Week of 8/12: Half Marathon Training

So, um, I think I’m training for a half marathon. After deciding to do one in September, then deciding to not do one in September, I’ve decided I’m going to be sad/jealous when they run the Newport Liberty Half Marathon 0n 9/23 in my own city if I don’t at least try. So, I think I’m training for a half marathon.

Yeah. I have 7 weeks. My longest run this summer (before this week) has been 7 miles. This should be interesting. I’m not racing it for time. I just really want to sign up so that when I see a million Facebook posts/pics and all those road closures and trashed Gatorade cups all over the city, I won’t have a mental breakdown. True Life: I get jealous of runners.

Really, it was the price that did it for me. $40 is just too good to pass up, so I looked up what a training plan would be like, and it seems manageable. I don’t think it’s going to fully prepare me, but I’m hoping to call on past experiences and internal grit (ha!) to get through it.

The schedule for this week (based off my time in the last half) was supposed to look like this:

  • Monday- Easy 2 miles @ 12:48
  • Tuesday- Rest/Yoga
  • Wednesday- Tempo Run: 5 miles with 3 miles at 11:09
  • Thursday- Easy 2 miles @ 12:48
  • Friday- Rest
  • Saturday- 8 miles @ 12:48
  • Sunday- Rest

And here’s how it played out:

Monday- Easy 2 miles @ 9:45. I usually disregard the suggested times for my easy runs and just run what feels good, but I’m thinking of pulling back a little so I don’t burn out. Going from basically 0 to half marathon in 7 weeks seems like a recipe for injuries for me if I’m not careful.

Tuesday- Easy 3 miles @ 10:11. I wanted to run with Debbie, so I moved Thursday’s run to Tuesday and I’ll move Wednesday’s run to Thursday. It’s all so confusing. Anyway, Tuesday night was supposed to be free outdoor yoga night, but it was mysteriously cancelled, so I did two yoga podcasts I found on the Apple TV. One was yoga for runners; the other was a short hip openers sequence. Afterwards, I foam rolled for about 15 minutes. I’m thinking that if I’m going to ask my body to be ready  in 7 weeks, I should probably be nice to it.

Wednesday- rest day.  I rested while enjoying a really cute and fun night out at an indie movie.

Thursday- Tempo Run. My Garmin doesn’t get the greatest signal on my typical running route, so it’s really hard to gauge these tempo runs. Still, we did this run too fast. Our tempo pace was supposed to be 10:12, and our average pace (including warm up and cool down) came out to 10:11. Too fast.

  1.  10:36
  2. 10:59
  3. 9:41
  4. 8:34
  5. 11:00

I wish I could give you a screenshot of those splits rather than that mess, but I still don’t know how to use a Mac after 4 years, so you get what you get. I don’t think our second mile was really that slow. I’m happy with the third mile, but the fourth was too fast. We really had a lot of fun on this run. Both Chris and I get a little nervous about tempo runs so I’m so glad that our first went off without a hitch.

Friday- rest day! I got to enjoy a really nice date night with my honey which included delicious tofu pad thai as well as chocolate peanut butter ice cream from Toricos. I’m sort of an expert in carbing up.

Saturday- 8 miles @ 11:10. Faster than prescribed, but it felt good, and we were able to talk comfortably the whole time, so I’m ok with it. Despite being out the door by 7:30, the humidity was unbearable, which made for a sticky run, but both Chris and I felt surprisingly good on our longest run since probably April. After our run, I rushed to a Barre class in Hoboken (review coming soon!), which was almost certainly a mistake given my tired legs, but I’m glad I tried it.

Sunday- 8 miles biked. Oh boy. Between the run and the Barre, I had to use my arms to lift myself out of bed. My legs were not really happy with me, but it was a beautiful day, and I was hoping a nice bike ride would help flush out some soreness.

Overall, it was a good start to the training plan. We were able to fit in all of our scheduled runs plus some fun non-running stuff. So far, I like this approach.

in total:

  • 18 miles run
  • 8 miles biked
  • 1 hour of Barre
  • 1/2 hour of yoga

 

July Wrap Up and August Goals

I love August. Both my sister’s birthdays are in August (they’re actually the same day 11 years apart. how cool is that?), and I know it sounds crazy, but I love the dog days of summer. I like the heat. Bring it on.

