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It feels silly to start by complaining about the weather, but let me have my moment. This winter has been pretty ridiculous here in New York City so far, and like you, I’m more than ready for spring. While I certainly enjoy and appreciate having four seasons and love a fresh snowfall, the last month has been especially brutal with continued snow, ice, and the #OMGpolarvortex that seems to have finally subsided (for now.)

My little apartment patio. Okay, the snow is pretty sometimes...

My little apartment patio. Okay, the snow is pretty sometimes…

Nonetheless, I’m proud to say I’ve resisted the treadmill so far and have done 100% of my runs outdoors– I’m also a little stubborn. Through “10 feels like -6″ and near-blinding sideways snow , I’d rather bundle up with everything I own and not be able to feel my face than sweat it out running stationary indoors. I know the tricks (Netflix! A killer playlist! Increasing the speed gradually!) but for me, it takes far more mental energy to get through a short run or workout on the treadmill than just sucking it up outdoors.

I also attribute this shift to having friends to run with! The last time I used a treadmill more than once in a winter was in 2011 when I was training for the NYC Half-Marathon (training log) This was before I joined Central Park Track Club, and I recall getting a fair amount of snow and ice that winter as well. Dragging yourself out the door in the dark and cold to workout to meet people is far easier than doing it alone, especially since I did most every run alone that winter. Sad times!

Anyways, I’ve returned to doing workouts twice a week and …they’re not so bad. I’m giving myself time to get used to ‘quicker’ paces and put in the effort I can given the conditions outdoors. Here’s how the last two weeks panned out:

Week of 1/20:

  • M: Off
  • T: 9 miles easy + lift
    • I accidentally set my alarm for PM instead of AM and slept through meeting friends for a morning workout. By the time I got out the door around 9AM, the heavy snow had started and visibility and footing was pretty bad. Scrapped the workout for an easy run. Hey, it happens.
  • W: 6.5 miles easy
  • R: CPTC workout @ night: 2×2 miles, 1 mile
    • 2 miles @ 14:21 (7:11 pace)
    • 2 miles @ 13:36 (6:48 pace)
    • 1 mile @ 6:48
    • Central Park had been hit with snow and wasn’t totally clear, so our coaches modified this workout to be entirely on the West Side. The first 2 mile started at the 72nd St statue up to the peak of Harlem Hill, recovered, then turned around and did it backwards. The last 1 mile was from 72nd St statue up to ~88th street. Oh, those hills. Took me a while to warm up and get in the groove, but glad I did the whole workout!
  • F: 9.6 easy, freezing and actually couldn’t feel my legs to pick them up. + lift
  • S: Off- travel to Austin for a little weekend getaway with Kristen
  • S: Off- skipped planned easy 4

Total: 36.2 miles A little lower than my anticipated 40 because I skipped out on a short run on Sunday because I was a bit tired (understatement) from going out the night before.

Before things got weird in Austin

Before things got weird in Austin

Week of 1/27

  • M: Easy 5.9 in Austin. Felt good to wear shorts and a t-shirt!
  • T: Solo workout on the Great Lawn, 4x800s w/ ~400m recover
    • After getting in late from Austin the night before, I took to the Great Lawn around 10am for a solo workout. Let me tell you, these were really, really hard mentally. It was freezing and I wanted to do 1 or 2 more, but I could barely breathe with cold lungs. So, 4 it was.
    • My pace per 800 (or, .51-.52) ranged from 6:49/mile to 6:21/mile, so I was happy each got progressively faster. Little wins!
  • W: Off– Overslept because my phone died overnight. Oops!
  • R: Morning CPTC workout w/ friends, since I had plans at night. 2x5K of Harlem Hills, with ~1/2 mile recovery
    • 3.15 miles in 22:09 [7:10, 7:12, 6:49, (6:38 .15 mi pace)]
    • 3.13 miles in 22:23 [7:15, 7:31, 6:47 (6:44 .13 mi pace)]
    • We started at the statue, went up the west side and up Harlem Hill then looped through the 102nd street transverse. The 2nd 5K was the same thing in reverse.
    • I acknowledge that hills are NOT my strong point, so this workout was really tough for me. I definitely lost it on the 2nd 5K during the rolling west side hills but am happy I got back into the groove on the final downhill mile. Even though morning workouts are harder since I’m pretty tired at 6:30 AM, I was so happy to have friends to push me out there in 14 degree weather.
  • F: Easy 5.8 + lift
  • S: 12 miles, longest run to date!
    • I averaged 7:47 pace, which felt pretty quick for me and is a bit faster than I’ve been doing my easy runs. We must have gotten a bit excited that it was over 30 degrees out! I’m happy with that pace even though I lagged behind the group slightly before I peeled off home, since they were going longer than I can right now.
  • S: Off!

