Thankful for Running

if I were an organized blogger this would have been done on time for Thanksgiving and/or my birthday, but I am not.

I’m somewhat hooked on The Morning Shakeout podcast and as I was grinding out Friday’s miles, I listened to the Bart Yasso interview from earlier in November. What an inspiration. Among the comments that stood out to me was one that came from his Race Everything book:

“We all follow the same course to the finish line, but each of us has taken a different path to the starting line.”

This is so phenomenally true. (In odd timing, I read and reviewed that book almost exactly a year ago).

all the dessert vs. all the layers

I’m not going to say I wasn’t happy in my 20s, or that I never want to be inhaling a flaming dessert: both would be lies. But thanks to Facebook memories I look back at my 30th birthday dinner and in some ways I don’t recognize that person.

I didn’t join Weight Watchers until about four months after my 30th birthday and didn’t find running until 7 years later, but I’m so glad I did. While I haven’t lost a ton these last two years, I haven’t yo yoed as I tended to after I lost the initial weight. I’m not going to be fast, I’ll never BQ (and to be honest, have zero interest in running Boston), but as I mentioned previously: running has introduced me to my inner strong.

all the clothes

I may not have actually run my Turkey Trot, more on that below, but I carried a race bag full of warm clothes so that I could if I wanted to. Who am I?I Speaking of clothes and not yo-yo ing, I think I finally have the confidence to toss some of my too big for me clothes vs. stashing them under the bed fearing I’ll need them. Maybe.

Wicked is the best

The other aspect that he touched on was the increasing number of women runners and how we promote the social aspect. We’re much more likely to take other runners under our wings vs see them as competitors and that’s so true in my experience. From varying degrees of social corrals to checking on runners who have pulled to the side and to Wendy encouraging me to join the Wrap in the spring and Coco welcoming me to the Cherry Blossom LinkUp around the same time and all the linkups I’ve subsequently found. I’m so grateful for all of you. I posted the above to Facebook for my birthday, but it’s true here too.

I was quite well behaved on Black Friday. I decided to join the 20th century and got a microwave. OK maybe the 21st since it’s an Amazon one that works with Alexa.  I also got some ClimateSmart CuddlDudds at Kohls and a new pair of tights. I love them for layering, but the regular ones induce clamminess since they seem to have negative wicking ability. With the subsequent Kohls cash, two sports bras, fun socks and underwear. Yes, it’s time to do some winter cleaning.

When I find time..

Weekly Wrap with Wendy and Holly:

I almost scrapped this part of the post, but one of the things I’m super grateful for is the Weekly Wrap community, so pardon its sparse nature.

Best. Stickies. Ever.
  • Monday: at the office late. Those stickies? The absolute truth. What did I say about not living on sugar and caffeine? I’m trying, but it’s so out the window this week.
  • Tuesday: again, too late, but I got in a mile before the gym closed.
  • Wednesday: late train, “oh, I’ll get to the gym before I have to leave.” That’s a no.
I fell in love with this shirt
the only turkey I ate. I do not like it. These on the other hand? Delicious!
  • Thursday: My first ever DNS. I was signed up for the Troy Turkey Trot 10K but when I woke at 6AM to get ready & head out, wind chill was -6. Nope. I had my long underwear but I knew it was going to be miserable and that’s something running should never be. I thought about running locally where I wouldn’t have to deal with hurry up and wait to start, but that didn’t happen either. Alas, it meant the above shirt was confined to morning coffee wear. Still love it.
  • Friday: happy birthday to me! Weather was downright tropical 13 with a wind chill of 5. I layered up in all the clothes and headed out from mom’s for some miles. From my ankle to my mouth, and forehead up, I was fine despite slight clamminess from some poor layer choices. My hands however were painful ice blocks and I turned back at Main Street for a short loop. When I got back to the city after brunch, I went to the gym for  2.67 miles for 3.9 overall. It was 5.5 for .5 miles, 6.0 for a mile, 5.5 for half a mile, 6.0 for .4 and 6.2 for .27. Yeah, I needed the speed changes to focus. I really want to see if I can do a treadmill 5K at 6.0 though.
  • Saturday: oh, I’ll go for a long run in the morning” -> “OK, I’ll run commute for four miles” –> “OK, I’ll go in earlier, finish what I need to do, then hit the gym” –> Gym branch with later hours closes at 7 on Saturday, I’m still at my desk at 6. This isn’t super surprising given two lost work days with the holiday, but I’d hoped to do better. I really need to get a backpack for run commuting before this event next year. The office is super chilly on weekends so I needed to bring layers beyond those I’d run in. It’s a teachable moment. I will learn from it.
  • Sunday: in fact, I already learned from it.  I knew I had to work again and if I waited until later when I had “more time” I’d end up with a closed gym and it being too dark to run outside so I had a short but gorgeous 2+ miles on the East River. One of the reasons I’m grateful to running is having an outlet for the brain during a busy work period.