Here’s an update on my progress for my yearly goals:

  • Complete 12 random acts of kindness– Done! Obviously, I’ll keep doing these, but I’m so happy I was able to achieve this goal. Felt good doing it!
  • Pay off my car– Done!
  • Donate 24 hours of my time-6 hours in, 18 hours to go. I’ve been working more with my sorority, but it’s hard to gauge the time commitment. I’m going to say that I probably spent about 4 hours this month reading and responding to emails and planning our initial retreat. Said retreat is this month, so I expect even more hours in August.
  • Run 2 half marathons– Not yet. We’re still halfway there, and I know that I said we’d run the Jersey Shore Half, but there’s actually a change of plans. This summer has been jam packed with so many fun things, which is amazing, but it also means that we’ve been busy almost every single night and weekend. That’s not really conducive to a training plan. Chris and I gave it a shot and stuck with the plan for two weeks, but once we realized that we were just stressing ourselves out, we decided to change course. We’re still running, but we’re not on a training plan, and we’re hoping to find a half marathon in late November which should allow us to start training in September. Any ideas??
  • Learn 3 new skills– 0 this month for a total of 5. That doesn’t feel right, so I’m hoping I just forgot something, but if I can’t remember it, it probably wasn’t too important anyway.
  • Read 12 books– Done! This month I finished Game of Thrones: A Song of Ice and Fire (review coming soon!) for a total of 12 books for the year. I skipped a book club selection for the first time ever and felt like a total rebel, and I’m inclined to skip this month too because Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet seems wildly depressing, but it also looks interesting, so maybe I’ll give it a go. Chris just finished 11/22/63 by Stephen King and can’t stop raving about it, so that’s definitely on my “to-read” list as well.

Miles run- 55.3 for a total of 367.87 for the year. (plus 69 miles biked in July!)

Don’t think I forgot about my summer goals and bucket list either!

  • Get thee to yoga!- Totally gotten! I tried both rooftop yoga and outdoor yoga in Hoboken for a total of 4 hours yoga’d. That means I went once a week, every week this month. Go me! I can notice a difference too. Not only do I feel more flexible and stable on my runs, but I also feel more relaxed and grounded. I’m so glad that I went when I did because now I feel like I can really appreciate and enjoy the rest of summer.
  • Explore Jersey City

  • Take a hike- No hikes yet, but I did find this great resource for finding potential spots to hike around New York and New Jersey, so I’m more excited than ever to check it out.

  • Get to the beach!!- Done! A few weekends ago, Chris and I went to Long Branch, NJ. We ran along the boardwalk, got lunch and lounged on the beach. The traffic and parking situation were miserable, but it’s always worth it after that first moment when you sink your toes into the sand and just listen to the waves crashing all around you. I love the beach, and I love New Jersey.

Don’t think I forgot about my Summer Bucket List either!

  • Check out Groove on Grove

  • Visit the Central Park Zoo
  • Go to a Mets game
  • Run a small town 5k
  • Walk the Brooklyn Bridge
  • Bike from WTC, back to NJ over the George Washington Bridge oh we definitely did this one!

  • Dust off my passport

  • Watch the sunset with that favorite boy of mine

Not bad at all, and we’ve still got a month of summer left! I don’t have any August specific goals (I think I’ve set quite enough already), so I think I’ll just keep ticking away at these. Any goal list that includes “go eat ice cream” is fine by me.

***

Now tell me, how to you plan to make August awesome?

Weekly Wrap-up: new jersey to new york to new jersey again

Monday- rest day. I actually really wanted to run on Monday. It was a stressful day at work, and I was looking forward to leaving some aggression out on the pavement. Unfortunately, my head had other plans. On my commute home, I got hit with a pounding headache (what it feels like when you stand up too fast) and just couldn’t shake it. It stormed later that night, so I’m thinking it was weather related. Oh well. I guess I needed the rest.