Total: 43.4 miles

I’m trying really, really hard to gradually build up my mileage. Right now, I’m still only running 5 days a week. Mileage on workout days add up quickly between the workout and the warm up/cool down, and I am ramping up long runs by 1-2 miles each week. I should be able to step it up to running 6 days a week in the next few weeks, but am continually adjusting my Boston training plan based off how I feel.

I’ve only been running consistently for about 6 weeks now, so I’m (as always) trying to be patient with my progress. I think I’ll aim for ~48 miles this week. I’ve already got a brutal hill workout under my belt from this Tuesday, and am mentally prepping for tonight’s CPTC workout of a 4 mile tempo followed by a 2 mile tempo with short recovery between. EEEEP!

Hoarding beers

I’m back with some good news– I’m running! Without pain!

As I mentioned back in November, my stress fracture was lingering around slightly longer than expected and I ended up taking off a little over three months total. Three months without any exercise means starting my Boston 2014 training cycle from scratch. While not ideal, I’m very excited to finally get back on the roads and kick off 2014 on a good note.

CentralPark

This was in the fall when I couldn’t run, but you get the point.

 

2013 was likely my lowest mileage year-to-date, and I never stayed healthy or uninjured for longer than 3-ish months at a time. By the time I got in a groove, I got injured again and had to take time off. It’s difficult to continually start from scratch every few months, especially since the first month or so of getting back in shape is the most challenging. However, I am optimistic that 2014 will be a year of consistent, healthy training! Even if that consistency doesn’t pay off in the form of PRs this year, I’m confident that it will eventually.

We’re only 90 days away from Boston 2014, and I’ve got all my fingers and toes crossed that I can make it to the starting line healthy! I think it’s too early to determine an accurate goal time, 3:05-3:10 sounds safe. While I’m still chasing sub-3:00 or even just a PR in 2014, I want to be realistic and gentle with myself considering the circumstances. We’ll see how the coming weeks go…!

I recently started using Running Ahead to map out a training plan and log my data, after my friend Veronica recommended it. It takes a bit to set up, but is super easy to use once you set up your calendar! Here is my dashboard (below) that summarizes my training data/upcoming planned workouts, my (tentative) training plan to help map out my daily mileage and weekly build up, and my calendar that shows my actual runs-to-date coupled with planned runs.

Training Dashboard on Running Ahead

Training Dashboard on Running Ahead

 

I like that you can also view others training logs to compare runs, workouts, plans, etc. and it tracks miles on each pair of shoes to know when to retire them. I’m definitely guilty of over-wearing sneakers way beyond their mileage! You might also notice I added a little widget to the sidebar here on the blog that automatically uploads my latest runs.

I’m a few weeks into actual training and hit 35 miles last week! The injury-prone, nervous voice in my head thinks I’m still running too much, too soon. I’m only running 5 days a week right now, which has helped, but will go up to 6 soon. I’m also spending a bit more time stretching, foam rolling, and doing strength work. Knock on wood (or, knock on healed bone?) it keeps me healthier.

This past weekend, a group of friends and I trekked out to Long Island for the Sayville Running Company 10 Mile Run to the Brewery. This is the second year we’ve done it and it’s a blast. It’s pretty flat and ends at Blue Point Brewery for unlimited beer! I didn’t fully run the race last year as I was in the midst of my weird knee/IT issue and pathetically ran/walked a few miles out and back. I had very low expectations this year as I hadn’t even run 10 miles consecutively or done any tempo work to date.

