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Post-Marathon Recovery

November 13th, 2011 | Posted by Lindsay Runs in Blog Posts - (14 Comments)

I LOVED reading each and every comment to my marathon recap. New readers, welcome and hope you stick around! First time commenters, thanks for saying hi, please do more often! Regular readers, loved each and every word you said, and thanks for keeping with me on this journey. It made me feel better that I was not alone in my feelings, and really made me think about why I’m writing and sharing my stories and training.

Marathons are tricky. You pour months of your life and soul into this one day, this one dream, and cross your fingers that it’ll pay off. “Putting all your eggs in one basket” (to be cliche) is a risk, but delivers a magnificent reward when all goes well. This reward, this feeling of pride, achievement, success, accomplishment, and so much more is the reason I run and will continue to race (hopefully) for the rest of my life.

Putting so much at stake and testing yourself for a few hours of your life is tough, and it’s easy to feel let down and disappointed when it doesn’t go as you’d hoped. But we all know the opposite feeling, that sheer elation when things do go well. Beating our goals, running faster and farther than we thought, pushing ourselves, overcoming doubt, feeling that runner’s high, achieving a PR…this is why we run and despite bad races, will continue to return to the starting line to test ourselves yet again. Okay, maybe we’re a little crazy too…but that’s okay.

Nevertheless, I got a bit overwhelmed when I came home to receive this shirt in the mail. The last thing I want to think about right now are the 2 marathons I’m already signed up for. Gulp.

This week, I haven’t run a single step. I’ve found it pretty hard to stop waddling and walk like a normal human, and needed serious assistance going up and down my friend’s 5th floor walkup on Friday night. I have no plans to run at all next week. I am completely perplexed (and somehow amazed) how anyone who raced on Sunday is doing any type of cardio activity, physically or mentally. I have no desire to run right now, and won’t lace up my running shoes until I do.

For me, I need a solid break in between big races and goals. I like to segment my training cycles so they culminate with a goal race, then back off for a few weeks and then start building back up again slowly for the next goal. Having a concrete “divider” period in between gives my body a much needed break, but more importantly, allows me to mentally recharge and get excited for the next goal. This helps me avoid feeling burnt out and lets me start from a fresh slate when it’s time to gear up for Boston. Since I won’t be increasing my mileage and adding in workouts until late December or early January, I’ve got some time to keep it low-key and run by feel.

This weekend has been pretty nice so far, and I’m not missing running one bit! On Friday, I went out with a group of girlfriends and had a blast catching up over sangria and then hitting up the bar and dancing until 3:30 in the morning. A few too many drinks, shots and sore quads later, I found myself in bed all day yesterday, watching Season 1 of Parenthood (I recently got addicted and had to start from the beginning!). It felt nice to stay out as late as I wanted, without feeling exhausted from running or worried about how much sleep I’d get. It felt equally as nice to allow myself to lay in bed all day (and night) and not feel guilty about not getting in my miles or jam packing my day with activities. Balance is key.

How do you recover from a marathon, or any tough race? Do you take time off? Favorite post-race treat? I finally got a mani/pedi on Friday to reward my feet for carrying me 26.2 miles…I’m sure my bruised toenails were a treat for the pedicurist lady, too.


I really didn’t want to write this post, and I know I’m a few days late to the recap game. I put it off partially because it wasn’t the sub-3:00 marathon I had hoped for, but mostly because writing this would mean it was over. I can’t go back and change the way I felt on Sunday. I’ve taken a few days to digest the race, which included a healthy mix of basking in pride and sulking in disappointment.

I’ll be honest, yes, I am disappointed. A time like mine should not reflect disappointment, but it does for me. I trained for, wished for, and pushed really hard to complete my second marathon in under 3:00. I know my time is still great, and it’s a 55 second PR from last year’s NYC. Who can’t be happy with a PR?! And NYC is a tough course! At the end of the race, the feeling of sheer depletion meant I gave it everything physically and that’s what mattered. I am proud of myself for finishing, setting myself up for success with a really great first half, and staying mentally strong and fighting despite the way I felt.

