NYC Marathon Training Recap: Week 11

As I’ve been doing a mad catch-up on my training recaps, I’ve found that even though so much work is put in during the weekday, these posts primarily glorify the long run. I sort of glide over the 5:30am wake-up calls to make it to the gym when it opens at 6, or pausing to do strength and warm-up exercises before each run. All of those acts make the long run pain-free and possible.

I’ve been thinking about this…because I’m going to excitedly write about another awesome long run. Whoops. In my defense, it really is the best one yet.

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More sleep and puppy cuddles, plz
Week 11 (Monday, September 12) 
Monday: Rest 
Tuesday: 5.0 mile run 
Wednesday: Rest 
Thursday: 7.5 mile run + 35min evening walk 
Friday: Rest 
Saturday: 16.5 mile run 
Sunday: 3.1 mile run 
Total Mileage: 32.1 miles

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Long run friends: oatmeal, black coffee, and a little Every Mother Counts reminder
I was in NYC this past weekend for my last and final wedding dress fitting. Unlike the last time I was there, I had a mean, long run planned for Saturday. I was doubling my previous 8 miler in Central Park for 16. I’ve been really looking forward to this run for a couple reasons. 1.) A new “longest run ever” distance. 2.) An opportunity to run in new neighborhoods. Most importantly, 3.) A chance to cover some real distance on the actual marathon course!

Luckily, this time, my mom and I arrived in the city very early on Friday so we had time to explore a lot before dinner. The last time we were there, we’d barely landed before I proclaimed I needed to go to bed in preparation for my run. Marathon training does not make you fun on the weekends. (Fun fact: my phone actually died that night and I slept in too late to run before my dress fitting and had to do it on Sunday). We had a delicious dinner at Eataly, returned in time to watch a movie in bed, and I was pretty well-rested come Saturday morning. I had coffee and oatmeal while I finished my pre-long run routine (braid hair, apply loads of sunscreen, prepare a water bottle with Nuun, finish PT exercises) and got out the door at the fairly early time of 7:30. Even with 16 miles to run I have trouble motivating myself to start early.

I had consulted the race course and used Google Maps to come up with a plan on my laptop, but I only came prepared with a screen shot of the final product, not turn-by-turn directions. Excellent.

16 miles DONE

It was fine – I just plugged in the next big destination as necessary and that worked out pretty well. I was a little concerned with my navigation skills in Brooklyn, but I was comforted by the flow of the occasional runner passing (and later, big, organized groups with a pacer) to feel like I was on the right track. I covered the four big parts of the race I knew I could easily mimic: 1) Brooklyn, course miles 10.5-13.5 2) Queens + the Queensboro Bridge, course miles 13.5-16 3) First Avenue, course miles 16-18ish 4) Central Park, course miles 23ish-25ish. I actually fell short of what I had planned, as I had intended to run up 1st Ave to the top of the park and run all the way down to 59th, but I had finished my mileage for the day. It turns out I had initially routed to cross the Williamsburg Bridge, but the mistake was well worth crossing the Brooklyn Bridge instead. It was beautiful.

Anyway, it was glorious. Even if I didn’t run all of the exact streets I will on race day, I feel like I’ll be much more prepared on race morning having covered what I did. I’m also so glad I could mimic running Central Park on tired legs – just like on actual race day.

OooooOoo it’s getting real.

 

New York City Marathon Training: Week 6

Week six wasn’t a perfect training week, but in my defense – it was a bit of an unusual seven days. First off, my twin siblings were staying with us while my parents were traveling in China with my brother. We also had my parent’s dog Charlie and our brand new puppy at home. Two adults, 2 kids, 2 dogs, 2 full-time work schedules, marathon training and puppy training. Overwhelmed is an understatement. The puppy slept progressively better every night, but the first couple evenings were a source of major sleep deprivation, and I couldn’t inhale coffee fast enough in the mornings.

Meet Schezney! He’s a fluffy, little noodle labradoodle.

I’ve gotten into this habit (especially since the big move in late April) of reminding myself that I’m doing the best that I can at that point in time. And most importantly – that my “best” will improve every week as I adjust to the sources of rising stress. For example, I could only finish 3 out of 4 runs this week. I only made dinner at once. I was late to work 3 times. It didn’t feel good…but I was doing the best that I could. This week, I may be able to finish all of my runs, cook dinner a couple more nights, try and be late no more than once (or twice). You see what I’m saying? Success is great, but I need to be kind to myself even (especially) when things aren’t going as planned.

Anyway, here’s what the week looked like…

Week 6
Monday: 1.5 hour of ballet class
Tuesday: 4.0 mile run
Wednesday: Rest day
Thursday: 5.0 mile run
Friday: Rest day
Saturday: 10.0 mile run
Sunday: Rest day
Total Mileage: 19.0 miles

The good: I waited until the evening to run the 5 scheduled miles on Thursday, and it was so hot and humid, but it makes the good category because I pushed the pace where I needed to and it felt great to feel my legs oblige. I also had a solid 10.0 mile run on the 2nd day of my 25th year that boosted my morale and reminded me that I can do this. I didn’t feel great for every minute, but that’s not the point. I need to learn to push through the parts of a long run where I get bored or discouraged or doubtful. I’m also naturally increasing the time I spend running vs. walking, and I can feel my legs adjusting to the building mileage and time on my feet.

The bad: The university gym Alex and I belong to has been shut down for a week to prepare for the new semester, and my cross training has suffered. The temporary close broke my Tuesday and Friday routine and without it, I’ve let some work slide. Completing strength work in my living room (with a couch to sit on in between reps…) can also slow down what should be a quick workout. When I’m at the gym, I’m more purposeful with my time and like to take advantage of equipment I don’t have at home, such as a Bosu ball.

I also missed a shorter 3 mile run on the weekend. I spent the morning watching the women’s olympic marathon and the afternoon saying, “Soon…after this…in an hour…” and suddenly it was dark out and time to sleep. I should know better – there is never a good time for an unscheduled run. I also only did my PT exercises 5/7 times this week – maybe only four. I need to get back to doing it every. single day. My knee has been very nearly 100% pain free because I’m consistent. I can’t have any discomfort creep back because I’m getting lazy.

It’s another week and another chance to get it right! Bring on week 6.