Yeah. This has been marinating for a bit. Between the injury that spanned 2019-2020 (some things never change) and the uncertainty around it, I wanted to wait until a place when I was more settled. Yep, running/training is a head game.
Joining up with Kim and Zenaida to talk 2019/2020 in running. And in my delay, I’m accidentally on topic.
so I don’t have 2020 running goals-yet- but I am thinking about what I want from the year. I also haven’t done a proper 2019 in running because it could be summed up as HOLY SHIT, I RAN A MARATHON!!! Given that I successfully completed the NYC Marathon, I was happy with 2019 but wanted to take this chance to look back on my 2019 goals.
But first I had to actually go back and put my 2019 steps since injury in my log. Yep, major ostriching there because not hitting goals, even with a legit reason, really bothers me.
Mark two years running in some fun way: January 6☑
I’ll be honest, once June and marathon training started, I didn’t care about anything but 3/4. Three of my four Halfs were while I was walking wounded and fourth was in the leadup to the marathon, so wasn’t risking anything. I didn’t PR in the Mini, but the 2019 race was so much better than 2018’s struggle bus. And the injury well, better now than during marathon training. More on the PRs below in 2020.
Had both of these well in land before the IT band issue rendered me somewhat less mobile. I opted not to do Saunter as it seemed risky coming off the Achilles, so calling that choice a smart one. It’s not something I missed out on as it was always TBD.
154.66 miles run/walked
38.73 miles run
9 gym visits/37 September – February cycle
2640.71 miles run/walked
862.97 miles run
December steps were were my lowest since I started running, but hard to be disappointed in the year. Although yeah. That .03 miles. LOL.
While I’m not officially doing #RunTheYear this year, I’m continuing on with GoTheDist. Re-thinking the challenge and my goals has been a fun hard as it has always been a version of Beat Yesterday with yesterday being the prior month, or that month the prior year, but that’s not going to work so well without another year of marathon training. More on that below in 2020 goals.
I can’t count the number of times I’ve said that the coming year was the last I was going to start overweight. I’ve failed each time. But I’m happy with what I did this year even if it wasn’t perfect. I can do way more than I ever thought my body could and the scale is headed in the right direction. So keep it up, and buckle down a little.
I’m down year on year and lost weight during marathon training. Calling that a victory.
New states. None new in 2019 but 50 before 50 still a possibility. Maybe my old southern road trip that hasn’t happened for three years running. ☑
Read 100 books again. Probably not doable as I don’t have two beach vacations in the plans, but it’s something to shoot for. Mid 80s would be acceptable. I’ll finish 2018 with 105, probably.
Upgrade my wardrobe. I have some pieces I love, but also many I don’t and some that don’t love me. Bless Poshmark for this. ☑
Marathon training killed my reading. Got 70 read. Got four new states though, and that trip was amazing. Wardrobe is a work in progress, but I’m getting there.
I need to get away from the numbers, since missing number goals just frustrates me. Usually unnecessarily, but why ramp up the anxiety? Similar to ceasing to live and die by the scale, I want to look at my 2020 goals differently this year.
Run Smart. I learned in 2019’s physical therapy that dem bones isn’t just a childhood song. Our bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments and beyond are connected in so many ways. I’m using 2020’s physical therapy to fix my running forms (my hips are never aligned!)
Heal. Part of the reason I sat on this until mid January was I didn’t want to rush it. I have no step/distance or other goals for January/February other than follow PT and (hopefully) be able to run without pain. I don’t want to rush anything and risk the balance of the year..
After the marathon, my goal was to PR in the Half in 2020. I’m putting a pin in that right now. Not for good, but for the first half of the year. While I have started running since being cleared by my PT, it’s just jogging and no workouts, and I don’t want to put pressure on the knee. I also don’t really want to do treadmill speedwork coming off this, which is the best winter solution. So I’m going to enjoy Bermuda (which, to be honest, was always the plan for that one) and maybe think about a fall half. Any suggestions (besides Mohawk Hudson, Darlene/Judy, that’s on the list) and Staten Island?
Summer or Fall racecation? this was on here before I decided to do Cherry Blossom in lieu of the deferred Fort Lauderdale. I might find the budget and PTO to do another. Any favorite US races? With Spain and Bermuda on the calendar, an international racecation will have to wait.
My original plan for NYC Marathon training wasn’t group training, nor was it JackRabbit’s Rogue Running. I realized early on that a DIY approach probably wasn’t going to work for me, and soon after that my Mile High Run Club idea wouldn’t either.
Linking up with Kim and Zenaida this Tuesday Topics to talk about group training for the marathon in general, and Rogue Running in particular.
TL; DR: I’m so glad I did group training and Rogue was a good fit with excellent coaches and fun fellow runners, but it’s not necessarily designed for Turtles.
I was mentally writing this on Saturday, my first Saturday “long” run with Rogue after the marathon and my penultimate workout with them. What was I listening to? Running Rogue’s Ode to Shalanefrom a few weeks ago when she announced her retirement. Two things that stuck with me?
Her comments on group training, and how it evolved from when she first graduated college & Meb & Deena at Mammoth were one of the only games out there. Subsequently how she asked the coach at Bowerman Track Club to add more women to the group to push and help her and how that evolved into the so-called Bowerman Babes.
Chris McClung‘s comment that there’s a little Shalane in all of us. It’s so so true. We might not medal, but we can all improve.
I was all over the place when I thought about how I was going to train for the marathon. Runfession: I still haven’t read the Hanson’s book I bought, or re-read the Hal Higdon one I read early in my running journey. One of the things I love about our office running group is it was helpful for bouncing ideas off one another, including how are we going to do this? I’m so glad we found Rogue and that it had a five day trial.
I’ll be honest – I nearly quit Rogue after the first Saturday workout. Well not really after – during, when I fell behind during the “easy” warmup. I can’t keep up, what’s the point? I still remember that thought and almost exactly where I was in Central Park — lower loop, coming around the curve at the south end of The Mall. I’m pretty sure that was my social anxiety talking, and I’m so glad I ignored it.
