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.

#GoTheDist July 2018

Where on earth did July go?

A theme for the month was quality over quantity. Although I fell off pace on run mileage due to plantar fascitis flare and my first running fall, I had some really good workouts. I made it to the gym thirteen times I listened to my body and easing up on running was not an excuse not to work out, except when I truly needed rest days. I swear, giving up on the daily step goal was truly a relief from over stressing about it. I’ve always operated better with monthly goals anyway. Speaking of monthly, I love how Strava displays monthly stats. Awesome graphic.

I am insanely happy how the speed training went, even if it didn’t go fully as planned. I picked up ten seconds a mile and year on year is just mind-blowing. I am most definitely going to incorporate speed work into fall training. More on that below.

I find berry too sweet, but it’s certainly more visually appealing than chocolate, peanut butter banana!

I also did mostly well with my eating. While I don’t deal well with the weight loss social media cliché pizza doesn’t taste as good as skinny feels (Yes. Yes it does, sometimes better), pizza plus the puffiness at that time of the month does not taste as good. So that’s my interim goal: no pizza that week. I was up 3 “pounds” Tuesday. I’m a daily weigher so I’m used to those swings, but it’s a good reminder that some choices aren’t good ones.

On the plus side from last week, I heard back re: the Sarah Marie Design Studio shirt and I’ll be able to exchange it for size. Yay, because I really loved it

Manhattan 7 Mile Run

Race day prep!

I was 100% not feeling this race. The distance, the weather forecast, all the hills. To be honest, until I actually started I wasn’t sure I was going to. I could not get out of my head this week. Optimistically, I got ready last night. Knowing it was going to be in the 80s with about the same humidity, I froze a Propel and got my semi-traditional long race meal of avocado toast. This was from Just Salad and not LPQ, hence the fried onion and buffalo sauce. This was less about traditional meal and more about what it wasn’t too hot to eat.

I was late getting to bed, and around 12:45 I had a realization that my half-hearted flat Cari didn’t have a sports bra and I wasn’t sure one was clean/dry. I’m not sure what time I finally fell asleep. The alarm went off at 6:30 and while I waited through the snooze window, I questioned whether I really wanted to do this. I finally got up and going  and headed out the door around 7:15.

The humidity hit me as soon as I walked out the door- 72 and 83% humidity did not make for a good run to the start. If I couldn’t do ~1.25 miles easily, how was I going to do 7? My only plan for the day was to listen to my body and I was OK with the fact that that might not mean finishing, smiling or otherwise. The only goal I was even sort of kicking around was to beat the first time I tackled all of Central Park’s hills: 1:32:45 which I’d rounded down to 1:30.

a finish line I didn’t think I’d see at the end
at least the Park looked pretty!

As I made my way from the 72nd Street Transverse to the start I really listened to the emcee who was cautioning that it was hot and humid and they’d raised the race alert to Moderate. That was reassuring, it wasn’t just going to be me struggling out there. They reinforced that we should listen to our bodies and walk when needed. That reinforced my race strategy: walk the water stations and the hills if needed. In addition to the frozen Propel, I had a bottle of water which I’d finished before even starting the race. That was … different.

This was a rolling start and we were off quickly, I think I crossed the start around 8:05. Mile one felt good, although I had a feeling I’d gone out too fast. Mile 2? Water station and Cat Hill, although I was able to run it. I was actually feeling pretty good until the 5K marker, when I decided to walk the Harlem Hill. I actually tried to start running sooner but legs wouldn’t go and I ended up walking almost .4 mile. I was far from the only one. I actually ended up with a run/walk for most of the second half, running when I could and walking when I couldn’t. For the first time in a long time-probably since the last awfully hot race-I was drinking from my now thawed Propel between water stations. At mile six I decided I wanted to try and run the whole of the last mile, but I just couldn’t. My legs were sore from the hills/heat and so I walked until the final .25 mile or so. I was so glad to see Barbara-one of the regular finish line volunteers, Peter Ciaccia’s forever smiling face, and a frozen towel! Maybe not in that order 😀

It was a PR because I haven’t done 7 miles, but it wasn’t pretty. I did squeak in under 1:30:00 (NYRR official, 1:28:36) and I’m actually proud of the race. I didn’t let the heat beat me, and I listened to my body.

finish festival shenanigans

If I was able to smile and horse around at the finish line festival, did I have a little more in me to push harder? Probably, but today wasn’t going to be a “race” even if it was in fact a race. I know I don’t do well in heat, and wanted to be smart. I look at the splits and see what happened as it was, I think if I’d pressed I’d likely have DNFed.

I was in awe of people choosing to be out there who didn’t have the “I paid for this so” element. Some do better in heat, but still. If a run today were part of my training cycle, I’d probably have done it indoors. When I was thinking about this race this week I wondered what possessed me to sign up for an August run, and then I realized it was probably before I realized that I hate the 10K distance and definitely when the plan for summer was to stay in Half Marathon shape. Oops. That said, my fitness wasn’t the issue, it was the heat and humidity. At race’s end it was 83 and “only” 64% humidity. Gross.

This was my last race for summer and I’m oh so glad. I am over the summer heat. It’s part of why I’m leaning yes on the marathon question because as I mentioned to Darlene in the comments, there’s no guarantee my schedule would let me get 9+1 again in next year for 2020.  I’m not sure I even want to race in July and August, and while I know summer marathon training won’t be easy, I think the NYRR group runs are a different feel to races, and I could time shift/move indoors/run in shade if the heat is really bad.

For now, I’m hydrating and hibernating in AC until I take myself for a pre-vacation pedi.

