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which meant I haven’t run a race of any type since Boston/Big Sur in April 2012 and thus my qualifying times are all outdated.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

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.

The Game Plan

November 21st, 2012 | Posted by Lindsay Runs in Blog Posts - (5 Comments)

As I write this, I’m somewhere 30,000 feet above Newark and Phoenix, en route to sunny Santa Barbara, California for Thanksgiving. (edit: And now posting on my layover in Phoenix!) I booked my flights with a combination of frequent flier miles (all that work travel pays off, somehow!) and credit card rewards points, since Thanksgiving travel is outrageously pricey. It was an equal number of miles to book economy or business class for my outbound flight, so of course I chose business class and was pleasantly surprised upon check-in to have been upgraded to first class. What? Me?! It made the 6:30 am flight time (and 4:30 am wakeup call) slightly more bearable. Now I’m just waiting on my complimentary breakfast and booze…

Anyways, thanks so much for the kind welcome back to blogging. It always amazes me that anyone actually reads this, and actually cares about my ramblings of running mile after mile (or, more recently, not running). It’s awesome and I truly appreciate the support!

While I’m still in the stage where I’m running however long I want to, when I want to, I’ve been looking towards the future and mapping out a racing calendar to get motivated. In fact, I haven’t raced since Boston or Big Sur in April. Before my big goal race in March, most of these races below will serve as training workouts to get me back in the racing game, mentally more than physically.

January 5th: Joe Kleinerman 10K

  • Because I hate racing 10Ks and can’t think of a better way to torture myself after the holidays and New Years. Self-inflicted hazing?

January 19th: Sayville Running Company 10 Mile Run to the Brewery

  • My friend Veronica actually won it last year (badass!) and mentioned it’d be fun to do. My friend Terence lives in Sayville, so a few of us are going to go out to his house and make a weekend of it. A race that ends at a brewery with free beer…sign me up! (Says the girl who is supposed to be avoiding gluten, whoops.)

January 27th: Manhattan Half-Marathon

  • ‘Cause what’s more fun than paying to run 2 loops of hilly Central Park in the winter? I kinda bandited part of this race 2 years ago when it was 14 degrees as part of a long training run, willingly, because I was so crazy sick of running alone. Will probably be my first really ‘long’ tempo effort.

Something Awesome in February

  • I want to run the Cherry Tree 10 Miler again in Brooklyn, but I’m pretty sure it’ll fall on President’s Day weekend when my friend Ely is getting married back at Villanova (!!!!!), which is 10x more fun than any race. Open to suggestions for something else fun during this month!

March 17th: NYC Half-Marathon

  • Quite simply, I love this race. Haters can hate on NYRR and the ridiculously steep price tag (my bank account sure does), but I have such happy memories associated with this race and can’t wait to do it again, especially with a new (hopefully faster) course since I last did it in 2011. I didn’t run it last year because I got back from a work trip reallllllly late the night before, and was in the midst of Boston training. This will be my big Spring 2013 goal race. It just feels right. My story…
    • It was my very first post-collegiate race (and first half-marathon!) back in 2010. After 8 straight years of training and competing regularly in high school and college, I was still in that weird “kinda burnt out on racing and don’t know if I want to do this anymore” phase. I hadn’t raced in almost a year, and had never raced anything over a 6K in my life, so I didn’t do any workouts and went in with minimal pressure on myself. While I ran 1:29 and accomplished my goal of auto-qualifying for the NYC Marathon, more importantly, I found I really did love racing and competing again. Running was something I wanted to challenge myself with again.
    • In 2011, I had one marathon under my belt and had gotten more serious about training. I knew I could take down my 2010 time easily, but I totally underestimated myself and ran a 1:24:23, which still stands as my PR. I negative split that race and still remember how awesome it was to drop a sub-6 mile down 7th Ave and into Times Square, smiling and pushing my way down the West Side Highway. I can only hope I’ll be able to recreate that experience in March, this time a little faster.

