The holidays need to come and go

Man, it is tough to train for a marathon during the holidays. Part of my struggle was a somewhat impromptu trip to Montreal for the past few days.  Just a few more days until the holiday season is over and I can get back to my normal routine… which include updating this blog.

My training week: Dec 26th – Jan 2nd:

  • Dec 26th – Rest (I ran 8.5 miles)
  • Dec. 27th – Rest
  • Dec. 28th – Rest
  • Dec. 29th – 5.5 miles fast (I ran 3.5 moderate)
  • Dec. 30th – Rest (I’m going to cross train as soon as I finish this entry)
  • Dec. 31th – 3 mi jog
  • Jan 1st – 5.5 miles fast
  • Jan 2nd – Rest

Slightly in my defense, I was in Montreal Dec 25th – 28th, so I did not run much there. I think that I will switch up my running activities for the 31st and the 1st, because I know that it will be a very slim chance that I will run 5.5 miles on New Year’s Day. NO GRACIAS.

Here are some tips, which I should have checked out before the holidays, from Competitor.com with my smart ass remarks in italics font.

  1. Set process goals
    • A little too late for that.
  2. Grab a buddy
    • Most of my buddies think that I am crazy for training for a marathon. The most I could expect is for my buddies to run to the bar with me.
  3. Establish a route
    • I tried to stick with my normal running plan, but who wants to run 11.5 miles on Christmas Day. . . Although I did run 8.5 the day after.
  4. Crank up the intensity once a week.
    • I cranked up the intensity of shoveling holiday cookies and eggnog in my mouth.
  5. Plan ahead
    • Isn’t that the same as tip #1
  6. Avoid temptation
    • Have you met me? I am kind of tempted to blow off the gym tonight.
  7. Adopt an at-home, strength-training circuit
    • I kind of half-assed this one.
  8. Cross-train
    • See tip #7
  9. Go easy on the alcohol
    • HA! I’m drinking wine at this very moment.

I hope that your holiday training plans went a lot better than mine.

Ack, 70 days remaining until the DC marathon.

 

FOMO and Marathon Training

FOMO (n) informal: anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere, often aroused by posts seen on a social media website.

Although I do not party 7 days a week (maybe 4-5), I do hate being left out of things… even if that means hanging out with myself 😉  This FOMO characteristic has often lead to subpar full- and half-marathon training. Normally, I do not make well-laid plans because I am a kind of a go with the flow kind of guy, which I think is a bad thing for marathon training. I made this the topic of today’s blog, because my FOMO background kind of made me miss my 8.5 mile long run this weekend. Yes, it is my fault but it is easier to blame “FOMO”.

  • Saturday I was planing to do my run but I worked all day and really did not feel like running after work, then hang-out in the city. The sad this is that I brought my running clothes with me, so I could do my run at the gym. Instead, I skipped the run to hang out but I did not drink too much because I “knew” that I was going to do the run on Sunday.
  • Sunday: I taught my last class of the semester and was planning to run after class. However, I wanted to get a drink. I agreed to meet someone around 4pm in the East Village, so I started drinking around 3 (after class). However, he texted and said it would be better if we met at 6pm, because he wanted to go to the gym. Of course, I received that text after drinking two large margaritas and eating a couple of empanadas. There was no way that I could run after doing that.
  • Monday (today): I was going to do my run but a coworker wants to get birthday drinks after work.

With regards to my training plan, I think that I have a buffer for missing this long run, because I ran a 15K (9.something) race last week. However, looking at my training plan for a marathon in March, I do not have much wiggle room to miss anymore long runs. I know that I will miss this weekend’s long run because of the Christmas holiday, although I am really going to try to fit one in sometime this week.

Asics Training Plan for the week:

  • Monday: Rest
  • Tuesday: 3mi jog
  • Wednesday: 5.5mi Fast
  • Thursday: Rest (X-train)
  • Friday: 5.5mi Fast
  • Saturday: Rest
  • Sunday: 11mi Comfortable

We shall see how this plays out. Hopefully, FOMO will not get in the way but it will be tough with 80 million holiday parties that are going on.

If FOMO affects you, how do you deal with it with regards to training?