Finished!!

2011 NYC Marathon: 3:03:37 official finishing time. 83rd female, 1425th place overall, 7th in age group (20-24). My 2nd marathon. Now let’s get to the fun stuff :)

Sub-Elite Start

I woke up at 5 a.m., feeling pretty well-rested and excited! I made some coffee and a hugeeee oatmeal with bananas to heat and take on the bus with me. Around 5:45, I left my apartment and headed to 54th street and 6th avenue to board the sub-elite bus. Around 6:30 a.m. we headed east down the FDR, our caravan of buses escorted by police. Seeing the highway completely shut down to traffic for our buses was the first of many unreal experiences. We arrived in Staten Island pretty quickly and were escorted away from the starting villages into a private heated tent, next to the elite athletes.

Sub-elite tent

While we were separated from the elites, we still shared portapotties and a little warmup area. Luckily, I had my CPTC teammates to keep me company! I didn’t even need half the layers I packed since we weren’t out in the cold, but I sure was thankful I had brought them anyway. I drank Gatorade and ate another banana and Gu Chomps while we waited. Around 8:45, we checked our bags in a private truck and were escorted to the top of the Verrazano bridge.

The next 45 minutes until the start were the most incredible moments of my life. We were able to start right on the line, and were free to do striders and roam the starting area. I strode out about 100 meters over the bridge and took it all in… just me and the closed bridge, nobody else in sight.I turned around and the crowds were so far away. It was surreal to be standing by myself with the bridge wide open. It was at that point I realized I was going to go for it. I’ve worked so hard the past four months to be standing in this exact spot…and suddenly I was here, standing on top of the Verrazano, taking in these gorgeous views from a truly special spot. I started to get choked up, I was so thankful.

New York, New York!

Miles 1, 2, 3: 6:45, 6:19, 6:32

The gun went off, and suddenly we were running! I tried to stay steady up the Verrazano, and found myself trailing back a bit from my CPTC teammates. I had anticipated hitting the first mile in over 7:00, so 6:45 was a bit of a shock but I felt fine. I tried not to pay attention to the second mile marker since that’s down the Verrazano’s steep decline. I thought mile 3 was a tad more steady as we wound the streets and found our way to Brooklyn, but I see it was quick!

Miles 4, 5, 6, 7, 8: 6:42, 6:42, 6:46, 6:41, 6:53

Around the 5K mark, I found myself back with my CPTC teammates Erin, Erin, and Maria. We strode across the road in a line of 4, trying to reign each other back and get closer to 6:50s. But it just wasn’t happening. I know you know that feeling. So, everytime I felt like speeding up, I tried to picture myself absorbing that energy I wanted to use and saving it for later. During this portion, I felt like I was working a bit more than I wanted to, but I definitely felt smooth. Erin pulled away around mile 6. At 7.5, I swung out to the left side of the road as my Dad was supposed to be standing near 7.8. I scanned and scanned the crowds but missed him! I was a bit thrown off, but quickly hopped back with my teammates as we approached mile 8 and joined in with the green & blue corrals! I took my first gel at mile 8 and felt good.

Miles 9, 10, 11, 12, 13: 6:45, 6:38, 6:49, 6:47, 6:48. Half-marathon mark 1:28:06.

A bit after mile 10 (why did I run a 6:38??) I realized I felt like I was working a bit harder than I should be. The crowds, the energy, the noise, and my thoughts propelled me to continue pushing. It’s a marathon, it was going to hurt no matter what. I pushed any doubt and panic aside. We passed the halfway mark in 1:28:06 and I felt a boost. I knew we had to hit the halfway point in 1:28 low or under to run under 3:00. Being a bit OCD, I checked the past year’s results and saw that anyone who ran sub-3:00 ran between 1:24 and 1:28 for the half. Nothing slower. Yes, this was fast, and YES this was aggressive, but I wanted to know I did everything I could to set myself up for success. I was on track, and just had to run under a 1:32 second half– heck, that sounded reasonable!

