Ever feel there’s not enough hours in the day or days in the week? Yeah, me too. It’s been a busy week around here, but with a little flexibility and a little compromise on sleep, I hit 67.5 miles last week, a new high for this training cycle. This last week I’ll aim to hit 70 and then it’s taper time!
But it’s been an exciting week so far, so here’s the highlights. Spoiler: it includes delicious birthday food and a cool announcement.
I ran 20 miles in the middle of the day last Wednesday. Some at marathon pace!
Have I mentioned how thankful I am that my job promotes a bit of flexibility? Very thankful. To offset the 2.5 hours of ‘me’ time I took to do this long run in the early afternoon, I simply started my work day a bit earlier and ended it a bit later. Since I was traveling Thursday-Saturday for work, I knew I wouldn’t find the time to squeeze in 20 miles over the weekend. Gotta make it work.
I’ve missed bridge running, so decided to head down the WSH, over the Brooklyn and back over the Manhattan bridges, and back up the WSH to my apartment. Despite eating a substantial breakfast, my stomach felt empty about 3 miles in so I stopped to buy a water and a Kind bar. I never eat ‘real’ food while running, but knew I needed something other than a Gu to stop the hunger. Luckily it sat well.
20 miles of splits are pretty boring, I know. But, I was feeling good after coming back over the Manhattan Bridge and decided today would be a good day to attempt marathon pace at the end of a long run. I was bored around mile 13 so decided to pick it up then to make the time go faster. After 4 miles, I started feeling extremely light headed and dehydrated but spotted a vending machine and chugged a water while jogging easy again. It was the 1st 70 degree day in a while and I was hot. I figured I’d just jog easy to cool down home, but felt 10x better after the water so attempted another marathon pace mile. And it was quick!
I went to Atlanta!
As I mentioned, I went to Atlanta for work Thursday through Saturday. The Chobani CHOmobile was at the Georgia Marathon expo, and part of my job is to go to these events to interact with consumers, media and capture content to share online. I didn’t get to see much of the city, but did wake up extra early both mornings to get in my run before the expo started. Including a nice little run to Piedmont Park!
I spectated the NYC Half-Marathon!
The NYC Half-Marathon is one of my FAVORITE races. I don’t care how ridiculously overpriced the entry fee is. It holds a special place in my heart as it was my first post-collegiate race in 2010 and where I set my PR in 2011 on my 24th birthday. I really, really wanted to race it again this year, but I knew I wouldn’t be getting back from Atlanta until late Saturday night and after being on my feet all day, likely wouldn’t be a successful race. So I dragged my overtired self out of bed early to spectate while getting in some miles with other CPTC peeps along the course. It was a blast, though part of me was a bit bummed since I think I would have had a good shot at a PR. Oh well. I got to see two of my other friends from college who ran the race, too. And then I drank pretty much all day on Sunday.
I turned 25!
Yep, Tuesday was my birthday! And the first day of Spring! So, pretty much the happiest day of the year. On Monday night I started the celebrations early with a trip to the new 16 Handles near my apartment with Terence. Having froyo within a 4 block radius is going to be dangerous this summer, I already know.
I kicked off the actual birthday with a sweaty 10 mile run and a doctor’s appointment…fun? After work, I enjoyed fancy cocktails outside at Public with my coworker Emily, followed by a late dinner at Gentleman Farmer with my cute guy friend
Gentleman Farmer is such a quaint restaurant! It only seats 20 people in the cozy space, and we ordered really unique dishes like bison tartar with quail egg, prosciutto and fig stuffed quail with risotto, ostrich steak, and creme brule- complete with a birthday candle! Highly, highly recommended for a special occasion dinner. Everything, including the wine, was extremely delicious. We cleaned our plates!
The birthday celebrations continued over a work lunch complete with wine & dessert yesterday at Il Buco Alimentari and Vineria, and I arrived home to cupcakes from my old college roommate Emily. I’m not a huge birthday person, but I do appreciate getting to feel a bit special for a day (or two…or a week). Thanks, everyone I wonder why my jeans are a bit tight today.
I also realized I’ll never again race in the 20-24 age group. 25-29 is hard! Goodbye, age group awards.
I was chosen as one of Boston.com/Polar Gear’s wear-tester for the Boston Marathon!
