Running technology

Running is cheap. You just need to get out the door and go. Hahahaha.

It’s a cliché we see everywhere. But before I get there, nod to why & how much I love the various link ups & the community here. Quickest ever crowd sourcing and I’m going back to modified Higdon. Thank you!

As I renewed my Runkeeper subscription thanks to the periodic discount on Runkeeper Go, I began to think about the sheer amount of technology running “requires”.

  • a running watch
  • apps for the watch to sync to. I have personally cycled through so many of these: MapMyRun, Runkeeper, Strava, Tom Tom, Garmin Connect… Not to mention the calorie tracking ones. I’ve happily been on MyFitnessPal for sometime though
  • Excel to “journal” progress and look at data at a glance
  • websites to register for races
  • Phone to take photos or listen to music, or map your run without a watch

Of course none of it is actually required, save for the websites, we can just lace up and go. But it’s a funny digital version of scope creep.

I don’t actually love Runkeeper. The distance traveled is way off from Garmin & Strava, though sometimes in my favor. But it’s worth the $19.99/year for the custom training plans since I know I’m going to have to modify Higdon/Hanson for my NYC training. In fact, inputting that was literally the first thing I did Monday when I upgraded the account.

You know when technology would come in really handy? If I’d scroll down my spreadsheet earlier than April 30 to realize what mileage I needed. Tuesday was a surprise six miles so it might not have actually mattered otherwise, but finishing the month with 59.16 miles. No issue with 59, it’s the most on the year but oh so close to sixty which just sounds like so much more.

On the non-technology front, I love this hat. I’ve worn it a fair bit lately including Saturday’s afternoon race with my “not quite long enough for a ponytail” hair.

On a pseudo technology front, since I’m reading it on my Kindle, loving Tommy Tomlinson’s The Elephant in the Room. So different to see a weight loss memoir from a man’s point of view.

Weekly Run Down with Deborah and Kim: 18 miles. My most in a while. Operation building back up is good. Light on photos as I didn’t run with my phone or iPod on either Tuesday or Thursday.

  • Monday: while I was fairly sore from Saturday’s miles on Sunday, I wasn’t too sore from the weekend double. Still decided to play it smart and not run or cross. Did the whole slate of PT exercises and a few of the machines. The last time I touched the hip adductor/abductor 5? years ago I think I was at 30 lbs. This time it was 60. I guess running builds muscles.
  • Tuesday: a glorious surprise outdoor run. I almost always have my gym bag with me and a colleague asked at 3 if I wanted to run outside since it was a spectacular 65 after the rain had cleared out for a minute. I was able to make it work schedule wise and he mentioned he wanted to do the full loop. I said I’d decide as we approached the 102nd St. Transverse. When we hit the two mile mark I said I’d be fine if he didn’t want to slow up on the Harlem Hills and I could meet him at the far side of the 102nd, but he said he wasn’t going for speed. My Achilles felt good and he paced me up the Harlem Hills. Why was this glorious? I have been hill avoidant, this was my first time doing Harlem Hills since Lebow and it wasn’t awful. I was huffing and puffing, but I did not walk and it was slightly faster, somehow, than Cat Hill. The best part? Iced it, but my Achilles didn’t hurt Wednesday morning and my knees were just the standard sore going down stairs. This run left me feeling really, really good and confident.
  • Wednesday: stretch and roll at the gym. I was tired, sore and not feeling much else. It meant no steps goal either and I was AOK with that.
  • Thursday: office run group: tired legs edition. I’m also calling that “As drawn by a toddler” edition. The plan was two laps of our standard three-ish mile loop, but on the return we decided to reverse & do the bridle path. I think we played etch a sketch. It was warm and humid to cool and humid as we progressed, and we were both tired.
  • Friday: off, dinner with friends and legs needed a break.
have you hugged a unicorn today?
cloudy with a chance of maybe?
  • Saturday: April showers bring May flowers and what does hugging a unicorn bring? A maybe PR. More on this Tuesday, but I’m really happy regardless of whether the above is actually true.
  • Sunday: maybe shakeout, maybe off. Lortel Awards in the evening and I have a whole ton of errands that need to happen including getting my haircut and roots done.