Tuesday- free outdoor yoga for 1 hour. I was able to cajole more than a few friends into coming to yoga with my Tuesday, and it was nice to catch up with my small crowd. Yoga was no joke, though. Last week’s yoga was very flowy with an emphasis on stretching, but Tuesday’s was plank after plank. It certainly felt like every other pose was a plank pose. I’m not complaining, but my abs were.

Wednesday- 4 early morning miles. After an hour of yoga plus a few hours of drinks and dinner with the crew afterwards, I didn’t find myself in bed until after 11 (10:30 is usually pushing it for me), so I wasn’t really thrilled about waking up to run. Luckily, I had a friend waiting for me, so I didn’t have a choice. If I had, I would have definitely gone back to bed. I don’t usually like running with other people, but I can say that probably more than 40% of my morning runs would not have happened if the threat of standing someone else wasn’t hanging over my sleepy head. It’s true what they say, there is accountability between workout partners.

I’m glad I made the run because it was a beautiful morning. Lately, even our early morning hours have been plagued with too hot temps and high humidity, but Wednesday morning was cool and breezy. It was so nice, in fact, that our 3 miles became 4 miles, and I was late for work. Sorry I’m not sorry, work.

Biked 7 miles. It was such a beautiful day Wednesday, that I had to get back out after work. Chris and I took the bike for 7 breezy miles along the waterfront. It was a perfect way to stretch out my legs and end the day.

Thursday- ran 3 miles with ma man. It was humid, but we did it, and we’re getting faster every day!

Friday- ran 3 miles in the very early morning. I had dead legs from the day before, but it was nice to get some mileage in before the weekend fun started.

We started our weekend off with a bang on Friday night by watching the Olympic opening ceremonies. I thought it was impressive and a little odd, but I mostly just loved the Parade of Nations. Watching anything that has to do with geography/foreign affairs with Chris is AMAZING. He not only knows the location of every country in the world, but he can tell you each nation’s capital, neighboring nations, sovereign leader, style of government and other historical and current facts. What’s even more impressive is his  job that has very, very little to do with foreign affairs; he just has a sponge like memory for these things. I am embarrassingly uninformed about geography. I can’t even fill out a blank map of the US (I have been practicing though! I’m getting better), so I especially appreciate any gems I can absorb. Example: Did you know that the nation Tuvalu makes a lot of money every year by selling their top level domain (.anything is a top level domain. each country is assigned one. the US is .us, obvi, but Tuvalu’s is .tv)?? I did not, but now I do, and now so do you!

Eventually, we peeled ourselves away from that visual feast to head over to Surf City. I’d gone before, but only for happy hour, so it was interesting to see what it was like in prime time. Chris and I went with our neighbors, and I think everyone had a good time. It had a good turn out, but the place is really big, so it never felt crowded. Their beer selection is still a little lacking, but it’s a new place, so I’ll give them some time to catch up before passing final judgment. No matter, we got to hang out by the water watching the boats sway in the harbor and getting to know new friends, so it ended up being a great night.

Saturday- rest day. After our fun, late night, a Saturday rest day was perfect. We slept in, hung out with the boys and got some work done around the house.

Later that day, we went way up to the Upper West Side to meet our friends Steph and Umair for Steph’s birthday celebration. It was at the diviest dive bar I’ve been to in a while, but I have to say, the Ding Dong Lonuge was a really good time. Sometimes, you just need to drink beer out of a can while playing quarter pool.

Sunday- biked 33 miles! Sunday was such a fun day. We love taking our bikes into the city, but it’s sort of a pain when you have the lug your bike on the PATH train, so when our neighbors told us that there’s a ferry that runs between our neighborhood and the World Financial Center, we knew we had to check it out. It was awesome. It’s the Little Lady ferry, and for $7, it will take you and your bike from our backyard to NYC in about 10 minutes. Amazing. Once there, we followed the West Side Highway up to Central Park and through Harlem to the George Washington Bridge. We rode up and over the bridge and back to New Jersey. On our side we briefly checked out Palisades Park before following the Hudson River down through Edgewater and into Hoboken. Once there, we stopped at our very favorite, Vito’s Deli for some out of this world chicken cutlets before making the final trek to Jersey City, where I promptly face planted on the couch. All told, it was 33 miles, and it was so, so fun, but as I sit here typing (and watching Breaking Bad) one thing is made abundantly clear. I need some padded bike shorts stat.

