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Even though it was a “short” week at work due to MLK Day on Monday, I sure am glad it’s the weekend! NYC received freezing rain slush on Tuesday morning and a few more inches of snow on Thursday night/Friday morning. And, we’re supposed to get more snow next week…make it stop!

Nonetheless, I still have to get my butt out the door and continue to build up my mileage and get in workouts in preparation for the NYC Half-Marathon. We’re about two months out from the race and I’ve got a much stronger base than I did at this point last year so I’m feeling good to work towards my goal of 1:27-1:28. I just keep reminding myself March and warmer temps will be here soon!

This week’s training included long runs and another dreadmill tempo. I also decided to wake up early (despite 14 degree temps!) and run a portion of my run this morning alongside the Manhattan Half Marathon. And look at me continuing off my 2011 goals of speed/tempo runs 1x week and doing core/lifting or extras at least 2x weekly!

Week of 1/16: 43.5 miles

  • Sun: 11 miles in Central Park…tough because I was super congested.
  • Mon: No work today! 7 miles easy in Riverside Park. Legs a bit tired from long run.
    • + Core/lifting at gym
  • Tues: Day off running
  • Wed: 6 miles easy in Central Park
  • Thur: 7.5 miles total on Treadmill after work: 1 warmup; 2 miles @ 6:58, 2 miles @ 6:44, .5 mile easy break (I was dying), 1 mile @ 6:29, 1 mile cooldown
    • +Pilates class at gym
  • Fri: Day off running
  • Sat: 12 miles alongside Manhattan Half…splits below! Warmed up and cooled down back to my apartment.

This morning, I warmed up about 1.5 miles to the start of the race and hopped in on the side. I kept to the outside the entire time so as to not get in the way of any people racing, since I wasn’t registered and really shouldn’t have joined in :) But, I knew it was a way to get in some more miles while running “with” people! I run by myself every single day so it was a nice treat. It was also easy to sneak in as most people’s race numbers were covered by jackets and sweats, anyway!

I ran about 9 miles on the course in Central Park and felt pretty good! I guess I treated it as a long tempo without trying too hard…though Harlem Hill and the 2nd time up Cat Hill kicked my butt (really). I scooted off around the 102nd street transverse and slowly cooled down for an even 12. I kept trying to remind myself that the more hard work I put in now, the easier it’ll feel come race day!

Anywho, the other highlight of my week was buying a new digital camera! My old one broke and the repair would have cost me over $100 and I wasn’t too happy with the image quality overall. So, I invested in a Canon Powershot S95!

Canon Powershot S95

I haven’t played around much with it yet but plan to today! The image quality is supposed to be superb and it’s still compact enough to fit in a small purse or my pocket. I’m always the picture-taker amongst my friends when we go out and hope this camera lasts for years to come! And maybe I’ll be a bit more adventurous and take pictures to add to my posts!

How did you deal with the cold this week? How do you stay motivated in the winter months? I’m needed an early spring race to train for to otherwise I guarantee you I’d be hitting the roads a lot less!

sNOw Excuses

January 16th, 2011 | Posted by Lindsay Runs in Blog Posts - (0 Comments)

Those of you in NYC (or really, most of the East Coast) will probably agree that the snow we received after Christmas and last week has overstayed its welcome and needs to melt away! Don’t get me wrong, I love it when the snow first falls and I even love running while its snowing, but after two weeks of sliding/tripping when trying to dodge snow piles on street corners and being confined to the Central Park drive instead of the dirt Bridle Path…it’s time to melt away.

Nonetheless, the snow isn’t an excuse to not run outside! If anything, it makes it a little more exciting and ‘wintery’ feeling. I am one of those people that would rather run outdoors in the cold, rain, heat, etc. than on a treadmill (aka dreadmill) but I understand some people do prefer to get their miles on inside and that’s just fine.

A coworker recently told me she is training for an upcoming marathon and has been doing all of her running on the treadmill because it’s too dark and too cold outside in the morning. She’s even done 17 miles on the treadmill. While at least she’s getting in her miles, and I applaud her for having the mental stamina to be able to run on a treadmill for that long, I tried to encourage her to try running outside at least part of the time. The sun rises around 7am or so, and if it’s cold, just layer up a bit more. Especially for a marathon, you need to be physically and mentally tough; getting outside in the winter mornings is hard but ultimately when you stop making excuses and get on with it, you’ll see results.