Plan for the Week:

  • Monday: run if I don’t on Sunday, cross train if I do
  • Tuesday: off, Jill Biden book launch
  • Wednesday: cross or run
  • Thursday: office run group
  • Friday: cross or off
  • Saturday: long run
  • Sunday: off?

GoTheDist:

April

  • 448,367 steps
  • 198.7 miles run/walked
  • aforementioned 59.16 miles run

2019 YTD:

  • 1,752,420 steps
  • 775.88 miles run/walked
  • 214.11 miles run

So close to so many round numbers it’s almost comical. Happy with that month. Good balance of true rest days and some solid ones.

 

Super Sunday: 5K PR edition

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

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

it was such a beautiful evening

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

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

Dear TomTom, please find your brain.

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

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

WOW!

BAM!

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

Training, week of 4.23

Weird week, take two.

nothing whatsoever to do with running, but this was a gorgeous work meeting Tuesday!

I was feeling strong after last weekend’s escapades, but when I went to the gym Tuesday (planned off day Monday), my legs had nothing and my ankle was bizarrely sore. So after a mile warmup jog-there was no running to speak of-I did a 5K row. Rowing has always been my favorite cross training activity and I was thrilled that Blink really did replace them after they broke. The ones at E. 54th are the fancy new ones with wifi, so it’s not to need to photo & input a 16 digit validation code. For a while I’d gotten good at getting under 30m but this one was nearly 32m as I was fiddling with my headset. I love the Aftershokz, but they’re more fiddly than my cheapos.

Thursday I was back to the gym and I went PR chasing. I knew I wouldn’t set one, and didn’t, but I was trying to figure out the math to see what I’d need to run to get that elusive 32:14. I really can’t math and run, but this one felt good. 5.6 for 2.53 miles, then 5.8 until 2.88 then 6.2 and 6.4 to close out. Although the 6.4 winded me, the overall workout didn’t, which means it’s probably time to try 5.7. 5.7 will probably get me a treadmill PR, but I wonder if I’d have the oomph to do a flying sprint in case it’s close. We’ll see. It’s definitely a goal to work toward.

Beautiful day to go long. Maybe?

Speaking of goals to work toward, the Brooklyn Half is less than a month away and this week marked a bundle of nerves. Last long run was Cherry Blossom and this week marked my last opportunity to try to hit double digits due to upcoming travel, although I think I’m good for a 10K each upcoming weekend. Due to some poor planning, I didn’t have my usual late afternoon window available to me, and I wasn’t at all sure I’d have time to get in a long run. I really need to get back to weekend morning runs with summer coming. June will help with that since I have a race every weekend.

So I headed out on a beautiful spring afternoon without a plan beyond 9ish and knowing my legs aren’t ready for 2x West Side/Cat Hill. Yep, still haven’t touched the Harlem Hills since January. I took an odd route, heading from the road to the bridle path around the reservoir at about 2.2 miles because it was warmer than I realized out and I wanted the 4 fountains after coming through the west side rollers. Yes, I was carrying my water bottle but I seem to default to water fountains. That ~1.6 mile lap helped me put off Cat Hill longer. Procrastination much? When I finally hit it, it went better than I expected. That mile was nothing to write home about, but I kept everything below 12 before pausing the watch to take in some gorgeous flowers near the Fred Lebow statue.

What fun is that, The Supply House?!

I was not so lucky on the final two miles which got me home via the park to get to the 9 miles. It was only way I was going to get the miles in & get home in time to meet my cleaner. This type of run never ends well because I’m virtually guaranteed to hit every light. Yep. At least it featured a fun sign, but I like TRexes! I got my long run in and I think my legs are ready for Brooklyn even if they’re not ready for the hills.