December Plan since I know this week will be a lost cause:

  • Long Run (15K?) weekend of 12/1
  • Ted Corbitt 15K, December 8
  • Florida winter outdoor runs
  • Treadmill 5K at 6.0?
  • Read! 100 books is going to happen. One of the first is Super Powers by Adita Yrizarry-Lang which I won through FitApproach.
    I might even finish the Harry Potter series. Maybe. In the mean time, I finished Travel as a Political Act, which was a pleasant surprise. I love the information Rick Steves provides but I don’t always care for his writing.
  • Catch up on reading and commenting

Crazy week! Week of 9.16

This is one of those weeks that turned into the reason why I was historically very good at gym reimbursement for the first half of the year but until I started running I never did a year of visits. It just gets too busy. This week ended up less than ideal, but I’m proud of myself for pushing through and getting in what I could. I finished strong, and that’s what kept me optimistic about progress. This is also the reason I missed many posts this week. I’ll try to catch up, but I am not optimistic.

Not at all running related, but a bunch of us here in the Wrap are height challenged, and I know you’ll appreciate this chapter of #ShortPeopleProblems featuring a winter coat. That’s right up there with running tights that continue on for a foot past the end of my ankle. On the plus side, I found another one that might work, and an insane Kohls fall sale. I definitely shape shifted this summer as my fall clothes definitely needed some replacement. Mainly pants. I’m feeling more comfortable in tossing the too big clothes as this running journey has showed me an ability to maintain even if I’m not actively losing.

I’d worry about purging clothes leaving me without enough but that notion was thoroughly disabused when I dropped off my laundry yesterday in an alternate bag as I hadn’t put away the load I had done two weeks ago. Oops. Looking forward to less laundry and hopefully lowering my laundry costs in fall. $128.55 Jan – May 31; 89.15 June 1-today. Eek!

Speaking of shopping, thanks all for your watch answers. It’s looking Garmin, and luckily Charity Miles has a 20% off promo running through month’s end, although I’m not sure I’m buying that soon.

How do you push through a busy week and get workouts in? #RunTheYear Click To Tweet

Weekly Wrap linking up with Wendy and Holly:

