On training and racing in 2019 and 2020

By | July 14, 2019

Once I knew I had 9+1 taken care of in the event I want to do this crazy thing again, I decided to dial back on racing in 2019. I actually have nothing on the books besides a 18 mile training run in September and the marathon itself.

2020 is another story: I’ve opted for Fort Lauderdale over Lebow (a necessary choice since Fort Lauderdale had to move weeks to accommodate the Miami Marathon’s move due to the Super Bowl) in January registered for Bermuda in February. Fort Lauderdale was a weird choice: Lebow is my favorite and was my first, but Fort Lauderdale > NYC in January. Also, I think/hope that the earlier date for Fort Lauderdale will mean it’s a little cooler.

I will probably do Grete’s Great Gallop, the Albany Half and Ted Corbitt, I just haven’t gotten around to registering due to plans.

On training:

Another thing I realized I hadn’t really discussed was how me, Queen of Social Anxiety, was getting on with the run group. To be honest, the only way this was tenable was doing it with on the buddy system. A colleague and I decided to do it together and we both went to our first session (the group’s second) together so we were on even footing. It’s a fairly small group, with summer travel making it even smaller for about 10-15 runners on Wednesdays and less on Saturdays for the group* long run.

It’s a group* long run in name only for me. I knew I couldn’t maintain pace and run the distance so I made peace with it being solo on the Saturdays when the other slower runners aren’t there. Although I’ve enjoyed running with people recently, I still love my solo running for thinking and don’t mind going alone at all. I like the accountability to get up and go on a Saturday and the coach accessibility with any questions. I loved that one of the coaches emailed Sunday after the long run last week to see how I was doing and then we had a bit of an email chat.

The Wednesday runs are the most challenging. I have never done proper speed work other than random treadmill stints so this is where I’m seeing growth. I have the potential for speed even if I can’t maintain it. That’s kind of fun to see.

I can’t do the volume that this training prescribes (nor could I have done Hanson, like you all said), but I’m committed to trying to run four days a week and am OK if the reality is three days. I’m really going to like the Wednesday night workouts for some group work when days get shorter and the park gets darker.  I was also curious for this Wednesday’s time trials as the coaches said we’d then know our paces. And paces is a thing I only sort of know.

So far, I’m really glad I joined. I think I need the group for a first (only?) marathon training. I like someone telling me what to do and I like pushing myself within my limits. Is Rogue for more advanced athletes? I’m not sure. I know elites train with them in Texas, but the current group in NYC is mostly first time marathoners so maybe not.

I’m not doing a countdown to the marathon. I think it will give me too much anxiety. While I didn’t get it together to post for Tuesday Topics, I really enjoyed all of the advice on a strong cycle. So many little things that all add up to a big impact.

This week in nutrition

ginger lemonade Nuun

well that was an interesting color!

  • Monday: a (relatively) cool day and was theoretically a shorter run so I decided no gels, but I’d try Nuun. On first sip, I didn’t like it, but it grew on me, especially when I refilled the bottle which diluted what remained. In hind sight, this was probably better chilled and maybe I’d use half a tablet rather than the full one.  I’d like to say it was responsible for a run that felt really good, but that was probably because it was only 53% humidity.
  • Wednesday: Skratch lemon lime. Knew I couldn’t chew in a time trial so went with a drink mix. It was OK. I found myself craving salt after the workout though so maybe with as gross as it was, that would have been a better choice.

Strawberry lemonade Nuun

  • Saturday: one of the Rogue coaches is a Nuun ambassador and she had samples. I wasn’t sure about the strawberry lemonade as I’m not a big fake berry person, but it was good! Paired well with cherry blossom Honey Stinger chews.
  • Sunday: tried the ginger limeade Nuun cold. Still don’t love it, but it’s acceptable.