Week on Week volume

Six of this was actually reflected in last week’s recap, but it explains too why my quads are absolutely shot and the stairs when headed out for sushi were not pretty. A lower volume week is exactly what my knees ordered.

March of Dimes and mental health day in Madison Square Park

I was glad the only thing on Sunday’s calendar was a 5K charity walk (I ran it last year, this year was all walking) and a book in the park. Mental health days win. Alas Mother Nature is confused, and I was indeed wearing a fleece-lined coat through most of the day. PS: 100% glad I made the decision to get transition lenses.

Overall a good week. Travel is going to impact the next two, but running clothes in the suitcase.

Linking up with Wendy and HoHo (whoa, what gorgeous photos!) for their weekly wrap since my first one last week was so much fun. Join us?

 

 

9.33 solo miles

What a gorgeous Saturday!

Although I’m not officially tapering as I’m just using Cherry Blossom as a long run for Brooklyn, I wanted to get “one last long run” in and I knew it had to be this weekend since I’m home next. Brooklyn training has been weird, to be honest. I’m frustrated with the Runkeeper app and can’t fudge Higdon enough to make it work for this schedule, so I’m kind of winging it. Not ideal, but I think it’s going to work. Funny, this time last year I was stressing about training for a 10K.

So without an app/calendar alert to tell me what to run, I knew I could DIY. I was pretty well set on ~9 miles, but wasn’t sure on pushing through on that solo. My prior longest solo run was 7.77 miles (and I still have no idea how I stayed on the treadmill that long). Outdoors? I’m not sure. Probably about 10K. Maybe Rockland Lake since nothing else in my history jumps out at me.

I was ready to try it, so off I went on a variation of the 15K course. It was a beautiful spring day. Slight chill but running in capris, a tee, long sleeve tee and light hat (oddly, same hat as I wore for the 15K) was perfect.

Tomkeeper miles 1-5

That old age about mile one being a liar?
When I saw my watch at the end of mile one I was wondering what the hell happened to my GPS because the only time I’ve seen a sub 10 mile is sprints at Mile High Run Club. When it settled down to “normal” on mile two I figured it was just a blip, and then mile three happened. So I don’t know. I didn’t feel like I was going that quickly even on a downhill mile. Will be interesting to watch the first mile next time. Luckily I start at this spot for most Central Park runs so that’s easy to track. There are way too many overlapping Strava segments to look at it that way.

TomTom 6-9.33

That looked way more normal, especially tiring legs. This is the longest I’ve run since the Fort Lauderdale Half. Over the first eight miles the only things I changed from the 15K course were: starting at E. 84th vs. 102nd, because why walk all the way up there when I could run it, and doing what I wish NYRR did, run the long loop down to the bottom of the park in the first lap, and then have the second lap cut back up at the 72nd Street Transverse.

Mile 6.5-7.5 featured the West Side Rollers and they killed me. Partially a sore achilles but partially just tired. I knew then that there was no way in hell I was doing Cat Hill again so 8-9.33 was a wiggle fest to get in mileage by Conservatory Water. It’s crazy to see all the cherry blossoms in my Facebook memories this week, aside from a few patches of crocuses, Central Park is still hibernating due to a snowy March.

this cracks me up

What exactly is a “very long run”, TomTom?

The difference between TomTom and RunKeeper is how RunKeeper (doesn’t) take into account the auto pause I switched on when someone stopped me for directions. Oh well, 1:40:42 or 1:40:54 isn’t the end of the world. What I realized when the man stopped me at a water fountain, I didn’t stop otherwise. There were no stretch breaks and I didn’t need to stop. That is definitely a first and part of what rendered this a nearly eight minute PR over December. Wow.

speaking of PRs

Not. Even. Close.