While I haven’t signed up for the majority of these races (with exception of the NYC Half, booyah guaranteed entry), they’re on my radar and I plan to sign up as soon as registration opens, barring any work/personal plans that arise. Just mapping things out has already created some direction and re-sparked motivation that’s been lacking for quite some time. I’m not sure what’s on the horizon past mid-March, but I’ve got some ideas brewing depending on how the next few months go including (re)attempting Chicago in October if I’m feeling up to it.

While looking ahead to these races and how I’ll get fit again and train to PR, I’m trying very hard not to get frustrated with the health problems I’ve been having. I know my body and myself and can tell something has been off for a while. I had a good visit to an endocrinologist at NYU last week, and while it means multiple blood tests to look into a few things, I’m hopeful we’ll get a little closer to figuring it out once the results are back. I want to get back to competing at my best, but my body isn’t at its best right now. And honestly, it feels a bit out of my control to get it back to its best until I figure out what’s medically wrong. Until then, trying not to Google-diagnose myself with a billion different things…

No, but really.

Happy Thanksgiving, all! I’ll be enjoying a few well-deserved days off work with the family, eating turkey and drinking wine to my heart’s content. And you should, too!

What’s on your racing calendar? Any other fun NYC-area races you’d suggest I look into?

Hello world, are you there? It’s me, Lindsay.

It’s been about 4.5 months since I’ve posted, which means a lot has passed and I’m not sure where to start.

Though the race happened a month ago, I guess it’s worth sharing that I didn’t run the Chicago Marathon. 

Guys, this summer was crazy. Crazy busy, crazy exciting, crazy stressful. I don’t know how else to really convey it. When I last updated, it was mid-June and I had spent the majority of that month and the one before traveling. And I was tired and slowly getting into shape, but that was just the start of the end. I spent the better parts of July and August traveling, including weekends. I was away more days in August than I was actually home. When I was in the midst of it, I knew it was crazy and I was all over the place, but I don’t think I fully wrapped my head around how intense it was until I looked back at it.

I’m used to having a lot on my plate. I tend to thrive on it, actually. But I don’t always handle stress well. When it gets too much, I internalize it instead of working through it. I feel like I stew in my own thoughts and get paralyzed to take action, which only makes things worse. I felt like I never had a solid night’s sleep because I was constantly having stress dreams. It’s a good problem to have when your company is growing so quickly, there’s SO much (too much!) to do and tackle– and I want to make it clear that I’m not trying to complain about that, because I 110% love my job and wouldn’t trade it for the world, I’m just stating that it was hectic. Most everyone at my company experienced the same whirlwind…that still continues.

To give you an idea of the crazy excitement: in the span of just one week we opened a retail store (Chobani SoHo–you must go!), debuted our Olympics commercial and put on a huge local community celebration in Central NY (yes, exactly like the Olympics commercial), hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony w/ elected officials at the store, and I left to go to London for 2 weeks…for the Olympics.

Oh yeah, I went to the Olympics for work and it was the most amazing experience and one I will never forget. Maybe more on that later…

Right. So why didn’t I run Chicago? I’ve always held a full-time job and marathon trained, NBD. My training log in June and July pretty much tells the story. “Tired” might be the most frequently used adjective to describe the bulk of my runs and “workouts.” There are some “terrible“s in there, too. I was doing OK at hitting my weekly mileage, but the time I left for London was when I needed to start bumping it up.

Before I left for London, I told friends and family I wasn’t sure how I felt about doing Chicago. At that point in time, my body needed the extra hours of sleeping, not hours of running. I wasn’t excited to lace up my sneakers and run, and that’s usually the biggest red flag for me. I decided I’d use London as a test: often times I actually enjoy running more when traveling more because I love running in different cities and schedules tend to be a bit more flexible out-of-office.

Well, you can see how that turned out. I had been getting weird knee/IT pain that wasn’t debilitating, but awkwardly affected my gait. I was staying up way too late to tackle work on NYC time, then waking up 4 or 5 hours later to get my run in before starting the day’s events on London time. I. was. exhausted. Something had to give, as I mentioned back in June, that something wouldn’t be my job.