Weekly Wrap

Linking up with Wendy and Holly as per usual:

  • Sunday, 5K PR! Rewarded for fighting past my inner sloth
  • Monday: my knee was pretty sore from Sunday’s effort, most likely the hill so I dubbed it a cross train day. When I got to the gym the three rowers were in use so I did 16m/one mile on the LateralX which felt really good. Amazing how this doesn’t bother my knee the way the standard elliptical does. Followed that up with a 5K row. I was so happy to be able to grip the rower again because I really do love this.
  • Tuesday: Treadmill PR! As I mentioned Monday, I wanted to do a treadmill 5K to officially close out July’s speedwork since the base run was a treadmill one.  I went to the gym without an exact plan, but 5.8 felt right. The first .05 was harder than I expected since this particular sports bra isn’t ideal for period related tenderness, but I pushed through. At 2.88 I went up to 6.0 and when I realized that wasn’t going to get me the PR, I went to 6.2 for the last .13. I don’t think that’s cheating-it’s like a closing kick for a race. I think I could have done 6.2 for the whole close. Strava called it 32:09 and therefore not a PR due to the way it credited me for Sunday’s pauses. Runkeeper called it 32:10, making it officially one second faster than Sunday. That of course doesn’t tell the full story, Sunday’s was a more difficult run with the ramps. But this made me happy because it told me that Sunday wasn’t just a PR due to watch blips-I really can run that speed. To me being able to repeat it is even more of an achievement than hitting the PR. I’m not going to pretend this run was cupcakes and roses, I was staring at the treadmill display as it creeped forward. I really need to set up my Kindle Fire as a distraction. I smiled when Dancing Through Life from Wicked came on, I do love dancing my 5Ks.
  • Wednesday: off. My knee needed a break even though it felt good, braced, on Tuesday. Trying hard not to push it, although hard not to start the month off strong. Lots of errands and walking home meant at least it was a 15K step day
  • Thursday: office run group. Was only two of us this week due to summer travel schedules. I was frustrated that I was struggling to keep up until I heard my colleague’s Apple watch chime mile one at 10:14. At 85 and 65% humidity it was way too hot for that pace. We slowed up a little on mile two when my watch finally woke up. I don’t know what it is with that entrance to Central Park and it not finding a signal. Our unofficial “coach” is an experienced marathoner so I really appreciated his tips, especially for tackling Cat Hill as Sunday’s race has Cat Hill, the Harlem Hills and the West Side Rollers.
  • Friday: it was all up in the air due to weather. After stopping by the NYRR Club Fair to visit the Mile High Run Club folks and finally get my 13.1 sticker(!), I ultimately ended up at the gym for a mile on the LateralX. Wanted to go longer but knee was starting to winge and didn’t want to push it. Had a good stretch after and some straight arm planks since forearm still off the table due to lingering bruise at the elbow. It’s crazy to think that this was almost a year ago: definite game changer in terms of shoes/injury, and taught me what I didn’t want in a club. I wasn’t even going to Mile High Run Club classes yet then, and a year later I’m running with them in NYRR club races 😮
  • Saturday: utter and complete rest day. Needed some me time after two busy weekends and with a family vacation on the books for the week. Picked up laundry, packed, straightened apartment, and relaxed. If not for needing to pick up my laundry, I’m not sure I’d have left the apartment. Once I did, I went to the Met to finally see the amazing Costume Institute show, Heavenly Bodies. Absolutely stunning. Even if I pay for this in monthly step totals, I don’t care. Sanity > steps.
  • Sunday: Manhattan 7 Miler.

GoTheDist Challenge:

GoTheDist July

  • Steps: 479, 901
  • Miles Run: 45.6
  • Miles Run/Walked: 207.38

GoTheDist 2018 YTD

  • Steps: 3,305,083
  • Miles Run: 389.92
  • Miles Run/Walked: 1444.13

I’m really happy with this. Yes, slightly off pace but a good month given I was walking wounded. August 2017 was my first 500K step month and I highly doubt August 2018 will be the 3rd. Hoping to come in between 450-475K despite vacation. One of which should have a ton of sightseeing steps and the other will hopefully have some good runs.

August Goals:

  • More of what I mentioned in the intro, keep up the good habits that are evolving. Primarily listen to my body.
  • I didn’t train specifically for the Cherry Blossom 10 miler, but rather used it as a long run because it was in the middle of my Brooklyn Half training. Oh and I knew I’d be taking 900,000 photos.  I started Runkeeper’s 10m training plan and plan to truly train for the Bronx and then maintain that for December’s 15K. I don’t have a goal yet as I want to see how the training goes, but I want it to be a strong race. 1:57:12 is my PR from my one and only ten mile run. Besides incorporating speed work as I mentioned above, this burst of speed work has taught me that while I still don’t have a 10K pace, I have a 5K pace and a half marathon pace so maybe that will help with workout quality.
  • Figure out my hills strategy! It’s ten months later and the intro to this post still holds true. Part of what I was dreading about the 7 Mile run even before the forecast turned August was that it had all of the Central Park Hills. In hindsight, that was obvious: there’s no other way to get 7 miles in the Park, but it hit me like a load of bricks. I want to do either Lebow again or the SHAPE Women’s Half, and probably the Mini again, so I need to face these hills. Back to Mile High Run Club?
  • Even though the gym visits won’t “count” as the new reimbursement window doesn’t start until September 1, keep up the solid attendance. This will be a mix of here & hotel gyms as I’m traveling. The $200 reimbursement is already earmarked to repay my savings from an amazing day trip while in London.

No precise run plans for this week due to vacation but hoping to get in some good runs especially if it’s cooler.

Training, week of 4.16

This was a weird week.

Monday I went to the gym figuring I might have something in my legs despite going two days in a row since Saturday’s run was way below where it should have been. Nope. Couldn’t even get .05 miles so I took a cross train day and did a mile on the elliptical and 2K row. Not ideal, but it worked. I was subsequently off from the gym on Tuesday and Wednesday due to evening commitments. Tuesday was completely off at sub 8K steps as it was too cold to walk home. I am so over winter.

Thursday I was antsy and curious how my legs would respond after Monday. They felt fresh and good. I briefly went PR chasing, but ended up having fun with numbers, despite Strava recording issues.  I went at 5.6 until 2.63 where I went to 5.7 before my habitual 6.2 flying sprint to close out. I don’t think I’m quite at 5.7 for length, but I’m getting there. I really need to get back to Mile High Run Club and speed sessions. The knee is fine, I’m just afraid of it not being fine ahead of Brooklyn.