I know why Strava sees this as a 10K PR, the one RunKeeper “knows” was a combination of two treadmill stints. But the autopause discrepancy doesn’t account for why RunKeeper doesn’t see this too.

silly Runkeeper

Bizarrely when looking looking further at 10Ks it doesn’t see any of the longer distances. I wonder why it can’t when Strava can. The 5K I’ll write off as the autopause difference.

All in all it felt very good. When I walked home after I was sore, but not horribly so. I had a good foam roll and will take Advil tonight. No running tomorrow.  Music, and mentally writing this post got me through the last coupe miles. A gel, had I remembered to try it, might have done the job too.

I think I’m ready for the Cherry Blossom 10. I’m definitely ready for spring.

Other Notes:

  • a reread of my Rockland Lake run is fun. Today’s run felt some of the same with feeling good, no need to stop. I’m hoping to do that run again next Saturday. V curious if the Poland Spring shirt now fits. I wonder what I can do at the 10K distance which I haven’t done on its own in a while. When left to my own devices, I tend to run 5 miles. I still think I can crack an hour – maybe by year end?
  • Speaking of five miles, I put Wednesday’s snow day to good use and did 5.51 on the treadmill since I had way more time than I typically do on a weekday. Other than batshit boredom, it felt good. It was the first time I tried Gu Chews (3 at start, three at ~5K mark) and I liked them. Orange is a winning flavor. Coupled with Monday’s 3.19, this was a very good week. Friday was a 5K row as there was no money in the world that could get me on the treadmill. Massive case of “do not wanna”. It happens.
  • I finally adjusted my running mileage goal for the year. 780 was based on faulty math, mostly, and I pretty much knew it to be something that would need adjusting once the year started. Because I’d never run a Half, I didn’t know how much time I’d need to recover from those, and I didn’t plan to be injured. Again. Pushing for the numbers required to get 780 is not smart given the hip/knee/feet flares. I’ve dropped it to 700 as one third ish of 2,018 and we’re a three person team for #RunTheYear. The spreadsheet also takes into account the rest days I take, and I need to average 2.68 miles per run day to hit the goal. I should be 539 miles from goal, and I’m 546. I can live with that. Much better than 602, 626. I’m very curious to see where I net out.
    • I’ve doubled my running year to date mileage and have 100+ run/walk mile head start, meaning I think those goals are real.

#GoTheDist February 2018 and Training week of 2.25

I wasn’t kidding when I said I didn’t think I’d hit 400K this month. It was looking like an impossibility and I only pulled it off on the last day of the month thanks to two insane days on Monday and Tuesday.

February

  • 405,707 steps
  • 177.6 miles run/walked
  • 50.54 miles run

Year to Date

  • 858,290 steps
  • 375.45 miles run/walked
  • 107.04 miles run

I was so happy to hit 100 solo miles last weekend. My knee is finally feeling better. Even though I’m almost twenty miles off the 780 pace, I’m not going to adjust it down yet. Spring will mean more time to run and not being injured will allow longer runs. I gave back some of January’s gains, but that’s also to be expected with a shorter month, so I’m not particularly worried. March has always been good to me.

the realization that my first 400K month was in reach

A year of 400K months is pretty awesome and insane. I’m really happy it worked out.

A big part of that? Running this week. My knee felt good and I even managed to shed the brace. Workouts:

  • Sunday: off day
  • Monday: 2.28 miles at random incline. Tired legs, but no knee pain at all. I might have resorted to all caps there. This was the first time that happened since my first half
  • Tuesday: knowing I was off Wednesday and Thursday due to plans, I went longer. 4.07 miles at 5.5. Kept it at .5 incline since I know changing speeds and inclines hasn’t helped
  • Friday: decided to try without the knee brace and again kept it at 5.5 and .5 incline. NO PAIN. Distance was a factor of time (not wanting to push it), but I spotted this when I went to log it in my spreadsheet. WOW. What a difference a year makes
year on year
  • Saturday dawned dry and warm enough to run outside. I’ve only managed that a handful of times this year and while I don’t mind the treadmill, who doesn’t want to play outside? 5+ miles wiggling around Central Park. Could have gone longer, but decided to play it safe. If I’d realized how close I was to an hour, I’d have gone the extra ninety seconds. Knee a little sore so probably right call. I’m going to take tomorrow off.

