I’ve been devoting my weekly blog post to marathon training weekly recaps. They take a lot of time, and it takes everything I have to even get those up. So, I haven’t really been blogging about anything else and I imagine some of you are bored by me. Others might be confused because I blogged just one time in April of this year, where I mentioned my incredibly long work days and wondering how I’d even fit marathon training in. And yet here I am, very clearly training and making no mention of how I’m managing my time. In bulleted form, I will explain what’s going on in my life along with other related thoughts:
- I’m no longer at the job I had when I wrote that post. Some of you left comments saying I could wake up at 3 am to train for my marathon and others said that you make exercising work on 70 hour work weeks even though you’re tired. Neither of those were good for me. I need more sleep than that while training, and also I need weekends. Or early mornings. Or evenings. Any one of those would have helped, but I didn’t have any. Exercise aside, I missed my husband and my dog. I am a hard worker, but this was not my dream job (nor was it a permanent role – it was contract) and it was killing me. Sitting for 12+ hours a day with no breaks even fucked up my back, and I did not want that to turn into yet another injury. SOMETHING had to give, and in the end, a job where I had to work 7 days a week (with 12 hour days during the week) was not the right job for me.
- I’m starting a new job on Monday. As much as I love not working, I love being able to pay my rent even more. I think.
- When I go back to work, I will miss: spending time with my dog, waking up and leisurely getting ready to run, my dog park friends, going to the dentist/doctors/physical therapist/Refine during the day, and making semi-elaborate breakfasts every single day.
My semi-elaborate daily breakfasts. You will be missed.
- My old job was in a field I felt pigeon-holed in. My new job is in a field I used to work in and have been wanting for so long to get back into. I’m really glad because I fucking hate social.
- My dog has an amazing sixth sense. Larry indicates to me when he doesn’t want to go into the dog park because he can sense a bad situation. I’ve seen firsthand how accurate he is, twice. After taking a dog (not mine) to the vet who was attacked today (because his dog walker needed an ambulance for himself), I will never ignore Larry’s signals again. I wish I could devote my entire life to protecting him and making him happy.
- I love Larry Gary so much it makes my heart hurt.
Daytime dog, you will be missed.
- I want so much to be a person who has an uncluttered, neat, almost bare. I am not that person.
- We moved on June 30 and I still don’t have a place for everything in my new apartment. I want to get rid of more but don’t know how. Every time I try to begin, I feel overwhelmed and then I sit down. And stay there.
- Can someone with no emotional attachment to my shit please come over and throw away everything?
- My friend Lindsay from Happy Herbivore has a rule when it comes to getting rid of shit, and that rule is this: If this item was destroyed in a fire, would I replace it? That’s been helping a lot more than thinking about the last time you wore/used something or the next time you might.
- I love my new apartment and its location so, so, so much. I feel happy every time I come home.
- I like wasting time on the couch. I don’t like getting nothing done. But the couch usually wins.
- I joined the Oiselle Volée Team. You might how much I love Oiselle after my NYFW experience last year. Good people, great shorts.
- Fun fact: My first encounter with Oiselle CEO Sally was her informing me my skirt was tucked into my underwear. At the fashion week show.
- Missing from my Oiselle profile (because I was so excited to write my answers I sent it in quickly without thinking) in the favorite gear section is the fact that I CANNOT run without my Hokas and Injinji toe socks. I’m in PT for foot pain that’s caused by my pelvis, and I had two PTs in two different offices tell me that wearing the right shoes literally saved my foot. As for the socks, I would be a walking blister without them. Try them. You are welcome.
- None of those are affiliate links. Click away!
- Just being on the team for a little while, I already love the camaraderie, the knowledge that if I travel somewhere I’ll probably find a running buddy, access to a community of women to talk running with, insight into all different races and experiences, and supporting a brand I already loved.
- I’m running the JackRabbit Battle of Brooklyn 10 Mile Race on Sunday, August 17. It will be part of my 20-22 mile run. If you’d like to join, you can use code battledori for $10 off your registration! It will be my first time running in Brooklyn.