Because Rogue does a near twenty week marathon training cycle that includes base building, I began with them in mid-June. I am thrilled to say that I never really missed a session. Some thoughts on why Rogue/group training worked for me:
almost every Friday night I was dreading the 6/5:30 wakeup for the long run. Every single Saturday I was so glad to have the run done. The accountability is huge. I’d have to answer to someone about why I didn’t come – and I was too tired/it was too hot didn’t seem legit. I moved a couple around due to travel, but I got all the long runs in. I missed one Wednesday when I took the workout indoors due to rain — slipping on a wet leaf wasn’t in my plan three weeks out. But that’s not really missing it.
We had fun. I obviously got to know some better than others if we ran at similar paces during a given workout, but everyone was fun. We cheered one another on at out and backs and in workouts. The coaches were AMAZING. I wouldn’t change one thing about the cohort of people. We were split between first time marathoners, those who had run one or two, and two vets with nearly 20. It made for a great mix.
We had great guest speakers/runners/product demos. And popsicles. I got exposed to so many different facets of the running industry that helped my training – and they were ones I wouldn’t necessarily have thought to seek out.
I have a library of workouts. I actually went back to one of them today when I needed something on the treadmill-300m repeats. While I would have had said library from a training plan, I’m the type of person who learns from someone explaining it vs. reading it. We got weekly emails with the workouts as well as a spreadsheet at the start, but once the coaches explained it, I got it.
Downsides? Really only what I said above about it not being designed for Turtles. And it really wasn’t a downside for me.
This is true of every group training though – they have to be programmed to the most common group. So while I was usually lagging a mile or three behind on the Saturday long runs, there was one runner who was way ahead. I don’t think this is a bad thing — but it might not work for everyone. As I tend to be a solo runner anyway, I was happy to run some with company and then be alone, or vice versa. Sometimes I enjoyed the challenge of keeping up with another runner, other days I just wanted my podcast. That first workout where I lost them on the warmup? That never really changed, although without fault they’d wait for me and if I asked them to hang back, I think one of the coaches probably would have. I knew our routes well and once they realized I really was fine solo, it worked well on both sides.
Do I know for sure that I ran faster because I did group training? Nope. I just have a good feeling that while I couldn’t do the 5-6 days Rogue prescribed, I think it made me a more consistent runner than I would have been on my own. I look forward to using some of these workouts in my half marathon training, because a Half PR is definitely a 2020 goal. I’m not sure whether I’m going to sign up for Rogue again – but that’s a factor of some travel plans that make it unlikely I’ll get my money’s worth.
the 2019 NYC Marathon is officially in the rear view and I DID IT. Linking up with Kim and Zenaida to discuss. Apologies in advance for the all caps and exclamation points, but you’ve all been there and totally understand it. Oh, and it’s ridiculously long.
It’s impossible not to think of Fred Lebow while running anywhere in NYC, but especially true for the marathon. As Ron Rubin’s biography said, Anything for a T-Shirt. True when Fred started the marathon and still true now.
I was originally going to bucket this as good/bad, but other than 26.2 being the challenge it is, there was nothing I’d really call bad. Just some wardrobe adjustments I’ll make for my next Half.
Surprisingly I was able to sleep Saturday night. I went to bed on the early side and while I woke up once or twice, I woke refreshed at my alarm. After adding some raspberry, because you can’t have grey roots in your first marathon photos!, I was out the door to get the train to NYPL. The line was long and moved quickly and efficiently. Darlene and I had boarded a bus and were en route to Staten Island by 7:05.
I never did plan and fully try out a breakfast, but I went with a tried and true for most of my nearly 40 years… PB&J. That was one of my errands Saturday as I wanted avocado on a bagel for dinner the night before. Yeah, never did get around to buying a toaster this training cycle. I ate half the PB & J on the bus as I sipped Science in Sport.
While the starting area wasn’t exactly organized logically, it was relatively easy to follow signage. We were through security in 5m, tops, and wandered around to find our hats and hit the potties before heading to our respective villages.
I’d brought a copy of Runners’ World, but by the time I hit the potties again for a nervous pee, finished the PB & J sandwich and switched out my shoes, it was almost time to go into the corrals. Yes, my first pair of 1080s that got me started with marathon training ran out of miles and I decided to donate them in the best way possible as I already have two pair of knockaround sneakers.
I had to stop here on my way to the corrals. Dunkin also had plastic topiary but there were too many people around it. I followed some of the great advice to keep layers into the corrals, but had ditched the warm up pants by this point.
I’ve been to Fort Wadsworth before, but if you told me then I’d have seen it from the bridge I’d have laughed in your face. Verrazano, like the Henry Hudson, is the rare NYC bridge without a pedestrian path. Everyone talks about the emotion of New York, New York on the bridge, but I admit I didn’t hear it. Downside of corral F. We had Joan Jett’s I Love Rock and Roll , which really set the tone for the next 26.2 miles.
We crossed the start relatively quickly given the large number of runners in Orange Wave 4 and suddenly I was taking in the span of the Verrazano. This was when it hit me that I was officially running the NYC marathon and was going to be running for a very long time. There are almost no photos as I focused on running and taking it all in. I wanted to experience it in the moment, but did take this photo from the bridge because New York harbor is just stunning.
Everyone told me that you could hear the crowds coming off the 59th Street Bridge, but I could hear the amazing Bay Ridge crowds from the Verrazano too. The 2.62 mileage signs, DJ playing Beastie Boys. It was an amazing but LONG run up 4th. Like Ocean Parkway when you’re doing the alphabet, the street countdown reminds you how long it is. My amazing friend Rachel found me and ran with me for a minute or two and I just took it all in.
As we turned onto Lafayette, it was great to see BAM and this area of Brooklyn before turning into Williamsburg. Someone in the start village was warning others about the quiet zones of the 59th Street Bridge and Hasidic Williamsburg, but I didn’t find Williamsburg to be that quiet. Compared to the raucous earlier streets, yes, but the little kids out cheering were amazing.
