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.)
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.
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!