I remember the moment I was walking on Knightsbridge going from one meeting to the next, rushing to make it. I had struggled through my planned 8 mile run that morning and could only do 4 miles at a ridiculously slow pace. I called my mom and said “I’m not running the Chicago Marathon” and simultaneously burst into tears and felt a wave of relief rush over me. I couldn’t help feel like I was giving up on myself, but I knew it was the right decision.

Yeah, I could have still done the race and finished. But for me, that’s not why I race marathons. I know myself, I know I’m competitive and I’m not going to toe the line for 26.2 unless I know I’m able to give my all. I signed up for Chicago to break 3:00, and it just wasn’t going to happen this year.

I accepted it, and I moved past it. This year wasn’t my year, and I can say that with equal parts heartbreak and acceptance. I still continued to run lightly when I got home from traveling. I was in such a funk from being away from home for 16 days, I felt like if I stopped running entirely, I’d dig myself deeper into a funk. For a good month or so, I only ran to meet up with other people since that was the only time I was excited to run. Weirdly, that ended up being workouts and long runs, not easy runs. Fine by me, I just needed to get back to the point where running wasn’t another stressor in my life and I looked forward to it again.

I had mixed feelings when October 7th rolled around. I was in Philadelphia for work as I tracked my friend and training partner Alex, who rocked her way with a slight negative split to 2:58:41. I was so excited and proud of her! A 5 minute PR! Once that sunk in, I was naturally bummed I wasn’t there racing alongside her like we planned, and then I got a bit hopeful because I know I’m capable of that too…one day.

It’s hard to describe, but for quite some time since early summer I just haven’t felt like myself. I attribute most of this to the travel and lack of routine. I can confidently say I severely underestimated the effects both stress and lack of sleep have on my body. I’ve gained a good 12 pounds from my normal weight, which is a lot for me since I’m only 5’3″ and my weight typically stays within the same ~5lb. fluctuation. I got bloodwork done and I have an extremely elevated cortisol level (which is a hormone released in response to stress), for which I’m going to see an endocrinologist next week to start to figure out. My primary care doctor said elevated cortisol can often lead to weight gain, among other things.

The blood test also showed a high intolerance to gluten. I don’t have Celiac disease, but I’ve since cut out gluten from my diet for about 1.5 months now, and I already notice a positive difference. I had been getting really terrible and unusual stomachaches, but assumed they were from weird or rich foods from traveling, and my thoughts were constantly foggy/not cohesive, which I assumed were from lack of sleep. Both of these things have pretty much subsided now. I’d also say part of the reason I’m feeling better is because I’m eating less processed foods/desserts (gluten is in everything), but I’m going to keep consistent at it anyways. It’s not too hard for me, and I do notice a positive difference so it makes it easy to continue.

So what’s next? Since the middle of August, I’ve just been running however much I want to, when I want to. Some weeks, that’s around 30 miles, and others, it’s around 10. I haven’t even been keeping a log. I’m working at losing the weight I’ve gained, which isn’t going too successfully because I’ve never tried to lose weight before. I’m running by myself more frequently. I’m even going to the gym to lift and do core work! And most importantly, I’m starting to get excited about lacing up my sneakers again, and that’s all I can ask for at this time. So thanks for continuing to read (if you’re still out there!). As I get back into blogging, I’ve got some exciting news to share next time about some winter/spring races I’ve registered for already…yay!

Less than 2 weeks to go, and the taper is on! Except my legs feel like lead and I’m exhausted. Not surprisingly, given a busy work trip, 10k race, and late nights this weekend. I’m going to try to make sleep a priority this week, lay low this weekend and hopefully I’ll be a bit more refreshed leading into race week.

About Saturday’s 10k race. All things considered, 40:38 is pretty good. It’s only 2 seconds off my (very weak) PR. I didn’t exactly have the best race prep, but since I was down in Charleston for a work trip (Chobani was a sponsor of the race), I had to make sure work was a priority. Racing was simply a nice perk.