Shortly after this as we headed through Greenpoint was my first supremely happy moment – someone handing out Swedish Fish. I opted for the theory that no one was going to try & poison the marathoners and took one. The actual nutrition was going well, starting with a Gingerade Gu in the corral, but I already needed something different.
I was happy to find the “secret” bathrooms with no line just before the Pulaski Bridge and in the short stretch in Queens I was super stoked to find one of my Rogue coaches, Justin. I should have warned anyone within arms’ reach that they were getting a flying hug. Justin ran with me for part of a mile and took one of my too many gels off my hand. It was on the Pulaski that the 6:00 pacers caught up with me. They started before me so I’m not sure what pace they were relative to my start, but didn’t worry too much about it. I was enjoying it.
I didn’t find the 59th St. bridge to be that quiet because we runners were making a ton of noise. Both celebrating a wheel chair coming through and generally whooping it up to make noise on the lower level. Not quite the CP tunnel noise with the open sides, but still loud. We could hear 1st Avenue coming off the Bridge and I knew Mom & Bob were watching from the New Balance party at Treadwell Park. The surprise lasted until Saturday night when Bob had to tell mom – I call that mission accomplished. I was looking for Bob since he’s 6’4 and mom is shorter than I am, but I was able to spot mom’s sign and started blowing kisses.
The most awesome thing that has changed on 1st Avenue since the last time I spectated there was the bike lane on the West side. It allows the crowds to be in close. Best decision I made was writing my name on my shirt. I had so many “friends” on the course it was awesome. I won’t lie — passing my apartment was a challenge. The only real quiet zone was the charity zone, most of whom had gone home by the time we came through. Fred’s Team was out there though and amazing.
While I was plotting to surprise Mom, my brother was doing the same with Bob to surprise me. Bob really enjoyed being the linchpin of all the surprises. Jordan texted me Sunday morning with a video of my nephew and telling me where he’d be. AMAZING. Did I mention that he lives in Albany?!? So I knew to expect him at Mile 22 – and as a marathoner himself he told me runners’ left. I didn’t expect him just shy of mile 20 headed into the Bronx. Loved this.
I was struggling by this point. It wasn’t The Wall-I don’t think I ever hit that. This was just tired legs. I never once thought about dropping out though. I knew I’d finish even if it was walking. I’ll be honest, part of the reason I never had nerves about NYC was not finishing was never an option even if i was crawling. I detoured into the Biofreeze spray station in the Bronx and that was great for my calves.
There were so many great signs on the course but my favorite might have been Welcome to the Last Damn Bridge on Madison Avenue. Luckily this one was just an overpass and was basically nothing. After we hit Fifth Avenue I was ecstatic to find my colleagues’ water station and flew into them for a hug. By this point they knew I was running (and it eventually made our Insta), but it was so good to see them. Shortly after this I saw Jordan again and unloaded a pace band I was mad at and a gel I’d taken but didn’t want and didn’t want to waste.
I knew Fifth Avenue would be hard. We ran it last week. But I didn’t anticipate how hard it would feel this late in the race. At about 110, I made a deal with myself that I could walk until the museums at 105th. I then ran a little until a water station where I walked under the condition that I would run the park. This was absolutely the right decision as I felt rejuvenated in the park. No doubt the downhills helped. The weirdest thing was a large screen suspended over Fifth Avenue at the Park’s entrance. It was cheer cards, I think, but so disorienting as there’s no TV there!
I knew I was feeling relatively good in the park as I didn’t even flip off Cat Hill which always happens in Lebow. We exited the Park and I was feeling strong. I knew the look toward Columbus circle was long from prior reads so I focused on the crowds and hugged a Santa. I didn’t do all the high fives I could have for stamina, but I got as many of the kids as I could.
The stage at the entrance to the park was a pick me up and I honestly did not notice the incline to the finish. Before I realized it, we were done. The actual finish is almost anti-climactic as there was a slight backlog of medical spotters, but we were done and I remembered to smile for the camera. Photos TK, I absolutely bought the MarathonFoto package because you’ll never have another first marathon.
I got my medal, had a couple of photos with the sideline backdrops and headed up the path to my poncho and meetup. This was absolute walking on adrenaline and it didn’t seem as bad as the recaps sound. We had a meeting place at the Starbucks at Columbus and 73rd and getting there was fine and relatively quick. The hardest part was holding the recovery bag with the heat wrap & poncho, neither of which had arms.
The best decision was asking mom to bring me flip flops because I wanted out of my shoes. She thought to bring me pedi socks and I may have laid the poncho on the ground to change into the flip flops and stash my sneakers in the recovery bag. Beth, who I first met in an NYC running meetup in March/April 2017, lives in the UWS and my question to her was where coudld we eat right there. I wasn’t hangry – and still haven’t really been hungry – but I just wanted to sit. She delivered with a recommendation of this diner.
All in all, a super successful day. Capped off by an epsom salt bath, Biofreeze and Advil.
I knew my idea of 6:00 was gone by about half way, but I was OK with that. I just wanted to enjoy it. Wasn’t worth pushing it and hating the race. I got mad at my wrist for telling me, so I ripped off the pace band in the Bronx, but didn’t want to litter so handed it to Jordan.
I actually didn’t know my finish time at all until we sat at dinner and Beth showed it to me. I never had an A/B/C goal, as I mentioned, but I was fine with 6:18ish. I really need to look it up.
This went well. But by mile 20 or so, I couldn’t really chew the hardening margarita blocks and found the honey stingers too sweet. I was SO GLAD for the random Starburst and Swedish fish. Race nutrition by Cari. I hung on to a 20 oz water bottle for 25 miles and refilled it every / every other water station.
This wasn’t about weight loss, but my scale does all the data and I somehow lost 3.8 lbs between the first day of training and the NYC marathon. I’ll take it.
