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#BostonStrong

April 15th, 2014 | Posted by Lindsay Runs in Blog Posts - (2 Comments)

After the Boston bombing took place a year ago today, I vowed to do whatever it takes to be a part of the event in 2014. While I wasn’t there in 2013, the 2012 race holds such a place in my marathon-loving heart. Despite the heat, I discovered a new way to love the marathon. It wasn’t about PRs or executing the perfect race strategy– it was about enjoying the experience and soaking it all in. The city of Boston was alive that day and I’ll never forget it.

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Qualifying for the 2014 race meant running a marathon on a stress fracture, since it had been a while since I last raced and I needed a BQ time. With an abbreviated time period to train for this race once I got out of the boot, I knew I likely wouldn’t be in PR shape and just focused on getting in what training I could. Then, I got tendinitis and couldn’t run for a few weeks, and have been rehabbing my foot pretty intensely to make it to the starting line healthy. In my personal running bubble, it’s been a frustrating process getting here, but next Monday will put everything in perspective.

Mom & I in 2012

Mom & me in 2012

Races can be selfish when you’re gunning for a PR, even when running with a team. But this year, my Boston race isn’t about me. I’m running to join in a community that means so much to me. I want to give back to that community and celebrate our strength and resilience the best way we know how: running. To prove we are strong and can’t be stopped. I’m thankful to be healthy enough to be able to run the entire race, something I wasn’t sure would be possible just a month ago. I’m so excited to get up to Boston and be a part of the atmosphere I’ve been looking forward to for nearly a year.

I don’t think I’m fully prepared for what the weekend and race day will bring, but know it will be deeply emotional. Being here in NYC, it’s easy to feel a little disconnected from those in Boston who have been training with such a deep sense of rallying purpose. The last few days, and today in particular, I’ve read through stories of the survivors and those deceased, watched tributes and recaps and it’s starting to feel a bit more real. I cannot begin to imagine what Marathon Monday will be like, but it’s going to be one to remember. My heart and soul is ready to soak it all in.

I’m heading up Friday morning and will stay through Tuesday morning. Thankfully my last long run went really, really well. Following a reverse taper plan of sorts, I had a great 15 mile run on 4/5 and a final 20 mile run this past Saturday. I had friends to keep me company the entire 20 miles and it was a beautiful spring day. My pace averaged at 8:00, which felt really relaxed and comfortable. It was a confidence booster that I’m not completely out of shape after barely running for the last month.

My legs are surprisingly feeling pretty good this week, but I’ve been focusing on resting, icing, stretching and keeping up with my PT exercises. I haven’t felt any pain in my foot at all since I’ve returned to running, and I’m not concerned with not being as ‘fresh’ as usual considering I’m not racing. Whether I run 3:15 (lolz..) or 4:15, I will be happy with my race if I enjoy the day fully and my foot doesn’t hurt.

Good luck to everyone else running, I can’t wait to be a part of this day with you!

Progress & A Plan

April 1st, 2014 | Posted by Lindsay Runs in Blog Posts - (4 Comments)

I wanted to wait at least a week or two to post until I was sure, but, I’M BACK TO RUNNING! I’m still not 100% confident to say the tendinitis is healed completely, because I’m afraid it’ll come back at any time if I’m not careful. So I’ve been easing in gently, paying attention to any signs of tenderness and soreness, continuing to see doctors regularly for treatment, icing, stretching, foam rolling, and the works.

On March 18th, my foot had been absent of pain for a few days. I had a doctor’s appointment scheduled for the next day, and wanted to test it out on a short run so I could at least report back on progress, pain-free or not.

I headed to the East River Path for a super windy, sloooooow 3 mile run. Unsurprisingly, I lost a ton of fitness after 3 weeks of no running and minimal cross-training. Surprisingly, my foot felt great. I couldn’t wait to get to the doctor and share the good news!

So, I’ve been alternating days of easy running with cross-training for about 2 weeks now and my foot is still feeling good. My doctor advised I stick to regular mileage and nix any speed work, tempos, or specific hill work as they may re-aggravate the tendinitis faster.

