500 miles!

I would run five hundred miles and I would run five hundred more. Well, maybe not.

Sometime this week I hit 500 miles run on the year according to the Run the Year tracker. Manual miles never quite make it there, so I actually hit it last week but didn’t notice. Why didn’t I notice such a major milestone? I was focused on another: my first ever hundred mile month!

I finished August with 105.95 miles run. Two years ago I stopped chasing a 30 minute running time goal focusing on quality over quantity. This month I averaged 1:33:06 run time. That’s insane, and wonderful. In my 800 miles on the year tracker this is the first time I’ve been ahead of pace since January 1’s ten miles. Nutty. Awesome. I remain in awe of what my body can do when I ask and help it to.

so 19.4K steps/day is a down week?

Oh Fitbit, I love/hate you. Running has meant less chasing of garbage steps and being OK with missing step goal more than I would have been in the past. But the idea of this being a down week just makes me laugh. Tuesday wasn’t really a rest day, I just fell short of 12K steps on my walk to dinner – Sunday was a blissful beach day.

I ended August with nearly 600K steps. 596,413 to be precise. I actually realized that Friday and still decided in favor of preserving a much needed rest day. Wow. That’s 60K more than my previous high, last August. Run/walk total was 270.98. Even though my long walks home have been a casualty of marathon training, I’m still walking plenty, apparently.

On to this week’s running with the weekly Run Down with Deborah and Kim:

yep, we thought we were getting rained on again
caught stretching
  • never miss a Monday: ~4 sunset miles with Darlene. After almost always getting rained on for the last year, we’ve had some great sunsets. Monday was The Best. I also was trying out a new sports bra desperate for one that wouldn’t chew me up. So far so good on a short run.
a colorful tree!
  • Tuesday: cross turned yoga. I was really, really tight and I’ve been feeling the niggles. Not pain and not injury, just the aches and pains of a hundred mile month so I took advantage of a training down week to focus on the yoga, PT and prehab.
  • Wednesday: shocker, shocker, it rained the day of Group training. The planned workout:
The workout: 300m repeats
What? Runners will do 8-12 laps of the track with 300m at 5K pace and then 100m recovery jog and repeat. Half marathoners will do 8-10 laps, and marathoners will do 10-12 laps.
The recovery jog should be super, super easy, a pitter patter shuffle jog in order to be ready for the next 300.
Why? 300 meter repeats are a speed workout focused on 5K pace with very little recovery. We want runners to practice patience here and avoid running faster than 5K pace. This workout is sneaky and might look easy on paper. However, it becomes more challenging as the workout goes on due to the short recovery jog, especially if runners go out too fast or run faster than 5K pace. Our purpose is to feel a fast rhythm, stay in control of our speed, improving form and leg turnover. It’s a shorter workout due to the down week as usual. By the end, runners will feel that but should leave the workout feeling like they could do 1-2 more reps. If they don’t – they ran too fast or didn’t take the recoveries slow enough. Either way, please make sure the runners don’t force this one. Be conservative with it and let the speed come to them.
I learned to lap my garmin
and got a popsicle!
and then we decided to pose
  • the reality, pretty close. It was humid, and I’m consistently inconsistent but was proud of these efforts. I probably could have gone harder on a drier day. The host of Rogue Running was in town so we & Om Running toasted him with popsicles. Apparently dessert runs are a tradition for him. We had to improvise as the store has no cooler, but Whole Foods downstairs came to our rescue. And if they’re Whole Foods they’re healthy, right? 🙂 And no, I didn’t re-wear Monday’s shirt, I just bought two since they’re $5. I found out why, kind of see through but oh well.
  • Thursday: work field trip to New York Botanical Garden’s Roberto Burle Marx exhibit. It’s a stunning look at the flowers of his native Brazil mixed with elements of his landscape design. Lots of steps there, and then a trip to the gym for some strength training, PT and yoga. That felt good.
  • Friday: Fridays are prescribed off days in my training plan, but I usually end up with a solid walk by virtue of my commute. This week? Only reason I made even 2K steps was because I forced myself out the door to go get dinner. Was feeling a little under the weather and just tired. I saw my monthly step totals and knew what I’d need to get 600K and just punted. This was my first complete rest day in a long time and it was needed.
Lord Queen of the post-run coffee
  • Saturday: down week! Gorgeous weather and we decided to stay in Central Park. From Columbus Circle we went up and around through the Harlem Hills, across the 72nd and back up across the 102nd Transverse before heading back to Columbus Circle for ten-ish. We ran exactly together save for a dash to a trash can, but our trackers were .3 miles off. This felt good. The West Side rollers x 2 were a non-issue as we talked through them and even Cat Hill didn’t make me too stabby. I’m still concerned about the upcoming three loops of CP and my achilles, but worse comes to worse I walk the hills on the last lap. There was a conversation in the Skirt Sports Facebook group about what someone should wear for a distance run. I found myself saying Cascade, because it’s always Cascade for me. But then someone suggested Gym Girl, which I didn’t think I’d worn for more than eight, and since it was a down week I was willing to try it. In short order I remembered I did it for the last down week too. No chafing at all and the new sports bra also held up. I still am not sure I’d wear GGU for longer, but it’s good to know it’s an option. While I’m not team Summer, I’ll miss the long days. Saturdays feel crushed with trying to pack in a long run, charge my phone, yoga/foam rolling, sushi and a sunset read. One of those things is going to go next weekend when the run is eighteen miles. It won’t be the coffee.
  • Sunday: TBD. Maybe shakeout run