10 Mile Run to Brewery 1/18/14

10 Mile Run to Brewery 1/18/14

I ran mostly with my friend Kristen and we had planned to run the first half easy and pick it up from there. Once the gun went off, we found our ‘easy’ pace a lot quicker than anticipated! However, I just rolled with it and got into a groove and started picking it up around mile 5. I was definitely working hard to hold 7:00 and under pace, but felt really strong and steady. I could feel my competitive drive coming back as I focused on picking each girl ahead of me off one by one.

When the pace felt really difficult or I wanted to just slow down, I kept steering myself back to positive thoughts. While it sounds cheesy, I reminded myself that I was so grateful to be out there running at all. I wasn’t able to do this race last year and just spent the entire last quarter of 2013 on the sidelines. I was now on the roads able to hold 7:00 pace off minimal running and workouts. While small, what an accomplishment! The thought of running a marathon at that pace in a few months is a bit daunting, but this is a pretty exciting starting point.

Hoarding beers

Hoarding beers

photo 3 (1)

Winners get growlers & pint glasses

photo 4 (1) photo

With a little more time on my hands these days, I hope to be able to post here a little more frequently. I have a feeling I’ll sound like a broken record over the next few months, but I’m excited and motivated to start fresh and get back in shape. Let’s see what April 21st brings!

Keeping Sane While Not Running

November 21st, 2013 | Posted by Lindsay Runs in Blog Posts - (6 Comments)

Hi! It’s been about 10 weeks or so since I’ve posted, and surprise! I’m still not running because of my stress fracture.

“Typical” healing from a stress fracture is approximately 6-8 weeks depending on severity, speed of healing, etc. I spent the first six weeks in the air cast and the next three without running or weight-bearing exercise of any type, with the exception of the occasional recumbent bike ride– total snooze fest. I also popped calcium and vitamin D like it was candy, mmm.

I got a follow-up MRI around 8 weeks to determine whether the bone had healed and get clearance from my doctor to run again. In the days leading up to the results, I set out for a much-needed run or two (or three…) to clear my head. I started with a very easy, very slow mile, and felt no pain!

The morning of my doctor’s appointment, I reunited with my old running buds on the bridle path for a good 20 minutes. It was glorious, even with the 30-something degree temperatures and snowflakes. There was no pain, no tenderness, no iffy-ness (except in my lungs because I’m so ridiculously out of shape, but that’s a different story) so I felt pretty confident about getting the results that evening. Just like I had expected the last two months, I’d ease back into running right before Thanksgiving to get a solid base through December, ready to kick off Boston training strong in January.

False. The MRI results still show a slight stress fracture, so my doctor wants me to take an additional 3-4 weeks completely off.

Insert heartbreak. And more calcium.

I know I was a bad patient and I would probably never advise anyone else to run before getting cleared post-stress fracture, but 9 loooong weeks had passed, my shin didn’t hurt, and I craved fresh air and QT with my running sneakers more than ever.

There have been some pretty big changes in my life lately. Many emotions, but mostly excitement! These changes leave me craving that one thing that makes me feel most like myself and provides routine and structure in my life: running. (And, wine. Lots of it.)

So since I probably won’t be lacing up my sneaks until around Christmas time, I wanted to share the things I’ve kept in mind the last 2+ months. While I’m sharing these mostly as a personal reminder to keep my sanity, hopefully they can help anyone dealing with a similar injury or extended time off running.