Blocked out my address, don't stalk me please

Blocked out my address, don’t stalk me please

Since we’re now less than 3 weeks out from Boston, I have a loose plan to get me to the starting and finish lines healthy and with a bit more endurance. One of my doctors, Marisa, asked me what I’d like to complete as a long run pre-Boston in my “dream world”. Prior to this injury, I had only gotten up to a long run of 17 with a weekly mileage of 53, and it sounds scary but I really wanted to be able to get in a 20 miler for a mental and physical confidence boost. However, I would rather stay healthy and out of shape than re-injured after running too much.

My goals for Boston are to enjoy the day, have fun, and to complete the race without pain and without re-injuring myself. I don’t care about my time, and am actually excited to be able to take in the day’s atmosphere more than I would if I were gunning for a PR, similar to my race in 2012.

She put together a plan that focuses on long runs, since that’ll be key for getting in some endurance prior to the marathon to ensure that 26.2 miles isn’t a complete shock to my body. It’s a bit more aggressive than I’d probably choose myself, but I trust her and think it’s reasonable in the limited time I have before the race.

Basically, I can run easy every other day (3-6ish miles) with a long run on Saturdays– starting at 10 miles this past Saturday, 15 miles this upcoming Saturday, and 20 miles on the following. I should stick to cross-training or rest on the days I don’t run.

I’ve been continuing to go to BodyPump at NYSC once or twice a week and love the difference I’ve noticed in my overall strength and ability to increase weights. Last week, I took advantage of Soul Cycle’s free community rides on Tuesday and Thursday for my cross-training. Since I can’t afford to pay $35 for a class now (or ever, really…) these have been a nice treat while I have the flexibility in my schedule to head over to the West Village studio at noon. Even the shoe rental is free! I totally missed signups for this week, so maybe I’ll try again next week. I find I can’t motivate myself to get in a good workout while biking on my own, so a class is really helpful for me.

In non-running related news, I turned 27 on the first day of spring and had a great birthday week celebration with friends and family.

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Judging by the color of my tongue, I certainly enjoyed our wine

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A dance-filled birthday fiesta

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And a tasty lunch at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park NY with my mom

26 was my year of injuries, so I’m hoping 27 is my year of getting back to consistent training. And, if I’m lucky, perhaps it’ll bring a shiny new PR on October 12th.

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3rd year registering, hopefully my 1st time to start the race!

 

Sidenote: I see the above but still haven’t received any official confirmation email. Did anyone else think submitting a time qualifier separately from the application via email was extremely convoluted?

Hopefully I’ll be back with continued good news on the running front following this weekend’s 15. Need all the positive vibes I can get!

 

 

Up, up, up! and down…

February 27th, 2014 | Posted by Lindsay Runs in Blog Posts - (5 Comments)

Last week wrapped up a solid week of training aided by a milder weekend, resulting in my first 50+ mile week (!!) this cycle. After Thursday’s workout and Saturday’s long run, I welcomed back the familiar heaviness in my legs that come from putting in tough miles. While I’m still a ways away from where I’d ideally like to be, I started to feel like I was getting my legs under me and feeling strong. High fives for last week!

And then it seemed to all go wrong this week as I now need to take a week (or more) off with posterior tibial tendinitis. Maybe I’m being dramatic, but I feel like every time I get a glimpse of progress and healthiness, something happens and I’m taking two steps back. But before we get to the potential bad news, let’s take a look at the good.

:)

Week of 2/17:

  • M: Easy 8.5, legs a bit tired after yesterday’s Cherry Tree 10 Miler but went to BodyPump afterwards to get in some strength training
  • T: “Hills” + warmup/cooldown = 8.25 total
    • Morning hill workout with the gang, we thought the snow would still be light but there was quite a layer at 6:30am! We stuck to repeats of Cat Hill, and I only did 4 instead of 6 because my calves were still really, really tight and I wanted to give them more time to recover and not overwork trying to slip up hill.
  • W: Off- foam rolled the heck out of my calves which really helped me feel fresh for Thursday night’s workout
  • R: 8(.09) Mile tempo (continuous 4 miles at marathon pace and 4 miles at half-marathon pace) + warmup/cooldown
    • This is one of my favorite CPTC workouts, since it’s pretty mentally grueling but such a confidence booster if completed correctly. I honestly have no idea what I’d consider my marathon and half-marathon pace right now, so I just tried to stick with the group and ensure I had enough reserves to negative split the 2nd loop.