Week’s mileage: 19.03

Training cycle and money raised for JHF: 207.35

Plan for the Week:

  • Monday: run
  • Tuesday: off/gym/movies with Darlene
  • Wednesday: run group
  • Thursday: run/cross
  • Friday: off
  • Saturday: 18!
  • Sunday: spectate friends in Fifth Avenue Mile, street fair.

 

2019 Goals

 

Chess, running. What’s the difference?

As has become custom, I’m writing up my 2019 goals before I’ve hit my 2018 totals.

Prior Goals:

As I mentioned somewhere, I’m simplifying them. Last year was way too crazy and ultimately frustrating. So building on what I started:

Running

  • Mark two years running in some fun way: January 6
  • Run 800 miles.
  • Run the NYC Marathon
  • Don’t get injured
  • PR in the Half Marathon: 2:34:35 (Brooklyn)
  • PR in a 10K: 1:10:11 (Women’s Mini 2018)

Even though it’s six goals, definitely simplified. 2,3 and 4 are really related. 800 will be an increase of approximately 125-130 on 2018 depending on final numbers. That should represent the increased mileage in training for my first full marathon (eek!) hopefully without getting injured. I should finish 2018 ~ 200 miles more than 2017.

The plan element is why I’m not including 5K PR in this. I have only one in the hopper and it’s early Feb and I’ve done no speed work, so it’s not happening. The 10K will probably also be the Women’s Mini, as I rarely do a 10K workout and if I do, it’s avoiding hills so doesn’t count. Half may be Florida as I’m undertrained for Lebow and want to just enjoy my first NYC Half.

I’m doing Run the Year for the 3rd year, tracking only running mileage.

Walking

  • 5.75m steps on the year
  • Run/Walk 2,600 miles
  • Do the Great Saunter?

I’m doing #GoTheDist again in 2019. Here’s the link if you want to sign up as well. I realized that February 2019 will mark four years of Team Fitbit. What an amazing motivational tool as was the Jawbone before it. Prior to that I only tracked intentional mileage, I think. As of December 26, 2018 I’ve walked 21,319,116 steps according to my Fitbit. Whoa. Last one is a question mark only as I’m not sure whether schedule will have me in town on May 4.

Weight

  • 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.

Other

  • 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.

Do you set yearly goals? If so, do you have any goals for 2019?

Running Coaches’ Corner

I’m also linking up with Lora from Crazy Running Girl, Marc from Train With Marc and Debbie from Coach Debbie Runs for Coaches’ Corner!

 

 

 

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.

unofficial

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.

Friends!

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.

