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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which meant I haven’t run a race of any type since Boston/Big Sur in April 2012 and thus my qualifying times are all outdated.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! 

Greetings from Charleston, South Carolina! Yup, traveling again. No surprise, this week has been busy and I am TIRED. Last week, I hit my peak mileage week before Boston and spent the weekend celebrating (and recovering from) 25th birthday festivities. I think my body is just now catching up and telling me to sloooooow down. My quads are incredibly sore and tired, but I’d attribute that to dancing in heels until after 4 am, not running. Ouch.

Not one of my finer moments.

Last week I hit 72 miles for the week! This is a new weekly high for me, as I only capped out at 70 before NYC. Go, Lindsay! I’m also extremely happy that I did it with 1 day total rest, a hard workout, long run, and without doubling (with the exception of one short easy morning shakeout).

To some marathoners 72 miles is nothing, and to others it’s a ton! For me, it was a perfect peak. Maybe, just maybe, one day I’ll get to 75-80+ miles per week, but only if i can stay healthy and sane while doing it. I’d also like more hours in the day…still working on that one. How do you people do it?!

And now, I’m ready to taper. Honestly, I looooove the taper. I am NOT one of those people that gets antsy on rest days or wishes I was running longer and harder during this time. No thanks, I got my fix of that over the last 4 months. To you people who hate the taper: I’m sorry, I just don’t understand you. Aren’t you utterly exhausted, both physically and mentally, and begging for a break? Or, am I just a lazy runner who wants my legs to feel normal again? Give me rest now.

Besides a final long run, the highlight of last week was Thursday night’s workout: a simple 5 miles (well, 5.17..) at half-marathon pace. I don’t know what it is about half-marathon pace, but it freaks me out. It seems fast (because it is!) especially compared to marathon pace.

Workout, 3/22

But we had a good group and nice weather, and most of my splits were under 6:20. I fell off the group a little on the last mile, but I need to do more of these workouts to get comfortable going faster. And then I refueled with 16 Handles.

Speaking of going faster, have I mentioned I’m racing a 10K on Saturday while I’m down here in Charleston? Yup, I am! I’m down here for the Cooper River Bridge Run, as Chobani is a sponsor at the expo and finish line of the race. As sponsors, we received a few entries so I figured I’d wake up even earlier and race….because that’s what normal people do, right? I don’t know much about the course except that it’s up and over a bridge so it’s probably got a steep incline. And that world-class runners race this, so I probably won’t win. Darn you, 33 minute 10k runners!

I’m not creating any pressure for this race, but a PR would be pretty nice. Considering I’ve run two 10ks in my life and my 10k pace was slower than my half marathon pace, I’d say there’s a good chance I should break 40. Standing on my feet at the expo for two days straight and eating 7484926 cups of yogurt is perfect race prep, right?

And, don’t forget to check out my first post on Boston.com! I’ve got mixed feelings on the Polar RCX5 GPS/heart rate system, but I need to use it more to give it a fair analysis. Of course, I’ll be wearing it during Saturday’s race and can’t wait to see my heart rate go through the roof as I die for 6.2 miles in 80 degree humidity.

And now, shutting down and SLEEP!

What’s the most you’ve run in a week? Do you love or hate the taper? Things to do in Charleston during my brief stay here?!

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.

Long run, 3/14

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.

Here's what 20 miles in the 'burbs looks like- lots of little loops combined.

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? 

 

60 miles!

March 5th, 2012 | Posted by Lindsay Runs in Blog Posts - (14 Comments)

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.

Workout, 3/1

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?

Will Run For Waffles

February 27th, 2012 | Posted by Lindsay Runs in Blog Posts - (12 Comments)

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 miles, 2/25

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.