’m forgiven 😀

  • Monday: my only true rest day. I’d booked a day trip to Stonehenge, Glastonbury and Winchester (which turned into Avebury) and there was a lot of driving. It also left really early and wrapped with dinner with two wonderful friends. Fell asleep before I could hit my step goal, hysterical compared to the other days
  • Tuesday: back in London and a short-ish morning run on the Thames before ten more miles of walking exploring Westminster Abbey, the Houses of Parliament and the British Museum.
  • Wednesday: traveled to Birmingham to meet Liz! We met through Bookcrossing shortly after I joined in 2005 and just missed one another in Iceland last February, but the stars aligned and we planned a visit while I was in the UK. I got a little of my typical first meeting jitters, but those were gone as soon as we met at the train station and as long as we were awake, we didn’t shut up for the entirety of my visit. So amazing when someone is just as fun live as online. No running today, but we explored architecturally fascinating Birmingham and I got to see Dippy! Dinosaurs turn me from 38 to 3. We also walked some of the canals Liz ran along during her race a couple weeks back. The day finished in both book swapping and running form when we had a lovely curry with running bookworms. So much fun.
as we took off down the block
Post-run selfie!
  • Thursday: we got to run together! Cool, drizzly, refreshing run. Liz took me on a tour of her area, which I’d seen through her blog and a photography project which she’s participated in for five years. Great to see it in 3D. I had a good laugh though, Liz was way better about pausing her watch to cross streets, etc. and I’ve mostly just written that off as slow downs. Yet Strava gave me a better pace than it did her. Strava, you’re drunk. Here’s Liz’s wrap, which also includes our run. When I first started blogging about running it was just a diary for myself, then I either linked Liz or she found it and started reading. She introduced me to the Runners’ Bookshelf where I met Wendy, who introduced me to this linkup.  Life is good! I also now have a buff from Liz’s running club, so cool. Over the years we’ve had various discussions on American v. British English terms for things. When she first mentioned a buff, I had no idea what it was. Turned out it was less American v. British and more running English. Oh the jargon, although that really isn’t one.

After running, we headed to explore Stratford-Upon-Avon (where else could two book lovers go?!) Rejuvenated after the train ride back to London, I decided to take advantage of St. Paul’s summer late hours and was treated to an amazing sunset. 6 AM run, gorgeous sunset. Why yes I am trying to pack in all the sightseeing!

  • Friday: last full day in London and the only part of it that I’m willing to call a rest day is the boat ride to Greenwich after doing the Tower of London. Or possibly the 15m squiz back to my hotel to charge my phone before heading to Tate Modern and dinner with a friend who I worked with in Japan 17 years ago. Another 11 miles walking day. See what I mean? Not a rest day.
  • Saturday: knew I had to leave for the airport around 10:30 so I headed out for a farewell run of London. It was a beautiful 60 and crisp. Had to abandon my usual shade running for warmth until I warmed up. It was in three parts (1,2,3) as I also did a few pre-flight errands. Wasn’t long run mileage, but better than nothing and helped me be tired enough to doze on the long flight home. Thanks to AA rebooking I was able to get a direct flight home and was tucked in bed before original connection was to take off. Life is good sometimes.
stocked smoothie fridge
oh hello beautiful East River. I missed you!
  • Sunday: I was actually not up too early time zone wise, but arranged for grocery delivery between 6 and 8AM. Why the urgency? I had no creamer for my coffee. Wasn’t supposed to be an issue as with planned connection I’d have overnighted at mom’s.  Since I was up and it was beautiful, I decided to go for a run to shake out the legs. It also looked to be the last good outdoor running day as it’s to be in the 90s all week. Yuck. The run was OK (I was tired) until my water bottle fell. I thought I hadn’t fastened the top loop. Nope, bottom came undone. I guess it’s to be expected with the weight of a 20 oz bottle bouncing up and down. When I looked up my orders, I realized I bought it on August 24, so it’s older than I thought. Time to find a new one and maybe make peace with icky, dirty reusable bottles. Any favorite hydration belts? Can’t use a backpack as they’re not allowed in NYRR races, which are most of what I do. Also, think the straw would gross me out too much. I ran a little more but had nothing left in me, so met mom for brunch got some girly girl things done and came home to crash.
farewell fair belt!