In the US Road Running Facebook group someone asked how much we’d lost since beginning running. Running hasn’t been about weight loss for me, but it has definitely helped.

Jan 7, 2017 v. March 2, 2018, scale edition

 

Baby steps all around this month. On to the next

Training, week of 1.7

meet my new best friend

I already talked about how I marked my one year running anniversary. How did I mark the first half of the week after my running anniversary? Injured.

I actually don’t think it was Saturday’s 7.77 miles so much as the 1.3 mile warmup on Friday in bad shoes. Luckily, it doesn’t appear to be a flare of plantar fasciitis, but rather a bruise/irritation of pad below my big toe. So rather than take a class as planned on Sunday morning, I visited my old friend the bike as the gym’s rowers are out of commission. Walking to and from gym bus stop was sore, but not insurmountable. I honestly didn’t even want to go out as it was so cold, but I needed some steps.

On Monday I went to my primary branch and while my foot felt better, I didn’t want to push it too soon so I checked out the contraption pictured above which they’d recently installed. It’s an Octane Fitness Lateral and it seemed more manageable than a standard elliptical. It was surprisingly fun, especially with legs going all around. Since it didn’t have the tread pounding of a treadmill, my foot felt good after 30m which was about enough for my hips.

Tuesday, planned off day.

Wednesday, tested my foot with a mile on the treadmill followed by a mile on the lateral. It’s hard, but a good hard and way more fun than the standard elliptical. Maybe I’ll give their bike a go on the next non-Sunday cross train as the gym also has that.

Thursday, late night with multiple after work events but I didn’t use them as an excuse to skip the gym. It meant a short visit, however, so it was only a mile. No pain. Yay.

Friday I knew was going to be a test. After an insanely cold two weeks, it was finally unseasonably warm and Road Runners had scheduled one of their #ResolveToRun group runs. Despite struggling with NYRR’s group runs, I decided to give this one a go since it was only 5K and was geared toward new runners, it seemed.  There were eleven of us including two coaches and as we head into the park I knew it wasn’t really new runners. Just figured I’d give it my best.

We had a pause at about the mile moment to allow the rear group to catch up and set a plan for the distance and when I looked at my watch I couldn’t believe it. It was 10:07! I knew there was no way I could maintain it and told them to go ahead, I knew the loop and would catch up or meet them back at the RunCenter. The second mile I managed to keep them in sight and for the third mile another runner said she’d run with me and three of us finished together. Just before we hit two miles it started to rain and it was AWESOME. It had been super foggy in the park and as we skirted Belvedere and the Delacorte it was super eerie. Loved it.

It was a great run and ten of us finished smiling in the rain. The planned hot chocolate at the RunCenter gave way to water and gatorade and when I looked at my watch, I couldn’t believe it.

holy PR Batman!

Even when accounting for the distance, not just a PR, a PR by ~20 seconds per mile vs. Christmas Eve! And CP course is way more hilly than the trail at home which is a pancake.

12/24/17 vs. 1/12/18

Speaking of per mile, this just makes me shake my head

 

drunk splits

How on earth does the same run get measured at three different paces? Tom Tom is faster on first and slower on second miles than Strava. It’s six seconds faster than Runkeeper in mile one before moving to four seconds slower. None of this makes one iota of sense.

Also at the RunCenter

Hat & new corral

Either they dropped the L corral for this race, or I actually leveled up. My guess is the former, but I’m going to enjoy this sign of progress.

Today, 3.21 at the gym at 5.5 with random hill intervals mostly to test the foot. No pain. Run felt good. Definitely taking tomorrow easy though and not running. I’ve learned to not repeat this summer and determined not to be both undertrained and injured.

