Posts Tagged ‘training’

One to go

I’m going to flat-out say it.  This week has been a complete I LOVE RUNNING week.  It’s a welcome feeling after hitting a couple of weeks of ‘blah, blah, blah.’  Between the weather cool down, great company and getting the bounce in my legs again I’m getting totally pumped to hit the streets November 7th.  The past few runs I’ve started and my legs just wanted to go, go, go.  Love it. Runs included: a sub 8 min/mile run to work Tuesday, progression run Wednesday night in the park with an old teammate and a bridges run with the AM crew on Thursday.  I kind of feel like this



It feels effortless.  Kind of a weeeeee feeling…

I’ve also started to put together my “pump me up for NYCM playlist”.

playlist nyc

Some of the usual suspects here but probably some not so familiar.  Not to worry this is only for the ferry ride/pre-run nerves.  I feed off the energy during a race.

Oh, and for some humor check out the video on my Staten Island Half pictures page.  For those of you that are Jersey Shore watchers you’ll love my finish line approach.

No other big news to report.  No news is good news right?  Today is an off day thanks to a solid case of insomnia last night.  I’m a bit worried as I tend to get bad bouts with it as training winds down.  Tomorrow is my last 20+ miler before the marathon (woohoo!!!!) before heading to Philly to visit the family.  Fingers crossed this was an anomaly.  Catch you on the flip side!

Anyone else out there find they get cases of insomnia during training?  I find it’s one way or another: either I can’t stop sleeping or I can’t sleep!

Read Full Post »

Some races you go in with a PR mentality and others are meant to form a foundation for something bigger.  With November 7th just 4 weeks away, today I used Staten Island to do a bit of practice for the big show.

While many of my friends set huge PRs, today was meant to be a confidence booster for NYC Marathon.  After Philly, I felt a bit beat up and began to ponder if my goals for November were too lofty.  I think it’s all part of the training but it doesn’t make it any easier to stomach.  So my goals for today were to go out, run marathon pace and nothing further.  No thoughts of PR in the head or anything unattainable for 26.2.  That goal?  8:10-8:15 pace.  So how did my plan go?

The day started early with a 6:30am ferry to Staten Island.  Properly fueled I enjoyed a ferry ride with pushthruphilly.  I watched the sunrise and smiled seeing the Verrezano draw closer.  This to me was a dress rehearsal.  It was crisp but as the sun rose the rays gave warmth.  I caught up with Runnin’ Around Uptown and we headed out for an easy warmup.  With the chill we definitely needed it to try to work out the kinks.  Heading back we headed to the back of the corral so we didn’t get sucked into a pace we wanted no part of today.

As the horn sounded, we started off.  I gave a fist pump crossing the start line and it was time to get down to business.  Immediately there were people flying by us but I could feel we were right on the money.  Unlike 3 weeks ago, everything felt good.  There was no hesitation in “can I really do this?”   AC and I dropped right into conversation and the miles seemed to melt away.  We’d walk through to get our water/gu.  Then pick right back up.  While some may say you are wasting valuable time, I have found it allows for time to actually get liquid down and stomach it.  Looking at my splits, it didn’t lose tremendous time.  Even with the rolling hills, I felt comfortable.  I fell into my metronome, pacemaster set of timing.  Sadly my garmin went a bit wacky so the mile splits don’t make sense but I could feel the pace (as is evidence by the time today).

It was funny getting to mile 11 and I remember looking over to AC and saying “already?” or something to that effect.  It just felt good.

Approaching the finish line I got my fist pump ready (no Snooki to be found – must have been too early!).  I’m hoping the brightroom photographers captured this moment.  I felt good so hey why not have a little fun out there;-)  Final time: 1:48:02/8:15 pace.  Bingo.


Splits courtesy of AC. Includes warmup obviously.



Amazing how a good workout and solid race can help rejuvenate the body.  I’m excited for the last push to November 7.  If this week is any indication, there are good things ahead.  This course was anything but neither is NYCM.  Let’s hope I can do this for another 13.1 in 4 weeks;)

One thing: People, when you’re at mile 8, you are not ALMOST there.  Yes, we just got up a hill but that does not constitute almost there.