  1. Respect your body. Your body is smart and pretty amazing at telling you what it needs. Unfortunately, sometimes injuries are a form of communication. Injuries are no fun, and I’ve sustained my fair share this past year (knee/IT? cab accident? stress fracture? 2013 was not my year..) However, I try to view injuries as your body’s way of telling you to slow down. When injuries strike, you suddenly become far more in tune with your body and start being nicer to it (icing, taking supplements, foam rolling, resting, etc.) Sometimes, we just need a break. Since I want my shin to get stronger than ever, I’m respecting this rest time and taking the full four weeks off again.
  2. Less time running = more time for other things you love! For me, that’s sleep and time with friends. For you, maybe it’s a new hobby or picking up another project at work! Remember all of those early mornings during training when your alarm goes off way too early and you curse it and long for a day to just sleep in? Well, when you can’t run, that day is every day! I’ve totally soaked this time up and try to get 9+ hours a night when I can, to make up for the nights of too little sleep. Instead of Thursday night team workouts, I spent most Thursday nights out with friends. Without a Saturday morning long run to wake up for, Fridays were suddenly wide open! And I felt zero guilt about staying on my couch all day if I wanted to. Don’t get me wrong, there were (are?) plenty of days I craved the feeling of accomplishment after a long run or feeling energized to start my day after a few miles on the bridle. But life is all about balance, and I’d like to think I do a pretty good job at this even when I’m seriously training. Spending even more time being able to say ‘YES’ to friends and new things helps take your mind off running, a bit.
  3. Cross-train or pick up something new. Depending on your injury, this is a great way to stay in shape and get your endorphin fix. Admittedly, I didn’t do this but would advocate it to most. I was told I could do non-weight bearing activities like swimming, core & upper body strength, and very easy recumbent biking. Honestly, I can count the times I cross-trained on one or two hands. Personally, if I can’t run— I’d rather do nothing and sleep in (see above.) I found the time suck of walking to and from the gym way too annoying and I just can’t get down with the recumbent bike or the miniature-sized pool at NYSC. However, I did try to go for hikes while traveling or long walks around the city, and have recently started lifting 5 lb. weights at the gym. Watch out for these guns.
  4. Keep it in perspective. During my junior year of high school, I was unlucky enough to get not one, but two, stress back-to-back fractures in my tibia (which is, apparently, the bone that still hates me ten years later.) At the time, it was devastating and I’m pretty sure I cried in my coach’s office every single day until I could run again. Dramatic much? I remember my coach telling me that I can run for as long as I choose to. Back then, I didn’t appreciate that simple advice and brushed it off. While not being able to run these last few months (or much this year) has been quite frustrating, I haven’t been too upset about it because it’s just a blip in my 12+ year running career— and hopefully decades more to come. Perspective. One injury or period off does not ruin your running goals and dreams; if anything, it reinvigorates you to come at them stronger than ever once you’re healthy.

Simple thoughts in my non-expert, personal opinion. Everyone has their own way of mentally and physically dealing with injuries and that’s okay.

To help cope with the lack of mileage in my life over the next few weeks, I’ll be jetsetting around the globe! I’m currently writing this from a coffeeshop in LA where I’m spending the week hanging with my sister before driving down to Palm Springs with her and my mom for Thanksgiving. Then, I’ll leave straight from LA on December 2nd to spend about 18 days traveling Thailand (!!) and Cambodia (!!) with two friends, Karen and Kara.

I simply can’t contain my excitement for this trip, which I hope will look something like ‘Eat Pray Love’ with a lot of thai red curry, elephant riding, Full Moon Party-ing, and sleeping on beautiful beaches. I also feel incredibly fortunate to have the time and resources to pursue a trip like this– sometimes I still have to pinch myself that it’s really happening.

Life has a funny way of working out, and while I can’t predict what the next month or year might bring, I’ll be heading back home to NJ for Christmas and diving into 2014 with a smile (and hopefully, a tan.) Vitamin D from the sun is good for healing bones, right?

Going for the BQ

September 1st, 2013 | Posted by Lindsay Runs in Blog Posts - (1 Comments)

Helloooooo, September. How’d you creep up on us so fast? While I’m pretty bummed tomorrow marks the unofficial end of summer, I do love fall in New York City and can’t wait for slightly cooler and less humid temperatures for running.

The start of September also means that in just one week, I’ll be running a marathon. Gulp. After absolutely lovingggg Boston 2012 (aka the ‘speed can kill’ heat race), I knew I couldn’t wait to get back for 2014. But then life, work, injuries and accidents got in the way of running other marathons, which meant I haven’t run a race of any type since Boston/Big Sur in April 2012 and thus my qualifying times are all outdated. While Boston registration remained open through the Chicago Marathon last year, I am fairly confident that won’t be the case this year since everyone and their mom seems to want to do Boston this year given last year’s events.

So, I knew I couldn’t wait until Chicago to get my time, and that I should start searching for early September marathons to seek out a new BQ time before registration opens. Back in April, I stumbled upon the Lehigh Valley VIA Marathon and decided it fit the bill perfectly: runner-friendly fast course, relatively minimal travel, and perfect timing on September 8th. I quickly registered and hoped I wouldn’t regret the impulsive decision laster.