Capris were the perfect choice. I could have tossed my long sleeve on a couple of occasions but glad I didn’t as it was chilly as the sun went down. For future halfs, I’m going to get an SPI or Flip Belt. While I need the water on training runs, I do not need the heavy belt for a race. It was great to have the bib toggles but otherwise it mostly just annoyed me as it shifted around. If it didn’t have the bib on it and phone in it, Jordan probably would have taken it to Albany with him.
I was most excited by my epsom soak that nothing chafed. Literally nothing. That never happens! I brought extra body glide to reapply in the starting village and it was perfect. My favorites along the course besides edibles were vaseline and tissues.
On future plans:
Yep, still one and done. That was always the plan going in and nothing in the race changed that. I enjoyed the training – and as someone said in a comment (Marcia, I think?): I had a sparkly unicorn cycle. Weather especially. I made some sacrifices I was willing to make for my first marathon, especially travel, but I can’t see fitting marathon training in again. I loved almost every second of this. But I’m looking forward to a return to Half land. It’s my happy place.
I’m so glad I trained with Rogue. More to come on that in a later post, and probably things I’m forgetting in this post.
I took the day off work not knowing how I’d feel and the only plans I made were a Rēcover session and lunch with Darlene. Surprisingly I was awake early and feeling relatively good save for some stiffness and decided to walk for coffee. That felt good so I extended the walk into Central Park as moving felt better than not. I skipped Marathon Monday in the Pavilion as I had no pressing need to have my medal engraved today or shop.
I did hop the subway as I was running late for my recovery session (officially in love with Normatec). After a quick gym visit to stretch and roll, I met up with Darlene and Lacey for lunch and a post-race debrief. It was great to see Lacey as excited after 22 as Darlene and I were after one.
After a trip to JackRabbit Union Square (more Normatec!) and Columbus Circle for the 30% off sale, which was 100% off as I bought nothing, I went to my hair appointment and came home to my couch which was very comfortable.
So glad I took the day off as it was beautiful day to play tourist and enjoy the finishers walking around.
Linking up with Zenaida and Chicago Marathoner! Kim to talk about Sunday’s Hannaford Half Marathon. I’ll do a double up Weekly Run Down next Sunday as I haven’t even started it.
Recognize the shirt? No, not the race shirt, which was also pretty awesome. My finish shirt. Yep, that’s the shirt from my first ever race. Besides being adorable, it has turn into a little bit of a crutch and might be a marathon shirt.
Rewinding a bit. With family in Albany, this race had been on my radar for some time. My brother actually ran the full some years ago. This year it happened to coincide with my nephew’s birthday party and thanks to a little bib swap magic courtesy of an injured friend of Darlene’s, I was able to run it this year.
First, I have to say the race shirt is one of my favorites. It’s so soft. Perfect recovery shirt, although I never did get a photo wearing it. It & my bib were waiting for me on arrival in Albany thanks to one of my local sherpas.
This was an interesting trial race in a number of ways: namely being outside my environment. I am very much a creature of habit, but I know that isn’t going to fly on November 3 with the later than normal start. This week’s chapter: being out of my own environment. Before every half marathon and most long training runs I’ve eaten the same dinner, avocado toast. Being at someone else’s home, I couldn’t. I decided to eat smartly, but normally. I’m not sure where the (not my) birthday cupcake fit into that. Otherwise, tortilla chips, salsa, guacamole and mom’s chicken cutlets. Not ideal, but not bad and no ill effect on Sunday morning.
In addition to forgetting to pack a small Ziplock of my Science in Sport, I forgot to freeze my water bottle the night before. Given how chilly it was at the start, not freezing my hand was a good plan.
My original plan was to run to the race’s start shuttle from my brother’s house, but he decided to drive me. It was easy enough to find a trail to run down for a few warm up miles, even though I wasn’t too stressed about not getting in the five necessary to bring me to 18 on the day. As I was running back toward the start I circled back as I saw a woman wearing Skirt Sports and we chatted briefly. As she knew Darlene she was able to tell me where I could find her so that we could get this photo before heading toward the start.
During the Race:
My brother and Darlene told me about segments of the race, so I knew to expect the Watervliet Arsenal, and then the Hudson at about mile nine. Beyond that, I didn’t really know much and I kind of loved running into the unknown. I listened to one episode of Running Rogue before going to music to get me through the dead zones.
The first miles were through the park and onto the trail I’d warmed up on before we hit the streets of Cohoes and Watervliet. I have to say, my favorite thing about this race was the course marshals and water station volunteers. Everyone was so upbeat and when we’d thank them for being out there, they’d thank us for running. It was an awesome environment. Personal favorites: The Team in Training water station and inspiration, the water bottle table outside a fire station and an older person sitting at a small table with tissues, paper towel and vaseline. I wasn’t chafing, but the tissue came in handy for a runny nose.
As I mentioned last week, my tongue and electrolyte tablets are going through a break up. This made water stations easy. I took a cup at the first few water stations and as I felt myself getting dry due to the cool air, I took the offered water bottle at the fire station and then filled that from cups at subsequent water stations until I tossed it at about mile twelve.
After re-joining the bike path, we followed the Hudson for the next few miles. At about mile twelve and a half or so, we came into some amazing crowds.
I knew Mom & Bob planned to get there if they could get there, and Judy had texted me that she’d be somewhere near the finish. She ended up getting the second photo above and one more great photo of me on the run. It was so awesome to hear her and some of the Albany runners call my name. I wished I’d been able to linger longer and meet/see them. Cheer Squads are the best.
I was able to find mom & Bob easily (can’t miss 6’4) and we quickly headed back to the house for the rest of the birthday festivities.
I really enjoyed this race and would do it again if schedule stars aligned. Although it wasn’t as gorgeous as I’d hoped – late changing leaves all around – it was a pretty course along the bike paths.