doing the colorful thing on crosstrain day
Shoes-and best leggings ever. Spur of the moment Walmart purchase when in Palm Springs as the ones I’d brought with me had fallen apart. Shoes are the running ones that didn’t work for me.
  • Monday: knew I didn’t want to run after two days in a row. I also knew I likely was going to be exhausted after two after work events so I decided on a 2K row. Surprisingly I had more in me so I went for another 2K with a goal of beating my first time. Done! Followed this up with a good stretching & foam roll session because I was quite tight despite rolling at home.
  • Tuesday: didn’t have time to run long, so did what I could. My usual intervals, which I now know I can increase.
  • Wednesday: mental health off day. I had my gym bag, and my dinner plans cancelled due to both of us being slammed so I could have gone, but I decided I needed a day off and hopefully an early night. Don’t regret this choice as it was also the day my period arrived which always makes me feel slightly physically off for about 24 hours.
  • Thursday: TribecaTV screening for SVU 20th. Plan was gym after, reality was a light dinner with old and new friends. Was wishing I could have run, but was so glad to see them
Quick catchup with Judy. Photo: Mr. Judy
  • Friday: speaking of new friends! Judy was in town for a few days and although our schedules didn’t align for a run, we got to meet up and I can confirm she’s just as lovely “live” as she is to read. 🙂
  • After another long day at work I got to the gym. I knew I was too tired for a long run and had two runs planned for the weekend so didn’t want to overdo it. Since I’ve been wondering whether my sub 10 mile splits were accurate, I decided to see whether I could run a mile when I knew what the pace was. BAM! Goal was to try for one mile, hope was .5 or even .75. Total? 1.28 (yep, Strava math) If I had water, I probably could have gone further. This is insane to me. I think my immediate next step is to change my speed work from .25 mile intervals to .5 mile. Curious to see whether I can sustain 6.2 over a second or third interval. I’m excited about this development.
stretching after 5K. Peekaboo #sweatpinklaces
  • Saturday: one of my first world problems in loving my New Balance Vongo2s is the black ones are my favorite and I have two, both with mileage left on them. They’re two different sizes and I knew the tongue size tag wouldn’t differentiate them for too long. Luckily I spotted Sweat Pink’s laces on a freebie and knew I had my answer. Plus, who doesn’t love a splash of color?! Coupled with busy week, I had a late start today. I slept in and then enjoyed coffee and email catchup while watching Notre Dame football. At least one of my teams is making me smile this season! I didn’t have an exact plan, other than not going to Central Park. I decided to head along the route I did last week, but to see how far I could go on the Promenade now that I knew where to cross the FDR. I was pleased to see it’s open almost to Target. When I saw my splits for miles two and three I decided to pause the run at 5K to see how I was time wise. I knew it wouldn’t be a PR due to traffic lights in the first mile, but I was curious. Not too shabby! After the stretch above, I decided to see how strong I could close out the final mile-ish. It wouldn’t be as good as Friday night due to the lights, but I was happy with the pace as it came after three fairly hard miles. Training for the 10M hasn’t been what I wanted it to be, but I think I’m ready.
final stretch, in both meanings
action shot at the Boat Basin
  • Sunday: NYRR/New Balance hosted a shakeout run ahead of next week’s race and I was excited about a new route, but slightly nervous about the available pace groups. Spoiler: I not only didn’t get left behind, but I stuck with the front pacer of the 11mm-ish group for about six miles. Backing up, after running to the train because I was running late, I got to Yankee Stadium around 9:30 and we milled around a bit enjoying the crisp fall morning  before heading off on this fun route. I wish I had my phone out because it was gorgeous as we crossed Macombs Dam, ran across 155th and then had a wonderful downhill alongside Trinity Cemetery before going under a tunnel and down stairs to cross the West Side Highway ramp before hitting the greenway. Otherwise dark, overcast but perfect running weather. I was flagging by the Boat Basin as my hip was sore and I had a bizarre side stitch which first flared yesterday. I said I had to run until the end of the Greenway and then I could walk the hills to the Run Center. My first and last mile reflect the walk/run periods but overall pleased with this run ahead of next week’s race even though it was probably too fast for me after yesterday’s run. Definitely going to rest the hip this week and rolled today as I watched some football.
Run center ham. I am a total buff convert
Starbucks’ smoothie

Was eager to try the new Starbucks’ smoothie as I’m not generally a fan of cold brew. It was OK — I think I prefer Just Salad’s one, but it’s nice to have another non-dairy on the go option especially one that encompasses coffee.

Bronx 10M training mileage (July 31 to date): 111.87. Pretty sure I’m just going to roll that into 15K training. We’ll see longer term whether I do a Half before February. Even better, just 1.8 miles off pace for 700 miles run on the year.

This Week:

Hopefully work a little less busy as I’d like to get in a couple of solid runs ahead of the Bronx 10 Miler. Do I have a goal? It’s going to be weather contingent. Currently looks like good running weather, but who knows. 1:57:11 is my record at the distance on a cool day but with a very photogenic course. The Grand Concourse? Not so much. So 1:57:00?

Race LinkUp: Building off the Tuesdays on the Run post earlier this month because I’ve since added a few. My updated fall running plans are:

#GoTheDist, August 2018

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

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

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

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

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

GoTheDist:

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

August Totals:

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

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

Q3 To Date:

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

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

2018 YTD:

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

Wow.

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

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

Reading:

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