All in all an amazing trip, and great exercise week. I came home weighing less than when I left, and so many memories. More TK. Although I didn’t end up booking a running tour due to my schedule, I’d recommend London as an active vacation spot. England marked the 4th country outside the US that I’ve run in, 2nd outdoors.

Total 10M Training Mileage, July 31 to date: 55.77 miles.

Super Sunday: 5K PR edition

so as I left the Weekly Wrap, I couldn’t decide whether I wanted to run or not. I actually did want to run, but was questioning whether two days completely off would be smarter for my knee’s healing. Despite changing into my running clothes as soon as I got home, I was using that as an excuse to sit on the couch and catch up on email after a few days away. I’ve had my new phone since March and haven’t put email on it-and don’t miss it. So much clutter.

I was less than one thousand steps short of my Fitbit goal and after a few off days due to rain, being in suburbia I really wanted to hit it. So I decided to head to the East River Promenade and just do the top level/Finley Walk loop which is about a mile and see how I felt mentally and physically.  I knew once I got going, I’d go. Oh the mental games we play.

it was such a beautiful evening

I turned south to get the full distance of the upper loop and as soon as I got there, I decided I did want to head south toward 59th street. My knee felt good on the downhill ramp and despite being absolutely gorgeous out, it wasn’t too crowded so I wasn’t forced to play a game of dodg’em. I was pleased to see the first mile come in sub 11:00 after Friday morning’s molasses crawl. The (relative) lack of humidity made a huge difference.  I decided I’d see how mile two came in before deciding whether I’d go for the 5K PR or just a three-four mile run.

Have a 6m mile, and then a 116m one!

Dear TomTom, please find your brain.

Mile 2 coming in at 9:33 might be a little generous, but it didn’t feel ridiculously off. I’ve had that happen before and since mile two was completely flat along the lower promenade between 60th and 81st streets, I think it’s possible that it was right.  I had mentioned in a comment to Charlie that my watch had been having issues, but this is the first time it was bouncing all over with no scaffolding or other issue that I’d expect to cause it.  I guess it’s time to start planning for a watch upgrade. I’ve gotten so used to the music on my TomTom and I don’t imagine that’s going to be an easy to find, affordable option. Any particular watch favorites? I have a Fitbit I use for daily steps, just looking for something to track runs with so size less of an issue.

I knew mile three would drop off because it has the 450 feet-long ramp back up to Finley Walk, but it felt good and I felt strong as I headed around Gracie Mansion toward Asphalt Green. I couldn’t believe it when the watch beeped three miles at 10:26 and I knew I was close. I pushed hard for the last .13 (Strava math) and couldn’t believe it when I saw my watch.



The original plan was to re-start the watch and run home, but the magic hour sky was perfect and I wanted to spy on the Ferry construction so I opted for a longer walking cool down during which I contemplated the run.

is that a ferry dock I spy?
guess it’s not opening this summer

I still had 32:16 on the brain and thought this was a four second PR, but I realized when I got home & could sync watch that it (actually 32:15) was for 3.08. WOW. It turned out that 32:41 was the actual “check in” 5K for July. Strava actually was a little too generous with 32:04 running time, crediting me for the water fountain pit stop.  I’m going with RunKeeper’s 32:11/10:18 pace. I didn’t even get in the full month of speed training that I wanted due to the PF flare and subsequent fall, but this is a-ma-zing. Sub 30 is still a long-term dream, but I’m thinking I may even get below 32 by summer’s end depending on whether I can do speed training in August. Even if I don’t, I’m super happy with how this speed training whim turned out.