Miles 14, 15, 16, 17, 18: 6:56, 7:09, 7:09, 6:48, 6:53

I continued through Queens and started to feel like legs going a bit. My breathing was a bit heavier than I wanted, but I was chugging along where I wanted to be. I fell way behind my teammates going up the Queensboro bridge, but tried to keep steady. Hills are not my strength, and I didn’t mind the quietness of the bridge. I used it to collect my thoughts and my strength while taking my second gel and working to draft a bit as it was pretty windy. As we wound down the bridge, and I heard the wall of noise of 1st ave. Manhattan! I made it! I knew I had friends in the 70s and 80s, and scanned the crowds while trying to stay focused. I felt my quads really going and started to get nervous. Last year, I felt pretty good on this stretch of 1st Ave and my current state concerned me a bit. I used the crowd’s energy to propel myself forward, still happy with my splits around goal pace. My mom was on 97th street, and I was so happy to see her…though I had very little to say but wave.

Miles 19, 20, 21, 22, 23: 7:07, 7:26, 7:21, 7:26, 7:32

After mile 18, the crowds thinned and I took a 3rd gel in hopes they’d revive my legs. My quads. Oh, my quads. I rarely have issues or soreness in my quads during long runs or workouts, but they felt paralyzed as we hit the Willis Avenue Bridge. My breathing was okay, aerobically I felt I could continue to push, but my legs were not having it. I lost major time on these miles. I looked at my pace bracelet and saw the 2 minute cushion I had to break 3:00 start to shrink. It was frustrating knowing I was mentally and aerobically feeling ready to push but physically unable to increase the turnover in my legs. I was stuck in the same gear. Around mile 23, I actually didn’t know if my legs would hold up to carry me to the finish line. But I fought.

Over the Willis Avenue Bridge... (19.5)

Miles 24, 25, 26, .2: 8:00, 7:28, 7:20, 1:38

The 5th Avenue hill was the worst, as expected. I counted down the blocks one by one, feeling like I traveled 10 blocks but only having made it one. 90th street felt like it would never come. I saw my parents and barely mustered a wave. As a whole, I really tried to enjoy and savor the course but this stretch was one I just about closed my eyes and wished away. Once we entered the park, I was hit by “The Wall of Orange”– my CPTC teammates cheering their heads off. I got a boost and knew I would finish. Unlike last year where I think I blacked out for part of Central Park to the finish line, I was extremely aware during this time. Again, I wanted to just go but my legs wouldn’t let me. I remained positive and focused, knowing I’d have to continue to push if I was going to PR at all.

Seriously, are we there yet?!

Cresting up the small hill to the finish line the last .2 miles, I tried to kick and push, and was suddenly hit with a wave of exhaustion. All the blood rushed from my head and body, I wanted to pass out or throw up. It was then I knew I was physically spent, a sign of a good race. I somehow raised my arms upon crossing.

Finish!

Victory!

Upon finishing, a volunteer quickly spotted my bib and escorted me to a special finisher’s area. On my way, I spotted my CPTC teammates I had run with and all finished around the same time. And, Alex who had started in local competitive found us too!

Alex, Me, Erin, Maria

The volunteer escorted us from the sub-elite to a special tent right after the finish line. I was so thankful I didn’t have to walk all the way to the end of the baggage trucks like I did last year. I barely made it to the tent, fighting the urge to pass out or at least sit down. The volunteer let us sit while she found my bag. For that, she was my hero! I sat and breathed and stared around for a while before changing into dry clothes and calling my parents.