- For two years, I thought my chronic left foot aching and swelling was because of my bunion. I accepted it as something I could no nothing about and would have to just live with. During my time off, I went to see a new podiatrist and he sent me to physical therapy. I never considered PT for what I thought was a bunion, and I was excited about the prospect of free foot massages. As it turns out, my foot pains have nothing at all to do with my bunion (aside from possibly starting because I adjusted my gait when I initially had bunion issues and then my body adapted to this new way of walking and standing). The pain is actually from my pelvis, which is turned in on the left side. My left leg appears longer than my right, even though it is not. My running shoes show more wear on the left toes. At PT, we work on fixing that. All good news except that this means I don’t get free foot massages. Instead I get butt massages, which is not nearly as fun as it sounds.
That’s what’s been going on here. I’m going to do my best to get my weekly training recaps up when I start working, though (unfortunately for me) I’ll probably have to do them on Sundays. My new job involves a driving commute. And maybe traffic. And weather. And is nowhere near NYC. Let’s see if I can get myself to open my computer on Sundays. As the Ander and I always say, TWT (time will tell).
Are you the type of person I want to be – a home without crap everywhere? Almost bare looking? SHARE YOUR SECRETS.
At the end of an interval, my watch beeps. It beeps, I stop.
But it actually beeps a few times in a row. I’ve been stopping as soon as I hear the first beep and either hunched over my knees gasping for breath or, on a less grueling interval, walking as I start my active recovery.
But that first beep? Not the end of the interval. It’s the last beep that ends it. So not only have I been ending my intervals a few seconds too early, I’ve been skewing all my times by walking or totally stopping for the last FEW SECONDS of an interval! And when I’m running 200s or 400s or even 800s — hell, even my 2 mile repeats — my times have been slower than they would be if I just kept running a few seconds longer. ALL MY TIMES.
I realized this four 400s in on Tuesday’s 6×400 run. So the only true 400s were the last two. And they were faster. See how that works when you actually run through the entire interval?
1 – 1:47
2 – 1:41
3 – 1:39
4 – 1:42
5 – 1:39
6 – 1:37
So, lesson learned. It’s just frustrating because I feel like 11 weeks in, I shouldn’t be making these dumb mistakes anymore. I know it’s just a few seconds and not actually THAT important when it comes to my goals, but still. All my times could have been just a little faster. At least now they will be.
That 6×400 run wasn’t so bad. It was hard the way it should be hard, and while I had moments of rib pain and neck pain, those didn’t last. The intervals were hard because I ran them hard, and I feel good about my effort.
Here’s how the rest of my week was:
Week 11: July 28 – August 3
- Monday - Maintenance Legs
- Tuesday – 2 mile warm up, 6×400 (active recovery), 2 mile cool down (5.9 mi)
- Wednesday – Refine
- Thursday - 2 mile warm up, 6 x hill repeats (400m hill), 2 mile cool down (6.72 mi)
- Friday – OFF
- Saturday - OFF
- Sunday – 15 miles (2:33:06)
Total (running) miles: 27.62
Summary of Week 11 running:
Wednesday (cross training)
I met Emily (who also uses Coach Abby!) for the first time on Wednesday. She was on vacation in NYC, so of course I brought her to my favorite cross training workout in the world – Refine Method.
Boxes and bells at Refine
It was so nice meeting her in person! We’ve been talking through Twitter, email and Gchat for a year now. She used the same coach as me last year too (not Abby) and had a lot of the same concerns I did with our training. We bonded over that, along with running in general, and I just really liked her! I’m so happy that she loved Refine (but really, how could you not?)
On Thursday, I had my first hill repeats of this training cycle. The instructions were 2 mile warm up, 6 x hill repeats (.20-.25 hill), 2 mile cool down. I grappled with myself about the distance for this one. I knew I’d run my repeats up the Brooklyn Bridge because it is the most convenient option, and since the hill up the bridge is longer than .25 miles, I basically had my pick of how long these intervals should be. Going .20 seemed like taking the way out, and I want to stand at the start line at Bellingham feeling like I did everything in my power to hit my sub-4:00 goal.
There’s certainly nothing wrong with choosing the shorter option – especially if my legs were tired or something was bothering me. But I felt fine, and there was no reason not to go for it. Since I just did 400s two days before, I decided to go with that for the hills as well. Then I could have a baseline for comparison!
400 meters to this
This sign marked 400 meters exactly, and it was in my line of sight for the entire interval. Having an end in sight definitely helped me push hard, knowing exactly how far I had to go.