Like the Riverside Park run, I loved that this speed/pace happened outside because while I don’t think there’s an unfair advantage in treadmill running, it’s definitely easier to maintain your pace indoors. I’ve had a love/hate relationship with the East River path that stems back to it being the first place I ever ran outdoors, so that the PR happened here was extra special. As I mentioned in Charlie’s post on PRs, I count runs as well as races. This is especially true for 5Ks since they’re so relatively rare as races.

Since the check-in 5K was on the treadmill, the plan for tomorrow is to run 5K there and see what speed comes of it. I’m excited for what the balance of 2018 will bring.




#NYRRRetro and week of 7.8

Not a full running week, but the foot felt good and I really think my body is not meant to do regular back to back days.  Lungs, sure. Legs, no, not yet. I’m OK with that. I really do need to find another long run before August’s Manhattan 7 Miler although I think speed work is the right thing for me right now not to over tax my foot. In the mean time, I set a rough goal for the Retro 4 Miler and was pleased to almost exactly nail it. Plus, it felt good to have a race again.

Weekly wrap with Wendy and Holly:

  • Monday: oh what a Monday staring down a five day work week. I wanted to do some speed work, but also listen to my foot. I ended up doing a variation of this Friday‘s workout. Shorter, but nearly 20 seconds / minute faster as I went 5.5, 6.2, 5.5, 6.3 with .05 miles of 3.3 after each 6+ interval. The first 6.3 was for .3 miles and the second .28 as I closed out. Could I have gone to 3.5? Probably, but smarter not to push my foot, and the gym was disgustingly hot. This was a nice rebound after Saturday’s struggle, and it was good to see that a number of us struggled despite beautiful weather.  What I realized as I was doing these quarter mile intervals, it’s essentially repeating a coupe weeks of C25K, but with the “walk” being a 5.5 mile jog. Whoa. Plus side of speed intervals being what they are, I show myself I can do a sub 10m mile even if I can’t (yet) sustain it.
Books books books
  • Tuesday: have I mentioned lately that I’m a bookworm? 🙂 NYRR Run Center is hosting a book giveaway from the Runners’ World archives and I went to the preview when I went to pick up my bib/shirt for the Retro. I think I showed remarkable restraint, but I also know I’ll probably go back a couple three times. It was fun to see titles over time.  I subsequently headed across town to the better air-conditioned gym for a 5K row followed by some planks. Intrigued by Running on Happy’s 5M plank challenge, maybe this fall.
  • Wednesday: knew I couldn’t get to the gym after work and wanted to get something in so I planned on a run before work. Unfortunately my snooze button was all too close. I didn’t get out as early as I’d have liked, but it was better than nothing. To be honest, it was already so warm and humid, I’m not sure I’d have gone longer even if I had more time. Luckily I did have time to roll both of my feet before work since I found my original PF ball after I replaced it. The afternoon brought a follow-up appointment with the dermatologist. The mole biopsy was all clear and she doesn’t think it will scar. I care way more about the former than the latter.
I bought myself a present
  • Thursday: week two for our office running group. Up to five this week and the experienced runner decided he was going to pace us. That was awesome, since I generally fail at consistency when outdoors. We did the entire lower loop, even if my watch didn’t. Since my foot felt good and I wanted more mileage I did some intervals at the gym before a really good, long stretch. 5.5, 6.2, 5.5, 6.4, 5.5, 6.3 with 7.0 at the final tenth to close out. The walk breaks after each speed interval were down to .05 miles. I was really shocked at being able to sustain 6.4 over a quarter of a mile. Knock wood, speed training is going well and I think maybe just maybe I’ll break 32m at the end of July. I was home catching up on some reading and I saw Ali on the Run’s post about the Sarah Marie Design Studio shirt, which I’ve loved since I saw Mary Wittenberg wear it for a panel. I still have no idea if I want to run a marathon ever (more on that later!), but I love the dominance of women in the sport, and a soft, purple t-shirt? Winning. I’ve purged a lot of tee shirts, and I still have too many, but I love this for post-run relaxation.