My goal for the race is to get a comfortable BQ time between 3:20 and 3:25, which is at least 17+ minutes slower than my PR and should normally not be a big deal (for me.) But after the bike accident, I was pretty slow to return to running and really started doubting whether or not a 7:40-7:50 pace was even doable for 26.2 miles. While I was only able to run 1 mile at the end of May, I’ve seen major progression over the last few weeks especially and feel really, really good about the race!

I’m trying to treat it as a uptempo long run (NOT RACE), with the goal of slightly negative splits and feeling smooth and comfortable, holding myself back from the impulse to push the pace. I know I might get carried away a bit, but will remind myself I just need ANY time in that window and there is no point in going any faster. I just want to check the BQ box and then focus on a better time at Chicago.

Running lately has been going pretty well, with a few confidence boosting runs and workouts along the way. I did 19.5 miles last weekend, since I was too lazy to go 20, and ran around nearly the entire island of Manhattan.

Long run, 8/24

We had intended to make it a slightly faster paced long run with a faster-ish finish, and I felt awesome the entire time. We started around 8:00 pace per usual, and then brought it down to 7:45s and 7:30s and under towards the end. We averaged around 7:45 pace for the whole run, meaning adding on another 6+ miles should be no big deal next weekend, right?

And then this past Thursday, we did one of my favorite tempo workouts for marathon training– a continuous 8 miler with the first 4 mile loop at marathon pace and the second loop at half-marathon pace.

In my experience with this, everyone always ends up going way faster than their actual marathon pace for the first loop. I knew I wanted to start conservatively and feel good at the end, so aimed around/under 7:00 pace for the first 4 and hoped I could hang onto the group for the end.

Workout, 8/29

The good thing about doing these consistent workouts is being able to compare to years prior. I was pretty excited when I realized I had also averaged 6:45 pace for this workout before NYC ’11. And I was in kick ass shape when I did this before Boston ’12, averaging 6:32 pace and feeling really relaxed. Nonetheless, it was a huge confidence booster and testament to the body’s amazing ability to make fitness gains. Back in July, I could barely hold a 2 mile tempo at this pace and wanted to die.

So, fingers crossed for next weekend! My right shin started feeling a little funky after Thursday, but otherwise no aches or pains. I feel good but need to respect that 26.2 miles is a LONG way and I’m probably delusional for thinking it’ll be a casual Sunday morning yog. BQ, here I come… ready or not.

Happy Labor Day weekend, all! 

Running, lately.

August 16th, 2013 | Posted by Lindsay Runs in Blog Posts - (3 Comments)

The last few weeks of training have been pretty motivating, as my workouts have been getting progressively faster. There have been plenty of days where I contemplate “oversleeping” and skipping morning runs, and team workouts still give me knots in my stomach from nerves. But I’ve been showing up and continually putting in the work, and I think it’s (finally!) starting to pay off. As I’ve mentioned, getting back into shape is incredibly frustrating, humbling, and rewarding.

Here’s a quick summary of the last few weeks (because I’m sure you’ve been waiting in suspense….)

w/o 7/22: Total 51 miles

  • M: 8.25 + lift
  • T: a.m. workout @ Great Lawn; 8×600 w/ 200 jog– from 6:23 pace to 6:00 pace
  • W: Off
  • R: late to p.m. workout ~1.75 @ 6:35 pace; 2x Harlem Hill/transverse, 6:43, 6:30; pickups at end
  • F: 5.25 + lift
  • S: 2 mile ‘fun race’ to Parker House in NJ (4th place) 11:28. Definitely a short course, but ended in an open bar so no complaints here.
  • S: 15 miles trails w/ Kristen in NJ; picked up last miles 7:49, 7:19, 6:50

Kristen & I pre-race. We’re ready to drink all of the beer.