That was it. I didn’t break 3:00, and the world wasn’t over (shocker!) I didn’t feel upset at that moment because of how physically spent I was. I wanted under 3:00 and my mind said yes, but my legs said NO. I felt proud of myself for finishing, and fighting, and still setting a new PR. So often, the mental piece of the puzzle is what goes awry and makes for a bad race. I can say despite some frustrating moments, my mind was really in the game. My legs just went a lot earlier than I anticipated which made for a really rough second half.

The Aftermath

After the race, I met up with my Mom and Dad and went to brunch at Fred’s on the UWS. Luckily, we didn’t have to wait and I had a pretty good grilled chicken sandwich. I hobbled back to my apartment and immediately got into bed and started crying to my mom. I’ve had a pretty rough few weeks, and part of me felt like I needed a sub-3:00 race to boost my self confidence and affirm I’ll be okay. After working so hard and sacrificing so much, I fell short. I failed. Running kicked me when I was down.

After drying my tears and saying bye to my mom, I brushed myself off and hopped in the shower. I knew sulking in my apartment wouldn’t help, so even though I was physically drained, I headed down to Opal for the CPTC afterparty celebrations. A few beers, a bottle of champagne, and shots later, I left with a happy heart and head. Sure, my time wasn’t the best, but I PR’ed. And the experience was worth every painful second.

Free bottle of champagne? Okay!

So now what? I’m trying hard to let this race just be and not analyze my splits, training, diet, lifestyle, etc. I feel like I did the right stuff, and it just wasn’t my day. Maybe NYC isn’t my course, and I’d fare better on a flatter one where I can keep a steady pace and not get crushed by awful hills and bridges. Part of me really doesn’t get why this year felt so much harder than last year, when I know I am a stronger runner right now. Maybe my pacing strategy was off, but I stand firm on the way I went out because it put me in the right position.

I’ve got Boston 2012 next, and I’m holding off on making any goals for that race quite yet. I’m a bit hesitant to say I want to break 3:00 there. However, I know I’m competitive with myself and probably won’t want to go into that race without the goal of setting a new PR. Let’s be honest.

For now, I will take the next week or two entirely off running and exercise of any type. For me, I need a solid rest period to break up training and racing cycles. Taking it easy until after Thanksgiving will ensure I am fresh and eager to train for Boston, and not get burnt out or injured. I’ll be sleeping in, enjoying my free time, and living a little more until then!

Finally, THANK YOU again for all the kind congratulatory messages. Even though it wasn’t my day, I felt extremely loved and supported before, during and especially after the race. As I said before the race, I’ll be back here working hard and writing about it until I get that sub-3:00!

Here We Go…

November 5th, 2011 | Posted by Lindsay Runs in Blog Posts - (13 Comments)

It’s here! Tomorrow is the big day. I can’t believe that tomorrow I will be waking up and running the NYC Marathon.

I remember when I first wrote down that I wanted to break 3:00 in the marathon. It was just about a week after last year’s marathon, once I had a chance to reflect and regain my ability to walk. I admitted this was a lofty goal, but attainable with hard work. I’ve now put in a full year of hard work since that point and it’s time to see if it paid off.

Goals & Positive Thinking

You all know my goal time. It’s about all I’ve focused on the past few months. Running under 3:00 has been the thought in the back of my mind during every workout and long run, pushing me to work harder and stay strong.

As the race drew closer, I started to get so caught up with the fear of failing, that I started to lose sight of why I am doing this marathon. I run because I love it. Because it’s for me. Running allows me to better myself. To focus. To constantly grow and challenge myself. I’m not saying my time doesn’t matter to me, because it does. A lot. But it’s not the only thing that matters.

As my BFF Deena Kastor says (more on this later), “A joyful runner is a faster runner.”

Do I still want to run under 2:59:59.99? You bet. But I’ve had to get my head on straight and remind myself that as long as I PR and enjoy the experience, that’s still a win! I will continually remind myself to stay positive and not let “pace noise” throw off my game. My worst fear is seeing that I’m off pace and there is no way I will break 3:00, and falling apart. I won’t let that happen. I am going to run with a smile on my face (okay, at least through mile 23…) and give everything I have to at least PR. And most importantly, I will enjoy the ride.