Here are some of my quick tips for training outdoors in the winter:

  • Run in the mornings or afternoons, if your schedule permits. At least it’s lighter than later in the afternoon or at night. I love night running in the summer when there are more people out and it’s cooler, but in the winter I’d rather get out in the sunlight and before I just want to get under the covers and watch TV at night!
  • Layer, Layer, LAYER! Dress as if it is about 15-20 degrees warmer outdoors, as your body will heat up once you get moving. I typically wear a DriFit short-sleeve or tank top underneath a DriFit or thermal longsleeve. I love half-zip tops because you can zip up if it’s a bit chilly and then unzip as you warm up. DriFit helps keep you warm since it wicks away sweat. Avoid cotton which holds on to your sweat and may make you chilly.
  • Reward yourself for getting out the door: Pick something to treat yourself to if it’s especially hard to get out the door. What’s waiting at home when you’re done, a warm shower, a latte, warm oatmeal for breakfast? Whatever you choose, make yourself earn it! I admit I often treat myself to 20 minute hot showers after especially chilly mornings.
  • Set concrete goals: I am very goal-oriented. I map out weekly mileage goals to hit and constantly track how much remains as we go through the week in order to hit that number. That goal number is easier to work towards day by day rather than saying “I want to run a lot this week”. I also have a certain time goal I want to hit in my next race, not just “Oh I want to run fast..”. I know each day I get out is one step closer to that certain time. Each day I skip my run out of laziness is one step further from that goal. Sign up for a race, challenge yourself to a weekly or monthly mileage goal, etc. Identify a goal that you can work towards and you’ll be thankful for those chilly runs once you reach those goals!
  • Plan around¬† the weather forecast. Here’s the weather forecast for this week in NYC:Given this forecast, I will probably plan my day off for Tuesday since there it calls for freezing rain. May as well be outside on the nicer days, and choose those days to go a little longer, and keep it a bit shorter on the days that aren’t as favorable. Keep flexible, though, because we know the weathermen don’t always get it right :)

I guess at the end of the day, whatever works for you to get your miles in is better than nothing! I would just urge others to stop making excuses on how cold or dark it is in the winter and try to enjoy outdoor running– it’s really not that bad!

Central Park in the Snow! source: fromme-toyou.tumblr.com

That said, I do have to make a disclaimer. I recently turned to the treadmill to start my tempo run training. It’s easier to control my pace, and I have only done a 4 and a 5 mile tempo so far since I am building up. I’ll definitely return back out to the roads for my tempos in a few weeks once I get a better gauge on what pace is best for me! I loved doing tempos on the Lower Loop in Central Park while training for the Marathon and need to revisit that soon.

Here’s how my last 2 weeks have played out in preparation for the NYC Half-Marathon March 20th. I track my weeks Sunday through Saturday, like a calendar. I also aim to run 6 days/week, with 1 rest day.

Week of 1/2: Reached goal of 40 miles

  • Sun: 8 miles in late afternoon, started to drizzle towards end
  • Mon: 6 miles in am, went to gym for lifting/core in pm
  • Tues: 6 miles in am
  • Wed: Treadmill 4 mi tempo +1 mi warmup/1mi cooldown. 6:58, 6:58, 6:44, 6:31. Afterwards, went to Hatha Yoga class.
  • Thurs: Day off :)
  • Fri: 6 mi in am
  • Sat: 8 mi in afternoon

Week of 1/9: (Barely) surpassed goal of 40 miles for 40.5 total

  • Sun: 10 miles, longest since Marathon to date
  • Mon: 5 miles in am
  • Tues: Treadmill 5 mi tempo + 1 mi warmup/1mi cooldown. 6:58, 6:58, 6:44, 6:44, 6:31. Afterwards, did lifting/core
  • Wed: Day off :) Planned this just in case of snow.
  • Thurs: 4.5 in am. Legs sore from tempo & think I’m getting sick…
  • Fri: 8.25 in late am home in NJ– random day off work. Afterwards, did lifting/core.
  • Sat: 5.25 in am

Do you like to run outdoors or inside better in the winter? What are your tips and tricks for making it easier to get outdoors when it’s cold?

Marathon Week!