 

Running without music and Run to Lose, week of 9.9

My TomTom has been having sporadic GPS issues of late that seem to be getting worse. The battery isn’t lasting as long as it used to either. It owes me nothing, it’s a hand me down that I’ve had for a year and a half, and its previous owner had it about a year. It’s time to start looking for a replacement: happy for any suggestions you have. In the mean time, I’m going to try running without music. One of the features I loved the most about the TomTom was the onboard playlist since I don’t have any music on my phone, nor do I have the data for a streaming service. Alas, TomTom is leaving the GPS watch space so I’m hesitant to invest in a new one. The Garmin with music is just way too expensive for my budget and reviews of the others don’t seem great. Since I don’t relish carrying old iPod for music along with my phone, one step might be to learn to run without music at least outdoors which I can apply to races. Indoor treadmill runs are less of an issue as I can always figure out something there. These are my current thoughts:

  • Garmin: I’m looking heavily at these. They seem to be the gold standard in the running industry for a reason
  • Fitbit with GPS: meh. They’re too big. I don’t wear my running watch daily for this very reason and I like my Alta for steps so don’t particularly feel the need to upgrade
  • Apple Watch: meh. I’m wholly an Apple person, but the first thing I do with fitbit and running watch is to turn off the messaging notifications because they drive me nuts, so I feel the benefits of this are mostly not of interest to me. Even before I was running, the Apple Watch held no interest to me.

The benefit is the TomTom isn’t totally dead and its battery seems to be holding long enough for my fall races, so I should hopefully be able to take advantage of holiday sales.

I finally got Runner’s World’s Run to Lose and taking a lot from it when it comes to fueling for runs and in general. Some of it is nutritional common sense, some isn’t. It’s well written and accessible. I especially like the Kindle edition since I can click through to some of the studies cited. I think I’m finally ready to break this ~ 7 month plateau, especially ahead of the holidays. I also need to figure out my fueling strategy ahead of a humid half marathon in February since gels and necessary water made me queasy last year. I can do 9 miles without fuel and probably won’t use anything for the Bronx 10 Miler, but those extra three need something.

Run to lose, without music? #RunTheYear Click To Tweet

Weekly wrap with Holly and Wendy:

  • Sunday: I was less sore than I expected after Saturday’s long run. It was a cool, damp day and because of that, I didn’t tailgate. My steps suffered as a result, but I was OK with that because not tailgating meant better food choices. Sometimes it’s just impossible to avoid guacamole and the salt of tostitos. Weight Watchers had a tailgate and I was curious, but not enough to get more wet.
  • Monday: my right calf was sore. DOMS or just weirdness? Who knows. With the cool weather I’m back to sleeping in my bed so it’s not the futon related curling up. Oh bodies, you are so weird. I fully expected this to be an issue on the treadmill but it wasn’t because I could not get one! I was at the Times Square location of my gym earlier than normal because I wanted to get home for Monday Night Football, but apparently everyone else had the same idea. Odd too because the city otherwise seemed quite for Rosh Hashanah. So after a short row to warmup, I hit the LateralX for two miles/30M. I love it in a way I don’t care for the typical elliptical and feel it’s the closest to running in terms of getting my heart rate up.
Tribute in Light, 9/11 Memorial South Pool in foreground
  • Tuesday: September 11. I knew that a run today needed to be meaningful. Luckily, the weather held out as meaningful and treadmill don’t go hand in hand to me. For the past few years I’ve gone downtown to see the Tribute in Light and wondered whether it might work to run there from the office. After a short hop to the start of a construction detour that served as a warmup, I ran the rest of the way down to the Winter Garden from where I could cross over to the Memorial. The lights were beautiful in the fog. I contemplated running back to the office but had accidentally run without money and couldn’t refill my water, so hopped on the subway back. Sometimes there’s no right way to mark a day like this, but this felt right. Speaking of water refills, I wish the Lululemon vending machine had been open, although it’s unclear whether they have water to go with Nuun tabs.
  • Wednesday: super busy day, ton of steps between meetings. I was wavering on going to the gym, but decided to try. It was one of those rare exceptions to get going and you’ll be fine-I had nothing in the tank. Partially tired, partially food log related. So I turned it into a stretch and strengthen after bailing on the rower.
quack! Not on the run, later in the day between meetings
  • Thursday: note to self: if you’re going to run in the morning, watch what you eat at night. Pizza does not sit well even ~ 12 hours later. I knew though I couldn’t run after work due to an event so I went with short and sweet vs. not at all. Cool, humid morning. Nice start to the day. While I can’t get it together to be a solid morning runner, I love how it makes me feel the rest of the day, especially if I fuel well after and am not a hangry mess.
yeah that’s how i felt about running Friday night. Manhattan 7M shirt, can you tell I planned to run outdoors originally?
  • Friday: attempt at running without music? FAIL. That was more about bad food choices during the two days and feeling sluggish than the lack of music that stemmed from forgetting watch, headphones and headband. Even with the Yankee game I couldn’t stay on the treadmill or the elliptical bike so I had a very good stretch and plank session and called it a night.
I am grumpy, hear me roar. Actually more sneezy than grumpy. Failed workout, repeat shirt, less laundry. Winning.
well that’s a different kind of trail!