And if I don’t PR? Well, expect a race recap with a very different tone soon ;)

Race Prep

Yesterday morning, courtesy of Emilia and Asics, Kelly, Meggie, Susan and I were invited to attend a very special breakfast at the Empire Hotel with running pros Deena Kastor (my BFF above) and Ryan Hall. Hearing the pro runners share advice really pumped me up!

Ryan’s advice? “It’s easier to slow down than speed up.” Seeing as I positive split by 5 minutes last year, I guess I follow a similar race strategy :)

Emilia, Kelly, Me, Deena, Deena's Hubby/Coach Andrew, Meggie, Susan

I spent the rest of the day working from Starbucks and laying low, and woke up this morning to do my traditional 20 minute shakeout run. It’s what we always did the day before a race in college, and haven’t changed it up since. As I finished, I got super excited (and nervous) to think the next time I step out for a run, it’ll be over the Verrazano bridge!

I headed down to Lululemon in Union Square at 9 a.m. for a run design focus group I was invited to. A few of their product development folks came down from Canada and wanted to hear from a small group of runners what we love in our running clothes (Lululemon or not!) to help shape their designs and styles. I’ve accumulated a ton of running clothes over the past 10 years, 85% of which seems to be Nike. I like Lululemon’s clothing, but the price point is a major barrier for me when I can barely even fit my current running collection into my drawers. And I am a poor working girl.

Nonetheless, the discussion was really interesting! And, we got a gift card for our time, so I used it to buy a pair of black run: speed shorts that I will wear during the marathon tomorrow. I have these shorts in another color and gradually found myself wearing them for most long runs because they feel light as air and have pockets for my gels. It was a last minute decision to switch to these shorts as I’ve always raced in Nike spandex shorts, but I love the run: speed shorts and have a feeling they’ll be great tomorrow. They’re called the speed shorts, so that’s a good sign…right?

Tomorrow

And now we’re here. One more sleep and I’ll be running a marathon through the greatest city in the world. Friends, I can not begin to express how much your support means to me. Last year, I didn’t really know anyone else racing and it was very much a solo experience. This year I feel like I’ll know so many familiar faces running out there with me, spectating from the sidelines, or cheering from afar.

THANK YOU for every last comment, tweet, Facebook post, email, story, call, fro-yo trip, drink, EVERYTHING that we’ve shared over the last few months. I will think of all of you rooting for me to draw in positive energy and strength, especially in those final miles. If tomorrow is my day to break 3:00, I will feel on top of the world. And if it’s not, I’ll be back here and working hard until I do!

To track me, log onto http://ingnycmarathon.com tomorrow or download the app and track me via Bib#287. If you’re watching, here’s what I’m wearing!

Good luck to all the other runners out there. Catch ya after 26.2! 

Welcome to Sub-Elite, #287

November 3rd, 2011 | Posted by Lindsay Runs in Blog Posts - (16 Comments)

About a month ago, I applied for the ‘local competitive’ corral for the marathon. This is open to marathoners with a time of 3:16 or faster, and since I did it last year, I figured I’d do it again. I was assigned bib #504 and all was good. Then I found out there was another section, the sub-elite, for marathoners with a time of 3:05 or faster. Why didn’t anyone tell me about this sooner? I emailed the NYRR a few weeks ago and they let me know that unfortunately, the section was closed. No disappointment- local competitive was still a great option.

Yesterday at work, I got a call from NYRR, informing me that a few spots in sub-elite had opened up due to last-minute cancellations. Did I want to be switched? Ummmm, YES please!

Within a few hours, my registration card was updated to Bib #287.