 

total:

  • ran 10 miles
  • biked 40 miles
  • yoga’d 1 hour

Weekly Wrap Up 7/24

Hi there. Let’s recap this week, shall we? I could break this out into multiple posts separating workouts from playdates, but I’m lazy, so I won’t. Enjoy!

Monday- rest day. Because we used to do our long runs on Sundays, I got used to having Monday as a rest day, and it just kind of stuck like that. We’re still very active during the weekends, and havingMonday as a free night is so nice. It allows me to ease slowly into the work week. I’ve been doing my grocery shopping and other weekly prep on Monday nights rather than Sunday nights which has helped the weekends feel longer and fuller, so having extra time on Monday evening without worrying about working out has been fabulous.

It’s been fun spending more time with these monsters too

Weirdos.

Tuesday- early morning 3 mile run, evening hour of free yoga. Look at me, doubling up! This is my favorite combination ever. Getting up early to run gets me going strong for the day, and watching the sun set while stretching and relaxing is so refreshing and grounding at the same time. I met my new running buddy/neighbor for 3 quick and dirty miles  before the sun was totally out, and it was rough. She’s quicker than me, and it hurts both my legs and my pride to work so hard to keep up, but I think it’s a good thing. You’ve got to run faster to get faster, right? At first, I was dying to maintain 10 minute miles with her. Now, I’m still dying, but our numbers are creeping down into the 9:50s! Progress!

In the evening, I took advantage of free yoga in Hoboken. I’d tried to go once earlier in the summer, but the instructor didn’t show up. I came back with a friend from work, and we were not disappointed this time. There was already a sizable crowd for the yoga, but there was also a 5k going on in the same area. It’s the Party with a Purpose 5k, and I’ve actually done it the past two years, but it’s always miserable. It starts at 7pm, when it’s still really, really hot in New Jersey in July, so you run through the crowded Hoboken streets in stifling humidity and basically want to die. When the information popped up in my inbox this year, I thought better of it and decided to downward dog instead.  That’s right, I picked yoga over a road race. Who am I? Still, if I hadn’t been wearing flip flops, I might have thrown aside my mat and jumped in with the running masses. I do miss the excitement of racing. I think I’ll be registering for something soon.

Yoga was lovely even with the noisy crowds. Our instructor was a total trouper for yelling over the local radio DJ’s microphone, and it was fun watching the runners watch us make pretzels of ourselves.

Wednesday- rest day. The storms that have been threatening us finally rolled in on Wednesday night, and they arrived with vigor. I got drenched on my walk home  because I’m far too impatient to wait in the train station like the other sane people. Nope, I prefer the drowned rat look. Anyway, as soon as I got home I needed to shower (is it weird that rain makes me feel like I need a shower?), so a run was not in the cards. I was so proud of Chris though who did come home and run on the treadmill without me. I would never have predicted that three months ago, but the boy is really a runner!

No matter, rainy days call for donning pajamas, reading books and eating hot food in my opinion, so that’s exactly what I did.

Thursday- early morning 3 mile run. Right as I was debating whether or not to run on rainy Wednesday night, my friend Debbie texted me and asked if I wanted to run on Thursday morning. That pretty much made the decision for me, so we met up in the morning for a much more pleasant three miles. The rain had cooled everything down significantly, and we even got a nice breeze. I felt less like death this time, so I must be improving.

An added plus was that those morning miles helped offset a little afternoon happy hour. Well, happy hours really. My coworkers and I visited the newly opened Surf City Bar in Jersey City. In a previous life, it was the (in)famous Sand Bar. I think you have to be from New Jersey to have heard of it. Anyway, it had a pretty sketchy reputation, so it closed and was recently reincarnated as a cute beachy bar miles away from any actual beach.