 

  • Saturday: wanted to run long and really didn’t want to run Central Park as I wanted the riverside breeze. Contemplated going to the west side but didn’t think I had enough time due to my cleaner coming at 5:30 (best. treat. ever). so I decided to check out Randalls Island, which I last explored back when I was doing the #GreatManhattanLoop. It was a run in two and a bit parts: potty break, and needed to find out where the FDR on ramp crossing was with all the construction and a run/walk around the lower part of Randall/Wards Island. It was about 80 and slightly humid but the real culprit was the freshly cut grass. My allergies were in full tilt and the grass didn’t help. Nor did no shade so I ran when I could, walked when I couldn’t and ended up cutting the loop short. There are some great paths to explore on RI maybe  in a couple of weeks. After walking up the bridge I tried to run again but I was feeling shaky so I opted to walk. Calling this a learning lesson, sneeze powered is a fun joke but not actually for runs. Besides food logs, I probably need to look more closely at allergy meds & runs’ timing.
Peanut Butter Warrior
  • Sunday: equal parts recovery / make up & get ahead mileage as this week’s schedule is brutal. Original plan was my typical NFL Sunday recovery, run down the river to the gym and stretch before heading home to be a couch slug. However I found out one of my/my nephew’s favorite vendors (Meece for Mayor!) would be at the Columbus Ave. street fair so I decided to head that way. I took the long way to the Fair and an odd for me route through Central Park to try to avoid both the chess tournament and the 18M race. I felt bad for those runners, this was not long run friendly weather. But I love knowing NYRR does this as if I decide to run NYC next year, organized long runs will be a godsend. The roads were just way too congested and as a side benefit, the paths had way more shade. After sorting out presents, I briefly wandered the rest of the street fair before heading home via the grocery store. And a smoothie stop. While that was 25% wanting to fuel early, it was mostly about having a sparkling clean kitchen and not wanting to mess it up via a smoothie. JustSalad’s Peanut Butter Warrior is one of my favorite commercial smoothies especially as it’s non dairy and I rarely carry Lactaid on the run.

And then I was a slug. That’s what football Sundays are for. I apologize for any heat waves in the NYC area, I took my AC out yesterday.

Bronx 10Mile Training Mileage (since July 31): 97.24 miles

Plan for the Week:

  • Monday: Cross Train or Stretch & Strengthen
  • Tuesday: Run
  • Wednesday: Off, plans before and after work
  • Thursday: return of the office run group, hopefully
  • Friday: run
  • Saturday: TBD
  • Sunday: Bronx Tune Up: I’m feeling ambivalent about the Bronx 10 after the past two Saturdays. Success is likely going to be very weather dependent

 

#GoTheDist, August 2018

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

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

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

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

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

GoTheDist:

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

August Totals:

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

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

Q3 To Date:

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

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

2018 YTD:

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

Wow.

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

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

Reading:

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

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.

2018 Goals

Like 2017, I’m setting goals for 2018 before 2017 is done. I’m a little nervous about December, but I’ve made my peace with falling slightly below goal as I will far exceed December 2016 and that’s what this is all about. More on December later.