Second: Men, please wash your clothes and make sure they’re not incredibly stinky after.  There were several violators in the corral this morning.  Yuck.  At least in the winter the bengay covers it;)

So now I’m entering the final big week.  One last 20-22 miler on Sunday.  Yes!

I’ll end with a couple of sunset photos and apples (went apple picking Saturday!).  Quote of the day from my friend Sharon: “She’s being all awe inspiring and sh*t” – in reference to the Statue of Liberty

Read Full Post »

Six weeks

This week brought the first of the mother load weeks in the march to November 7.  Feeling completely back up to speed from Pikes, I’ve started to incorporate not just Tuesdays with @SpeedySasquatch but Thursday Tempo work.  I’m hoping to continue this to teach the body about what to do on marathon day;)  52 miles happened this week – no wonder I’m zonked.  What happened?

Tuesday I ran with the Tuesday crew which looking back wasn’t the smartest decision.  We did hill work and while I wasn’t sore from Philly my legs just didn’t have that ‘gear.’  I knew it right away and just set in comfortably and not pushing something that wasn’t there.  If there is one thing I have learned from 8 marathon training sessions, don’t push your luck.

Thursday I awoke and knew tempo was on the docket.  Warm up across the Brooklyn Bridge and rather than the WSH I headed east to enjoy the sunrise with my tempo.  I went by time and averaged 8:15s with a 7:35 last mile home (4ish miles of tempo total).  Felt good and legs were much happier than Sunday.

Yesterday brought another blast of summer.  I met up with MP by the GWB and rather than roads we hit the trails.  I missed them so much!  We stuck to the trails for all 19 miles and avoided the crazy heat.  While the time is slower than a usual long run, I find the trails work my core/stability quite a bit.  Not to mention it keeps things fun.  It also keeps the legs happy – too much roads makes for cranky legs!

Today brought the grungy bridges run.  What’s that?  My 8ish mile route that includes the Williamsburg and Manhattan bridges, Chinatown, and the Brooklyn waterfront by the navy yard.  It’s not very scenic but I find this route relaxing.  It’s not crowded and I’m able to just zone out.

After the run, I got to enjoy others use that speedy twitch in the 5th avenue mile.

Women's pro race

The pro men's race

Local elites - men

Local elite - women.

It should be noted I walked along CP South after the race.  I definitely thought about what it will feel like in 6 weeks…

Read Full Post »

Welcome back speedy legs

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve tried to find my speed.  It had gone MIA over the summer as it’s been all about endurance running with minimal  speed work.  This brings us to now.  I’m changing my approach to NYCM slightly than my usual plan.  I’m really trying to incorporate a little more speed and a couple less long runs.  I know the endurance is there!

So that brings me to this week.  Tuesday night I decided to run home after a super long day at the office.  7:40pm I packed up my stuff and headed out the door for home.  The rain had just stopped and the sky  had an orange glow to it with the sun set already.  I love the run home as I get to run away from midtown, not to it!  I intended to just do a normal run but after a cyclist decided to share his feelings with me for no particular reason I guess it energized me.  I arrived home 6.2 miles later realizing I had just run a sub 8 pace (6.24 miles/48:38).  Oops.  I didn’t feel bad but intended to do speed work on Tuesday with the race on Sunday.

Last night was “official” speed work with @SpeedySasquatch.  The assignment? 6 x 800 around the Great Lawn Oval (actually .52).  For me, I wanted to hit 3:35-3:38 for .5 so I figured around 3:38 was fine for today.  As I told my friend ES, famous last words.  What happened?  Pacemaster has returned!  As well as the legs!

Time Pace
1 3:36 6:55
2 3:33 6:49
3 3:34 6:51
4 3:34 6:51
5 3:34 6:51 (pacemaster anyone?)
6 3:28 6:40 (Helllooooo!)

Post speed of course we did the usual core with the mosquitos. Sigh.  Apparently they were very hungry!  As was I…I woke up ready to eat everything in sight!