Sakura on Pilgrim Hill. One of my favorite crosscultural spots

 

Strava must have been mad at me for yelling at it, because Saturday was a complete tech fail despite the beautiful weather. The plan called for ~9-10 and the run started well, but I was struggling on the West Side Rollers between miles one and two. I just felt gassed. I already knew as I came around the bottom of the Park that 9 wasn’t happening and I think Cat Hill was worse because I had already decided it was going to be. My left achilles was twinging and I felt itchy, although I didn’t know why at first.  (Anyone want a handful of mint chocolate Gu? It clearly doesn’t like me. The first time I thought I was having a heat reaction, but twice? Nope, something in it & I don’t get along. So I dipped out of the park at ~5 and got to six miles by headed home. It wasn’t the run I wanted, but it felt decent. I got home and no matter what, the run wouldn’t sync. Some googling tells me this is an occasional thing with the TomTom wherein it clears off the watch because the watch thinks it’s transferred, but never makes it to the app. Oh well. No splits, but at least I had the overall.

Cherry Blossoms on the Hudson

The plan for today was to make up yesterday’s missing miles. I didn’t have an exact plan, but knew I ultimately needed to get to Pier 97 so I decided to take the M79 across and run north for a mile to make it a ~three mile run. I got this wonderful sight at about the turnaround. So many shades of pink and white like the first time I did the Great Saunter. It’s just nature’s canvas. Other than Frozen Penguin, I never really run Riverside, so this was a nice treat.

lickity split!

Although it was busy, it wasn’t crowded so I wasn’t playing too big a game of dodg’em and my legs had some speed in them. After mile two, I thought I might be chasing a PR.  I missed it by 30 seconds, but was still wowed by this run especially coming off six yesterday. And those splits! Almost my first fully negative splits. I don’t think breaking 30 is going to happen in June like I hoped,  but I’m going to break 32m if it kills me. 32:15 is my PR and I think I’m getting there. What surprised me the most about this run was it was about the 5.6 I ran Thursday but without a treadmill forcing it. It just felt right.

one eyed, one horned, flying purple people-eater!

How to keep people from running too close? Look like this. The reason I needed to get to Pier 97 was for Holi, put on by a group we’re working with. I’d never been before, but really enjoyed it. From there I caught the bus to the southwest corner of Central Park and decided to run home as it was getting slightly chilly. Although I didn’t have much phone battery left, I wanted to get some cherry blossoms so I headed off in the general direction of Cherry Hill.

Central Park was packed and this was very much a game of dodg’em, so I knew this woudn’t be for time. At Conservatory Water, I took a break and went up Pilgrim Hill for some of my favorite blossoms. So magically sun-kissed.As my phone died there, I nipped home to try and lose some of the purple. Ended up with six miles, when I only meant three catch up. Although yesterday wasn’t the long run it was meant to be, I got more miles in, since if I’d done 9 I wouldn’t have run today, so win? It’s a good thing I didn’t much like that shirt anyway, it’s never coming clean.

Overall, mixed bag but I’m happy with these two long-ish run days to close out the week. Definitely happy with two back to back at distance even if Sunday’s miles were in three parts. I’m not 100% sure I’m ready for Brooklyn especially with travel ahead of it, but I feel good. Plan for next Saturday is Mile High’s outdoor long run, so we’ll see.  Tomorrow is definitely an off day and as soon as I hit post, I’m having some QT with my foam roller as my quads are cranky. ETA Monday morning: not too sore, other than knees going downstairs. Foam magic

Linking up with Wendy at her invitation and HoHo, whose blog looks amazing. And for the readers, Wendy posted her review of Deena Kastor’s book. That was supposed to happen this week for me, but Running the Smoke cut the queue in honor of today’s London marathon, so I’m behind.

Runners High meets #NYRRGridiron

Can you have a 48 hour runners’ high? That seems to be where this is going. This is also super long so TL;DR: I “raced” my first race today, and it was AH-MA-ZING!

Rewinding…

This was a(nother) weird week.

After Saturdays runs, I walked and went to the gym to use the bike on Sunday but then I took Monday and Tuesday off. I’d planned to go to the gym on Tuesday but I was at work way too late and wasn’t feeling it. I knew it wouldn’t be a good workout, so I went home.

I got to visit my graffiti!

Wednesday brought my tradition, of sorts. Ryan’s High45 at Mile High Run Club. We celebrated my finishing the Half and he asked my plan for the class. My knee was still a little tender so I wore my brace and said I’d take it on the easy side. He said he wouldn’t call it a “come back” if I wouldn’t.  I walked some of the active recovery windows and definitely slow jogged the others, but I took some of the flying sprints at 7.0 and that felt good. I iced it when I got home, but otherwise my knee felt good. I was so glad I got to see my piece of art, as by time class had ended she’s cleaned the wall of the 2018 Resolutions. I look forward to what Team MHRC runs and membership will bring as I really like the folks at NoMAD on Wednesday nights and Sunday mornings.

I had after work plans on Thursday, so missed the gym but knew I’d go Friday. I was feeling good about the workout. Even though I’d needed to walk some of the active recovery windows on Wednesday I felt that my level 2, aka my usual pace, could move up so when I got to Blink, I hopped on the treadmill at 5.6 and off I went. At some point I looked at Runkeeper and saw what a 5K PR would be. So at minute 31 I cranked it up to 7.0, and subsequently realized that the problem wasn’t with running so much as math. Although I didn’t PR, it felt really good.

Running time machine. Feb 2, 2018 v. Feb 4, 2017

As I stretched after running, I had a scroll back through my Runkeeper to find out what the hell that PR was (this craziness with NYRR, so this is definitely a treadmill PR and longer distance) and because I thought early February was when I’d first run a full three miles. Indeed.