The weather was still overcast after Wednesday’s ridiculous storms, so you won’t get the full effect from these pictures, but Surf City does a nice job of achieving that Jersey Shore bar feel. Minus the Snooki.

The bar sits on a marina overlooking the Hudson River, so you can see some beautiful boats and watch the ferries come and go.

They have a normal bar set up, but they also have a little sand pit as well. Because we were there during the day, there were a few kids playing in the sand as their parents relaxed, but I’ve heard it’s less family friendly at night.

The fake palms and Margaritaville XM station give it a little bit of a Key West vibe, which is what they were going for, but we all found the musical selections too mopey for a happy hour crowd.

The absolute best part of Surf City? It’s so so so close to my apartment! You can actually see my apartment from here. Any happy hour that’s close to home (walkable!) is a great happy hour.

Friday- ran 3 miles. I was pretty impressed with Chris and I for getting 3 quick miles in before our date night. It was a hot one involving beautiful flowers, John’s pizza, gelato and The Newsroom.  Wow that show is good!

Saturday- biked 7 miles. I met a friend in the city for brunch at Sarabeth’s (this meeting included me ending up at a bakery called Sarabeth’s in Chelsea before realizing that brunch was in TriBeCa. Oops). The place is adorable and the service is great, but the food was underwhelming. I ordered a goat cheese and spinach omelet, and it was bland. The blueberry corn muffin that came on the side, however, was delicious, so I’m thinking if I return again, sweet might beat out savory.

I came home and met up with Chris for a 7 mile bike ride through Liberty State Park to enjoy the seriously gorgeous weather that the week’s storms had brought us.

 

 

Afterwards, we finally went to see The Dark Knight Rises. I really enjoyed it.  I won’t give anything away, but I’m glad they wrapped things up the way they did, and I think Joseph Gordon- Levitt is quickly becoming my favorite actor. There’s not much he can’t do.

Sunday- ran 3 miles. This was a fun day and a fun run! I woke up to homemade breakfast from the cutest boy ever, then quickly packed a beach bag and headed down to the Jersey Shore.

 

Once there, we ran our 3 miles along the boardwalk! It was a really wonderful change of scenery, and it primed us nicely to spend the day laying on the beach. We stopped for lunch before changing into bathing suits, and I was pleasantly surprised to find much more than the standard boardwalk fare in Long Branch.

Check out that salad! With apples, walnuts, dried cranberries and grilled chicken, it was fresh and filling.

Finally, it was time for the beach, and even though it was a traffic filled mess getting down there, we were glad we got to enjoy one of the nicest days of the summer at one of our very favorite places.

 

After a quick stop at Chris’ parents house to say hello (and be deliciously force fed) we headed back up North to collapse on the couch with a double header of The Bachelorette (didn’t like the format, but I’m so happy for Jef!) and Breaking Bad (meh, not my favorite; felt like filler).

 

totals:

  • ran 12 miles
  • biked 7 miles
  • yoga’d 1 hour

It was a great week and weekend, and I’m more than a little sad to be back at work today, but, as is always the case in the summer, I’m working for next weekend. See ya then!

 

 

 

 

Weekly Workout Wrap Up: 7/8

Good morning! It was a long and busy week last week and another crazy weekend this weekend. Chris was gone, then he came back. I ticked a few items off my Summer Bucket List, which I’ll be updating soon, and in huge news… we adopted another kitten!

This is the standoff. That darker blob in the upper left is Moshi, our new kitten, and the lighter blob in the lower right is Miles, our jerk cat. We’ve been thinking of getting a buddy for Miles for a while now, so when we heard of a friend who needed a home for his cat, we sprung into action. Well, buddies they are not. Right now, Miles pretty much hates Moshi and wishes he would just leave, but I’ve been assured that they’ll work it out eventually. Needless to say, it’s been a long, long weekend. I’ll talk about their progress if they ever make any, but for now, let’s recap the week.

  • Monday- Yoga’d on the roof for an hour. Another session of beautiful, refreshing, oh so necessary yoga. I’m still not very flexible, but I’m getting there!