Sunday brings a return to the racing world.  Let’s see how the legs respond.  Ultimately it’s just another step in the march towards November 7th.  I’m excited.  After last year, who knows what will happen?

Read Full Post »

8 weeks til showtime

8 weeks. Crazy talk.  I was originally worried about running another marathon this fall after the year I’ve had thus far.  Would I be able to amp back up for a big push towards November 7?  Would I find that will to want to run a road marathon?  Well, after this week of training, I think I feel safe to say YES.  I’m finding that groove in training and getting assimilated back into the hectic lifestyle of New York.  I admit it – Colorado definitely made it tough for me to get back in the groove.

Speedwork.  While I’ve run since Pikes Peak, I hadn’t really tried to find the speed gears.  I was a bit nervous about pushing too much, too soon.  However, with the Philly half next weekend (the day after Yom Kippur – eek) I figured I’d should make sure the speedy legs haven’t left me.  So Thursday night I headed out after work to run home with a side of tempo down the WSH.  Goal?  Hit slightly below HMP and see how it feels.  I needed to get some confidence in my speedy legs – that they did still exist.

Good news – 3 miles – 7:31, 7:34, 7:29.  Felt good and was wearing my daypack on a fairly windy night.  Finished off the run with MP at around 8:10-8:15 pace. 

Long run I tamed down this week with 18 last week and 15 miles in 12 hours between Thursday/Friday.  I headed uptown and ran the VCP rails trails. 11 miles in around 1:36.  Nothing crazy.  Legs felt fresh.

Today I headed back to the gym for core/strength training.  This part of my training program has been MIA.  I really do want to bring this back in for the final push to NYCM.

This week?  Mini taper with the Philly half on Sunday.  I’m not sure what to expect since I won’t be loading up like a normal race the day before.  I’ll know pretty quickly how the legs respond.

Finally, I leave you with images from 9/11/2010.

Sunset from the promenade.

Sunset and Lady Liberty under a reddish sky

The NY Skyline with the towers of light

Love the clouds in this one.

There’s more but these are a few of my favorites:)  have a great week everyone!

Read Full Post »

18 before 10am

A few months ago I created a google calendar of NYCM long runs for runnin’ around uptown and I. I bring this up because the surprise was on me when I realized today had us scheduled for 18. Who the heck made this decision? Ohhh waiiiit…;)

Brings us to this weekend. Uptown delayed her departure to the shore in order to get the long run in. Awesome. I definitely wanted company for a 16-18 miler! She asked if we could start early as in before the sun made an appearance. Not a problem. 6am is early but having company is worth it! I’m always on time…

Oh, this morning. I woke up at 430 first and realized ooh 40 more blissful minutes. Then I felt like I’d been sleeping a while. Sure enough the clock read 550am!! Crap. I was supposed to be at Columbus Circle in 10 minutes. I ran around my apartment turning it into a resemblance of a war zone in minutes. Out the door at 555, in the subway at 557 only to see the train whiz by. Argh. Out to another train and text to notify that all is ok. Get to the other train line only to see another train whiz on by. 6:10 now. Finally a train arrives at 6:20 and I’m up to columbus circle at 6:40 having no food in my stomach and not even emptying my bladder! Oy. Disaster right?

So after a quick visit to the men’s room in the time warner center (yep, that’s right the women’s was locked!) It was time to conquer 18!  Aren’t you jealous you weren’t there to run with me;)

Once we started the run immediately commenced into a standard LSD where the legs just rolled along and the conversation helped make the miles fly by.  Before we knew it, we were down at Battery Park City where we passed @dnorton.  Then around the tip by the eyeball statues (sorry but they DO NOT look like eyeballs!) to the Brooklyn Bridge.  My legs felt great! We ran by @lady_southpaw on the Brooklyn Bridge.  The next part took us through the industrial part of Brooklyn, my typical tempo route.