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Needless to say, I’m so excited! Sub-elite athletes get a dedicated bus that leaves midtown at 6:30 a.m. and goes straight to the staging area with a special bag check, portapotties (most important!), refreshments, massages, and a clear starting position in the orange corral. Since I started on the lower level in green last year, I am probably most excited to start on the upper deck so I can actually see all the fanfare. And get to feel like a pro for a morning ;) I feel extremely lucky to be a part of this experience.

This afternoon I took a break from working at home (seriously, I love working from home! so much productivity without the commute) and ran the 3.5 miles from my apartment down to the expo. Nice way to multitask and get in my run for the day.

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I spent about 45 minutes or so walking around the expo, checking out the free samples and stocking up on some gear.

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A short sleeve gray shirt, a soft longsleeve blue half-zip (showing the back with the marathon type), and a red Brooks longsleeve: ‘Run Happy’. I love that one!

The expo really made me feel like the marathon is here. I’ve had a hard time wrapping my head around the reality that I’m racing 26.2 miles on Sunday, and needed the energy of thousands of others to get me in the mood. I don’t know when it’ll actually hit me, but I’m getting closer. Promise.

I worked a bit more when I got home, and then decided to make a nice, healthy dinner. Another perk of working from home: being able to cook from my own fridge, whenever I want, instead of depending on whatever I brought to the office that day and waiting to eat a ‘real’ dinner until I get home at 8! And the best perk: working in my sweaty running clothes in bed and showering 5 hours later. Mmmhmm.

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Baked salmon with TJ’s Island Soyaki sauce, over a bed of quinoa, edamame and cucumbers, also mixed with soyaki sauce.

I’m trying to increase my carbohydrate intake this week, to amp up my stores and fuel for the race. I don’t do the typical pasta binge the night before, as my stomach isn’t used to that and I’d probably get sick. And, it’s a bit too late to ‘stock up’ the night before. Instead, I’ve been focusing on having more healthy carbs all this week like bananas, oatmeal and cereal for breakfast, more pretzels and crackers for snacks, and bases of grains like quinoa when eating healthy proteins.

Since I’ve been running less this week, my appetite hasn’t been quite as ravenous. That means I’ve had to make a more conscious effort to eat every few hours, since I know my body needs the fuel. I don’t weigh myself too often, or get too preoccupied with it, but today I noticed I’ve lost about 3 pounds from about 2 weeks ago. For me right now, this is not a good thing! I need to hang on to all the muscle, power and water I can get to get me through the race. I will probably focus on getting back to a lower weight post-race. (Yes, I tend to gain around 5 or so pounds marathon training. I like to think it’s muscle, but it’s more likely a result of my monster appetite).

I’ll be back again tomorrow or Saturday with a pre-race post. Until then, send good marathon thoughts my way and tell me where you’re cheering!

What’s your favorite part of race expos? What’s your carbo-loading strategy? If you’re cheering WHERE WILL YOU BE?!?! I want to know where to look for everyone.

I survived the first week of the taper! Sunday’s Half-Marathon marked 3 weeks to race day, and the beginning of the gradual decline in intensity and mileage.

After many, many hard weeks of training, I’m a bit relieved. The end is near. My goal is (finally) in reach. November 6th used to feel so far away- especially through all those humid, sweaty runs in July and August- and it was hard to visualize race day. September rolled around, the fall air began to hit, and upping my long runs helped draw the marathon a bit closer. And now, we’re suddenly nearing the end of October and it’s in sight. How did that happen? I’ve logged three 20-mile runs, pushed through weekly workouts at half-marathon and marathon pace, reached a new highest weekly mileage, and I feel ready. Well, most of the time.

The great part is… all the really hard work is behind me. But that’s also the scary part. I second guess myself. Did I do enough? Were my runs long enough? Was my pace fast enough? I’m out of time to put in the hard work. These few weeks of tapering will be about getting my legs fresh, staying healthy, resting up, and mentally preparing. While these things are all a very important part of race preparation, it’s difficult not to question how you could have done more during training. Stretched more, iced more, ran longer, ran faster, slept more, ate cleaner, took iron more, lifted more, worked on my core strength more.