  • Tuesday- early morning run, 3 miles in 30 minutes. I met a new friend (courtesy of yoga, actually) who lives in the building right next to mine and likes to run! This is great news! Usually, I’m excluded from running with buddies in Jersey City because most people live in an area of downtown that’s not really convenient for me in the mornings considering I like to get to work around 8:30. Finding someone who lives right next door and runs the exact same route I do is just awesome! She’s a super BA marathoner though, so I’m just trying to keep up at this point. Still, it was a great morning run!
  • Wednesday- four miles on the fourth! I did 1/2 a mile warm up, 1 mile at 10:30, jogged for 1/2 a mile, repeated and did a 1/2 mile cool down. Maybe it was because it was a little later in the morning than I’m used to or maybe it was the promise of delicious foods to come, but these miles flew by! After that, I baked a flag cake and celebrated the fourth with family and food. It’s the American way!
  • Thursday- rest day. Too tired to function after the fourth, so I took the day off and got tacos with a friend. Much yummier choice.
  • Friday- 2 early morning miles. Apparently Tuesday left me with an early morning running itch because I was up and at ’em by 6:15, which turned out to be a good thing when the afternoon temps hit 100! I came home, and it definitely was too hot to run, but I still had some energy left, so I pulled out the bike and headed to the park for 7 miles biked. It was nice to get out and use up all my extra energy. I came home starving and exhausted!
  • Saturday- biked 16 miles. With Chris finally home, I knew he’d be missing his bike even if he wasn’t missing our crazy heat, so we took the bikes along the Hudson River Trail from Jersey City through Hoboken to Weehawken (if you’re not from New Jersey, I’m not messing with you, these are real names) and back. The weather had a “real feel” of 110 on Saturday, so there weren’t a lot of people out and about, which was good for us. We flew, but my legs were killing me! Biking is no joke.
  • Sunday- ran 6 miles. This was supposed to be “ran 8 miles” according to our half marathon training plan, but after wrangling the warring cats, it was noon before we left the house, and the heat was oppressive. I’m actually surprised we made it 6 miles  before crying uncle and walking home. So, so hot.

To sum it up, last week I:

  • yoga’d 1 hour
  • ran 15 miles
  • biked 23 miles
This week’s training plan calls for two 2 mile easy runs, one 5 mile tempo run and a long run of 8 miles. I’m hoping to yoga at least one hour, and hopefully get the bike out again too.
How active is your week looking?


Base Building Week 6

What’s that you did not say? You’d like to catch up on how base building has been going so far? Well, here you go!

And now, we wrap it up with Week 6

  • estimated: 25 miles
  • Mondayeasy 18 minutes for 1.7 miles. Chris caught a rotten cold (over a week on the road will do that to you), but, being the trouper he is, decided he still wanted to get the lead out after a long day of travel (we got back from Orlando on Monday afternoon). We hit the road aiming for 2 miles, but decided to cut our run short in order to hit the market for some dinner supplies. After several days of intense Florida heat and humidity, our perfect, breezy 70 degree run felt amazing.
  • Tuesday- rest day. I woke up Tuesday morning eager to hold on the relaxed vacation feeling just a little longer. Of course, the day got to me. By the time I got home from work and a two store grocery trip, I was frazzled and tired. It was already 7, so I made the executive decision to skip my run, take my time making dinner, drink some white wine and watch old 30 Rock’s on Netflix all night. It was glorious. I held on to that wonderful vacation glow for one more perfect day.
  • Wednesday- 30 minutes for 2.7 miles.  Sad day. I set out to run for 45 minutes, and was actually feeling pretty good despite the fact that I was on the treadmill because Jersey City is an oven. I hit my stride right away, and got totally lost in the zone. Then, right around minute 27, a nagging annoying if not terribly painful sensation appeared in my right knee. It had been coming and going the whole run, but now it seemed intent on staying. I so badly wanted to power through and finish my run because I was feeling so good, but I decided to be so smart and call it a quits. I’m not training for anything. It would be so dumb to get injured now. It was the right call, but I was grouchy about it.
  • Thursday- rest day. Happy Hour for two good work friends who are leaving for other jobs and other states. It was a bit too happy for me. I guess my driver’s license isn’t wrong. I really am getting older, and now the late nights feel that much later.
  • Friday- rested. Not a planned rest day, but a giant storm came in to break our 3 day heat wave, and we opted to listen to the rain and watch movies all night rather than brave the treadmills.
  • Saturday- 21.75 mile bike ride all over the dang place.
  • Sunday- 70 minutes for 6 heartbreaking miles. Ok, maybe I’m being a little dramatic, but this was a brutal run. Even though we tried to hit the road early, the sun was beating down on us. It was hot. I’m not sure whether it the heat, lack of consistency, or some unknown x factor, but I had a lot of trouble hitting my stride. About 3/4 through the run, my chest felt really heavy and tight, and I stopped. It took me a long scary minute to catch my breath, and that was enough to leave me a little shaken. We ran/walked back home and hit an average pace of 11:31, but it was really hard and a bit scary, and it left me more than a little sad.
  • actual: 10.4 miles