Next up, we passed through Williamsburg and Greenpoint.  Before hitting the Pulaski Bridge, we crossed a road with a stop sign and no car stopped.  At this point a fat, bald man started yelling out of his SUV that we should stop.  This is as he was still pulling to the intersection at the stop sign!  Idiot.  So we continue running and stop at a STOP LIGHT.   This is when he pulls into a gas station and continues to yell at us! Dude, get over yourself!  When we were a little further from him we commented that he wouldn’t be able to run this far.  Yeah, we’re mean.  Oops.

Next up: Queens.  My empty stomach was getting RUNNNGRY.  AC had mentioned the swedish bakery that we’d end at with UNBELIEVABLE cream puffs.  The buildup was extreme.  As we began our ascent on the Queensboro we passed an Orthodox man probably on his way home from synagogue.  After we passed him, he started running.  I commented “and this is what I attract.”  This drew a laugh;)

He caught up to us again on the Manhattan side as we reached several red lights crossing town.  He commented it took him 17 minutes to get across the bridge.  Sigh.  Really.  This is the best I can do in NYC?  *doh* hehe.  Finally we were able to break free as there’s no traffic lights from Central Park South to our finish line, the Swedish Bakery:)  Sadly the bakery didn’t sell the cream puffs we salivated over for the last 6 miles:(  Sad. We settled on different pastries though:)  And can I say I think it’s ridiculous that it costs $2 for a bottle of water on the street.  Ridiculous!

Totals: 18.2 miles
Time: 2:41:54/8:53 min/mile
Course: was able to get in a couple of key components I’ll face on November 7 – the Pulaski Bridge and Queensboro – both at about the same point as in the marathon

The route - a small tour of NYC

Quality run with good company.  This run was about the miles not pace – I’m planning to get in a couple harder runs in before the Philly Half in a couple weeks. 

Anyone else running the Philly half (or the Rock ‘n Roll Philly Half Marathon – gag me)?

Read Full Post »

One month to go!

Holy smokes, kids!  Thursday will mark exactly ONE month until the race-that-shall-not-be-named – ok I name it Voldemort!  But yes, the plane tickets are booked, arrangements to wander around the great state of Colorado post-race and oh yeah – the training continues on!

This past week got back to the root of it all: running.  Now that it’s so close, I really need to focus on getting in quality workouts as much as possible. Last week marked the end of my swim classes:(  I guess it was a good class if I’m sad that it’s ending – I definitely was not excited to jump in the pool at the beginning of this class.  So yeah, thumbs up to Jack Rabbit swim classes!

I added in a speedwork night, treadmill incline workout and two long runs to the menu.  My goal is to get two treadmill incline runs a week now at a minimum to continue to get the feel of an 8-11 incline.  Yes, you read that correctly.  It’s funny – after running on that incline when you go to a flat it feels really weird!  I topped out at 42 miles last week with 2 rest days – one due to pure exhaustion and the other I was just too damn busy with life.

As I start thinking about what I’ll experience in a month, I think about how unbelievably awesome it will be.  Life is about making memories.  This will be one hell of a memory to have and look back on.  More on this later.

Other than my training, I was a spectator at the NYC tri yesterday where my good friend, runnin’ around uptown KILLED it.  It was her first olympic tri and she managed to break her 10k pr by 2 minutes. What?!  Must have been the awesome fan support or her ability to focus;)  I had a great time cheering (major kudos to all that competed yesterday!) but man did it make me want to be out there.  For now, I need to focus on the coming weeks as I have a pretty action packed summer/fall ahead.  My next race – and last as a member of the 20-29 age group will be the NYRR Team Championships in August.

Mike Woods - Fox 5 NY weatherman

Mike Woods - Fox 5 NY weatherman

the women's winner - good sense of color in yellow;)

the women's winner - good sense of color in yellow;)

Here have a bike tire tube!

The race winner!

Have a great week all!  Stay cool and enjoy the warmth – I know I do NOT miss February AT ALL.

Sunset from the promenade!