I was glad for the chance to try my Lioness Capri on a longer run. It was OK up to 13, but I’ll be doing Lotta Breeze if it’s not Cascade weather in November. I thought I overdressed for this race based on the other runners, but I was comfortable even in the long sleeves until about mile eleven. I’m just not (yet?) an arm sleeve person.
Training has made me a bad racer:
When people asked me, I said this was my sixth half marathon. I didn’t realize until late afternoon on Monday that it was my seventh: Lebow x 2, Lauderdale x 2, Brooklyn, NYC.
I know my Half Marathon PR, but not the other times. I had no frame of reference for where this race fell, although I was only ever running it as a training run. My only goal was not to get hurt, and while I was sore today, it was manageable.
I picked the belt based on the one I used a few weeks ago that fit my phone & gels. This is not the belt that has bib toggles, so I was left pinning it to my Skirt. Must fix this before November 3.
I’m pretty sure I’ve never recapped a non race. But I have to say, even 36 hours later as I start this – twenty miles didn’t feel like just any other run. Linking up with Kim and Zenaida to talk about the milestones this race represented for Tuesday Topics.
While this run was far from perfect and I hit a wall (not The Wall), I’m really really pleased with it and part of me still can’t believe I ran twenty miles. Sorry not sorry to all of you who got caps locked on Strava or text. 😀
I’m in a Facebook physical activity challenge group and last week when I posted Thursday’s rain run, one of the other member asked whether I could/had run the 59th Street Bridge. I mentioned that I’d walked it a few years ago but had missed the long run when the group ran it. I hoped to have the opportunity to run it before the marathon – and then it landed on the route for this past Saturday.
OK, so there was a scenic detour in Brooklyn there. I wasn’t really too disappointed, I could use a break from running Central Park. Something I never thought I’d say, and I really do love the park – but sometimes it’s nice to see something different, even if it ended up as part of the NYC Half course.
This route was a lot of fun. While I know the 59th Street Bridge at mile 16 is going to feel very different to mile one, it was so nice to have the chance to run it, albeit in reverse. One major difference I’ve seen from training is that hills don’t necessarily feel like HILLS. I really want to be sure I keep this up post-race.
Running through Queens into Brooklyn, while not exactly the marathon course in reverse, was a great way to get familiar with the terrain. It was great to realize that the Pulaski isn’t a Bridge in the same sense that the Verrazano and 59th St. are and I learned some of the landmarks.
I also got a feel for finish time. McMillan told me that my time trial equated to a 5:45 marathon with a 13:08 pace. That was mostly meaningless to me until I ran a distance longer than a Half. My running time was 4:33:19 for a 13:27 pace. I was out longer because there were some stops to check the map when I was turned around in Brooklyn, some stretching time when I was trying to motivate myself to keep going, and some photos. Saturday’s weather was nice, but warm. I think with the cooler weather in November and more water along the course to avoid some longer water stops to fill and drink that I might come in around predicted which is crazy. I’m still not at all setting a time goal. I just want to finish and enjoy it.
My Garmin lasted. I thought it would, but I read stories of people saying theirs didn’t so I was glad to see that it was down to only 50 something %. Although I don’t plan to listen to my iPod through all of the race, it was nice to know that lasted too. Four podcast episodes:
Running Rogue Listener Questions – I don’t even remember. I think this was the last and I was zoned out by then.
Marathon Training Academy – the Marathon Fueling episode. This one was wonderful, the light bulb literally went on: more later.
MTA – Weight Loss Tips for marathoners. Not super relevant, but interesting to learn about MetPro system.
Running Rogue – Labor Day Smorgasbord – I really liked how he got into current events and the results of the Diamond League.
Run fueling has been An Issue and I’m even more than normal to Liz for her counsel on this part of running. The avocado for dinner before the long run has worked and I put out two breakfast bars to take with me – before and after run. And then I promptly forgot them. Luckily, CVS was open and I bought yet another box. I seriously have 2-3 started from this exact issue. That part of pre-race fuel is relatively fine, although I know it won’t work for ~10 a start. That part is still TBC. It’s the in-race that’s still a work in progress. When I listening to the fueling episode the lightbulb of frequency went off. The 8-10 mile strategy of a chew every mile and a half-ish is perfect. I’m just not sure I want to eat 13 margarita chews. The Science in Sport lemon-lime and apple gels worked, although I took the latter too late when I was trying to stave off a dehydration/heat headache. Sipping the Science in Sport lemonade slush is still good, and that’s the plan for the race start. Still TBC: how I’ll do Nuun/SiS tabs mid race. I think the plan is to carry a handheld and fill it from the aid stations, but not sure I actually want to carry a bottle so… TBC. This is why I love long runs. Fun planning. I’ve just decided I’m going to run the Mohawk Hudson Half so will hopefully get to trial this.
I figured out a way to carry my phone. OK, this sounds ridiculous, but it’s true. Part of my issue with the NYC Half was chafing because the weight of my phone was making my capris slide around. I hadn’t really figured this out as I so rarely run with my phone. But I knew I’d need it for Brooklyn, Queens turns so I made it fit in one of my belts with some gels there, some in the other pocket. I would happily run the marathon without my phone, but know I’ll need it for post-race meetups.
All in all a great practice run. I felt pretty decent after it thanks to my rule of not leaving the gym until I can touch my toes. I’m eager for the next set of 18/20 mile runs, but in the mean time I’m really glad for a down week.
What’s your proudest running achievement?
What did you struggle the most with in your longest run?
Amazon tells me I bought Scott & Jenny Jurek’s North on July 3, 2018, shortly after I finished Eat & Run. Oops, didn’t mean to wait this long to read it. Linking up with Kim and Zenaida for Tuesday Topics to discuss this book.
Let’s start with the ways I am not and will never be Scott Jurek:
champion ultra runner
willing to live out of a van for ~50 days
That said, I really enjoyed this book. Coming off a hike in the Anza Borrego section of PCT and needing a new challenge, Scott and his wife Jenny decided to go for a Fastest Known Time (FKT) on the Appalachian Trail. In the interim, this journey took on a lot more significance as he struggled with who he was at a time when he was no longer a competitive ultrarunner and he and his wife struggled to start a family.