Weekly run down with Deborah and Kim:

feelin groovy

  • Monday: doctor’s appointment for some blood work. I had set an alarm for 5:30 to get in a run before the blood work, but as Sunday night insomnia hit and I didn’t fall asleep until 2, I punted on the run. Luckily the blood work was super quick and I was able to walk through the park to work. Since I started running I haven’t had the time to walk home that I used to and I’ve missed it so this was a nice surprise. I finished a meeting early and on the east side so I headed home to change and set out along the East River. I had no plan, just that I wanted flat-ish so I turned north and did that loop. I felt that I had more in me, so after walking up the stairs, I did the south loop too. I also walked up the ramp at 80th St. so as not to push the Achilles which is having a mostly fine but slightly tender moment. The run felt really good and relatively easy. It was a beautiful night to enjoy Mother Nature and appreciate what my body can do and is learning how to do. The above wasn’t meant to be a jumpie, just a ridiculous pose/achilles stretch on a water break.

wardrobe malfunction!

  • Tuesday: what happens when a work shirt is cut lower than a sports bra that chafed you? Oops! Gym stretch and row day.
  • Wednesday: A challenging day, which I expected. 13 years since Dad is gone. I was grateful for the distraction of the USWNT’s parade, which I watched from a vendor’s window. And then we had training when it was 85 degrees. The workout:
The workout: 2 Mile Time Trial
What? Runners will attempt to run 2 miles as fast as they can with the goal to keep their splits relatively even.  Start at about a pace you can hold for 5K and hopefully pick it up over the final mile.
Why? Doing a 2 mile time trial is one way to determine an athlete’s VO2Max. Basically, this is a fitness test to help determine where everyone is, and the results can help extrapolate the paces that an athlete should be using in training when we assign 5K, 10K, HMGP, and MGP paces as training zones.
  • the reality? One mile in 10:27 and two miles in 21:37. Given that it was 84 and 56% humidity, I was more than OK with that. They plugged it into McMillan and I got the following.


  • The Half Marathon is about what I ran in the Fort Lauderdale heat. My 5K time is better, but the one in this kind of heat was worse. My 5M PR (I think) is slightly faster as is my 10K. and the 10M I was mad about in September. So interesting to see this all laid out. Will be curious to see the effect that training has on the time trial later in this cycle.
  • Thursday: row, row, row your erg. It’s a good stretch and a break on the legs vs. the elliptical. Also, full set of PT.
  • Friday: off in the training schedule, but I wanted to get in a set of PT and strength training. Alas, renewing my passport took approximately forever and I ran out of time before a Governors Island event.

thank you, Intrepid, for the shade

no thank you, splash pad, for being closed

we weren’t running together, but we still found one another on the go

  • Saturday: long run day beginning at 7:30. So glad for the earlier start. With a race happening in the park,we opted for the river and because we’d run north on Wednesday, we decided to head south for a four mile out and back. It was hot, but there was a little breeze. Although it was busy, it wasn’t overcrowded and the run went quickly. Since it was an out and back I got to see some of the group when they’d turned around – we’re starting to recognize one another in the wild which is nice. Like Wednesday, I walked up the hill at the end, but overall felt good. I had a nap before meeting up with Elizabeth for lunch and a shirt swap. Luckily I was back on the east side before the power went out in midtown and on the Upper West Side.

why am I training in summer again?

I know it’s an ad. It still resonates with me

  • Sunday: up side of a flat long run is my knees, Achilles didn’t hurt and after much procrastinating I made it out for a run to the gym. It wasn’t as hot as I feared, although I took it easy.  I was literally dripping with sweat when I got to the gym though. Eww. Wrapped the workout with a long stretch, roll and strength workout at the gym. Overall, a solid week. If I can make the Sunday recovery run every other week or so, I’ll be happy with that.

Week’s mileage: 17.66
Overall mileage: 67.75

Plan for the Week:

  • Monday: off or gym stretch
  • Tuesday: run or cross
  • Wednesday: “2 X (3-2-1)/3′ = JOG REC” yeah, I have no idea what that means.
  • Thursday: cross or recovery
  • Friday: off
  • Saturday: 10 miles (!!)
  • Sunday: off/recovery

Holy crap this got long. I babble in writing as well, apparently!

35 thoughts on “On training and racing in 2019 and 2020

  1. Coco

    LOL on recognizing running group members “in the wild.” I bet having the group is motivating even if you don’t run ^with^ people. It’s nice knowing others are out there getting it done too. I love Nuun but know not everyone does. I haven’t tried the ginger lemonade though.