Other than chasing treadmill PRs, I really hadn’t had the chance to see running growth due to the frigid weather and running longer/new distances. I didn’t really have an exact plan for the Gridiron 4M because I was waiting to see how I was feeling after the Half, but now one was formulating. When I ran the 5M in late October I nearly got a mile “free” and I decided that was my goal for today. I wanted to either beat the run from the previous Feb 4, or my time  for the Boomer Esiason four miler, my only prior 4M with NYRR.

I took Saturday “off” and just did some errands. I was worn after a lot of late nights this week and needed some me time. I commented in one of the Run the Year sub Facebook groups that I was I was “surprisingly” more nervous about the four miler than I had been about the Half. I finally put it together when laying out flat me. It’s the first race where I  set a time goal (well 2).

I do a lot of reading about running, books and blogs and the use of the word “racing” always gave me pause. I didn’t really understand the difference between running a race and racing a race for non-elite athletes. I think I got it. And a stomach full of butterflies. I guess I was “racing” the Gridiron. I was nervous though, I’d only kept up that pace on a treadmill and I wasn’t sure I could do it in “the wild”

Flat Cari!

Speaking of Flat Cari, the “level up” to K before the Half was not a mistake, and shockingly I didn’t lose it after my pace during the Half. When I went to pick up my shirt and number for today I asked about that and the NYRR staff said it’s based on best pace in last window, converted to a 10K, not average pace. So I may hang onto it for the year. Some of yesterday’s errands include the NYG tee, pictured. Yes, I was violating “nothing new on race day”, but since it was atop two well worn layers I didn’t anticipate an issue (and it was fine).

And yes, I finally figured out how to attach the bib to the belt so I didn’t have to do shorts on leggings thing. Rest of flat Cari: black TekGear with thumbholes, good because I forgot my gloves, Ted Corbitt race shirt, which I love (don’t like today’s at all, it’s white). August shoes which are about out of mileage 😮 and spiderweb tights. Neck is the turtle fur muff I love. Was meant to try GU Chews, but they didn’t happen so I went without fuel.

morning dawned cold
but I was well layered

Starting at E. 102nd made it easier to get there, but I much prefer to hit Cat Hill on fresh legs. I didn’t exactly have a strategy for “racing” this so when we crossed the start, I just ran my race.

but did I run TomTom’s or Runkeeper’s?

Those splits are nuts for the first mile. While I’d love to claim TomTom’s, I’m pretty sure Runkeeper’s is more accurate based on the early crowds and what I saw of the clock at mile one. I could not figure out why this four miler felt so hard until I saw these splits. I’d maintained “that pace” (10:54) without the control of the treadmill.

Mile 3 includes Cat HIll and I’m impressed I kept it under 11 as that also included walking through a water station due to crowds. Beyond this, I don’t have any particular thoughts on today’s run. I felt as if I was zig zagging a lot more, maybe because I was in thick of pack through finish? I loved the run left or right on Bethesda to “vote” for which team would win tonight.

Done! DIdn’t know my splits, but I knew what watch said and thought I had a PR

The reason I chose the Lebow hat vs. one of my handmade ones was that I expected to ditch it when I got warm. While I took it off at mile 2-3, I held it and I was glad because I got cold going home. I was also so cold/tired I forgot to flamingo.

So how did it go?

vs. Feb 4, 2017: buy three miles, get one free!

 

vs Boomer Esiason, April 1, 2017
NYRR data. Officially on Team MHRC

WOW!
WOW!

I was on a runners’ high from how good Friday night felt, and then I was definitely on a runners’ high once I got home and saw this. While I can’t say that I trained for the four miler specifically, it’s clear that running and training has paid off. That’s even forty seconds per mile faster than the 5M at the end of October.

I’m really excited about what I’ve learned my body can do. I think I’m going to spend the weeks of 2/26 and 3/4 working on speed because I’m definitely going to “race” the Frozen Penguin. A PR isn’t a goal there, as it was my very first run and a brutal day, but I may set a time goal TBD. Why those weeks vs now?

Well based on the runners’ high from the Half, I signed up for another. It’s actually one I’ve been thinking of for some time as I knew I’d be away, but didn’t want to commit in case I hated Lebow. Luckily it didn’t sell out before I could. So here’s my calendar for the next few months:

  • February 19 – Fort Lauderdale Half Marathon. “Pancake flat” and on the beach. I’m also kind of nerdliy excited to go to my first Expo. Hoping fewer hills, less painful recovery. Hotel has a pool so I think that will help with post run stretching. Am I any more trained for this than Lebow? Not particularly, but I can do the distance. So maybe it will be another Half benchmark for one without insane hills
  • March 11 – Frozen Penguin 5K. More on this TK as I think it through
  • April 8 – Cherry Blossom 10M in DC.  I treated this week’s runs as week one of training so I’m only a week behind. Determined to be properly trained for this one and, knock wood, I think I will be.
  • May 19 – Brooklyn Half. That just happened this week. Ends at the Coney Island Boardwalk! That’s literally all I know about this one, so need to do some homework. Never run in Brooklyn before.

ETA: Just became aware of Deb Runs’ race link up. Love this idea. Always fun to have folks to say hi to before or after races

On to the next

13.1 thoughts

keep that smile! you are a half marathoner!

from a Facebook messenger chat with a friend and former colleague turned (not my) running coach.

The smile hasn’t gone anywhere in 48 hours. It honestly took until Monday for the you are a half marathoner! feeling to hit and for me to realize I did it.

