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NYC Marathon Training Plan

July 27th, 2011 | Posted by Lindsay Runs in Blog Posts - (11 Comments)

I finally developed a solid NYC Marathon training plan at the beginning of July, though I’ve taken some time to get a few weeks of training under my belt, analyze last year’s log, and refine this year’s plan again. I think I am (finally) in a good place to share the plan and log with you!

You can find the link under my ‘Training‘ page to see what I’m up to each week, or click here to go directly to the google document: NYC Marathon Training 2011

I keep an old school handwritten log with a few more notes and scribbles and colors, but I also like to share my workouts online so the google doc feature works pretty nicely.

Structure of my Marathon Training Plan:

  • I have a loose structure, in that I have a goal weekly mileage to reach, and a goal long run to hit. You’ll see these columns in gray. These numbers are really more to keep me on track, building up mileage appropriately and gradually. I won’t stress if I am a few miles short, or a few miles over… just as long as I’m in the general ballpark.
  • I also plan to do one workout weekly with the CPTC team (likely road tempos/intervals on Thursdays). I definitely can’t guarantee I’ll make the workouts each week due to my schedule, but I will do my best to get in the workout another day on my own if need be. I’m also okay with going a week without a workout here and there.
  • Higher average mileage than 2010. Last year, I spent a few weeks around 45+ miles, peaking at 67 miles. I want to get in the 55-70 range much more consistently, and you’ll see I spend about two weeks at each mileage level before bumping up 5 miles to the next week, peaking at 75 miles the week of 10/9. That will be a fun week :)

Goals for my marathon training:

  • Break 3:00. I need to commit to this goal and stop being scared of putting it out there in case I fall short. I will get you, 3 hour barrier. Even if I run 2:59:59.99.
  • Remain healthy and injury free. I need to practice a bit of preventative medicine to keep healthy. That means taking my iron supplements (yum), calcium supplements, stretching and foam rolling, more regular core work to strengthen weak areas, etc. I am finally getting new orthotics next week (mine are about falling apart…) to ensure I minimize any injury risk.
  • HAVE FUN! Last year, everything was new and exciting and fun and fresh because it was my first marathon. I didn’t know what to do or expect which meant I learned something new just about every day, and I toed the line in anticipation, almost feeling invincible as a wide-eyed novice. This year, I am going to do everything possible to avoid boredom or dullness in my training. I still want it to feel like the first! I hope to be as excited and ‘fresh’ toeing the line this year as I did last year. That means running with friends, trying new routes, challenging myself, etc.

So there you have it. I certainly welcome thoughts and feedback on my plan, both positive or negative. How do you structure your marathon training? What are your goals?

Good Eats & Sweaty Runs

July 23rd, 2011 | Posted by Lindsay Runs in Blog Posts - (12 Comments)

It’s my favorite time of the year, NYC Summer Restaurant Week! I got started on Restaurant Week in college, since Philadelphia did a similar thing twice a year. Tons of restaurants throughout the city offer a three-course meal for $35 for dinner, or $24 for lunch. Good food + Good prices = Lots of dining out! Also, an excuse to try fancy restaurants I typically can’t afford for a regular dinner out :)

This week I was particularly lucky to enjoy Restaurant Week dinners at Park Avenue Summer, Blue Water Grill and The Hurricane Club. Plus, on Sunday I’m headed to Mercer Kitchen! Here’s a bit about each.

Park Avenue Summer

At the last minute, a small group of friends decided to go to Park Avenue Summer. I’ve been before, but it is honestly one of my favorite restaurants so I was dying to go back. The restaurant changes the menu and decor for each season, so it keeps it unique. I’ve been to Park Avenue Summer, Winter and Spring– but need to go to Autumn! We had 9:45 pm reservations, but got seated a bit earlier at 9:20. It was tough holding out for such a late meal, but so worth it.

Source: Park Avenue Summer

I got the Crispy Soft Shell Crab with Avocado and Strawberry Salad for the appetizer. So good! For my entree, I got the Grilled Filet Mignon with BBQ Brisket and Potato Salad. I was craving some steak and it was perfect! I ended up not even being able to finish it (and I rarely don’t clean my plate…) but saved the rest to put over a salad for lunch the next day.  For dessert, I opted for the passionfruit yogurt and rhubarb sorbet, which was so fresh and the perfect ending.