November 2nd, 2010 | Posted by Lindsay Runs in Blog Posts - (4 Comments)

I’ve made it…it’s here: MARATHON WEEK!

I’m excited and nervous and scared and confused and prepared an unprepared all at the same time. I’m sure many are feeling the same way. I spent the last 4+ months building up for this race and now its finally here. In 5 days, around 12:50pm (fingers crossed!) I will become a member in an exclusive club: I will be a Marathoner. Unreal.

On Saturday afternoon, I ran the last 10 miles of the course, led by the orange flags lining the course to the finish line. A few observations/tips:

  • First Avenue is generally flat! There is an extremely minimal incline (in the 80s I think?) But followed by an equally minimal decline
  • The Willis Avenue Bridge, leading into the Bronx, is under construction and I think we’ll be running over the new bridge on race day. It was hard to tell much about this bridge because I had to walk up the pedestrian stairs and such. Its pretty short.
  • You’re in the Bronx for like .2 seconds before heading back into Manhattan. Make a few turns as you can see on the course map, but nothing bad. Seemed pretty level.
  • The turns around Marcus Garvey Park could be a good place to exercise running tangents? I felt like I was back in high school doing annoying laps/turns around a basketball court in gym
  • The incline on 5th avenue heading up to Central Park is going to be a PAIN. It started around 108th st, and I really didn’t think it crested until like 92nd/91st. The worst part seemed around 104/102 st, I think. After you’ve hit the wall (or hopefully, not!) this is more of a challenge then I thought…
  • Once you enter Central Park on 90th street, you’re just about golden. Just have to remind myself how many countless times I have run down Cat Hill that direction before and how familiar it is
  • Once you exit the park, Central Park South going towards Columbus Circle did feel like a tiny incline. Or maybe I was just tired from dodging pesky NYC tourists. Probably will have lost all circulation to my brain at this point and the path to the finish line will be a blur!

In the end, running the last 10 gave me a good indication of the end of the course, leaving no unknowns when I start to struggle.

This week I’m trying to relax, rest my legs, and get pumped! A busy work week is making the relaxing part hard, but I’m off Friday to de-stress and visit the expo to get all my goods!

Sunday I did 6 miles kinda split while I was watching my friend/old Villanova teammate Frances win the Poland Spring 5 miler race in Central Park in the morning. It was good to see her again and I got in some easy miles while she cooled down, and then ran home!
I took Monday off, ran 6 this morning, and have planned for rest of week: Wed: 5; Thurs: 4; Friday off; Saturday easy 3 to shake out + easy strides. Total of 24 miles for the week, and then 26.2 on Sunday!

I was planning to run after work all this week to get some extra sleep, but with the colder weather,¬† longer hours at work, and desire to just go home and eat a good dinner, I’ve found it’s so much easier to just bang it out on the morning and attempt to get to bed a little earlier than normal. Dare I say I’ve fully transitioned to a morning runner? I used to hate running in the morning, like could barely do 20 minutes, but I think it definitely takes a while to get used to. Now I love it because it makes the rest of my day easier, and I feel more awake. Really!

In the meantime, I’ll be obsessively stalking the weather forecast (which looks like 50 and sunny, by the way!) and visiting www.ingnycmarathon.org at least 50 times daily.

Where I’ll be in 5 days! Along with 45,000 other of my closest friends :)

Domestic Weekend

September 18th, 2010 | Posted by Lindsay Runs in Blog Posts - (0 Comments)

Again, my post-per-day ambition is turning into just that…ambition. I don’t know why I feel the need to apologize for only posting every 2-3 days or so, but I am.

Thursday was an exciting day (in my lame life). I did a 2 mile shakeout in the morning, and after work, ran straight up to Central Park from my office because it was…tempo night! Since I’m a creature of habit, I decided to do the same 3 lower loops interval I had done just about a week ago. 1.7 miles each, total of 5.1 miles. The weather was crisp and cool, and I had some fun and light shoes on.

I wore them for the 1/2 Marathon in March but I’m trying to test them out a bit more to see how I’d like them for the Marathon. I’ll probably end up wearing them because I don’t want to spring for a new pair, despite the fact I got these for free. What kind of shoes are you even supposed to wear in a Marathon? I guess that’s one to google.