Some thoughts since I’ve digested the race:

  • I truly did not think I was going to finish this running. I wasn’t so much worried about the distance: the 15K in December had been fine. I was scared to death of the hills, the host of the NYRR Talk on course strategy on Friday night mentioning there were 11 (3x Cat Hill, 2 x Harlem Hills, 2x Three Sisters) did not help. Around Christmas I began to think about just not doing it, but I really really wanted to do it. Or to at least try. Because I was fairly sure I wasn’t going to be able to, I told almost no one. A few folks who aren’t likely to talk to anyone else, and two running buddies training for their own half, but otherwise Secret Squirrel mode activated. I texted my brother and best friend morning of with a link to the live tracker, but that was it.
  • “Mile 1 is a liar” is a frequent running adage. For this race, it wasn’t. I think mile 3 below 11 was the actual liar, since I was running with an ~11:20 pace group, but that’s neither here nor there. Mile 1 felt good, mainly because it was a huge herd and we were all fresh. It felt so good to be outdoors after such a brutal weather start to the year. Miles 2.5, 7.5, 12 by the Met, Hamilton were lovely and gorgeous. Mile 4 and 9 with Harlem Hills? Ugh. Mile High Run Club has been good to me, and getting back out on the hills will be good, but oh do I hate those hills. I really don’t have any other mile specific thoughts.
  • Gu. Gels. I still haven’t figured out this eating on the run thing, and if I didn’t for a Half, I probably never will. I didn’t fuel at all during the 15K because my fingers were frozen. When I was with the Pacers over the first five miles, Julia asked what my gel strategy was and I threw out 10K, while admitting I didn’t really have a plan, although I’d brought three gels with me. Good thing, Gu, Hammer, Power Shots are good if a little too thick. I may try the Beans if JackRabbit has them, although I’m not sure on eating and running as I still haven’t mastered drinking and running. We’ll see. I don’t know if my second half was stronger because I had a gel (nothing pre race), or if I just started being sensible with the walks. Food for thought-no pun intended.

 

“Ten. Miles. Toto, I don’t think we’re in the single digits anymore. From the beginning of this whole running “experiment” (an experiment that was clearly by now less of an exception and more the rule), I was constantly finding myself lacking in confidence when it came to new distances. Running that first 5K, running that first 10K…each new race brought a new set of challenges. Challenges that I continued to meet and overcome.”

  • I’ve generally enjoyed reading about running. The Runners’ Bookshelf has been awesome for ideas and part of the reason Mt. TBR grows is because I keep finding new to me books. Not all have a personal connection though. Becky Wade’s Run the World was a fabulous combination of running and travel. Alexandra Heminsley’s Run Like a Girl was light and fun, but not especially poignant. I really thought John Bingham’s books would be the best for me, and most resonant (and they’re amazing), but then I “met” Jill Grunenwald. Her Running with a Police Escort was the perfect book to be reading on the eve of my first Half. She’s also a slow runner and she had some of the same anxieties I do about running.I know I am a runner. I run. But sometimes seeing myself as a runner? I’m not always there. I didn’t read her blog before finding her book, but I’ve added her to my sidebar now and look forward to reading her. It’s not the best written book, but she’s an amazing storyteller and I love seeing myself in her. One of the things she talks about is committing to a race a month for the year and since I have January, (maybe February), March, April sorted already, I think this might be a fun goal. More on that later.
    • Jill’s blog is about going from 311 lbs to running 13.1 miles (x3!). While I was never that heavy, and this hasn’t been and won’t be about weight loss, running has definitely had a change in my body. The #IHaveARunnersBody is an interesting one to look at across the various social channels. Also, upside of a non-running day? I can wear the ghostie tee I love so much
    26.Boo
    I’m not training to be skinny

     

  • Although I’m still using running as a fundraiser for Joyful Revolution Athletic Club, I joined Team MHRC. I loved seeing the Clubs out there supporting their runners and I want that. There are some April runs that I can’t do, like the Shape Women’s Half (Cherry Blossom is the week prior) and I want to be cheering others on. I know you don’t have to be in a Club to do that, and I took cheers from anyone, but I like this element and I love Mile High Run Club, so I’m giving it a go for 2018. I also need the structure that the weekly coached runs might provide as I move into the next phase of training.
  • Training. So my training went to shit, but that’s not going to happen for Cherry Blossom. I’m torn between the race‘s virtual training, Hal Higdon who I have come to know and love or RunKeeper. Going to think on that in the next week, because I’m 100% not running until Thursday. My legs are better, foam roller was great, but oh those hills did a number on my legs.  Luckily the cherry blossom course is flat. And it’s training food for thought too in how to prepare my legs.
  • I think I’ve run the longest distance I want to. I may do the 9+1 this year, but I’m not sure if I have any interest in running a marathon, never mind an ultra. The idea of a destination race is fun, but I don’t know about the training. Maybe if I get faster and it takes less time? I definitely enjoyed the 15K/Half distances more than I anticipated. I think 5mile might still be my favorite, but we’ll see if this year’s 10Ks suck less and influence that.

Here’s to another fun and healthy year of running

#MedalMonday, Fred Lebow edition

Sunday dawned early in Central Park

So I’ve been a little secret squirrel with my “training” posts. I knew what I was training for but didn’t want to make it whatever the blog equivalent of “Facebook official” is, because I wasn’t honestly sure if I’d start. Or finish.

All smiles at the finish

Spoiler: I finished!

Engraved medal
NYRR Manhattan Half Details

My first half marathon (!) came in somewhere between 2:40:59 and 2:41:16. Fittingly, my official NYRR time splits the difference.

I decided this fall that if I was going to run a half, I wanted it to be on my home turf. NYRR opened registration for the Fred Lebow Manhattan Half and since it was a course I knew inside & out and relatively cheap for a half, this was perfect.  I was nervous because of the course (PDF), especially two trips around the Harlem Hills but I thought a race that was a tribute to such an NYC running legend was perfect for my newfound love of running. That it was so close to my running anniversary didn’t hurt either.

visiting with Fred after I finished

I started training and it went well, but then it all went to pot due to work and then this crazy weather. The recent injury didn’t help.

an ode to missed workouts

I was missing more workouts then I made. After December’s 15K, the only long run was for my one year runversary. I’m so glad I finally tried and subsequently fell in love with Mile High Run Club because it was their High45 classes that got me through not being able to do hill training in Central Park.