I’m struggling to find a way to neatly wrap up this 6 week base building saga. Ultimately, I’m glad I did it. I liked the structure of having a schedule, and I feel like I ran more than I would have otherwise. I definitely didn’t complete all the runs I set out to though, and that leave s me feeling a little defeated, which is not the way I wanted to head into half marathon training. I got a lot of rest, both mentally and physically, and I know that was important, but I’m worried that I may not be prepared for upcoming 20-25 mile training weeks. I’ve never trained for two half marathons in one year before, so I’ve never had this sort of limited down time in between. Basically, I have nothing to compare this too, so it’s hard to evaluate it fully. I think, in the future, I would set more realistic goals for myself (like running 3 times a week instead of 4 and committing to a long run of 60 minutes without increasing every week), so I could feel both challenged and accomplished.
We still haven’t decided on a fall half marathon, but we’re trending towards late September/early October, which still gives us like 14 weeks at this point. We really only need 12 weeks to train, so I may just take this next two weeks to clear my head and use what I know about myself and running to get back into my comfort zone. I know I can’t really run more than 2 days in a row without needing a rest day. I know that more than 4 runs a week puts me in my injury zone. I’m going to try to remember those things and just run the runs that feel good.
THE END!

Base Building Weeks 1 & 2

Happy Memorial Day! I hope you’re all enjoying a lovely holiday. Our weekend has been really great so far.

Friday was a date night. Chris and I planned a very exciting vacation that I’ll be sure to share soon. I cooked dinner. We watched The Help, and it was excellent. I cried.

Saturday I woke up and went on a bike ride with my Jersey City girls group in Liberty State Park.

It was hot and humid! I should have worn more sunscreen because I got a pretty nasty burn. Other than that, it was good. After our ride, Chris met up with me and we biked some more including a stop at our local farmer’s market

We made our way to lunch at a new place in Jersey City called Skylark on the Hudson. The food was good. The service was not, but, like I said, they’re pretty new, so maybe they’re still working out the kinks?

Skylark Salad, very good. Service, not so good.

Sunday we had double the BBQs, double the fun. First, we swung through our friends’ Lindsey and Steve’s for some chatting and beer drinking.

Then we headed up the road to Chris’ family’s houe for a never ending meal. It was so delicious. We left early because, this morning, we had a race! We ran the Memorial Day 4 Miler in Staten Island with Chris’ cousin and her boyfriend. I’ll do a super short recap tomorrow, but it was fun and incredibly hot.

I’d thought I’d check in with a review of how my base building is going so far. We’re 1/3 of the way through at this point, and I have to say, I’m really liking it.

As a reminder, this was the proposed plan

And this is how it’s been going so far:

Week 1

  • estimated distance: 15 miles
  • Monday- Strength Trained
  • Tuesday- Ran 35 minutes for 3.25 miles
  • Wednesday- Strength Trained
  • Thursday- Ran 45 minutes for 4.1 miles
  • Friday- Ran 35 minutes for 3.25 miles
  • Saturday- Walked 5 miles
  • Sunday- Ran 60 minutes for 5.5 miles
  • actual distance- 16.1 miles

Not too shabby.  I was actually surprised by how I was able to fit it all in. My strength training routine takes about 35 minutes and doesn’t get me nearly as sweaty as a run in this humidity so I was able to squeeze it in at times where a run definitely wouldn’t be possible.