I think this is totally natural. No matter your ability, there is always room to doubt yourself. No matter your training, there is always the question if you could have done more. It’s like that in all areas of life: did I study enough for that test? Did I prepare enough for my big client presentation? Did I spend enough time with my family? Did I do enough to show my friends I care?

I need to focus on looking back at all I’ve accomplished over the last 3 months, and trust in that. I feel confident that I’ve done the best I could in my training given the time and energy I was able to dedicate. I am thankful to have stayed healthy and injury-free this entire training cycle. I have woken up earlier than the sun, run faster and farther than comfort, and am ready. Sub-3:00 is no longer a lofty goal, it’s in reach. The preparation is done. It’s all up to feeling good, running smart, staying strong, and digging deep on race day.

Hopefully, crossing the finish line as happy (and satisfied) as last year! This time, a few minutes faster.

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This week, I hit 49.5 miles.

  • Sun: 13.1 miles- Nike Women’s Half Marathon in San Francisco: 1:32:09
  • Mon: Off
  • Tues: Flew back from CA on redeye. 4 miles easy after landing before work.
  • Weds: 4.5 miles in CP
  • Thurs: 2 warmup, 5.16 tempo (6:44 average pace), 2.5 cooldown
  • Fri: 2 miles shakeout
  • Sat: 16.5 miles total, including last 10 miles of the marathon course (!)

Next week, I’ll probably hit around 35-38 miles, and then only around 22-25 miles the week before the marathon. Hooray!

To rest, I’ll be keeping it pretty low key these next two weekends. Last night, I went to the Meatball Shop with Dan for dinner. The wait was less than an hour, surprising for 7 p.m. on a Friday. Like last time I went, I decided to get the sliders again so I could choose multiple ball/sauce varieties. I chose the spicy pork with spicy meat sauce, veggie with parmesan cream sauce, and the special ball- chicken cordon bleu with mushroom sauce! With a side of carrot and chive risotto, steamed spinach and the market salad with arugula, pomegranate seeds and persimmon. Yum!

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And of course, no dinner is complete without dessert. Special apple cinnamon ice cream with special oatmeal cherry cookies. Amazing.

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No, these hairy arms are not mine.

This morning, I met a few of my CPTC teammates on 59th and 1st to run the last 10 miles of the marathon course. I ran about 4.5 miles through the park to meet, and 2 miles easy after we finished to run back to my apartment. Afterwards, I refueled with a giant mug of Trader Joe’s pumpkin spice coffee, and steel cut oatmeal mixed with pumpkin and protein powder. Now that it’s finally feeling like fall, I’m in the mood for warm, flavorful food. MMM.

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I have to run a few errands this afternoon before fun evening plans. I can’t wait to sleep in tomorrow!

How do you stay confident during a taper? Tips to trust in your training? Any fun weekend plans?

The Final Push!

October 13th, 2011 | Posted by Lindsay Runs in Blog Posts - (9 Comments)

I’m almost done with my last week of heavy training until November 6th. Remember last week how I said I hit 70 miles and felt great while doing it? Well, the tables have turned this week. My goal was (is?) to hit 75 miles this week, but my legs are just not feeling it. To hit 75 miles on 6 days of running, without a workout, is harder than I thought. I keep reminding myself that taper time is just around the corner, and it’s okay if the volume is making my legs tired for now.

Honestly, I have struggled a lot with motivating myself to get in my runs this week. A combination of training and some exciting personal changes (which I’ll discuss on the blog…soon!) seem to have zapped my energy and focus. Yesterday was one of those mornings where I felt like stopping dead in my tracks after a few miles, walking home, and being okay with that. Instead, I mustered up 11 easy miles as a run-commute to work, though every step was a bit of a mental struggle. This morning I woke up around 6 a.m. before my alarm, and wanted nothing more than to skip my run and sleep forever. I procrastinated on Twitter and email, and finally stood on my doorstep for about 5 minutes before I could actually will myself to run. 9 dark and misty miles along the Hudson River actually flew by, and I questioned why I thought the run would be so miserable.