Guys, I never win anything. When my cute guy friend told me about the call for entries on Boston.com to apply to wear-test Polar gear (RCX5 watch/system) in the month leading up to the Boston Marathon and on race day, get to guest blog about it, and then keep the gear, I immediately applied. But I really didn’t think I’d have a chance. I don’t have a super compelling backstory, personal ties to the Boston Marathon, or anything. I just like to run and blog about it. But, both he and I were selected and the introductory post went up today. I should get the watch any day now and will be posting at Boston.com every Monday! I’m honored and really, really excited to see what the watch & system can do compared to my dinky Garmin 110.
So, that’s what I’ve been up to the past week or so. All good stuff. What’s the highlight of your week so far?
Well, I survived my solo 20 miler in Montclair on Saturday. I felt relatively good and kept a decent pace despite hillier terrain miles 9.5-15. I started out around 8:00 pace and dropped it down to 7:20-7:25 pace for the last 6 miles.
I felt a mixture of awe and nonchalance staring at the ‘20.00‘ on my Garmin once I stopped. “Whoa, I ran for 2 hours and 35 minutes totally self-motivated! And really didn’t want to die or stop at any point!” coupled with “Whatever, 20 miles, just another long run, done this by myself before.” I’m happy I’m getting to the level of fitness where 20 miles feels like no big thing. But at the same time I always seem to surprise myself a bit. Know what I mean?
Lucky for me, I suppose I front loaded my mileage a bit and ended up hitting 60 miles in 5 days of running. This was fantastic news when I woke up Sunday with a huge hangover from going out on Saturday night and couldn’t bear the thought of leaving my bed. So I didn’t. Nice non-planning, Lindsay.
As always, you can check out my training log doc here.
Okay. I have put off posting about this because it is one of my absolute least favorite topics but I’m pretty intrigued by the results so figured I’d share.
So, I have an extreme aversion to blood, needles, veins and the like and thus absolutely hate getting blood drawn. I have Valium prescribed so I don’t hyperventilate and pass out, and apply a topical anesthetic cream to numb the skin, but I still hyperventilate and cry and act like a 5 year old.
Nevertheless, after being anemic my junior year of college (with the way-too-low ferritin level of 8), I’ve tried to face my fears and get a comprehensive blood panel yearly or every other year to check iron levels & indicators and just make sure everything is running properly. I’d strongly advocate all runners do this even if you’re feeling good, to have a baseline to compare when you start to feel bad. I would also strongly recommend getting a doctor who will sit down and go through your results in depth with you. I have a great one here in NYC if you need a referral!
As runners, I feel like we’re pretty in-tune with our bodies but it’s hard to listen sometimes. Well of course I’m tired and lacking energy; I’m running 60+ miles a week, working a full time job, traveling, and squeezing in sleep and fun somewhere between it all. Is this just the way you should feel, or is something really wrong? My last test was in early March 2011 as I trained for the NYC half and started feeling pretty awful. My results came back just fine and a few days later, I had a kickass workout and a few weeks later, ran a new PR of 1:24 in the half. Shows how much I know.
This year my ferritin was 22 (down from 34 last year), my hemoglobin was 12.8 (down from 13.3), hematocrit at 39 (consistent with 40.1), and red blood cells were 4.16 (down from 4.3).
All of these levels were within the low end of the normal range, but I don’t need a medical degree to think that ‘normal’ differs for marathoner vs. sedentary individual. They should make ‘athlete’ ranges
My levels tend to skew a bit on the low side compared to other runners, and though training is going pretty darn well I’m probably going to be a bit more consistent about supplementing with liquid iron (taken with Vitamin C to aid absorption). Can’t hurt, ya know?
Ever surprise yourself with getting through a run you thought was going to be awful? Ever experience low iron or symptoms of anemia?
Although last week’s cut back week was pretty nice (and much needed!), it felt good to hit 60 miles this week with a decent workout and long run. My legs are feeling a bit heavier and my calves are a bit tight/sore making my shins hurt just a tad, but otherwise I’m feeling good.
Here’s how the week played out for 60 miles total.