The crux of the journey begins with their drive from Boulder, CO to Georgia in the van that would be their home for the next 45+ days as they chased the record. Factoring out a record as that is just not within my ability, I’m not sure which would be harder: hiking or living in a van for two months. They had occasional nights with real beds & showers, but ick. No. Can’t do it.
The photo above is the only segment of the AT that I’ve knowingly walked, although I’ve walked the Long Path near Harriman/Bear Mountain on a number of occasions and probably walked part of where the two intersect. On the Western Mass segment we lasted about twenty minutes and had approximately the same number of mosquito bites. While I love running, I am so not outdoorsy. I have no idea how Jurek dealt with a mystery rash, poison ivy, and smelling like apple cider vinegar as his muscles broke down despite eating 7-9K calories a day.
Both Jureks touched on the contrast between the AT, PCT and Continental Divide Trail being that so much of the US population lives within a day’s drive of a segment of the AT and as result, it has higher hiker (or hicker) volume and all the pluses and minuses that go with that. While they didn’t paint a rosy portrait and acknowledged the possible dangers to Jenny waiting for him or Scott hiking based on the trail’s grim history, they did realize that the access to vegan foods and other staples might not have happened in the past on the AT and/or now on another trail.
While Jenny was his main crew chief, the two of them were joined by other running friends on their 2000 mile journey from Springer Mountain to Katahdin. Horty and Speedgoat were the two who spent the most time, with El Coyote a close second. As Scott and Jenny alternated sections of the book, it was interesting to see both sides of the journey and their individual opinions of the friends who joined them. I smiled when Topher was mentioned as I always enjoyed his antics with Dean Karnazes. I also enjoyed the trail angels they met along the way: the ones who sought them out as well as those who greet all hikers throughout the season. I found it good that Jurek acknowledged others’ opinions on his quest, moving at an overall average of roughly 1.77 mph to set the record, when others took five – six months. For me personally, it was the running angle that made this book interesting – I’ve had no particular desire to read other peoples’ accounts of their trips on any of the hikes. For the same reason I’m intrigued by the Netflix special on Speedgoat’s quest.
I didn’t know going into this whether he was going to set the record, so I’m not going to spoil it for other readers. If you do know the outcome, I still think you’ll enjoy his physical and psychological journey from Georgia to Maine.
Did you read this book? If you posted, happy to link to it below
What are you reading now/planning to read this summer?
While I am a Skirt Sports ambassador, I had this post planned before the summer sale was announced. I guess that makes me a really good ambassador. LOL. Linking up with Zenaida and Kim to discuss my first ~ six months running in a skirt.
If you had asked me a year ago whether I’d ever run in a skirt, I probably would have said you were crazy. I don’t wear skirts as part of my regular wardrobe, dislike sports that make women wear skirts while men can wear shorts and didn’t understand the appeal of running in a skirt. To be honest, I didn’t even wear shorts in a race until almost a year ago.
And then I began to read more about them – especially that they had pockets. I ran for the first time with Darlene last August and I saw how comfortable she seemed to be in a skirt on a hot summer night and I began to give it some thought.
I don’t actually know when I ordered my first Skirt, but I quickly came to love that black and white lotta breeze capri.
and I even wore it for the Fort Lauderdale Half Marathon after taking it for a spin on a long training run. The twitter caption of dirt in a skirt is still so often true.
It took some trial and error on sizing and pocket weight. While I wore a different Lotta Breeze capris for the NYC Half, I dealt with some more sliding and chafing than I had in Fort Lauderdale. I realized it was the weight of the iPhone X in my pocket. Hasn’t happened since as I’ve learned to hold or otherwise deal with the phone in the rare moments I run with it
I quickly fell in love with the pockets and how comfortable they were and added another pattern Lotta Breeze and my first skirt to gym workout routines
As winter turned into spring, I began to appreciate an understated element of the skirts: keeping jumpies decent. Top one is a venture into the Lotta Breeze skirt and the bottom is my beloved Gym Girl, the model I quickly fell in love with.
As spring turned into summer I tried two more models: Cascade and Cool It. I LOVE Cascade, but jury is out on Cool It with only one wearing.
and I wrapped June wearing Skirt for something not even running related: pockets for the Pride March. This could also have been captioned the return of dirt in a skirt since city dirt plus sunscreen = dusty mess. But oh this was the perfect wardrobe choice
I am so glad I “discovered” Skirt. Would I have been fine continuing to run in leggings and shorts? Probably. Am I glad I’m not? Absolutely. One of the best and unexpected benefits is how they fit on short people like me — I’m 5’2. the Pocketopia capris are nearly full length tights – something that doesn’t exist at my height without some major folding back. And Lotta Breeze hit where capris should, they don’t turn into full length pants!
Do I have a favorite? That’s a tough call.
Gym Girl is comfortable and mostly do not move around. They’re my go-to for short runs or any gym cross training.
Cascade has become my BFF for longer runs as I love the fit and how well they stay put.
Lotta Breeze – my first love, which I haven’t touched since April due to weather. I look forward to wearing them and Pocketopia more in fall & winter when I’m outdoors.
I look forward to seeing what the fall lineup brings and how a change in my training pattern influences which skirt I grab. I still don’t wear skirts in my day to day life, so I’m not sure I see Skirt being part of my regular wardrobe. The ones that I tend to run in would be too short for daily wear for my professional world, but I can totally see them as a summer casual option similar to when I toss on a pair of shorts. If I’m running indoors and don’t need the pockets, I’ll still occasionally wear my old leggings. But outdoors I love the freedom of not needing to wear the race belt for metrocard, keys and gels.
Do you have any Skirt favorites I should try?
Any wardrobe changes that changed your running experiences?
Do your run clothes sometimes creep into your non running world?