Blue Water Grill

I was really excited for Blue Water Grill, as I had never been and summer makes me crave seafood. However, I was a bit disappointed to find that they changed their restaurant week menu from what was posted online, taking off the fried oyster appetizer I had been eying, and switching the shrimp and scallops entree to just shrimp. Not cool, Blue Water Grill.

Source: Blue Water Grill

Despite the menu change, it was still a nice meal. We went with a large group of 8, and ended up splitting a few bottles of wine that were specially priced for Restaurant Week. I got the Golden Tomato Gazpacho soup (which was excellent!), opted for the Sauteed Alaskan King Salmon for my entree and the Creme Brulee Tart for dessert. I have recently been trying salmon more often, as I want to like it, but am afraid of making it myself. I figure if I’m going to try salmon, I should do it at a nice seafood restaurant! Overall, Blue Water Grill was nice, but I really wish they hadn’t swapped the menu. Made me feel a bit deceived.

Hurricane Club

I have never been to The Hurricane Club before, but I’ve been dying to go. For the food, but mostly for the DRINKS! Dan and I came here on Friday for a ‘date night’ and it was excellent and left me super full, and a bit drunk. I’d totally go back, Restaurant Week or not!

Source: The Hurricane Club

I got the Coconut Shrimp Poppers for the appetizer, which were so fresh and tasty. The Cashew Chicken entree was so flavorful, and we also got coconut rice and broccoli sides. I may or may not have stolen a few of Dan’s Honey-Glazed Baby Back Ribs which were delicious! For dessert, we both got the Pina Colada Soft Serve. It was light and so flavorful, with real coconut chunks. To drink, we got the #440 to share: T-Tiki Spiced, Pineapple, Kiwi and Ginger. It was flaming and had fun straws- whee!

Needless to say, this has been quite the indulgent week. And I’m feeling a bit full from all the rich, delicious food. But when restaurant week rolls around, you must enjoy! No complaints here :)

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On the running front, this week has been pretty rough given the heat and late nights dining out. Nonetheless, I squeezed in a long run of 12 miles this Wednesday before the 100+ degree temps rolled around. I met up with Megan, Kelly and Natalie for a few miles around the bridle before going our own ways. I was around 7 by the time Megan peeled off, and was already soaked in sweat. The last few miles were especially rough, literally wringing my shirt out as I ran since it was getting so heavy. As I stood in the kitchen chugging water when I got home, I realized I was standing in a puddle. Of my own sweat. Sexy!

Generally, I try not to let the weather get to me too much. I can’t control the weather, nobody can. Co-workers especially are shocked when it’s 100 degrees out and I told them I ran that morning. Yes, it’s still hot that early. Yes, I sweat. A LOT. Yes, it’s hard and I get really tired. But when you’re committed to something, you find the time and motivation to do it. I might have to take the pace a bit easier in extreme temps (both hot and cold), but I get out there and get the miles in. I keep reminding myself that I’ve toughed it out through many, many summers in the past and by the time September/October rolls around, the crisp air will feel like such a relief and I’ll be happy I put in the work when it was tough. Most importantly, mutiple breaks at water fountains are a key element in my summer training plan :)

I’ll probably head to the gym in a few to get in some lifting and core work since I’ve been slacking lately, and decide if I want to squeeze in 2-3 miles to hit my planned 40 miles this week. I really don’t want to go outside at all, as I’m quite enjoying laying in bed blasting the AC, but I feel I should be a bit productive before an evening out with friends.

Have you ever done ‘Restaurant Week’? Where’s your favorite place to go? How are you getting through this “heatpocalypse”?

City Kids Head to the Lake

July 20th, 2011 | Posted by Lindsay Runs in Blog Posts - (10 Comments)

As much as I love NYC in the summer, sometimes it just feels good to get away to the great outdoors and R-E-L-A-X. This past weekend I had the opportunity to head to my friend Terence’s lake house in Pennsylvania. It was the perfect getaway—it felt like time just stopped there and Terence’s family were the best hosts, with plenty of fun activities planned.

We arrived Friday night to a stocked fridge and got down to work with some beer pong and civil war.