- M: 8 miles easy
- T: 10 miles in afternoon before flight, felt good! 7:10 pace
- W: OFF, meeting in Charlotte
- R: Solo workout on WSH, 2 w/u, 8 tempo (53:41, 6:43 pace), 2 c/d
- F: 6.25 easy recovery
- S: 18 long run over GWB & back w/ Alex & Veronica, ~7:45 pace
- S: 5.75 slow, hungover
Tuesday’s run was pretty awesome. I had a flight down to Charlotte for work in the afternoon so I worked from home in the morning. I’m extremely lucky to have some flexibility in my job, so I got an earlier start to my workday from home and opted to push my run to around 12:30 vs. first thing in the morning. I’ve definitely transitioned into being a morning runner over the last few years as I enjoy having the rest of my day and night to work & be social. However, I definitely have much better runs in the afternoon/evening when I’ve given my body and mind some time to wake up and get in a good meal and a few cups of coffee. I was pleasantly surprised with how good my 7:10 average pace felt for 10 miles…while it wasn’t ‘easy’, it felt smooth and strong. And I crossed paths with the Columbia guys team out for their afternoon run which made me miss having practice at 1:30 every day with my college team…sigh. Despite the massive difference, I’ll still stick with morning runs so I can be a normal person and work as late as I need or go to happy hour & dinner post-work. Trade-offs?
I was a bit nervous about Thursday’s workout as I had to squeeze it in by myself before the NYRR Club Night Awards instead of going to practice. Again, I am extremely lucky to have flexibility in my job so I left the office around 4:30 for a little run commute/workout home along the East River & WSH. After a quick 2 mile warmup across Houston St and the tip of Manhattan, I took off on an 8 mile tempo through the Seaport, Battery Park City and the West Side Highway.
As I mentioned, my calves have been realllllly tight lately, in turn making my shins hurt a ton. I first started to notice it during this workout as my legs weren’t tired and I wasn’t struggling aerobically, but I couldn’t really get my stride going because my shins felt so off. Unfortunately there was a headwind basically the entire time…hard to avoid when running in one direction along a river.
Not bad for a solo effort feeling a bit ‘off’, but I wish I could have gotten closer to 6:40 average given the flat terrain. Did I want to run an 8 mile workout by myself? No. But I got out the door and finished without too much mental struggle, which was a nice confidence booster. Once I got home I quickly showered & changed (and didn’t stretch- I wonder why my legs are sore?) to go NYRR Club Night. While I didn’t win my age group category, and honestly I didn’t think I had a shot, it was pretty cool to have been nominated at all
Saturday’s long run was my first time going over the George Washington Bridge! I’ve run over practically every other bridge here but for some reason the GWB seemed daunting. I was afraid of getting lost finding the onramp. I met up with Alex and Veronica and we made the journey over and even added on a bit in a little park right over the bridge. It was drizzling when we first started around 10am, but turned out dry and sunny by the end of the run! Overall, the pace felt good & easy despite the huge hills getting up onto the bridge…though my quads kinda wanted to die the last mile.
On Saturday night I went to the lovely Sofia’s apartment for a low-key party where she stirred up a mean margarita…meaning I had two or three and was
pretty extremely tipsy. I may or may not have fallen asleep on the subway home, woken up at 137th street, quickly hopped on a downtown train, polished off a few cups of dry cereal, and woken up at noon on Sunday utterly exhausted and a bit sick. Long runs + drinking don’t always mix well, apparently. Maybe I should start being a more responsible marathoner?
…Maybe. I decided an easy, slow run in the fresh air would help cure the hangover. Plus I’m extremely stubborn and wanted to hit my mileage goal, no matter how slow. Though I spent the better part of 3 miles convincing myself not to get sick mid-run, I felt 10x better once it was over. And then I proceeded to head down to midtown to meet up with my CPTC teammates for an afternoon of more drinking. Oh, Sunday sunday…
Highlight of your weekend? Do you prefer morning or afternoon/evening runs? Checked out any new running routes lately?
It’s not news that marathon training makes you hungry. Being able to have a healthy, hearty appetite is one of the things I like best about running. A meal always tastes better when you’ve worked up a real appetite, right? This is also probably the reason I tend to gain a few pounds during marathon training, but that’s besides the point
So when I found out about an all you can eat & drink brunch at Brooklyn Brewery, you bet I was in. Unlimited waffles, toppings, bacon, beer and coffee? Game on. I also had to get in a long run, and a few of us were in the same boat so showing up in running clothes was totally cool. I <3 runner friends.
Brooklyn Brewery is located in Williamsburg, and getting there by foot seemed the best option to squeeze in 18 miles before 10:30 am, especially considering the L train wasn’t running over the weekend. Plus, it’d be something different to mix up the long runs..love a good destination run. Alex and I met up in Central Park for a quick loop around the bridle before heading down the West Side Highway and over the Williamsburg Bridge.