Thanks to this little adventure of running, 2017’s goals have been blown out of the water. The only real changes I’m making for 2018 is doing away with the spreadsheet vs. non-spreadsheet goals and cutting back on the reading challenges. A goal isn’t better or worse if it’s a spreadsheet goal, and the reading challenges just weren’t doing it for me, hence why I basically stopped posting about them. So here we go:

  • 5,500,000 steps.
    • I’m going to finish 2017 somewhere around 5,100,000 and I think this is doable as a stretch goal. I’m probably not doing the Saunter, but I’ll run more so a wash? At minimum I want to repeat this year’s total.
  • 2,018 miles run/walked sooner than November 30 and with more running than walking.
    • Aim for 2,500 miles run/walked. I’ll finish somewhere between 2,200 and 2,300 this year and so that seems doable?
    • If I’m on a team again, aim for 2,017 prior to July 1 and 5,000 miles. We’re at ~3,700 this year but that’s mostly lack of syncing than anything else.
  • Run 780 miles
    • This will likely need some revision as I’m still in a place where I don’t know what I’m capable of. This number is based on a slight increase in my monthly mileage goal over twelve months. So we’ll see. I think I can do more but, more on that later.
    • Revised: changed this to 700 miles on March 24. It makes way more sense.
  • Repeat most of the races I did in 2017 to see progress, but also find some new ones.
    • Finish my January race. I’m worried because I’m undertrained, but I think it’s mostly mental. It will be a PR as it will be my first at that distance, and it will be a baseline. That said, if it feels like I’m going to injure myself, I’ll take the DNF.
  • Run a half marathon and a ten miler.
    • Maybe both of those will be destination races.
  • Train smarter. I spent too much of the summer with nagging injuries. I think I understand why they happened, and know I need to be better with core and stretching. To that end I asked Santa for and received a foam roller. It will help. I also need to do more strength training.
    • Stop obsessing about pace. I alluded to this when I wrote about learning but couldn’t really flesh it out. Like when I “quit” on C25K and let the 30m duration go, I think this will be better for my running. I cannot simultaneously run longer and worry about my speed. That said, I do want to regularly stay below 11m because I know I can at the distances I’m comfortable with (8-10K).
    • But I want to run a sub 30m 5K. If RunTheYear does the 4x5K challenge again in June, that might be the month.
    • ETA December 29: I didn’t think a sub 60m 10K was doable but this run and the progress I’ve made since March makes me realize it might be, so sub 60m 10K by December 31, 2018.
  • 36 months of 300K steps
    • no brainer since 400K has been my new target, but want to keep the streak going.
  • 12 months of 400K steps
    • This has the potential to be 22 months, but I’m not sure about December yet. May pull a rabbit out of a hat though
  • 2 months at 500K. I had one this year, think I can find another.
    • ETA 12/31: total was 54 in 2017. I’m going with 50, and the goal is 12K. Accepting December will be bad, January should be better.Fewer days below goal than 2017 (actual number TBC). Thinking of raising goal to 12K after a year at 11K since average is 13.5K+ even without the Saunter. ETA 2: dropped this in early January 2018. Details.
  • 90 books read. Likely won’t get there this year but I want to try for it again. No other pages, etc. although I like the backlist one, so may find a 2018 challenge for that.

It’s a lot, but goals are good and motivating.

More on this when I wrap 2017.

Here’s to 2018

November 2017: Go Big or Go Home

November, you were brilliant. Last November my step total was 320,610. 2017?

  • 468,583 steps
  • 206.13 miles run/walked

Most mileage since August and one of only three (April) to cross 200. April was 465,416 steps and August was the inSANE 503K. Month didn’t even feel that heavy.

What am I most impressed with besides completing #RunTheYear? My running totals

  • 68.65 miles run
  • 48:45 average run duration
  • 11:23 pace

I am blown away with those, and it certainly explains the step totals.

There’s a reason, of course. But it’s still awesome to see that I’m doing it. My prior month’s best was March’s 45.63 as I stepped down a lot of summer due to injury.

I’m at 419.52 miles run on the year, and while 500 miles isn’t likely I’m so insanely proud of what I’ve accomplished.

This is the first time I’ve hit the 30m goal since June and the best thing is, they haven’t been garbage miles for the sake of 30m. There was only one day with mileage below three and that was just because I ran out of time.

December should be good again because I’m continuing my training and oh I have this next weekend 😮 Currently battling a cold though so might have a lighter start to the month.