Read Full Post »

131 miles

This week brought about monster mileage week #1 in the buildup to August 22.  As I’ve mentioned on several occasions, my body doesn’t do well with super high mileage running.  As such, instead of all running, I weaved in some cycling which definitely helps work the quads, hamstrings and calves…all essential for my adventure.  Some may not stand by the cross training, but I do.  I feel it keeps me on my toes, keeps me fresh, and most important, keeps it fun.  Ultimately, that’s my goal out there.  If you would have told me I would bike/run 131 miles in a week I would give you a crazy eye.  Well, guess I can give you the crazy eye because that’s exactly what happened.

Monday started out with my first bike ride to Nyack coming off of back to back long runs.  Definitely tough to do on tired legs but as I’ve mentioned, I’m working on that ingredient – getting used to what it feels like to be working off of a tired set of legs.  I know that is something I’ll run into out in Colorado.

Tuesday, since it was 103 degrees outside, I opted for the treadmill to get a quality workout.  Since it’s tough to find consistent hills in NYC, it gave a good opportunity to play with the inclines on the tready.  It made for a solid sweaty 4.5 mile workout.

Wednesday was an easy day.  Just a commute to and from work via the bike.  However, I always forget how obnoxious buildings get about bikes.  Our work hours have transferred to summer hours.  Meaning no matter what I’m here longer than the freight is open.  This meant a bit of a confrontation to start the day at 7:15am.  Not fun.  No, I’m not leaving my bike isolated on an NYC street hoping no one steals it!  Real reason I rode? I was afraid of the power problems in the city even though ConEd assured us they were “on it.” Ha.  Maybe they’re on it making sure your energy bill will be sky-high after this month…

Thursday!  Back to VCP for the cross-country races.  This time there was a twist.  Instead of a typical race, this race was a relay!  I teamed up with Runnin’ Around Uptown to form Team “Heights to Heights.”  I’m sure you can figure it out if you think hard enough.  If not.  Think harder.  Anyway, once we got our bibs we saw it said F56?!  At which point we went down to say hello to Ari and Joe which made us feel better, M90.  Hehe.  The route was different from the other races as we tackled Cemetery Hill.  I didn’t wear a watch so I have no idea what time I ran it in all I know is I love these races – you just run hard.  It burns, but feels so good at the same time.  Anyway, I chatted with Ari waiting for our teammates to come in.  Runnin’ Around Uptown came in and it turns out we took 1st place in our age division. The prize? Muffins!  Best award ever!

Friday morning it was back to it as I met up with All That Matters is what makes you happy and ironing.it.out for my pre-work long run #1 of the weekend.  We met up for a bridges route before I continued on with MP to work.  All in all, a solid 12.5 miles before work.  Not bad.

Saturday brought long run #2 which would be done completely on my own.  Not only that, I was tackling the Palisades which makes it extra tough.  Add to it oppressive humidity and it makes for a very challenging run.  However, as I’ve stated time and time again, I’ll take this over 14 degrees ANY DAY.  I did my 8 mile route x 2 which gave me the cliff stairs twice.  I enjoyed it but it’s definitely tough to be out there alone – I’m a people person when it comes to running generally.  But what must be done, will get done.  16.7 miles total.

Sunday brought along Nyack ride #2 of the week.  This time there were about 10 of us riding out to Nyack.  It was a great crew and made for an enjoyable way to spend my Sunday morning.  It always reminds me why I do all these athletic endeavors – to spend time with quality people!  My legs were definitely feeling the miles on the way back which is pretty much all UP hill.  I just kept thinking: “this is only going to make you stronger – can’t get up a mountain being weak.”  With that ride, 131 miles in the bank – all without pounding my legs but still getting them active.

Amy, Samantha and I at Runcible Spoon for snack before riding back

Tonight brought an end to two weeks of craziness with speedwork, 4 x 1 mile.  Very consistent splits, nothing outrageous and everything well within control.  Miles ranged from 7:10-7:20 and felt pretty good.

To give you an idea here’s a graph since June 30th…

I leave you with a picture of Manhattanhenge.  For people like me, it’s super cool to have such symmetry.

Have a great Wednesday all!  I’m looking forward to R&R!

Read Full Post »