Speaking of learned, you might notice I revised my 2018 goals and dropped the “need” come in with fewer days below goal than 2017. It’s not because I’m struggling, but rather because it was making me crazy already. The whole reason I love (and main point of) the annual aspect of #GoTheDist (which did come back for 2018, yay!) and monthly aspect of my spreadsheets is because they control for the day to day fluctuations that come with life. I do need to make some minimal movement-such as last Sunday when I went to the gym, but I don’t need to obsess about whether coming in shy of goal (~10K Tuesday because I got home after midnight) means the end of the world, goal wise. It’s a similar feeling to when I dropped the 30m goal, and it’s something that has been lingering in my brain as to whether my fitbit would ever “let” me have a true rest day. So lesson learned early from a goal. I think this falls under 2018 goal of train smarter. And since the day I made that decision? Four days above 15K, of course.

December 2017: Struggling

(I was originally writing this over the course of a week to post on 1/1, but I decided there was enough meat that would drown out a year-end recap).

When I came back from the Christmas long weekend, I knew I was in trouble goal wise. As has become custom, when I start the month’s spreadsheet I plug in some 2K step days where I know I won’t hit goal. For December these were:

  • December 10, the day after my 15K
  • December 17-18, day before and day of major work event
  • December 23-26, at mom’s for Christmas

What I forgot about was that the entire week before the major work event can be a disaster because it wasn’t last year. As early as December 11, I knew there was an issue and I subsequently hit goal only two days that week. Uh oh.

Part of me thought I’d be OK since my 2K days don’t tend to stay 2K days since I started running but Saturday 12/23 was rainy, cold and miserable, and Christmas Day was too busy.

Still holding a 2K day in reserve for some family stuff, I was facing needing four 16K days to get ten months in a row of 400K. That was a tall order. Would the world end if I didn’t get it? No. Especially since I hit both 5m on the year and 1.25m for the quarter, but I really wanted it. Alas, I didn’t want it enough to get off the couch and go to the gym when I got home on 12/26. So we’ll see

TomTom, Runkeeper and Strava mostly in sync for a PR

There were some good things over the Christmas long weekend. My Christmas Eve run was a present from the Ghost of Running Present, a PR on the South Nyack Trail. The PR itself was 1m9 seconds over the same trail three months prior (and yes, I finally just ran the first lap twice!) and an eight second PR over November 18. I love that RunKeeper makes it so easy to ID and find the similar runs.

Comparing 5K PRs

That progress makes me think it is possible that I’ll break 30m for a 5K by December 31, 2018. Even ignoring the really early ones, I’ve taken nearly 5m off my 5K time since June. Baby steps.

It was also a Festivus miracle in that it was relatively accurate across TomTom, Strava and RunKeeper! Speaking of Strava nonsense, I love that #7 on the NYRR/Strava virtual race tips is to run extra because Strava is a muppet when it comes to rounding. (I might do their virtual ones, still thinking about it).

My first day back to reality and my routine was a good treadmill run. I didn’t have a planned distance since my training is off and I don’t want to overdo it and risk injury, but I was thinking about an hour.

Runkeeper meets What the Forecast

Yep. Lungs wise I could have gone longer but my legs were starting to hurt and I was understretched having been away and hadn’t run longer in a while, so I smartly cut it there. Legs felt good after a good stretch and foam roll.

Thursday’s cross train (29m row, 31m walk) was also “about an hour”. Who am I and what happened to the person who didn’t want to spend the better part of an hour running? 😀

Can I pull out 400K? It’s still a definite maybe, but I’ll give it my best.