w/o 7/29: Total 51 miles

  • M: 8.5 + lift
  • T: a.m. Lower Loop, 1 mile @ 6:38, 8×400 w/ 200 jog– ranged from 7:05 pace to 6:12 pace. Legs heavyyyy.
  • W: Off
  • R: p.m. 4.06 tempo in 26:54 (6:37 avg) 6:47, 6:30, 6:41, 6:29. Ran solo for most.
  • F: 7.25
  • S: 17.75 long run while watching Club Champs– longest run so far!
  • S: Off

w/o 8/5: Total 46.75 miles

  • M: 8.5 mi + bike commute
  • T: a.m. Great Lawn: 6x~800 w/ 400 jog; ranged from 6:30 pace to 5:54 pace. Took a while to wake up…
  • W: 4 miles, extremely tired and so slow
  • R: a.m. tempo 5.12 in 35:47 (6:59 avg.)– hard to get moving/breathing in the morning // p.m. free SoulCycle class for work
  • F: Off
  • S: Off (sick)
  • S: 13.25 “long” run

 w/o 8/12: Planned ~55 total

  • M: 9.5
  • T: p.m. track workout: 5×1000: 3:49, 3:53, 3:51, 3:50, 3:47 (approx 5:59-5:46 pace)- felt good + lift
  • W: 7.5
  • R: p.m. tempo: 6.1 in 40:17 (6:37 avg) 6:46, 6:41, 6:19, 6:47, 6:36, 6:37- felt good & consistent
  • F: Off
  • S: Planned long run?
  • S: Planned off or short run?

Here’s the thing about my workouts and mental state lately. I have had zero confidence. Particularly on Thursday nights when I meet with the whole team for practice, I always feel unsure of who to try to run with since I’m not in shape enough to hang with my regular group. I’m just not as familiar with who else runs what paces and I hate being that annoying person going around asking what pace everyone is planning to run. So sometimes, I find myself in limbo– lacking confidence to go with a faster group because I don’t want to get dropped, but a bit quicker than the other. One day, I doubted myself and ran with the 2nd group and found myself running practically the entire 4 mile tempo alone. My pace was good, and sometimes I enjoy a solo effort, but I regretted not challenging myself and going with the faster group because I was too scared.

Well, that’s dumb. So this week, I opted to go with the quicker group on both Tuesday AND Thursday nights. And I didn’t get entirely dropped, I just hung along the back. Surprise! It wasn’t so bad after all.

Workout 8/15/13

In fact, this tempo is pretty much on par with my regular pace for these workouts, which I was quite surprised by. Maybe it was the slightly cooler weather, or maybe I’m just getting stronger mentally, but it’s been a good reminder to stop doubting myself or playing it safe. While I’m still not expecting to run close to my PR in Chicago, maybe I won’t be as far off as I thought I’d be when I started this training cycle.

Oh, PS, have I mentioned I’m “racing” the VIA Marathon on 9/8? I keep conveniently forgetting about it. I’m just running it as a long run to get a BQ time (since my last marathon was April ’12). Yep, just a casual 26.2 mile run. As long as I clear 3:25 (7:49 pace), I’ll feel confident about being able to get in for Boston ’14. Since this post is long enough, hopefully more on that to come…

This weekend, I’m headed up to Garrison, NY for Alex’s wedding weekend. Alex and I met through Central Park Track Club, when we discovered we ran the 2010 NYC Marathon within seconds of each other (literally) and became perfect training buds and friends. You might remember we even did Boston 2 Big Sur together! I’m so excited to head up with a few other girls from the team and celebrate her and Steve’s big day and dance the night away.

Adventures in cross-training

January 30th, 2013 | Posted by Lindsay Runs in Blog Posts - (9 Comments)

It was just about a month ago when my knee got so bad I decided to stop running on it. I figured I’d take a few days off to rest, and it’d go away. The few days of training lost wouldn’t be a huge setback and I’d be back on the roads in no time.

Welp, one month later I can see that I was entirely wrong. This stupid knee issue continues, but I’m happy to report I’m making progress and actually kinda enjoying cross-training.

Thanks to a few free class credits (lucky/weird), I totally drank the SoulCycle kool aid and love it. It’s like a sweaty, endorphin-filled dance party. Sorry haters, hate on. While I’ve been three times so far, including a class with Ali, I don’t understand how people pay that much to do it regularly (Though I’d probably pay to be in shirtless Bradley Cooper’s class). I think I might try it once a month because it makes me feel downright awesome. #treatyoself.