Here’s a link to the full stats for the race, using the Polar RCX5 I’m wear-testing for Boston.com. If you know anything about heart rate training, I’d love your insight! Is an avg. of 181, max of 190, right for a 10K race?

Can you tell where the bridge was? Ha.

I hate to play the ‘excuses’ or ‘what if’s game, but bear with me. Under the right conditions I really believe I could have broken 40 minutes. Here we go:

  • My pre-race prep sucked. I spent Thursday & Friday entirely on my feet, shuttling & lifting cases of yogurt, and eating samples from booths at the expo for lunch and dinner (Muscle Milk, Blue Moon, fruit snacks, ice cream, and Atkins bars…)  Gross. Except all the Chobani, of course :)
  • Since I was offsite during the day, I had to catch up on work when I got back to my hotel each night after 9 at night. Combined with early wake ups, I slept about 5-6 hours each night– which is not enough for someone who needs 8-9 on average!
  • I had to get blood drawn on Friday (long story), so since I didn’t have a car, I ended up running to and from my blood test, while trying not to pass out, cry, or die on the 3 miles home. I felt really drained the rest of the day and into Saturday, unsurprisingly.
  • The race was delayed by an hour (!!!!) due to issues clearing the bridge, so it was even hotter. We stood around on our feet, not knowing when the gun would really go off, as the sun rose. Pretty sure it was over 80 degrees and this little Northerner was dying.
  • There was a massive, never-ending bridge for about 1.25+ miles, up which I hit blazing splits of 6:45 (started at the end of this mile) and 7:18. Combined with a whipping headwind, WTF. I shouldn’t run those splits in a 10K…
  • My legs weren’t exactly rested, nor trained to run a 10K. It doesn’t make sense that my 10K pace should be the same as my half-marathon pace, but it is. I’ll definitely drop time once I kick the high mileage & focus on ‘speed’.

Ok! Excuses, excuses. I know it’s like saying “well I definitely could have PRed if I was half-Kenyan/on a bike/magically had a tailwind/stopped a mile early!”, but I’m simply trying to put it in context of things I could and could not control. End complaint session.

On my 2nd Boston.com post this week, I wrote a bit about the race and loosening up a bit. After I finished and reflected on last year’s NYC Marathon, I made it a goal to become more flexible in training & racing. I was so ingrained in my routine, getting super stressed out when I had to stray from it. Everything about Saturday’s pre-race prep typically would have made me crazy anxious and defeated. “But I didn’t get 8 hours sleep the night before the night before the race! I didn’t eat my favorite oatmeal for breakfast! We’ve been waiting on the start line for an hour and I have to pee!” But this time, I just rolled with the punches and did the best I could, given the day. It was what it was. And obviously, the situation will be much different for Boston.

This training cycle, I’ve worked hard to let go, stress a lot less, and still live life. Through this, I’ve maintained a better running/life balance, and while everything hasn’t been perfect, I’ve been so much happier with myself, my running, job, friendships, life, everything. My post on working hard & playing hard just about sums it up. I firmly believe that keeping it fun and balanced will ensure a long love affair with running…and hopefully snag a few PRs along the way.

The remainder of my Saturday is a good example. Despite being exhausted from the race (and working the finish line event for about 2 hours post-race…in my sweaty glory), I still had time to grab some burgers and margaritas along the water with some coworkers before boarding my flight back to NYC. I passed out for a quick hour on the flight, got home around 7:30 p.m., pulled myself together (and threw back a 5 Hour Energy), went out to dinner with Terence as I missed his surprise birthday party while down in SC, and then went to Gian’s birthday where I drank (too much) and danced until 3:30 in the morning.

Again, it’s no surprise why I’m tired. While breaking 3:00 is THE goal and will make me feel incredibly happy and accomplished, spending time with friends and going out is a priority, too. Again, it’s about balance. I’ll just reel it in these next two weeks and hope I can “have my cake and eat it too.” Wishful thinking? We’ll see.

And now, sleep. sleep. sleep. And a little bit of running thrown in there, too.

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?