For anyone who isn’t an ambassador, although I think everyone here has considered them, here is the sale info:
Save up to 60% off on Spring/Summer 2019 product, and don’t forget to check out the Skirt Outlet for screaming deals up to 80% off. Some exceptions may apply, no additional discounts, sale ends July 14th. Shop here with my code.
Oh pink! I was actually planning to wear a different top this year, but it didn’t work with the skirt and for some bizarre reason I cared about matching.
Linking up with Kim and Zenaida to recap the 2019 Women’s Mini 10K.
I knew a course PR wasn’t in the cards, but wanted to get a feeling for it. I briefly looked at last year’s recap on Friday to get a feeling for the race as all I remembered was it sucked. After the re-read, my race plan was as follows:
don’t be an idiot and go out too fast
drink more than you think you need
This is one of the few races where I don’t run to the start – it would have to be the last mile ish of the course and that’s a part I already know I don’t like. So I just trained to the start and “warmed up” with a walk up to Central Park South where I’d arranged to meet a new/old friend. When I know someone so long online, it’s hard for me to consider them a new friend. It’s similar too to what I love about Facebook. When you see someone after a long-ish while it lessens the need for the whole “so what have you been up to?” conversation. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to connect with Elizabeth but we planned to meet up after.
Part of why I love this race is the quirky route of running up Central Park West and then turning into the Park vs. being all within the Park. It totally makes sense though given how quick the lead runners are and how long it takes to clear the start in a race this size. It took about 15 minutes to cross the start and in that time I eyeballed my path through the starting mosh and was ready to go. Mile one went by quickly and before I knew it, I was turning into the Park at W. 90th. I was pleased with my pace at 11:xx and continued on with that through the northernmost of the Three Sisters and into the Harlem Hills.
Although I haven’t run the Harlem Hills in this direction, training clockwise has overall been good and I felt way less disoriented running in this direction than I have in years’ past. Harlem HIlls went by relatively quickly and like last year, even the hill behind Lasker Rink wasn’t as bad as I imagined. I took time to drink extra as it was more humid than I expected, and I think this was the difference maker.
While there weren’t as many Achilles runners on the course as typical (I personally think the NYC chapter skews male, at least those I see racing), I did chat briefly with Hannah Gavios who always amazes and inspires me. She’s a lovely reminder that for many of us, not going out for a run is a choice we make when others can’t.
I began to tire in mile five which wasn’t surprising given my lack of long runs lately, but I was remarkably consistent.
12:04.9 (two water walks)
last .3 at 10:12
Total: 1:11:31.5 for 6.2 or 11:22 per Garmin. 1:11:55/11:35 per NYRR.
It’s slower than last year, but it really feel like a course best because it felt so much better. I didn’t feel trashed and wasn’t dragging to the end. In fact, I was still up for Ham around the 8K mark
I ended up running with my iPod and water in my hand. The iPod because I was, for once, running with my phone to meet up with people and water bottle because I couldn’t find my belt after not running with it since the NYC Half. Not ideal, but it worked. It also let me curate the playlist somewhat when the song wasn’t right for the moment.
After meeting up with Elizabeth at the finish I even did part of the 305 Fitness class while waiting for the raffle drawing. That is unheard of for me for many reasons. I also took a few moments to do the Meet & Greet
I’m rarely feeling this good after a race
Would I run this again?
Yes, absolutely. There are some women who have run it upwards of 30 times. I don’t think I’d go that far, but I could see myself turning Crazylegs.
What would I change for the future/next year:
Honestly, nothing. Maybe cold instead of room temperature water but that’s so weather dependent. I feel like I had the perfect race “plan” and it came together perfectly.
it was a fiesta indeed! Joining Zenaida and Kim for Tuesday Topics to determine whether riding a unicorn leads to PRs
Earlier this year, NYRR announced their first race in New Jersey, likely in answer to NYC Runs taking over the Newport Half. I was on the fence about doing this race as it was slated for the same day as the Great Saunter, one of my favorite days. Eventually, common sense about not walking ~20+ miles (I’ve never finished) on a healing Achilles won out and I signed up for this Star Wars meets Cinco de Mayo race.
Bib pick up was still in NY at the RunCenter, if it wasn’t I probably wouldn’t have done the race. I am all about convenience. With a 5P start, getting to NJ wasn’t going to be too hard. I left plenty of time because I wasn’t exactly sure how the PATH was running, nor how to get from Newport or Hoboken PATHs to the start.
I hate having to check a bag, but you know what I hate more? Transportation without reading materials! So in my gear bag:
sneakers (more on that later)
two issues of Runner’s World
my Aftershokz case which also contains: iPod, Garmin and in this case, battery pack and cable for my phone/iPod.
I won’t lie, that was a little heavy and I wish NYRR had the backpack clear bags like 9/11 uses for their race. I arrived at a little after 3 and made my way to Newport Green Park via a scenic tour of Hoboken by 3:30. My first takeaway was that it was mighty muggy. Official race temperature per NYRR was 62 degrees, 84% humidity. Luckily there was a bit of a breeze.
Actually the last time I was in Hoboken the line was way longer because it was peak Cake Boss popularity.
While the women’s room doors are nowhere near as pretty, it was so nice to have an option that wasn’t a porta potty, although there were plenty of those.
There was, alas, not enough water for as warm as the day ended up being.
I wish I’d gotten a photo that showed how high off the ground this was. There’s a little here. Still, the history of the terminal is fascinating as the NYT detailed some years after Sandy.
The best thing about an afternoon race? You (OK, I) am awake enough to appreciate the pre-race festival. Usually with morning races it’s all I can do to stumble to the start. And heaven help the silly pep rally, turn and high five your neighbor stuff. Illegal before coffee!
I had arranged to meet a friend and after we checked our bags, we puttered around and he was the photographer for the unicorn antics. Actually, he dared me. That took no selling on his end as I regularly let the inner ham out. It’s actually my Facebook profile at the moment, because we all need a little silly. The original plan was to jog a warmup on the river, but with it being so warm & muggy, I opted not to.