    1. cari Post author

      Yep, especially when it’s darker after work in fall.
      I probably won’t buy the ginger one again when this tube is done

  2. Deborah Brooks

    You know I am a huge fan of running groups! I think it’s great that you stepped out of your comfort zone to try running with a group. It took me a while to find my people but now that I have, it’s changed my life. Have a fantastic week and thanks for linking up

    1. cari Post author

      Finding your people is such a good sentiment. It took me a while book group wise too, but it was so worth the wait

  3. Kim at Running on the Fly

    I had to laugh at your comment about dripping with sweat…OMG, after my two races last night, I was SO wet. My shorts were sticking to my butt, and I kept leaving puddles everywhere I stood. I tried so hard to like Nuun, but I just didn’t care for the fizzy-ness of it. I did like the flavors, but I don’t like a lot of seltzer-like liquids, so I had to move on to other stuff for fuel/hydration.

    1. cari Post author

      Hah! One thing that I think would make Nuun better was if it were more fizzy. Gatorade Zero is about the only flat drink I can get into. Weird how our taste buds are.
      I was not only dripping onto my mat, but the area around it. I wiped down as best I could, but could have used a mop!

  4. kookyrunner

    I’m glad that you enjoyed the post for this week’s Tuesday Topics – I was actually hoping that it would help people and give them ideas on how to have a kick butt training cycle!

    I’m actually doing the Miami Half Marathon next year. Although it’s in February, I’m keeping fingers crossed that it’s not too hot or humid. It will interesting training up here in the winter for a race down there – hopefully it goes well!

    1. cari Post author

      Miami half is going to be the 10th right? I think you’ll be OK if it starts as early in the morning as FLL did (6). It’s never insurmountable humidity, just more than I’m comfortable with. If you can, fly in a day or two early to acclimate.
      ANd yes, that topic was super helpful

  5. Wendy

    Social anxiety? I feel you a bit there. I joined a running group but I don’t want to actually run with them. They plan group events, like the race I ran today, and I did that. I don’t mind participating in stuff like that.

    1. cari Post author

      Group events like a run, yes. Group things like happy hour, that I’d struggle with. Running gives us something else to do to avoid awkward conversations

  6. Darlene

    I’m not a NUUN but with this heat I need to give another chance.

    I avoided our local running groups for years and went to my guest this past week. There are nice runners of all speeds. Still clicky.

    You are doing great. I have a busy traveling fall. So I will not be getting my weekday runs in. I think I only have 5 on my plan for this weekend but I may do 8.

    I hope to Grete too.

    1. Darlene

      a lot of typos in this – hope it is understandable…hard to comment on my iphone.

    2. cari Post author

      No worries, I speak phone.
      I think cliquey is unfortunately endemic.
      I can’t see myself ever totally loving Nuun, it’s too sweet. But I need something. I might look into the Gatorade Zero/2 powder as that’s the only sweet drink I really like. Want to try Maruten but I haven’t been able to find it locally yet – aka I need to look harder than Jack Rabbit. My favorite Honey Stingers aren’t here either but luckily meeting up with my brother in VT and he”ll do an REI run for me

  7. Renee

    I’m glad you gave and are still giving the group training a chance. I do enjoy running with a group, especially when I know who’s running, but Runiversity doesn’t do any long runs together and I think that’s what I really miss the most. Intervals I can do on my own, a fartlek run is fine, hill training I’m probably better off with at least one other person (or I’m like “Eff this hill!” by the second repeat). I also loved my social running group but they’ve recently changed the rules and I’m no longer able to run with them, which makes me super sad. I’m too slow (for the groups) and I am not able to run 7.5KM in one go at the moment (although I think I could if I were running with a group!!). When my group was still “young” (it’s going on 6 years together now), many people would just organise a run meetup so there were a lot more opportunities to have a running partner. Things change though. This is part of the reason why I’m not feeling that great mentally with running. Long way to say – good for you, joining the group; keep it up, I bet those trainings will really help you in the end.

    I know I’ve missed a couple weeks, but are you trying the NUUN to test out for the marathon eventually?