We woke up Saturday morning and enjoyed a run around the lake (bit less than 4 miles)—quite a change of pace to run on quiet, scenic roads and paths without seeing a car or other people!

Wrighter Lake

And then the games began…this weekend was full of nonstop competition! It was awesome.

Races!

Margarita Volleyball. The best kind of volleyball.

Tubing!!

The gang

I enjoyed a nice scenic solo run on Sunday, just an easy 5.75 miles. Although I ran in the heat of the day around 2pm, it felt so much cooler out in the country and shaded roads so it wasn’t bad at all. Kinda peaceful, actually. We watched the Women’s World Cup (sad loss…) and headed back into the city after the game.

Goodbye Wrighter Lake!

This week so far has been a bit hectic between work and social plans (read: eating at fancy restaurants 5 out of the 7 nights this week, for work and NYC Restaurant Week), but I’m aiming to hit 40 miles this week. I know, I still need to share a post on my marathon training plan. Coming soon, promise!

What is your favorite vacation spot? Are you a city kid or country dweller? How’s running going this week amidst the heat wave? I always thought I was all about the hustle and bustle of NYC, but after last weekend I’m just about sold on moving to the middle of nowhere and escaping the stress…maybe. ;) This week has been pretty hot and sweaty in terms of running but I’m chugging along!

 

One of my favorite easy week night dates is the “Whole Foods Picnic”. Grabbing food to-go and heading to the park for a picnic is much cheaper (and healthier?) than eating out at a restaurant, and allows for a bit more conversation.

Usually I hit up the UWS Whole Foods since it’s closer to my apartment, but since I was coming from an event in midtown, Dan and I headed to Columbus Circle on Tuesday night and took our food down to Riverside Park. We enjoyed the scenery and nice cool river breeze with made the hot temps bearable.

I <3 Riverside Park

The only downside to date nights is when Dan’s alarm goes off at 5:15 am, since he gets into work around 7. Not so pleasant. I’m usually able to fall back asleep (or half-asleep) until my alarm goes off, but I was just not feeling it. On Wednesday morning around 5:45 am or so, I tweeted:

All the sudden, replies popped up!

It was like MAGIC! I had a longer run planned for the morning anyways since I am going away this weekend, so I was thrilled to have company. I <3 Twitter for reasons like this. I met up with Susan, Megan, Ali and Kelly for some easy miles, and ended up at 11 miles for the day with an average of around 8:00/mile. Perfect!

Tonight, I headed to Central Park for a CPTC workout. Only my second week of workouts back, I didn’t know what to expect from the 4-mile tempo run at half-marathon pace and wanted to go off feel. I aimed for 6:45-7:00 miles but got caught up with my group and ended up a bit faster than that. Whoops!

It was a tad longer than 4 miles, but an average pace of 6:25. YIKES! This was a pretty hard effort, particularly struggling in mile 3, but the workout was completed at my exact half-marathon pace so I suppose I nailed the task at hand.

I am trying to make an effort to not go too hard in these early weeks of training, as I’m building up my base and I want to have enough in me to rock workouts in later weeks. I suppose it’s a fine line I’m dealing with from not wanting to burn out or peak too early, to really pushing myself beyond where I’ve been to get to the next level.

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Backing it up to the weekend, I wanted to share some recipes I made this past weekend for “cooking club” with my friends. And, they’re healthy and delicious!

Kale Quinoa Goddess Salad

(based off Angela’s Weekend Glow Kale Salad)

  • Kale (I used 1 large bag from Trader Joe’s– removing the stems)
    • Tip from Angela: massage your dressing directly into the kale before adding other ingredients and let sit for about 15 minutes to absorb!
  • Quinoa (1 cup, cooked)
  • Feta Cheese
  • Diced Red Onion
  • Chopped Zucchini
  • Walnuts
  • Orange Bell Pepper
  • Sliced Avocado
  • Shredded Carrots
  • Baby Tomatoes

Mix it all together, and top with your favorite dressing! I love Annie’s Goddess dressing, it goes perfectly with any vegetable and added a great flavor to the (kinda) bitter kale.