The point here is, running has highs and lows. Training does not comes easy, and I don’t hit the pavement with a smile on my face every day. Some days I do, but many more days I don’t. But the days I don’t feel like running the most are the days I always seem to return back home, smiling that I did it. Putting in the work isn’t always fun, but the rewards of a new PR (fingers crossed!) on race day motivates me day in and day out to not listen to my body, and get out there and run!

Here’s how the week has shaped up so far. I am planning to take it easier on Friday and off on Saturday before running the Nike Women’s Half-Marathon on Sunday(!). This totals to 75 miles for the week, though I’m not sure how my legs will feel doubling again tonight so I might skip the run to rest.

  • Sunday: 20 miles with Alex in Central Park, Riverside, Battery Park, Brooklyn & Manhattan Bridges
  • Monday: 9 miles in morning, 3.75 at night
  • Tuesday: 6.75 in morning, 5 at night
  • Wednesday: 11 miles run-commute to work
  • Thursday: 9 miles in morning, Planned 4 after work
  • Friday: Planned 5.5
  • Saturday: OFF

I might have forgotten to mention this on the blog, but yes, I am flying out to San Francisco this weekend to run the Nike Women’s Half-Marathon! (NOT the full!) My friend Jill from college is running it with her sister and friends, so I got looped in on their team and accepted into the lottery. My sister goes to college in San Francisco, so it was an easy trip with a free place to stay!

San Francisco is known for its hills, so my game plan is to use this race as a workout versus a race to PR. I’ll aim to run the first 10K  around marathon pace (~6:50) and then work on bringing that pace down for the second part of the race to practice feeling good while negative splitting.

I’ll also use this race to test out my (hopeful) marathon shoes! I’ve had a bit of a shoe dilemma…

Last year, I ran the marathon in an old pair of Nike Lunarsomethingorothers (honestly can’t remember if these are the LunarElites, LunarTrainers, LunarGlides, etc.), which I really liked. They had enough support while still being lightweight and fast.

However, after a few workouts and races, I wanted to find a fresh pair. Plus, the heel came up pretty high in the back and sometimes cut up my skin. Ouch. I bought a pair of Nike LunaRacer’s, because they seemed similar and I loved the color. Sucker for fun shoes.

After a few workouts, I felt okay in the shoes, but didn’t love them. The base felt a bit too spongey. I’ll keep wearing them for workouts, but wanted to find a new pair for the race. Since CPTC gets a 40% New Balance discount, I ordered the 1400s below and am crossing my fingers they work out! I’m hoping to wear them on my easy 4 miles to break them in a bit before the half. How fun are they?

New Balance 1400s, so bright! Hope these work!

Peak marathon training also means my appetite has increased tremendously, enough to feed a family of four at times it seems. To prepare, I made a big batch of quinoa on Sunday night and have been basing my lunches and dinners around it to ensure that I had a healthy source of whole grains and protein with every meal. Otherwise, it’s just way too tempting to eat peanut butter and 16 Handles for dinner every night. Not that there’s anything wrong with that…but I want to make sure I’m fueling my body the best I can to carry me to the finish line. Convenience is my friend in the kitchen when logging tons of miles and spending long days at work. With a bit of prep work, these meals have come together in less than 10 minutes. Hooray!

Wednesday's dinner: Quionoa, spinach, tomatoes, baked mahi mahi pieces and TJ's peanut satay sauce (new discovery- so good). Made this same thing on Monday with a burger patty instead of mahi mahi.

Today's lunch: Quinoa with zucchini, tomatoes, feta, walnuts and TJ's garlic chicken sausage

How’s your running going this week? What do you look for in a good pair of running or racing shoes? Favorite easy (and filling!) meal?