I knew I was undertrained and was determined not to be both undertrained and injured.  The best thing about this course is that like every other Central Park race, I have an out. If I couldn’t, or just didn’t want to finish, I could just walk home.

It never happened today

Splits. Everywhere splits

I started the race with the 2:30 pacers and hung with them until Harlem Hills when I knew that if I was going to finish I was going to have to ease up/walk some. I settled into a “strategy” of walking the water stations and I walked the 2nd lap of Harlem Hill. I surprised myself and “ran” the final Cat Hill after coming off the water station and planning to walk.  I was keeping an eye out for the 10K mark to eat a gel and that 1:12:22 is as close as I’ve come to repeating my first 10Ks (March, June) and wow, what an improvement. Oh yeah, training.

I took water, sometimes two, at each water station except the first. I only had the one gel (Vanilla Gu, my standby) because peanut butter & jelly one was just too much to contemplate at the end. Cinnamon run gum is gross. #Lessons

I can’t honestly say I want to do this race again, or the Shape Women’s Half as the hills (11 in total) are really brutal on your legs and maybe too much for a beginner, but I have until fall to make that decision about the Fred Lebow Manhattan Half 2019. In the mean time I’ll think about how scary a Washington Heights 5K is vs. this. I have to say, the moment I broke out into a giant grin was when I realized I had only 5K left. That’s when I knew I had this. I definitely am not afraid of the Central Park 10Ks any longer, and look forward to those. So mission accomplished, times two.

my Mile High Run Club “graffiti”

Overall, super pleased. I didn’t have a time goal. I wanted to finish smiling and I definitely did that. It felt good and overall it was an absolutely perfect first half. It was “warm” in January, the sun was out, and the other runners/crowd were great. There were moments where I asked myself why I was doing this, and my walk to the subway to get my medal engraved was definitely way more shuffle than walk but I’m still smiling.

I’m definitely taking a few days off, but here’s my running horizon:

  • NYRR Gridiron 4M on SuperBowl Sunday. I haven’t done the 4M loop in Central Park as a race since April and I’m curious what I can do here
  • NYCRuns’ Frozen Penguin, March 11. This was my first 5K and will be a year to the day from that race. I don’t know that I’m doing enough speed work to lower my PR between now and then, but it will definitely be a PR on that course and 5K PR since my last race at that distance were each a hot mess in their own right in June and July.
  • Cherry Blossom 10 Miler. This one is going to be fun.

Possible:

  • The Damon Runyon 5K moved to April. It’s right on the heels of Cherry Blossom, so I’m not sure. Depends on how this week’s rebound goes, but April > July
  • Other NYRR spring races TBD. I’m really not sure if I have any interest in the full marathon, but I may end up with 9+1 in case.

More when I’ve digested this.

One year running anniversary

Yep, today is a year to the day since this little whim started. And like was true in March, I truly ran away from I can’t.

My first run, January 6, 2017

I knew I wanted to mark it somehow today, but wasn’t sure exactly. There was a since cancelled NYRR 10K that I thought about, but couldn’t commit to due to schedule, and ultimately opted against due to the ridiculous cold. Even once I finally got off the couch I wasn’t sure since my training plan is off kilter so I played it by ear once I got to the gym.

  • 12 or 19 miles? Definitely not in the cards
  • 19 minutes, too short after bailing at 15 minutes yesterday
  • 6 miles, 40 minutes? Maybe, but I should do more.
  • something with 7s or 8s for the years?
7s are wild. As is my love of pink

Verdict? Lucky 7s.

I was thinking about 8.08 or 8.88 to celebrate 2018, but I was starting to feel twinges in my hip and my Achilles and with a taper on tap, decided not to push it too much further. After I reset the treadmill (max is 60m), I set it for another 28 and targeted 2.49 more miles. WOW!

In this last year (including January 6, 2017 and 2018) I’ve run 490.71 miles. That’s an average of 1.34 miles, which is amusing as that’s about what I did as a warmup yesterday. Considering how much of summer I spent healing, that’s amazing.

Run The Year: 780

Speaking of amazing, I found this chart posted to the Run The Year facebook and modified it to meet my goal of 780 running miles. So helpful to see where you are vs. should be to hit a goal. Yeah, me and my spreadsheets!

Other thoughts:

  • I read 33 books about running.
  • I’ve learned the difference between “I don’t want to get off the couch” and “I don’t want to run”
  • I do love running for the better part of an hour and learned a lot about myself as I touched on at the end of November.
  • I lost 23 lbs, even though this was never about weight loss.
  • I am super proud of myself.
Poke treat

A key tenet of #GoTheDist is non food rewards, and today is a hybrid of the two. The yoga mat in today’s 7s run was a gift to myself with a Modells closing last weekend so I could use the foam roller from Santa. And the poke, well that was a food reward but it was too cold to brain.

I’m going to miss people, but here are just some of the rockstars who have made this happen: Liz, Robby, Britt, the folks in the Run the Year/Hive Facebook group, and my long time buddies in my Fitbit challenges.

Here’s to another year of magic.

Workouts, week of Jan 1:

New Years Day: starting off 2018 right
  • Monday, 5.16 miles over two stints (2.03, 3.13), with a 2K row in between because I couldn’t make myself stay on the treadmill.
  • Tuesday, 5K row
  • Wednesday, 4.0 miles in a High45 with Ryan at Mile High. Like the Jingle Bell Jog, this had fewer inclines than normal. I really like how he did the last five intervals with 20 seconds at high level three and forty at level four. Oh and I did those level fours at 7 and 7.1 MPH. Whoa!
  • Thursday, teeny hotel fitness center with manual treadmill so 15M on the elliptical
  • Friday, 15M run (bad shoes, so took it as warmup), 30m stationary bike, 2K row. Yes, my former primary has turned my cross train

I’ve exceeded my January 2017 total in week 1. Here’s to a solid rest of the month.