So, either the last time I did this workout my legs were super tired and it was humid, or I just flat out sucked. Because on Wednesday, I rocked it. I doubt I increased fitness this much in one week, but I’ll take it. Last time I ran 35:07 total for 5.1 miles (6:53 pace), while on Wednesday I ran 34:34 for 5.1 miles (6:46 pace). Sweeeet.

The 1st lap was 11:33, the 2nd was 11:30 (felt good!), and the 3rd I was hurting a bit for 11:31. I actually even contemplated doing 1 more loop to make it a longer tempo, because apparently I love self-torture. But I didn’t…I may try that on a day I go out a little slower. I just felt SO GOOD, it was exciting. Still don’t know quite why, but funny that it could just be the cooler weather that made my time drop about 30 seconds. Makes me look forward to fall that much more…

I cooled down back to the office, making it 10 total for the day. Thursday I just did an easy 6.5 because my calves were (and still are…) pretty sore. Today I did 8 after work and ran an errand along the way.

See, sometimes when running takes up most all of your free time, you have to get a bit creative. I found out there was a 2-day sale at Banana Republic, 40% off with your BR card. Of course, I’ve been pining over some fall clothes ever since the temps got out of the 90s. This was my chance! So I set off after work with my keys, metrocard, and Banana Republic credit card. I finished my run at the store (whoops, was only slightly sweaty since it was so cool) and spent much more $$ than I intended! But I haven’t been shopping in quite some time, and I needed cute fall work essentials, right? I took the subway home. Multitasking at it’s finest!

This skirt is one of my favorite purchases from this evening!

Tomorrow is my day off from running, but I’ll hardly be resting. My mom is coming into NYC to help me PAINT MY ROOM! I’ll have to post some pictures once we’re done. In preparation for her early morning arrival, I took everything off my walls and moved everything into the middle of the room. This sure sounded like a much better idea before…I hope it’s easier than I think! Also going to Ikea with the roomies tomorrow, and have to stop by NYRR offices to pick up my bib for the 18-mile NYC Marathon Tune-Up run on Sunday!

Haven’t decided, but I think I’ll run to and from the start of the tune-up run so I can get closer to 18. The route is just 3 loops of Central Park which is probably the most BORING route I could think of, but it’ll be nice to be with a set pace group and hopefully meet some new people! The only part I am NOT looking forward to is the 7 a.m. start time. YIKES! Mostly looking forward to a big post-run brunch and massive nap afterwards. But at least it’ll be out of the way!

Welp, that was sufficiently boring, but so is my life. Running, cleaning my room and blogging on a Friday night, and painting and running some more all weekend….not your average NYC gal’s life that’s for sure. But it’s fine for the next (less than) 2 months and I’m actually loving it. Probably because there is an end in sight :)

To recap my week…

S: 17 long run!
M: 5.75 easy
T: 3 in am, 6.25 in pm
W: 2 in am, 1.5 warmup, 5.1 tempo (34:34), 1.5 cooldown
R: 6.5
F: 8
S: OFF
TOTAL: 56.5

53.5!

September 3rd, 2010 | Posted by Lindsay Runs in Blog Posts - (0 Comments)

I just wrapped up a GREAT 6 days of running, and can’t wait for tomorrow’s well-deserved day OFF! I’m also happy to report that I hit around 53.5 miles this week, my first week over 50 in a long time.

I had been hitting 46 miles the past few weeks, 6 days a week with either 1 day off or 1 day X-training instead of off. Since we’re officially in September now, I need to ramp it up a bit more. Luckily, my legs agreed with me while increasing mileage this week, which made it actually enjoyable. I definitely feel a bit less sluggish on my ‘recovery’ runs and didn’t feel the need to stop at every water fountain in sight.

Here’s a quick recap of my week. All runs around 7:20/7:30 pace unless noted, give or take…again, I estimate.

  • Sunday the 29th: 10 miles
  • Monday the 30th: 9.3 total, with a 6 mile tempo average around 6:55 pace
  • Tuesday the 31st: 5 miles easy recovery, closer to 7:45/8 min pace
  • Wednesday the 1st: 15 miles long run!
  • Thursday the 2nd: 7.2 miles
  • Friday the 3rd: 7 miles

TOTAL: 53.5

Now to enjoy a nice weekend at the beach, next week holds a 16 miler! 2 hours of running, here I come.