    1. cari Post author

      You didn’t miss anything, this is the first time I’ve talked about the Nuun. I don’t know if I’ll use it for the marathon but I need something to get me through the heat of summer beyond plain water. In the past I used Propel, but that tastes gross when it gets warm so decided to try the tablets and the like so I could control the flavor level. I’m hoping by November I can drop to chews and plain water.

      Yep yep yep I feel you on too slow. I was really frustrated when the treadmill studio I ran with changed the “speed limit” for this cycle as I like the people and wanted to run with them. Can you no longer run with them even for short runs to meet up? That’s a bummer to lose a fun group. Since I didn’t really “know” you until this year when your foot was an issue, did you used to be faster before the injury? I was in a great running group two years ago but it went the way of many meetups. We’re still in touch but our schedules don’t really work for running. I just said it on twitter, but happy to be a long-form ear too


  8. Chocolaterunsjudy

    Well, I can be long winded with the best of them.

    I’m also a Nuun Ambassador. While I run I drink plain water, but before & after runs I drink Nuun. I like Strawberry Lemonade. Grape is my favorite. But it’s a personal thing. For me the big thing about it was that it mostly killed the horrible cramping I’d been going through for a few years — I tried several other things, but that’s what mostly works for me.

    I wish I’d joined a group when I started to run. After about a year I did join a summer training group, and ran with them for several years. Not sure they were quite as organized thought.

    Albany Half does usually sell out, although usually there are lots of people also transferring bibs eventually. It seems like it hasn’t been selling out as fast the last few years, though.

    1. cari Post author

      I need my brother to decide when he’s doing my nephew’s bday so I can plan Grete or the Albany Half. As soon as he does, I’ll sign up.
      I’ve heard the grape is super strong, so hoping to find a sample before I buy a tube. I could always cut it with more water, but want to be sure I like it. Grape is one of my favorite overall flavors. What I like about the Nuun is it isn’t too sticky so when I inevitably spill I’m not a mess.

      1. Chocolaterunsjudy

        Just today I saw someone selling a bib . . .

        Like I said, I don’t use Nuun on the run. I also don’t like sweet things on the run. But I enjoy it full strength afterward — then I enjoy sweet things again!

        I don’t think that I have really dislike any flavors so far, actually, but I do have my favs.

        1. cari Post author

          I think I like it for the salt on the run. I tried a salt tab at the NYC Tri expo but it tasted awful (strawberry bananas which can be hard in fake)

  9. Liz Dexter

    The group sounds good and not too intimidating, I’m glad they watch out for you. And fwiw, I can just about manage a 10:30 mile if I push it and my mara times are around 5:52, 5:55 so that looks about right.

    1. cari Post author

      Oh wow, that’s comforting. I figured it was off by an hour or more. I’m having some fun trying to run at the various paces, often unsuccessfully but it’s a learning experience

  10. Zenaida Arroyo

    I am a big fan of Nuun. I also like Generation UCAN Hydrate. Try it, you might like it. I “belong” to 2 running groups. I wrote it in quotation marks because I am in their Facebook group and am notified of upcoming events, but I rarely run with the group. I am a solo runner and like it. Nothing wrong with running with other people. 🙂

    So your Saturday long run is with a group? And you start at 7:30? Isn’t that kind of late, especially in the summer? I think here they start at 6 or 6:30.

    1. cari Post author

      Yeah, we’re trying to start earlier. Our meeting point is a store in a mall that isn’t accessible earlier but at least for weekends we’re hoping people can manage not to need to check a bag. Otherwise I’m going to get some early miles in running to start as it’s too hot to go that late. Unclear on the plan for Saturday when it’s meant to be 98
      I’ll look for UCAN. Not sure I’ve seen it yet, but I need to go to the bigger Jack Rabbit.
      I belong to two others as well, I’ve been to one of theirs

  11. Marcia

    Props to you for joining a running group. While I don’t consider myself socially anxious, I’ve always had a million excuses for not joining one around here. What McMillan says is the Bible. And you’re at the beginning of your training cycle. You’re going to get faster. Speedwork pays off.

    1. cari Post author

      Thanks! I also think/hope that I’d be faster when the weather isn’t hot garbage.

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