Other Notes:

  • I recently read Mile by Mile’s post on the magic of the long run and it’s so true. Although I love Mile High Run Club and don’t really mind running 5-6 miles on the treadmill at the gym, there’s no magic the way there is in an outdoor long run. I think part of why I’m struggling in December is I haven’t got outdoors nearly enough. Combo of being sick early in the month, getting dark early and the weather. It’s not going to happen this weekend either, but hopefully before my January run. In the mean time, some treadmill tips. I really wish I could read. I have been getting in my Iron Chef fix though when there isn’t football on.
  • I love the idea of Mind, Body and Spirit goals. I need to think about spirit, but I think I have mind and body covered. Not having the scale as part of my body goals, is partly a mind one as it’s just frustrating and nowhere near as measurable as running progress goals.
  • Fuel-school. I have stuck with gels when I’ve used them, but I found this guide to the various fuels super helpful. One day I’ll even remember to use them consistently. I think part of the struggles in my learning week was running on empty. I can do it, but probably not smart when I’m also mentally exhausted.

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

 

Workouts, Week of 11.20

This week shook out almost but not exactly as I planned. Story of our lives, no?

Mile High workout while reading
  • Tuesday – High 45 at Mile High Run Club. As I was walking in I saw this wonderful sign. I’m really trying not to overbuy this holiday season, choosing experiences and things of a true value/need. Another three pack definitely hit the spot.The class was good. It was with Rich V. who I took my first class with, and I really like his teaching style. I feel comfortable. Also liked that the class was rather sparse so it felt like there was more one on one attention. Part of me is toying with trying The Distance next, but I think I need to get a little more comfortable first with High 45. Maybe one more. Tonight’s Gu, Lemon Sublime. OK but nothing spectacular. There are photos of the studio online, but they have a no phone sign, and I respect that, hence the weird background photo for Runkeeper. That was while I was reading Race Everything on the train home for the long holiday weekend.
Flat Cari, ready to brave the elements
  • Thursday – a Turkey Trot with a 26 year history! I knew it was going to be cold, I hadn’t realized it was going to be penguin territory cold so I was glad for the race shirt, even though I didn’t love it, as another layer. I wrote up the race itself on BibRave, but this was also a fun test of what I could do elevation wise as miles one and two were pretty hilly before we hit the lake shore.  Best part? Coldest run yet by far and no asthma flare! Hands were too cold to open gel, so didn’t have it until after. Peanut Butter was good. Definitely better than peanut butter / chocolate which almost sounds like heresy.

 

Spot the splits with crowds. Also, nearly negative splits!
Chip time, didn’t get my pause to adjust layers in mile 2

Yeah, layers adjustment needed. The long underwear were a little too warm once I got going. I didn’t have them as the top layer because I wasn’t sure how pins would go so I had to shed top layer and fight static. Definitely a learning process for further winter runs. So I finished with four shirts, but just the tights on the bottom. Not perfect, but it worked. It was helped by staying in car with heat running before heading to the start.

 

Trotting across the finish line! Thanks Athlinks

A first for me, there’s a video of me crossing the finish. Thank goodness for ridiculously loud leggings. All in all it was a beautiful if frigid morning and I made good time even with the crowds and needed wardrobe adjustments.

  • Saturday – unplanned quick three mile jog with a friend of a friend who was in town for the holiday weekend wanted someone to run with. Sometimes I seriously don’t recognize myself. I had the watch on for distance, but we weren’t really worried about time so much as moving. No photos? Who am I!
  • Sunday – yep, screwing up week of again. But happy with this workout. I didn’t have an exact plan, just that I didn’t want to do the Harlem Hills after Tuesday and Thursday, so I did my usual and headed north at 83rd Street. The down side of a relatively nice November day was super crowded roads so around mile 3.5 at W. 72nd (run ended up in two due to trying to pause and accidentally ending run) I decided to double back and go north along the Lake and come back south through the lakeside ramble.
Beautiful fall colors!
  • What a perfect decision that was. Not just because of Mother Nature’s magic, but also because it required more technical running then I’m used to so this was more challenging than a weekend longer run. The leaves on the stairs were an interesting additional challenge but it was a beautiful segment of the run where I wasn’t playing human dodg’em. 5 miles felt good and appropriately hard with the hills on the west side of the reservoir and the stairs/hills in the Ramble. I’m happy with the workout even if it wasn’t the six I was planning.
Leg 1
Leg 2
which can be best summed up as “Wiggle It. Just a little bit”

Plan for this week:

  • Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday again. Exact specs TBD. Oops. Well not total oops, I know the length & intensity, just not whether Tuesday/Thursday are gym or Mile High.
  • Hit an awesome milestone. Details TK!