Workout 2/20/14

    • This loop starts at 72nd street on the west side, goes across the cutoff, up Cat Hill, across the 102nd street transverse and back down the west side to the statue at 72nd street (aka counter-clockwise) We’ve done this loop clockwise as well (before Boston & before Lehigh below) and I think it’s a little more forgiving that direction.
    • My time of 57:10 means an average pace of 7:04. I’ve done this in 54:42 (6:44 avg) before NYC ’11, 53:11 (6:32 avg) before Boston ’12,  and 55:16 (6:46 avg) before Lehigh ’13 so this was by far my slowest time doing this workout by nearly two minutes, but I’m still really happy because the effort felt hard but controlled and strong! I haven’t felt like I could really push in a workout for a while, so I’ll take it.
  • F:  Easy 6 miles + 15 min. core/arms
  • S: 17 miles, longest run to date!
    • The warm(er) 40 degree temperatures meant running in capri tights, a t-shirt and a new pair of arm warmers. After being confined to the outer loops (miss ya, bridle path!) and doing a ton of hill work lately, we decided it’d be a nice change of scenery to do the full Manhattan loop, down the west side, around the tip of the island and back up the east side. The sun felt good and most miles were around or under 8:00 pace.
    • I have never worn arm warmers before in my life and used to think they looked pretty ridiculous, but I figured it was finally time to stock up on a pair in case I wanted to wear them for the NYC Half or other in-between temperature races. I got this Brooks pair on RunningWarehouse because I loved that it had a gel pocket, thumb hole, and you can pull up the tops to cover your fingers like gloves! How versatile. Bonus– they stayed up all run and there was zero chafing! Score.
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  • S: Off

Total mileage: 53 

So, now the bad news. It all started with a pretty bad sinus infection earlier this week that I’m still battling. When I woke up on Tuesday morning to meet the group for our morning workout, I had a raging headache and tons of pressure so I decided to go back to sleep. It started to subside in the early afternoon, so I dragged myself out the door to at least get in a few easy miles since fresh air often helps when I’m congested.

About 3 miles in, I felt pretty good so decided to modify the workout to something slightly more digestible when sick and running alone– mile repeats. They ended up not being so bad, except for a weird pain that struck the inside of my left ankle during the last downhill mile and my cooldown home.

I got home and immediately iced, but noticed the pain wasn’t going away and it kinda hurt to put any pressure on it or walk. Red flag! I promptly tried to google diagnose myself as it didn’t seem to be the plantar since it wasn’t in my bottom/heel, and it wasn’t the achilles.

I decided to opt for a rest day on Wednesday (yesterday) when I still felt the pain while walking or even just sitting down. Thankfully, I was able to squeeze into good ol’ Dr. Levine’s office to take a look at it and do some ART before I had to head out for a flight.

As it turns out, it seems to be the posterior tibial tendon.

Source: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00166

After an ART treatment and icing nonstop, it’s starting to feel a tad better but I definitely need to take a few days off of running completely to help the inflammation and pain go away. And just when I started to feel good… my body rebels (again.) Dr. Levine didn’t specify why it could have happened, perhaps just a step the wrong way that strained it or just overuse, etc. Thankfully I didn’t try to run through it except for those few miles home, so I’m hoping it’s not really severe?

Unfortunately/fortunately for me, I’m currently in LA visiting my sister for a little long weekend getaway and I was really looking forward to getting in some sun-soaked miles by running and hiking out here. My pale legs have been waiting to be free in shorts for so long! I’ll just have to find another way to kill my days while she’s at work, like shopping or hanging with the rest of the funemployeds at coffee shops. Pity me, I know.