It’s weird to have no remaining cumulative goals because I’ve never completed #GoTheDist in November. But here are month goals

  • 400,000 steps, I expect this to be a challenge due to the holidays (was at 306, 676 last year), but a doable one.  This will mark 24 months of 300K+ and nine of 400K+
  • 65 miles run/40m duration/11:15 speed. I didn’t hit speed goal for November and not sure I will for December but it’s a goal I’m working toward especially with the longer long runs

Baby steps

#GoTheDist: October 2017

Where did 2017 go? Wasn’t I just setting goals?

October

  • 445,034 steps
  • 191.77 miles run/walked
  • 36.54 miles run (27:37 average run time, 11:17 average pace)

Year to Date

  • 4,220,892 steps
  • 1820.25 miles run/walked
  • 350.87 miles run

I feel like all of those need and warrant exclamation points. 2,017 miles is definitely going to happen and I’m almost positive 5 million steps will as well. Those numbers are just mind boggling. At the end of September I’d topped 2015’s totals. Now, 2016’s totals are in the rear view.

Yeah, I don’t mind that 500 miles biking turned into 350 miles (and counting) running. I’m in awe that I had only one day without step goal and I was/am absolutely OK with that

November goals are going to remain almost exactly the same

  • 400,000 steps
  • 166 miles run/walked
  • 50 miles run (still working toward 11m average pace and that 30m goal. With some longer runs the latter is doable and maybe 50)
  • 4 days below goal (family birthdays, holidays)

Days below goal:

2016 to date: 61 (lazy, travel!)

2017 to date: 43

I’m already thinking about 2018. #GoTheDist wasn’t meant to be a steps tracker, but I made it one when Fitbit’s mileage tracking confounded me. I’m giving serious thought to using it to track running mileage next year. More on that closer to year end as I’m still thinking about what that step goal does with respect to rest days. I’m really shocked at how many of my spreadsheet and non spreadsheet goals I’ve hit.

71 books read, only four behind. I might not hit my goal, but no shame in the total of books I’ve read so I’m OK with this.

 

Food logs can talk

I wanted to run yesterday but as I was at the office until nearly 9 PM, that didn’t happen. Walking home also didn’t happen so my fitbit goal streak ended at 41 days (longest, I think). I was OK with that. Truly. I needed a day off after barely scraping by to goal a few times the last week. I’m at nearly 17K steps today so calling that a rebound.

So I was happy today to duck out in time to hit Central Park before dark fell. It was warmer than this morning so I was able to go out in capris and a tee shirt and I headed to my usual starting point in the southwest corner of Central Park. I had a thought of doing last week’s loop or possible cutting over through the south end of the bridle path to make it a longer loop, but as I ran north east up along the Mall my legs just felt dead. My lower calves/ankles were sore – and not just the one I turned two weeks ago. I went past the 72nd street transverse and my slightly longer loop turn, but as I approached Cat Hill I thought it was probably not smart to do that and turned southwest leading to this.

Pointy Loop!
Consistency!

Not bad.

But I wondered why I just fell flat. As I described it on Strava (ignore the b0rked time, it & TomTom don’t play well together):

Everything clicked, unclicked, clicked and fell apart.

I wondered later if the answer might have been in what I are and then wondered

Bet my food log tells me why.

I’ve logged my food pretty much consistently for the last six and a half years. First it was on Weight Watchers, then Spark, LoseIt and finally MyFitnessPal for the last ~three years. I’ve found that with all the reinventions of Weight Watchers, basic calories is just easier for me and MFP’s interface is nicest. I’m not always 100% in my logging but I’m consistent enough that i can turn to it when I have a question. So I went there.

Thursday October 12
Wednesday, October 18

Yep!

I’m not particularly carb sensitive, nor do I particularly try to avoid or cut back on them but I realized pretty early on today that I was too high on the caffeine. And lunch was almost entirely carbs save for a splash of olive oil. Oops. Last Thursday? Tuna sandwich, aka protein. So much like March and June, lesson learned for after work runs. Oddly,this isn’t an issue when I run on an empty stomach on the weekends.

Conclusion? Bodies are weird.