 

Training Workouts

So this is the first time I’m actually following a training plan. Or trying. As with everything I’ve done throughout this running journey, it’s a hybrid. I overthought it and consulted three plans. I know that the ones that have more than three-four days are not for me as my body needs that rest day. I also think there’s something to the 3plus2 theory in Run Less, Run Faster, even if that ultimately isn’t for me right now.

RunKeeper ended up running a promo for Go and with that came the ability to set a custom plan, and that’s where I landed. How am I following it? Well, I’m trying. I think I’m doing pretty well.

The Good:

  • my base long run is longer than their start so I feel like I’m maybe starting in week 3. I’m less concerned about not being worried
  • I feel like the weekday workouts are doable, time wise and it progresses at a rate I can keep up with
  • I’m enjoying it

Needs work:

  • treadmill endurance, aka boredom
  • endurance with intervals/hills
Tuesday 11/7
Thursday, 11/9

Two of this week’s workouts, although there’s a little more than meets the eye

  • Tuesday was in three due to a combination of watch/biological breaks. Intervals in 3 sets: 5.3/5.8 for 1.5 miles, same for .75. Then 5.2/6.0 in .25s for 2.1 miles. That’s what Strava said but there’s some missing mileage that Runkeeper/TomTom had.
  • Today was deliberately split in two because I knew I couldn’t maintain the speed intervals over 4.5 miles without a break. I smelled a PR on the 5K (more on that later) so went hard for that while switching between 5.2 and 6.0. After a break to stretch and mentally kick my ass, I switched to hills for the final 1.37 miles.

So what did the first workout look like?

PR! 21 seconds
Pace over time

I smelled it early, but then I wasn’t sure I was going to make it so I took the last .23 miles at 6.2 which was hard. But I did it. Love looking at my pace over time. That blip? Of course that’s the Damon Runyon Yankee Stadium 5K that I turned into a fun run. I’d say I have nowhere to go but up with that one, but not sure I’d do it again.

I actually contemplated calling the workout at 5K and decided to use the stretch break to think about it. I could rationalize it – 3miles is all Higdon’s plan called for and I did have the two miles from Sunday in the bank. But as I stretched, I felt like I could finish this. There’s no rule that prescribed 4.5 miles had to be in one go, so I went back out there.

Two halves of the workout

The hills, aka treadmill on random, were good. Hard but not bad, which seemed about right. One thing I’m going to have to figure out is balancing long runs on the weekend with trying to work in the Harlem Hills, which I haven’t done since that day. The time change has made post-work outdoor runs an impossibility so all but the weekend will be on treadmill.  Definitely need to find a better source of distraction. It looks, however, that 4.5-5.0 is longest weeknight run on this plan, and I know I can do that even if it has a mid run break at the moment to stretch. While “faster” is a good thing, my main concern is the long runs and getting those up. I’d rather finish more slowly than DNF.

Other:

  • NYCRuns opened up the Frozen Penguin 2018 and I’m in! Almost certain to be my first race back on the same course since I have yet to run in Riverside Park again and curious to see my year on year progress. Hope the shirt is as cute as I need a new one.
  • Gels experimentation continues. These two were without caffeine since workouts don’t start until 6:30-7. The apple cinnamon didn’t sit well and tasted a little too sweet. The Clif vanilla was delicious and sat fine. Look forward to trying vanilla/orange this weekend
Vanilla is good. Apple cinnamon, not so much

On to the next