It’s still way too early to see how this bump in the road pans out, but I am 100% dedicated to taking the rest now to heal it so that I don’t compromise the big picture of running Boston. Since I know I’m not going to PR in April, I’m not too stressed about losing fitness since I just want to get to the starting line healthy and resembling something near “in shape.” If this injury extends into a month or two months, then we’ll have a bigger issue. Let’s not hit the panic button quite yet…

Speaking of injuries, I thought this satirical look at injuries by pro runner Lauren Fleshman was pretty funny and timely: “How to Injure Yourself like a Pro” I do feel like I’ve done a pretty decent job at building up my mileage gradually (but could be doing it wrong considering how injury-prone I’ve been!), and  I am definitely guilty of pairing feeling fit with feeling invincible and putting my idiot hat on. Here’s to a few days of forced rest and hoping I can ease back into things next week…

‘Til then, I’m off to soak up the CA sun before the rain hits this weekend! Bummer, but it sure beats the frigid temps back in NYC. Now here’s to hoping the impending snowstorm delays my flight back on Sunday night and I’m “stuck” here a little longer…

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

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Winners get growlers & pint glasses

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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!

Also known as the race where I got a little more than just a medal at the finishing line.

But before we get there, here’s a spoiler: I ran a comfortable BQ with a 3:19:43, my first race in nearly 1.5 years. Hooray!

Last week, I wrote about my recent confidence-boosting workouts and plans for the race. While training had been going awesome, and I’ve experienced no back pain since the bike accident, I started feeling a slight twinge in my left shin on Friday morning following a tough workout on Thursday night. I wasn’t sure what to make of it: a normal soreness from training, or something more? Following my 14-miler on Saturday, I decided it was still just there and took off from running on Sunday and Monday. I decided to get my legs moving with a morning workout on Tuesday, and felt pretty crappy. But worse, my shin pain was pretty bad when I finished.

I’ve had two consecutive stress fractures before in high school, first in my right tibia and then in my left. I’m now pretty aware of what they feel like, and had no doubt in my mind that the pain was the start of a stress fracture. Enter race-week panic mode!

I weighed the pros and cons of both options:

  • Scrap the Lehigh Valley Marathon: Safer, more sane route for my health but total fail on the marathon front. If I took the next 5 weeks to cross-train, maybe the mild stress fracture would subside and I could still race Chicago? Unlikely and only time would tell. Even more depressing, I wouldn’t have a qualifying time to be able to run Boston ’14. Then, I’d be scrapping Lehigh, probably Chicago, and definitely Boston.
  • Run the Lehigh Valley Marathon: Run on a possible stress fracture and turn it into a definite stress fracture over the course of 26.2 miles. Drop out if my leg is about to snap in half. Get the BQ time and be able to race Boston ’14! See how things go, but most likely not be able to run Chicago.

Obviously, I went with the later and probably need to get my head checked out. I know everyone might not have made the same decision, but I was okay with potentially scrapping Chicago ’13. While I have been gaining confidence in my fitness, there is a slim chance I’d get minutes within my PR at Chicago, let alone under it. Running Boston ’14 will not only be awesome for all the #BostonStrong reasons we all love, but personally it’ll allow me more time to get back into PR shape and go for that sub-3:00 that still alludes me.

My pre-race prep was anything but normal. I had a stressful and off-schedule week leading up to the race due to work, staying way late and even working at the office overnight (I don’t know how night shift workers do this.) Pretty sure my diet of nothing but pizza, sour gummy candies and way too much coffee didn’t help, but I wasn’t too concerned because I love my job and at least the craziness took my mind off of the race and shin pain.

After a relaxing haircut and a nice long sleep on Friday night, I drove out Saturday afternoon with my friends Noelle and Veronica who were kind enough to accompany me on this crazy journey. We headed straight to the expo to get my bib (#999!), checked into our hotel, and had enough Italian food to feed a family of at least six.

I woke up race morning around 5 a.m., which was definitely not early enough to digest my pre-race oatmeal, banana and coffee for a 7 a.m. start, but I had no desire to set my alarm for the 4 a.m. hour. They drove me to the start, but traffic at the exit meant I was hopping out of the car at 6:45 a.m. and running on the highway offramp to make it to the start. Ooops!