what a beautiful summer evening
  • Friday: knee a little sore, so what was going to be a cross training day turned into a day off ahead of Saturday’s race. It’s not an injury, or rather not a new injury but an old injury that occasionally says hi and reminds me not to push it. So I listen. Rather than going to the gym I went back up to NYRR to have them do the fancy lacing that I can never quite get right and of course hit up the book giveaway one more time. Not much left by then. After a quick and fruitless shopping trip to try and buy some new shorts, I walked over the Brooklyn Bridge (rest day wasn’t going to be a step fail) and settled in with a good book or three. We’re not going to talk about that milkshake. Delicious, tracked and moved on. Just before sunset I hopped on the ferry for some gorgeous views. Walking the bridge was partially steps, but there’s also just no easy way between boroughs sometimes. Not taking a train on a gorgeous summer day? Winning.
Retro silliness. Never met a photo booth I didn’t love

Saturday: race day! I truly mean the exclamation point for the first time in a while. Part of the issue I was struggling with in June was straight up tiredness. I was dreading the early wake ups (love how Cuckoolemon put it re: purchasing wake up calls!) and that was part of what made me not excited about weekend after weekend of race. Being sick didn’t help. But with two weekends off racing, I was ready for and excited by the Retro, in part because I did and loved it last year. Really interesting to go back and read some of that. Especially the post-race gimpy walk home which turned out to be the start of my PF battle. Oh how I hope this year’s marked the end.

The first race in Central Park since it closed to cars featured an awesome pace car which I got a great view of as I ran to the start. While I do not like the staggered start at the foot of Cat Hill, I love the easy run to the start as a warm up. I was running late so I only had about 10M before the start, which was fine. I’m also kind of over the “turn and high five your neighbor” forced nonsense, especially pre coffee. Not as many super crazy costumes as last year, although I saw more toward the end. I really wanted to wear my School House Rock t-shirt like I did the tootsie roll pop last year (whoa, the weight I’ve lost in my face!) but it was just too gross to contemplate cotton.

Cat Hill was a surprising non event. I don’t even remember any feelings running up it, and I was glad to hit the first sprinkler and water stop at the top. Although it was only mid 70s, the humidity was about the same. Oddly it felt like 102nd St. Transverse took forever to come and as a result of mile two not having any hills or water stops, it was my best.  Come the water break on the transverse, I not only walked I stopped to get two cups. The first of the West Side up hills was bad, but then I settled into a weather-appropriate pace and just went. Overall it was a fairly steady race. Strava doesn’t show it because of its rounding, but it was .1 over for me (and many per IG photos) due to the angles in the park, but it seemed like a large number of people were complaining about this. It’s a 4M, not a Boston Qualifier, I think a little chillax is in order.

My goal was to come in between the Gridiron (43:08) and Achilles (47:23) and ideally around 45m. By my watch/RunKeeper, 4.10/44:49 for 10:56. By NYRR, 44:47 for 11:12. BAM! Still using Runkeeper since that’s where everything is, but I’m happy. Gridiron was in perfect conditions, and I was sick for Achilles. Mile two showed the effects of the recent speed work and this fall I will do hill work, I swear.

At the post-race festivities I enjoyed some flavor ice and general silliness. And then this happened

9+1! Eek!!

I have absolutely no idea if I want to train for a marathon, but I have until January to decide if I want to claim my guaranteed entry. I’m leaning yes: it’s New York, it will be the eve of my 40th birthday, but I’m just not sure if I have marathon training in me. I’m glad to have 9+1 settled so relatively early in the year so I have time to think on it. It’s crazy to realize that I’ve run nine NYRR races; one NYCRuns, one charity, and two out of town races. 13 races in slightly more than half a year, wow. And yes, running in shorts. I actually haven’t worn capris since Achilles. I know, what took me so long.

splendid saturday evenings

Rest of day was good, if lazy. Took myself out for sushi and then sat by the East RIver to finish one book and start another. And my cotton tee shirt tradition of wearing it post-race. None of these is #20BooksOfSummer or the NYRR finds, but my annual permission between Memorial and Labor Day to read fluff. This seems to be the year, or at least the week, of catching up on James Patterson. And new Gabriel Allon comes out Tuesday, can’t wait!