I’ve also been hitting up good ole New York Sports Club regularly for spinning classes with Kelly who has also been sidelined from the bridle path temporarily. Injuries make me glad I didn’t cancel my previously-rarely-used gym membership. I think we’ve tried and tested just about every 6:30 am spin instructor by now. After spinning, I’ve been spending about 30 minutes stretching and pretending to lift weights and do PT exercises before showering and going to work. I’m so over gym showers and their terrible blow dryers.

And I’ve also done a free class (and have another free class tomorrow– East Coast vs. West Coast hip hop rideeeee) at Revolve Fitness. It’s kinda like SoulCycle, but less dance-party-esque but still a good workout. I love these fancy spinning classes, but really only when I can do it for free and I can’t spend my energy running.

My training log is sad, and I still haven’t gotten around to re-adjusting my “Goal weekly mileage” totals. It’s safe to say at this rate, I’ll be able to run the NYC Half-Marathon on 3/17, but any PR attempt is out the window.

Yay for signing up for races I can’t do. I just took advantage of the unlimited beer at the finish.

When injured, some people turn to cross-training like crazy and hit the gym, bike, pool, elliptical, etc. for hours to make up for an equivalent effort not running. I am not one of those people. Kudos to you who are! Sure, I’ve been trying to get to the gym most days and have a newfound love for spinning, but I definitely think I could be doing more to maintain or gain fitness. That’s why I’ve been hitting up classes, because otherwise I’d never push myself on the bike or elliptical.

While cross-training certainly has its benefits, I believe that if you’re training for a running race, you should spend the majority of your time running. When you can’t run, cross-training is the next best thing by default. But I believe that a 45 minute spin class, no matter how sweaty, doesn’t deliver the same running fitness gains. Someone once told me that for every minute run, you should double that time to get the equivalent running effort. Whether or not that’s true, that’s a lot of time I don’t have…

Maybe I’m lazy. Maybe I’m unmotivated. Maybe I’m playing it safe. I know I’m not doing all I can to get back in shape by 3/17, but I really have no desire (or time) to spend like 2 hours at the gym daily to maintain or build my endurance right now. This stupid knee has really knocked out the positive mojo I had leading into 2013. I feel like I took two steps back during the month of January.

I can’t blame my loss of fitness entirely on my knee. I did aim to take responsibility for my actions this year. Remember?

I can’t change my knee pain (to an extent). I could cross-train more or harder. But honestly, I don’t feel like it. So I’m changing my attitude and not letting myself get down by it and being realistic about what I can accomplish. This race, though my favorite, is just one day. I’m going to set my sights on another half marathon in May (probably Brooklyn because it doesn’t involve travel) and work towards getting healthy and fit for that.

In good news, I AM slowly returning to running. About 2 weeks ago, I tried walking/running a few miles during the Run to the Brewery 10 miler in Long Island. The out and back course made it easy to do as much/little as I needed to, so I probably ended up covering around 7 miles total while running 4 of the miles on and off. I didn’t want to be too late to the beer at the finish. Priorities. Last week, I tried running 3 miles easily but the cold weather seemed to make my knee lock up a bit more and everything felt sore and tight afterwards.

And then I spent 27 hours in Orlando for work, 1 hour of which I got to spend outside. I also forgot to pack sneakers so there was no working out (darn.)

Yesterday, I decided to reunite with my running buds for our usual Tuesday morning runs. It had been nearly a month and I missed them! The roads were a bit slick due to the rain/slush that fell Monday night so we tried to take it easy before heading to the bridle for some intervals. I didn’t feel confident to test my knee with the uneven footing and mud/ice mixture, so I called it quits after two. Related: I am totally out of shape and wanted to die during the 1200 and 1000 intervals I did do. Nonetheless, my knee held up OK with some lingering soreness/tightness. Mostly, it felt good to be back for my first ‘real’ run and it’s a starting point.

I’ll probably stick to running once more this week, and spinning the rest of the days. Maybe next week I’ll work up to 3 days of running if it feels OK!

‘Till next time, when I can hopefully share a not-so-depressing update about how I’m back hitting the roads and rocking it.