The start line was about 10m walk from Newport Green and we meandered that way with about 30m to start only to realize the corrals weren’t quite open as the course was on a main drag. Oops. When they opened, it was a fairly quick process only to turn into a bit of hurry up and wait as they awaited clearance on the roadway. Downside of running on roads vs. in the parks. I am not the biggest fan of Bruce Springsteen, but something about Born to Run on the speakers in the corrals was awesome. I won’t lie though, I was even more jazzed when it turned into Miley Cyrus’ Party in the USA, which is one of my favorite running songs.
Within about ten minutes, we were off. The course (PDF) was an out and back “L” that was so flat my Garmin registered three feet of elevation total. I think that might have been a slight underestimate. The only particularly challenging part was crossing the old streetcar lines, which were covered but still not flat.
The last half mile was torture and if it hadn’t been a race, I’d have walked. I was overheating and having trouble finding the next gear, although Strava claims (and RunKeeper agrees) that I dropped below 10m for the last 1.2.My watch was having a moment with some of the tall buildings, so I’m not sure whether I believe that. I thought I saw the finish line and realized the clock was mile three (my watch was off by that point due to the turns) and that last tenth felt like a mile.
Did I go out too quick? I don’t think so. I just haven’t raced a 5K ever and well, I think I know what my 5K pace is — and it isn’t the one I run as a matter of course except occasionally with the office run group. Fueling for afternoon races is hard too. I like flat courses!
On the PR question:
According to NYRR, 32:49 for 10:34. According to my Garmin, 3.19 and 32:54/10:18. I know I hit it a smidgen early and holy crap, six turns I am the worst with tangents. Bizarrely, Runkeeper doesn’t even see it as a 5K to be in the top, but:
My actual 5K race times (i.e. not ones like 9/11 where it isn’t timed) are: 33:22 for the second frozen penguin and 40+ for the first and both Damon Runyons.
My 5K run PR was last July, 32:11/10:18 with a side of wonky GPS.
So it’s a race PR that tied my run PR? Considering my planned speed work went mostly out the window due to the Achilles, I’m calling this a personal BEST
The finish festival was in the same place as the start and they had beer and food trucks. I was too hot for either, but was oh so glad to have these Dr. Scholls’ sandals to change into. It wasn’t quite FitFlop weather, but these were perfect for my sore/overheated feet. Never had that for a short race, but they were a nice treat. I spent just a few minutes at the finish festival before heading back toward the PATH along the riverfront path.
I’d do this race again if it’s afternoon/evening. Hassle of getting to NJ, even though I now know my way to the start, is likely not worth it for an 8a start. This isn’t a NY/NJ rivalry thing, it’s the same reason I’m not doing the Queens 10K again. I’ll travel for a Half, not so much for shorter.
Although I wasn’t hungry enough to take part, I loved the finish festival food. PSA to those who normally just use Road ID, you need actual ID to claim your free beer at race’s end.
I’d love to run the riverfront pathway sometime. I need to look into it to see the start, end and how far it goes, but I think it would be a fun one to explore. I’d have to put the phone away or I’d be taking all the photos.
A fun day, and one I’d recommend to Manhattan/NJ folks. Is it worth coming over from Brooklyn, Queens? I’m not sure. Maybe if you drive.
Tuesday Topics with Kim and Zenaida: What are some new fitness gadgets you’d like to try?
While I can be a gadget person, I don’t think there are any on my list to try. Why? I’ve been on a bit of a gadget-ish binge of late:
the new to me iPod touch is amazing. It’s so easy to use and running with music again has been a real pleasure. I might even put email on it!
Compression socks/sleeves: OK maybe not a gadget, but a new-to-me-toy. I’m not sold on them for daily runs (namely because I only have one pair), but I feel like they help.
I really, really wish someone would invent defrosters for glasses. Transition lenses were one of my best running-adjacent purchases, but ugh glasses + rain are a pain in the ass.
Weekly Run Down, week of April 15 with Kim and Deborah even if I don’t actually squeeze this into the linkup. Inching into base building and off my training hiatus. Eek. Marathon beginning to feel real, but week felt strong. How do I know there’s more outdoor running? That & travel are when my Instagram really wakes up:
Monday: off. I think. This week was so crazy I don’t actually remember what I did Monday. I got step goal and didn’t get to the gym. I passed this wonderfully ridiculous fauxpiary while out and about.
Tuesday: gorgeous day that I got out early enough to check my stuff at the Run Center and do five Central Park miles after work. So rare on a weekday night and so magical. Peak cherry blossoms and while I did the bridle path to avoid the worst of the hills and pounding, legs felt good. Finding this kiosk branded NYRR was a nice surprise, I’ve never noticed this on the weekend.
Wednesday: office run group day shift due to schedule. Three miles felt harder on the calf and had some annoying foot numbness, but I pushed through and made sure to do all the PT exercises after at the gym.
Thursday: off. Book group and nowhere near step goal. I needed the day off.
Friday: no formal exercise but lots of steps through the park and in a museum before I headed upstate after some meetings.
Saturday: when you forget your gels, you fuel with a sugar cookie. Run was later in the day than I wanted due to a morning monsoon but still got in five miles running through my hometown. Nearly negative splits due to people I met & stopped to talk to in mile one.
Sunday: curious if the trail was open with all the Shared Use Path construction still ongoing so I headed out for a shorter shakeout. I went as far as where it’s totally washed out/I became a real runner last summer and turned back. Legs felt good as did body in 87% humidity.
Plan for the Week:
Monday: cross train. Legs are feeling good despite two days running in a row, but I’m not going to be stupid. Again.
Tuesday: unsure, crazy work day with before and after work events
Wednesday: run before work
Thursday: office run group
Saturday: TBD, based on where I am
Sunday: team captain for office group for the 9/11 Museum 5K run/walk. More community give back than a race and the course is narrow, but it’s always a wonderful day. Anyone else running?
Do you like to give back through running?
(Non race) shirts with words, yay or nay?
Are you a gadget person?