I have only tried to make kale chips, but I’ve never had it in a salad! I never knew what went well with it, until I saw Angela’s recipe and figured it’d be the perfect veggie-packed salad. It was so flavorful with the feta, the quinoa added a bit of substance and texture, and I love tomato and zucchini in anything.

Yum!

I also made dessert this weekend. I’m not going to share the exact recipe since I made some tweaks given what I had on hand and it didn’t turn out as well as I’d like. It was still good, but the original recipe looks and probably tastes better– so make this instead! Deep Dish Cookie Pie by Chocolate Covered Katie

Ready to go in the oven...

This recipe was appealing to me because it uses a secret ingredient: chickpeas! Coincidentally, I’ve had about 6 cans of chickpeas sitting around waiting to be used. This recipe called for 2 cans, so maybe I’ll be making a few more batches.

Everyone really enjoyed the taste of the cookie pie (which I cut into bars), and nobody could guess the secret ingredient! They agreed they tasted ‘healthified’ but not in a bad way. They were super gooey and chocolatey considering I used about double the amount of mini chocolate chips. Yum!

I am headed to my friend’s lake house this weekend, so running may be at a low but fun and drinking will be at a high and I can’t wait to get out of the city and enjoy the great outdoors :)

Have you tried any new recipes this week? What do you have planned for the weekend?

 

Thank you all so much for the awesome comments on my last post on body confidence. I thought it was so awesome to hear many of you share the same struggles, and ultimately celebrate what our bodies are capable of doing rather than feeling down or unsatisfied.

Speaking of what our bodies can do, this past week marked week 1 of my ‘official’ NYC Marathon training! After the Mini 10K race in early June, I took a good few weeks to just rest and run how long I wanted to, when I wanted to. I kicked off this week ready to go and really excited about training again!

I’ve developed a loose plan for this year’s Marathon training, and will probably share it later this week. I still need to sit on it a bit before putting it out there, and think about some other areas I’d like to focus on this training cycle.

At least week 1 just called for around 30-35 miles for the week, and attempting to get in a road workout and ‘long’ run if I could. Mission accomplished!

Here’s how the week played out: 36.5 total miles

  • Sun: 3 miles easy in Riverside Park, humid and rainy
  • Mon: Off- Fourth of July!
  • Tues: 7 miles in Central Park
  • Weds: 6 miles in Riverside Park in am, Total Body Conditioning class after work
  • Thurs: CPTC Team Workout (3.1 miles in 20:27 [Harlem Hills..gah!], 1 mile in 6:15 [kinda downhill]) 8.5 total for day
  • Fri: Off!
  • Sat: 12 miles…longest run in a while!

Thursday’s workout was pretty rough. It was my first time doing any speed since the Mini 10K, and my butt/hamstrings were a bit tight from Wednesday night’s Total Body Conditioning class. Nonetheless, I was really pleased with my times considering how awful I felt. I think some of the distances might have been a bit short but I’ll take it. It was great to get back out there with the team and push through the discomfort. I kept reminding myself that I have to start somewhere, and I would have never put in that effort solo.

Saturday’s run was my favorite! Although I had no need to get up super early on a Saturday morning, I knew I wanted to get in a long-ish run and when I saw Megan, Ali and Kelly were meeting at 7:30 am in the park I figured it’d be a great opportunity to have company and beat the heat.

Don't we look like we're ready for an 80s workout video? (Thanks for being our professional photog, Ali!)

 

I went to Dan’s house on Long Island for dinner on Friday night after work, so didn’t get back into the city until around midnight. So, I was pretty tired when my alarm went off at 6:50 and never would have gotten out the door if I wasn’t meeting company.

I ran around 2 miles to the meeting point and then we continued along the bridle path to avoid a NYRR race, and the miles flew by! I loved running with them and not worrying about pace at all: I just wanted to get in the distance, I didn’t care how fast or slow. We all peeled off at different points and by the time I made it home, I had covered 12 miles! Average pace of 8:36, which was perfect for me. It’s still so early in training, and I really don’t think I would have been able to finish all 12 miles if I had gone much faster.

I can already tell this marathon training cycle is off to a better start than the last! I’m getting in workouts and long runs starting earlier in the cycle, which will hopefully set a strong base and pay off come November 6th. Here’s to staying healthy and enjoying many more workouts and long runs with running buddies!