All in all, a good week and one that I’m happy with. Taking today off although I may go to the gym to stretch when done with a work event. Plan for the week: run Monday, Thursday, Friday or possibly Monday, Wednesday, Thursday depending on Wednesday work event. No races next weekend.


Review: Run Less, Run Faster

FIRST’s Run Less, Run Faster


I’m not sure exactly when I added this to my wishlist, likely in either June or July when I realized I couldn’t run daily due to hip/foot. It came off the library waiting list yesterday and I quickly posted about it to a runners’ reading group that I have come to love. Between people’s comments and someone else reading it simultaneously I decided to move it to the top of Mt. TBR despite my having library books expiring sooner.

I was hoping to finish it over this weekend due to size (aka it didn’t fit well in my purse) and took it with me today due to some extended commute time, but I didn’t expect to finish it in one day. Part of the quick read is that a significant number of the book’s ~300 pages are dedicated to charts and diagrams and for that reason I was very glad to be reading this in print v. on my Kindle.

Thoughts? This book is simultaneously an amazing reference/training tool and probably not the right book for me right now where I am in my running. The authors focus a lot on optimizing performance and that’s not for me right now. I want to improve, of course, and am slightly obsessed with my 5K PRs but I’m not yet to the point where I think I want to use the extensive data here in my training. Unlike in the past, I’m pretty sure I truly mean it.

I want to enjoy my runs, I don’t want to obsess over pace and time. As they said in the book, running with your wrist in front of your face isn’t good for form. I also think their novice plan is at a higher level of novice than I am. Their week one long run is probably doable, but seems awful high compared to other plans I’ve been reading up on. I might give it a go tomorrow though as it’s not far off my prior longest run.

What I really loved about this book?

  • the pace tables. I find it very hard to know what my pace can/should be at a new to me distance/course. I still feel like I’m running blind so have definitely saved these charts.
  • This book scales, it has goal pace/workout time/pace info for times from a :16:00-:40:00 5K. It’s definitely a reference book that can and should be revisited
  • the precise workouts-what you should do and for how long. I’m definitely guilty of unfocused runs, and trying to change that.
  • Their cross training workouts. Since I found that both of my Blink locations have rowing machines I’ve been doing that and I think the time/pace guidelines there are helpful.
  • The explanations that running less isn’t working out less and how to use cross training to reduce injury risk and balance muscles worked.
  • It’s not too science heavy. There’s a ton of useful data and explanations but they don’t overburden the reader with details on lactate threshold. This is a layrunner’s guide.

I didn’t really care for their argument that “If you’re more than 30 pounds overweight, walking rather than running is advisable until you have reduced your excess weight.” What does that even mean? Reduced it to normal? Reduced it to 29 lbs over? It’s not particularly helpful guidance, nor do I think your success in running is predicated on the scale. But they’re health educators so I see where they’re coming from.

I think this book is a great tool for someone who has run a half/full and wants to improve on that. It’s also amazing if you want a hands on, how to for Boston including a physical assessment test to see if a BQ is possible. I don’t think it’s for the novice runner trying those distances for the first time without a stronger base than is typical for beginning a plan for those distances. I look forward to revisiting this book in a year or so when I’m more experienced to see if the workouts work for me then.

Speed wise for me, for now I may go back to the ASICS Pace Academy, or I may do the intervals like I did earlier this week. (Actually, I look back and realized I’ve been doing a version of those all along. Weird! I’ve also more or less tossed the junk miles when I threw out the 30m goal) I am going to use their 3plus2 model in my training because I think that will be the best for me in keeping foot/hip/knee happy. It won’t work exactly as they’ve designed, but I think it may well work perfectly for me. It also looks like it will work with some of the training plans I am leaning toward.