After my first hill, I could not believe I still had five to go. It felt ridiculously hard, but I was able to jog right back down for my active recovery. But after a few more, I had to stop and hunch over catching my breath before starting my descent down – which started with some walking before I could summon up the energy to jog. And 400 meters up a hill cause a LOT more sweat than 400 faster meters on a flat road.
On the fifth repeat, I felt nauseous. But with one to go, I gave it everything I had – and my final hill interval was my fastest. And I really like the consistency!
400m hill repeats
1 – 1:53
2 – 1:54
3 – 1:54
4 – 1:54
5 – 1:54
6 – 1:51
Ah, the long run this week. This was a stressful situation.
I woke up Saturday, planning to meet American Cancer Society Team DetermiNation teammates at the Hope Lodge. We were going to run 14 miles (I had 15, and intended to do 1 mile before I met them) up and down NYC’s Summer Streets (every summer, they close Park Avenue for three Saturdays in August and it is AWESOME). The run would end back at the Hope Lodge where we would have breakfast with some of the patients staying there while getting their cancer treatments.
I was really looking forward to this for two reasons: (1) Doing most of my long run with my teammates because I had all easy miles on my plan and (2) spending time with the very people I’m helping by raising money for ACS to run the NYC Marathon. I wanted to feel more connected to why I am doing this.
But when I woke up, it was POURING. I went outside, thinking I’d do my mile here in Jersey City as a weather test, but I only made it few steps. It was just coming down so hard, and the thought of running in that for 2.5 hours was miserable. I was still considering it though, when I saw the PATH Train tweet that there were signal problems and delays.
That meant that I couldn’t be sure what time the train would come and if I’d even make it to the Hope Lodge to meet my team. Along with the crappy weather, and the fact that I actually didn’t feel great (my left foot was hurting [I went to PT for the foot during the week, more on that in another post] and I just felt exhausted), I made the decision to stay home. And spent the entire day feeling guilty. And napping. And feeling down. And feeling exhausted. When the rain stopped, I felt worse. When I saw everyone’s tweets and Instagrams from Summer Streets, I felt jealous that they got to experience it and guilty that they ran just fine when I didn’t bother. The only thing that got me out of the house was dinner at Razza, because you don’t turn down the place that perfected the pizza.
Razza perfected the pizza. Trust me.
And the next day, I woke up and my foot felt much better. I wasn’t so exhausted, and I knew I could run 15 miles. The only downside was I’d be running it alone, and I’d be running it in Jersey City – the land of totally flat running paths and no shade. Oh, and it was raining. But it wasn’t pouring, and running in this rain was totally doable.
The run was fine. It wasn’t awesome but it wasn’t terrible either. About halfway through, the rain stopped. I ran through Liberty State Park to the Port Liberte area where my friend lives, and then I ran all around there (partially to check out the area because it’s gorgeous, and partly to see if she would wake up and feel better from her food poisoning and want to come out and play). Killing so many miles there helped big time, and by the time I was back in the park I had just 6 miles to go.
I thought about how during the marathon, if you only have 6 miles to go you know that barring a broken bone or major vomiting, you will finish the race. Even if everything hurts and you have to walk, there’s not much quitting going on after 20 miles. You’ve come too far, and the finish line is in reach. This helped me get through that first of 6 final miles.
It got better after that, I felt less tired though I was very hungry. The thought of French toast helped me speed up and finish those last few miles faster than I started. I don’t usually share long run splits for easy long runs, but I really like how I negative splitted (not a word) this run.
Statue of Liberty/NYC view from Port Liberte on a cloudy run
Long Run Splits
1 – 10:39
2 – 10:30
3 – 10:31
4 – 10:30
5 – 10:38
6 – 11:18
7 – 10:19
8 – 10:20
9 – 10:14
10 – 10:10
11 – 9:41
12 – 9:50
13 – 9:42
14 – 9:17
15 – 9:24
And then I had French toast.
Amazing French toast
This long run day also marked another milestone – 8 weeks to race day! I can’t believe it is so soon. August will be my most intense month of training – the longest long runs (up to 22 miles) and longer, more intensive weekday speedwork. Plus, I’m starting a new job on Monday that involves a bigger commute and I will have to figure out how to balance it all.
But back to the long run – I felt proud that I did all 15 alone! That was the last thing I wanted, but I got it done. I really wanted people to praise me. After a long run, I always feel like I deserve lots of praise. Especially when I do it alone. Do you feel that way?