Week 2

  • estimated distance: 18 miles
  • Monday- Rest, glorious rest
  • Tuesday- Ran 35 minutes for 3.3 miles
  • Wednesday- Strength Trained
  • Thursday- Ran 45 minutes for 4 miles
  • Friday- Ran 35 minutes for 3.3 miles
  • Saturday- Bike 17 miles
  • Sunday- Ran 60 minutes for 5.45 miles
  • actual distance 16.05 miles

The humidity just killed me this week. I started out strong sticking to the schedule on Tuesday and Thursday, but Friday’s run was brutal. Every step just seemed so much harder than it should have been, so we made the decision to cut it short. As for yesterday, we were a little tight on time with all the BBQs coming up and a bit nervous about the 4 mile race today, so we capped our run at 60 minutes, and I was struggling again, so that was fine with me.

Truthfully, I’m a little nervous about how all these runs are going. I’ve been running really consistently since the half marathon in April, but I’ve been struggling on 3 out of every 4 runs, and my pace is significantly slower than it was during training. I know I’m not actively training for anything right now, so I’m making a conscious effort not to put too much weight on forward progress, and I’m hoping that much of this has to do with the rapid rise in temperature over the past few weeks, but I’d be lying if I said I weren’t nervous and frustrated quite often after runs these days.

I also made a decision regarding strength training. Until I get to a place where I can learn better form, I am currently only doing the following exercises:

  • Bicep Curls 5 lbs, 15 reps
  • Tricep Kickbacks, 5 lbs, 15 reps
  • Rows, 5 lbs, 15 reps
  • Plank, 30 seconds,
  • Hip Raises, 15 reps
  • Bicycle Crunches 15-20
Basically, I cut out shoulders and squats. When I would do side raises for my shoulders, I’d find myself with these whomping neck pains and headaches that I can only assume are due to improper form. With squats, I was feeling a lot of pain on the outside of my knees, so I know my form is garbage there.  I hate lifting and truly only do it because I believe it makes me a stronger runner, but the second it threatens to derail any part of my runs, I drop in like a bad habit. I know I can do the above moves correctly and basically pain free (other than standard sore muscles), so in an effort to not totally abandon strength training, I’m sticking to that.
I do love the no pressure style of running for time rather than distance. On days when I’m feeling worn out I can tell myself, “just get up and move for 35 minutes” and it’s so much easier to face than thinking of trying to hit 3 or 4 miles. On days when I’m feeling great, I love to see how far I can go in 35 minutes.
I was afraid this approach would make it difficult to gauge fitness levels too, but I’ve notice that we’re getting farther and farther in our allotted time. It’s funny, I probably wouldn’t notice minute decreases in pace, but those tiny increases in mileage run make me so happy.
Overall, I really like this strategy. It doesn’t have any of the pressure of a training plan, which is important because I don’t want to feel like I’m training all year round, but it gives me the structure that I crave. I dig.
Wow. That was a long progress report. Sorry for that.
On to this week’s sweats and eats. We’ve got some travel for a wedding coming up, so things are a bit wonky this week.
Sweats:
  • Monday- 4 mile race
  • Tuesday- rest day
  • Wednesday- run 55 minutes
  • Thursday- run 35 minutes
  • Friday- rest day
  • Saturday- run 35-90 minutes (wide range, I know, I’m not sure how many wedding things we’ll need to do that day)
  • Sunday- rest day

Eats:

  • Monday- Slow Cooker Honey Sesame Chicken (I did not make this yesterday due to the BBQs)
  • Tuesday- Pasta with Broccoli, Artichokes and Roasted Red Peppers, Salad
  • Wednesday- Leftovers
  • Thursday- Takeout
  • Friday- out
  • Saturday- out
  • Sunday- out
As I said, a bit scattered on the planning front, but I’m sure it’ll all come together somehow. Happy Memorial Day and have a great week!!