Half asleep on the highway

I ran into Meg (hi, Meg! You had an awesome race!) and my teammate Audrey at the start, and easily hopped into the crowds a few minutes before race time. One perk of a small race= no strict corrals that make you feel like you’re going to war.

The gun went off and I tried my best to settle into an easy pace. My goal was to run around 8:00 pace, then settle into 7:50s for the bulk of the race, and then drop it to 7:40s or under the last few miles. Considering most of my training and long runs hover between 7:55-8:15 pace, I figured this was doable and would feel comfortable for 26.2 miles.

But of course, race day comes around and the adrenaline flows! My times early on were faster than I wanted, and I tried to reign it in but decided to go where the day took me. I even had to stop and tie my shoes, twice. My leg was feeling mediocre and after a few miles of pavement through neighborhoods and parks, I welcomed a soft trail.

I’d guesstimate about 75% of the race was on a light packed dirt trail along the canal, which was absolutely beautiful and scenic. If I lived closer, I’d love to do long runs there! I settled in, made a new friend named Greg who was also aiming around/under 3:25, and waited until mile 11 where my friends were waiting to hop in with me. The trails were great, but got very narrow at times where we had to run single file and that drove me a bit nutty.

Noelle ran with us for a few miles before hopping out around the half-way mark to get the car and drive to the finish, while Veronica did the rest of the race with me as the end of her long run (which was mighty speedy, it turns out!) I was capable of running the entire thing solo, but having a friend to keep me company was SO helpful! I felt incredibly strong and the miles just kept ticking off.

Look at how much fun we’re having?! I hate myself on camera.Running is flattering on nobody.

Things got a bit tougher mentally around mile 21, especially once my shin decided it had nearly had enough. Each step felt like a slightly painful jab, but I decided it wasn’t debilitating. Plus, I’m pretty stubborn and I wanted to finish the race since I had come so far.

With two miles to go, I realized if I kept around a 7:30 pace, I could break 3:20. I never entered this race gunning for time except a BQ with a cushion, but my competitive side kicked in and I decided to focus a little more on the last mile to get it.

Because I hate when my watch auto-laps/beeps ahead of mile markers in races, I typically manually lap split at the mile markers during races. I was too scatterbrained to remember to do this before the race, and then I missed some markers throughout, so the splits below don’t make sense in spots.

It’s also the first time I have ever negative split a marathon? I’m guesstimating around 7:42 pace for the first half, 7:31 for the second. I felt really, really good, and am really happy that I was able to hit a 3:19 relatively comfortably on just over 3 months of semi-consistent training. While my body might be a bit broken right now, I’m pretty impressed that I was able to bounce back after a rough winter and spring and get that BQ time with tons of wiggle room. You go, body. Sorry I fractured you.

Veronica, me, Noelle

After the race, I was so happy to finish but needed ice immediately. I met up with friends, grabbed a beer, and immediately hobbled over to the grass to sit and ice. Once we walked back to the car to head back to the hotel and hit the road, I noticed that I could barely put any weight on my right leg. The pain was so excruciating I couldn’t help but keep laughing because it was so ridiculous and stupid that I just ran a marathon on it.

Coincidentally, I had a regular doctor’s appointment scheduled for Monday morning at 9 a.m. so I was able to get my leg checked out and get an air cast boot to help alleviate the pressure when walking. I have a referral for a bone scan that I intend to get this week pending some doctor/insurance stuff, but I am 95% sure it’s a stress fracture so I’m looking forward to seeing the recommended healing time and how long I’ll have to be off of it.

In my experience, it’s about 6-8 weeks, which is just in time for base building…

So, there’s the good and the bad. I have a few things in mind that might have contributed to the injury but for my sanity, I don’t want to get hung up on them too much: I switched to a new model of lighter shoes for all my training runs about a month ago, and even though I was pretty cautious about building my mileage slowly, I increased the intensity of my workouts and long runs kinda quickly, etc. The reality is that sometimes these things happen, and I’m just adding it to the list of weirdo injuries that have plagued 2013 thus far.

And of course I get the bone scan results next week, all of the above is pure speculation based off my prior experience and how I feel. Until then, I’ll be taking a hiatus from the bridle and sporting these kicks, just in time for New York Fashion Week.

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!