Mile High Run Club: Mental edition

I knew I wanted to work out tonight and didn’t have the attention span to stay on the treadmill at the gym. So I checked Mile High Run Club’s schedule and saw there was something called a Jingle Bell Jog on the calendar for 7PM. It was The Distance, which I did not like the first time I tried. But I figured if it was marketed as a jog I might be able to hang on, and I booked it.

When I got there I realized this was no ordinary “jog”. It was a class taught by the Mile High Run Club founder. Eek! Should I bail. Nope, you’re there. The credit is spent. Do this. I’d actually heard Debora Warner speak and I was curious, if intimidated, to have a class with her.

The class was awesome. Because it was a racing version where there would be male and female winners for who covered the most distance (100% not me!), it was way more on “flat ground” (1.0 incline, flat ground in Mile High speak) . I think that’s what made it doable. That and I decided early that I was going to walk the recoveries vs. trying to run them. That’s where I am right now, and that’s OK. My only goal was to finish, and I did!

Mile High Run Club: Run/Walk The Distance

I was pretty proud of that. I set and (mostly kept) my levels as follows:

  • Level 1: 5.0 – this mostly didn’t happen as I dropped to walking, but it was my base and warmup
  • Level 2: 5.5 – this made sense as it feels like it has become my flat ground “race pace”
  • Low Level 3: 5.8
  • Mid Level 3: 6.0
  • High Level 3: 6.1
  • Level 4: 6.5-6.7 (!)

The breakdown of the workout was a follows:

  • five minute warmup
  • four five minute efforts, the first two included the only two hills at 4.0 and 6.0 incline
  • two four minute efforts that were exact same
  • a three minute effort
  • a two minute effort

I think I set my levels right as I didn’t have to lower any of them once into the interval and I was able to sustain three minutes at 5.8 and 6.0 which is definite progress for me. The final interval / effort is the one I was most proud of. The first minute was a runners’ choice (I went with 6.0) and the second was level four sprint, which I started at 6.5 and found enough oomph to take it to 6.7 WOW. In theory that means I could have gone harder earlier, but I don’t think so. That extra smidgen in the tank was barely that.

Maintaining 5.5 on short hills, doable. Maybe one day it will even lead to maintaining it across Central Park hills. A girl can dream

I really, really enjoyed this class. The music was great (Guns ‘n’ Roses is perfect especially Sweet Child of Mine to close it), the atmosphere was fun and not competitive and it just all clicked. More learning? I guess. I had the chance to speak with Debora and that was fun. I didn’t find her to be an intimidating coach at all even if the class was geared toward a much higher level than where I currently am.

The thing I really like about all but one of the Mile High classes I’ve taken is the genuine interest from the classes in each of us. They all seem genuinely interested in why people are taking the classes and what they’re getting from them.  I still don’t get the big deal about these treadmills, but I love the classes.

I still have no idea what “my” pace is, or how any of this is going to turn out in 2018, but in the mean time I’m following the advice of my bracelet

Enjoy the Journey

 

***

  • Strava, you’re going to be the death of me. Round up in minutes and down in mileage. Top is watch, bottom is Strava. *glare*
dumb Strava
  • One thing that I forgot in yesterday’s post-that popped into my mind today when I was trying to follow post-class stretches. I cannot follow aerobic instructions. Run at x speed for y time? Done. Stretch with this foot forward? Nope. Not a chance. It was comical in the NYRR warmup on Tuesday since I’d bonk the person next to me when invariably leaning in the wrong direction. At least tonight it was just on me. And I can absolutely laugh about it.

 

  • Another nice moment tonight: as I headed out of the office, I already had a possible excuse. When packing my gym bag last night I somehow forgot a sports bra. Oops. That’s one thing I don’t keep at the office-soon to remedy-and I thought about bailing. Since I’d already reserved the class I knew the credit was committed so I decided to check Duane Reade. Of course they sell them-they sell everything. Was it the best? No. But it was Hanes and did the job. Post-laundry, where it will hopefully lose its ability to make a black sweat stain on my back, it will live at work.

A learning week

Lots of learning

No matter what kind of exercise I’m doing, December is a challenge. Not so much because of the holidays, but because work is peak crazy then due to our annual fundraiser. So my only priority last week was to get a run in.

It was a challenge, but not the one I expected it to be. As I briefly mentioned in my 15K recap, I tried to run last Monday but legs just said nope. The next time I got to the gym was Thursday and because I didn’t leave the office until nearly 10PM and the gym closed at 11, it was a quick mile.

Snowy Central Park

Saturday presented the first opportunity to actually run and Central Park was gorgeous and snowy. When I first left the building I almost noped out of an outdoor run and headed to the gym but knew I’d need the distraction of a view. I also knew I needed to tackle the Harlem Hills.

I don’t know what was up with this run. It’s the first longer run that I’ve done with the hills in some time, i.e. since June’s 10K, but I just felt like I had no additional gear to switch into. My get up and go got up and went. Still, it felt good to shake some cobwebs from my brain after some late nights even if the pace was meh.

High 45

Speaking of meh, I struggled in Sunday’s High45 class and I’m really not sure why. Maybe general lack of sleep. I’d been aware of what I was eating and generally not living on sugar, but I found that I needed to walk rather than jog to recover. I was definitely pushing the high level 3s and trying to keep up the incline, but I don’t think that was the issue. At least it shouldn’t have been. It was a morning class like my first, but maybe I was more tired from work? Who knows. I’m not giving up on the classes as I really enjoy them.

Night runs are awesome

 

Tuesday, I gave NYRR a try with their #Run5Give5 party and I’m not ready for prime time there even when they say all paces are welcome. I couldn’t figure out why I was struggling so hard in mile two (and as a consequence turned a 5miler into a 5K) until I looked at my splits when I got back.

 

Thanks, Strava, but you’re off by a bit since you & my treadmills don’t get along
TomTom (left) vs. Runkeeper (right). How on earth are the splits so far off

It wasn’t a PR, although I don’t know why Runkeeper is so far off from both Strava and my watch. But that 10:10/10:31 over the first mile which included Cat HIll? Not sustainable at all. I’m kind of glad the next session of group training sessions are sold out because that first mile came from trying to keep up with the back of the back. Had a lovely conversation with the Team for Kids and Group training coaches who were bringing up the rear, but I definitely couldn’t maintain the pace.