And, many more trips to 16 Handles..the perfect marathon training refuel. This may or may not have been my dinner…don’t judge.

After sleeping in and lounging most of the morning, I’m off to do a bit of cooking and baking in preparation of tonight’s cooking club with friends! And…a 4-6 mile run may or may not happen depending on if I want to brave the heat.

What time do you typically do your weekend runs? What was the best workout you had this weekend? I love sleeping in, and find it hard to get up so early to beat the heat in the summer. Meeting people makes it easier to get out the door, but I would love to be able to run around noon-2 every day like I can in the fall/winter!

On Body Confidence

July 8th, 2011 | Posted by Lindsay Runs in Blog Posts - (11 Comments)

After spending the large majority of 4th of July weekend in a bathing suit, inevitably the topic of body confidence crossed my mind quite a few times.

I am not a very confident person, in all aspects of life. But, I wouldn’t say I suffer from low self confidence either. I tend to fall in the middle: some great days, some not-so-great. Body confidence in particular is not a huge issue to me, because I try to take a pretty laid back approach. Sure, I care about how I look and typically want to look my best, but stressing out over whether or not my arms look flabby or if my thighs are touching can be so mind-consuming and exhausting, so I try my best to avoid it or stop myself if I go down that path.

Instead, I like to focus on what my body can do versus how my body looks. Running helps immensely in this area!

These bulky thighs? They can run upwards of 60 miles a week.

These muscular calves? They powered me to a 3:04 marathon.

These big arms? I can (almost) do real pushups! :)

I might not have a 6-pack, or be able to fit into my skinny jeans, but I just ran a MARATHON!

See what I mean? When you start to focus on all the things your body is capable of, the little extra chub or crunches you wish you did become a bit less significant than those goals your body allows you to achieve via running. Or swimming or biking or yoga or dancing or whatever it is you love to do!

Time for some more honesty.

I currently weigh about 5 pounds more than I did during college. On my 5’4 frame, I think it shows..particularly when comparing pictures. I contribute this to largely to sitting at a desk for 8-10 hours a day, rather than walking miles around campus to and from class and activities. I’m still running the same (if not more), and eating pretty well. Part of me thinks I should work on getting back down to that weight, but I still feel good now. I am running well, I am enjoying life, and 95% of days I feel good with how I look. I have bad days where I feel like a zillion pounds. But I try to think big picture: Will 5 pounds of weight loss really make a difference in my confidence? Not if I have to deprive myself and go crazy to get there.

I remember a point in high school where I struggled really badly with body confidence. Wasn’t everyone super emo then anyway? I remember planning my meals all day to avoid eating certain foods and having my mom prepare separate foods for me. Or coming home one day after track practice and doing the elliptical because I wanted to work a little harder. I was also obsessed with what other people thought about how I looked, despite wearing a size 0. How miserable! And guess what….my running wasn’t so hot and I subsequently landed two back-to-back stress fractures.

See what I mean? Why place all this stress and worry on how you look, when you’re just fine how you are. I found that once I cut the negative self talk and got healthy, I started improving my running times and my confidence (about my body and my life) skyrocketed. I was a much happier person inside, and much more fun to be around. I wish I could take back those years where I spent all that energy feeling bad about myself and applied it elsewhere.

I see so many people (many, many friends!) stress out about how they look or losing those last five pounds. I am all for doing what makes you feel best about yourself, but at the end of the day…are you happy? Or are you driving yourself crazy? How else can you drive self-confidence in ways beyond your weight? What does your body as it currently stands allow you to do? This is why I am always encouraging my friends to take up running or a new athletic hobby…it’s the endorphins or something.

Everyone knows you take note of so much more about yourself than others do. What did your boss wear to work today? I can’t recall, but I can sure list out my own outfits this whole week! :)

I’m not perfect, I have good days and bad days with body confidence…but I feel like the bad days come a lot more rarely when I remember the idea that what your body can do is so much more important for your life and well-being than the miniscule aspects of your weight and how you look. It might not seem that way when you’re standing in a bikini in front of dozens of people, but remember that!

What are your thoughts on body confidence? Do you feel better at a certain weight? Do you judge your body confidence on athletic achievements?