18 went by much quicker than we expected! We averaged around 7:45 pace, with miles ranging from 7:25 to 8:00 depending on terrain and ridiculous gusts of wind along the river. The pace felt comfortable and relaxed, and I didn’t start totally hating my life until the last mile or so when we added on a bit around the brewery.
Alex and I met Nicole, Kristan, Susan and Ben when we got there and immediately changed into dry clothes and hopped in line! Which.took.forever. I was hungry and felt a little tipsy after downing a beer. Oops? Megan, Sofia and Leslie arrived a bit later so our groups got split up in the line waiting. Despite the painfully slow line, we still went back for seconds. And then I swiped a jug of maple syrup on the way out. Delicious.
After a few subway transfers (ever taken the G line? I can now say I have…), I arrived home and lounged around for the rest of the afternoon before getting ready for a night out. A burger & fries, many cocktails, jello shot syringes (??), dancing until 3am and staying up until you can see the sun rising through the blinds may not be the best way to recover from an 18 mile run, but damn it was fun.
I enjoyed a leisurely rest day on Sunday, totaling 3 rest days (woohoo!) and 40.5 miles for the cut back week. It was nice and necessary, but now we’re back to business. 60 miles for the week shouldn’t be too bad despite traveling to Charlotte on Tues/Weds and missing the CPTC workout on Thursday night. Make it work.
And for now, sleep.
On Sunday, I trekked down to Brooklyn (/got a ride there so I wouldn’t have to take the subway, thanks Alex & Steve!) to run the Cherry Tree 10 Mile race. I didn’t really have a plan going into it beyond getting in at least 18 miles for the day and having the race be my workout for the week. I’m definitely not in racing shape and after traveling during the week, I was a bit beat.
The later 10am race start in Prospect Park was nice, so I woke up at 8, ate a decent breakfast & drank coffee (a must!) before heading down to the school to pick up our bibs and do a quick warmup.
We covered around 2.75 miles before heading to the start– my legs were really tired and just felt heavy. We started off the race a bit further into the crowds, with plans to start out conservatively and go from there.
Alex & I ran together the entire race until she pulled away from me the last time up the hill– it was so nice to have company! Our splits were relatively steady around 6:45, with a few quick ones on the flat/downhill miles and slower on the uphills. Honestly, I don’t mind Prospect Park at all, and don’t think the hill is that bad compared to Central Park. Sure, it’s long and I kinda wanted to die the 3rd time up it, but the rest of the park’s terrain is pretty forgiving.
My final chip time was 1:06:13, for an average pace of 6:38ish. I’m pretty happy with this effort considering how heavy my legs felt and that I wasn’t well-rested. But, sure does make doing 16.2 more miles just 10-12 seconds per mile slower sound really, really daunting.
A big CPTC crew ran back over the Manhattan Bridge, making the cooldown go by much faster than if we logged another few loops in the park. I covered 18.25 miles total for the day and rehydrated with the team a few hours later:
All the sudden I found myself extremely drunk before 8 p.m. on a Sunday. So much for taking it easy this weekend
I had planned this week to be a cut back week in terms of mileage, and I wasn’t sure if I was going to take it or not. I want my schedule to be flexible depending on how I’m actually feeling vs. what I planned, and what if my legs were feeling good? Well, my legs were still sore into Wednesday due to the race and wearing flats, so a cut back week it is.
I’d like to get in around 40 miles still including a long run of 18, with no workout this week. Someone asked why I don’t step back my long runs, too. For me, I’d rather gradually build up my long runs linearly (14, 16, 16, 18, 18, 20, 20, 20) instead of breaking them up with a scaled down long run. With only so many weeks ’till Boston, I want to try to get in as many long runs as possible, and stepping it down to a week would take away from that, you know? Instead for my cut back week, the long run is essential but I take a few more rest days and nix the workout to give my legs a break. Maybe that’s wrong, I’m open to suggestions
I also wanted to use this week to catch up on sleep and recharge my body to get me through the next 4 hard weeks until the taper. Unfortunately for my body, but fortunately for me, work has been keeping me super busy between meetings, projects, presentations, etc. so I haven’t slept and relaxed with ‘me’ time as much as I’d like. But I am so lucky to be doing something I love, and I definitely focus better when I’ve got more on my plate. No complaints.
After this cut back week, I hope to hit totals of 60, 60, 65 and 65 before backing off for the taper. Maybe more, maybe less. 4 weeks of hard work ’till Boston…April 16th, are you here yet?