Not all bad, because looping at 79th vs. going up to 102nd gave me Belvedere Castle, which is always gorgeous. I was exhausted after Monday’s event and an overall long week, but I was glad to get a run in. I don’t think not being ready for group training is a bad thing less than one year after I started running. It’s a goal to work toward.

This week’s #Run5Give5 challenge is to share your most significant run and with so many good ones, I don’t think I have one to share. The Frozen Penguin comes to mind, of course, but I’m equally proud of all my firsts at every distance.

Overall? Still not sure. Thinking maybe my legs needed longer to recover from 15K than I expected? We’ll see what this week looks like next year. Look forward to getting back into my routine after Christmas. A little worried about my January race as I’m definitely undertrained, but not going to stress. It’s a closed course, and at worst I give up and go home. I don’t think I will, but it’s not the end of the world if I do.

Winter Running: #TedCorbitt15K Chapter

Pre and post race faces

I DID IT!

The middle facial expression cracks me off because I look like I was miserable, but I had so much fun. And yes, I take responsibility for the snow.

I got a text Friday night that they’d make the decision about the race at 6 AM and like Poland Spring, I was half hoping they’d cancel. It’s not that I’m anti snow, but I was nervous about it being slick and the cold. The text confirmed the run was a go, and so was I.

not so Flat Cari as I was draped on ladder

After finding the Cuddl Dudds too warm at the Turkey Trot, I decided to go without this time. So clothing was:

  • one of many ridiculous pink leggings I own. Like all my tights, these are way too long so were cuffed up. I think they’re Danskin. There wasn’t much wind in the forecast, so I went without over layer. This was a good decision.
  • Turtle fur neck warmer and beanie, perfect choices.
  • Shirts: a long sleeved shirt with thumb holes, a t-shirt from a summer race and a long sleeved RBX shirt I’ve worn often
  • Random grab before leaving the house: windbreaker I bought for Giants game as I thought it might be helpful against wind. I carried it most of the Poland Spring run, but wore it the whole time Saturday. Its pockets came in super handy as I had too much crap for my pouch. (None of which I used, more on that later).
  • Socks: random NewBalance ones.
  • Nothing new on race day violation: new headphones because my neon green ones finally died.

Honoring Ted Corbitt’s legacy was awesome. It was nice to hear his son speak about his work continuing his father’s legacy. I’ve come to the realization though that while I don’t mind and even quite enjoy winter running, I hate waiting around in the cold for the runs to start. Although it was flurrying more than snowing, this was exceptionally true on Saturday.

Some other learnings:

  • Running isn’t half mental. It’s 80% mental. Or at least it was for me this past week. Between fighting the cold and not having run more than five miles in a few weeks, I was convinced I wouldn’t finish. During the first lap I was convinced I was bailing at the end of it and just going home. Did I hurt? No. Was I struggling physically? Nope. Something kicked into gear when I passed start and kept going.
Mapping the world
  • The “West Side Rollers” aka Three Sisters aka the hills on the western side of the reservoir were worse for me than Cat Hill. Maybe because they were longer? Definitely not a factor of more tired legs as they were in mile 1/4 whereas Cat HIll was mile 3/7.

Splittsville!
  • I’m so glad mile 8 came in under 12 at 11:59 because psychologically that was so big. I know where the 10:29 came from – I just wanted to be done. Not sure about the 10:54 but I’ll take it. Overall I’m really impressed with the overall pace even though the splits are all over the map. I’m not sure I ever really found a rhythm, but I think that’s to be expected with my longest run ever and first at this distance. Once I came around the bottom of the park on the second lap I did just zone out and lose myself in my music.
    • This was also about where I started walking through the water stations. A combination of cold (illness)/cold (weather)/minor asthma flair meant running and drinking = choking but I knew I needed to drink more so this was my solve. Combined with two stretch breaks to work out a hip kink, I think this got me through the second lap. Very OK with this.
    • Losing yourself… Right. I forgot about my gels. Actually, that’s not true. I remembered around mile 5 but my hands were too cold to even try to open them. So I did this run on zero food. Oops.
  • Ascent is b0rked. I noticed this on Roosevelt Island too. Time to ignore it.
  • Feeling strong? Well not exactly strong, but neither did I feel depleted. My legs felt it — and they’re still sore today – but cardio wise I felt solid. 9.5 ish miles wasn’t too much which floors me considering how short my running tenure has been. I think this is the Mile High Run Club classes paying off. This probably also means I can push the pace.
Overall Ted Corbitt place details
NYRR races in 2017
  • As usual, Runkeeper is slightly off from NYRR, but I will continue to use Runkeeper as that has all my data. It’s amazing that I finished ahead of almost 600 people. Didn’t feel that way at all.
  • 5K longer and only took me 15m longer to finish this race vs. my first with NYRR. To see that progress laid out is just. WOW.
    • This is probably my last race on the year unless I do New Years’ Eve. Hell of a 2017 either way

I’ll likely return to this once I’ve thought on it but this post has taken me two plus days already and I didn’t want to lose any thoughts..

Other workouts last week:

  • Entirely uninspiring hills workout on gym on Tuesday. 3.2 miles in 34:58. Was probably meant to be 35m.   I wasn’t feeling 100% and think it was a better than nothing.
  • Really good High45 on Wednesday where I felt good despite a walk break or two. I cracked 4 miles in that span for the first time in a class. Progress. I really like Ryan’s class. He & Rich V definitely my favorite coaches.

Plan for this week:

  • I don’t know. I tried to run Monday and my legs said nope, so I rowed 5K. Beat my PR by four seconds which I only realized when looking at the log book now.
  • Gala is Monday 12/18 so work going to be crazy. I will get 2-3 runs in though.
  • Steps are proving to be a challenge. I’ll get there