 

 

Running – A Year in Review

Since we are in the last days of 2016, I figured that I would do a “quick” recap of the highs and lows of my running year, which is based on my New York Road Runners race calendar. Most of these recaps will be short, because I do not remember most of these race,

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My 9+1 races for 2016

Race 1: United Airlines NYC Half (13.1mi) Mar. 20th, 2016 – 1:48:59; 7:31min/min pace

Last year, I remember being so excited for winning a spot in the NYC Half. This race made me feel so alive running in and, more importantly, living in NYC. It was such a great honor to have run through Times Square, which is closed to traffic only two days a year – this race and New Years Eve. I had a great experience running this race and I ran a personal best. However, I did not meet my goal of a sub 1 hour 45 min, because I had to stop and poop during the race and I took a lot of pictures running through Times Square.

Because of all of the love that we runners received from the crowds, this race was one of the reasons why I wanted to do the  9+1 marathon entry. I wanted to give the NYC marathon another shot.

Race 2: City Park Foundation Run for the Perks (4mi) Apr. 10, 2016 – 30:03; 7:31 min/mi pace

I do not really remember this race. It’s kind of interesting that I ran the same pace for a 4 mile race as I did for a 13.1 mile race. Perhaps I was hungover that morning.

Race 3: Run as One (4mi) Apr 24th, 2016 – 30:09; 7:31 min/mi pace

I do not remember this one. I do remember that I really like the technical T-shirts that we received.

Race 4: NYRR Queens (5K) Jun. 18th, 2016 – 23:01; 7:25min/mi pace

Signing up for this race, I was a little annoyed because I wanted to run the 10K but it was sold out. However, I do love running this outer borough series, because Queens will always have a special place in my heart. I believe the organizers held this race earlier in the summer but I remember that it still was hot as hell. Also, it was really tough for me to make it to Corona Park from Bed-Stuy by 7:30 am.

Race 5: Achilles Hope and Possibility (4mi) Jun. 26, 2016 – 30:42; 7:41 min/mi pace

Don’t remember.

Race 6:NYRR R-U-N (5K) 

TOO DAMN HOT TO RUN!!! I remember receiving an email stating that it was too hot and for our safety and that the NYRR was canceling this run. I was kind of happy that the race was cancelled, because some work buddies and I were going to get sloppy drunk that evening. However, NYRR gave us the option to either have a free race entry or get credit for this race. I went with the credit.

Race 7: France Run (8K) Aug. 21st, 2016 41:30; 8:21 min/mi pace

Yucky run. Rain is one thing that I hate while running. The rain is all I remember from this race. . . and not winning the raffle for a free trip for two to Paris. Oh, yeah. There were a lot of post race goodies (cookies, mini cakes, weird tasting tea, massages, etc.) that I really enjoyed.

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Race 8: Race to Deliver (4mi) Nov. 20th, 2016 35:46; 8:57 min/mi pace

Oh man, I partied too hard the night before this race and did not feel like running it but I knew that I had to for my 9+1. Hell, I still may have been drunk. I even vomited during the race. The most annoying part of this day is that I had to take a cab from Bed-Stuy to Central Park . . . almost 24 bucks!!!! The transportation to the race cost more than the registration fee.

My pace probably was slow because this was my first race after running the Montreal Half-Marathon. I am one of those people that when I finish a major race (half- or full-marathon), I do not want to have any association with running for at least a month.

Race 9: NYRR Ted Corbitt (15K) Dec. 10th, 2016 1:27:52; 9:26 min/mi pace

The last race of my qualifying program. This was a tough one, because I overslept and missed the race previous to the Ted Corbitt. So, I had to run this race, as it was getting close to the end of the year and I did not want to do the New Years Eve Run again. This was a tough race for me,  because I did not run too much during the months of November and December. That said, I ran a lot better than I thought that I would. Although my pace was 9:26 min/mi, I had to stop twice during the race – once to pee and once to poop and the lines for the porta potties were pretty long. However, I ran a 8:3o-something min/mi pace for the second half of the race.

There you have it my brief recap of my races for the year 2016. I have a few suggestions that I would recommend that the NYRR carry out. Keep in mind these suggests are being given without a whole lot of though concerning logistics.

  1. Make all of the outer borough races half-marathons. I would love to run 13.1 miles through the Bronx and Queens. Doing this would make it a little easier for people to run the Brooklyn Half, because more half-marathons will be spread out throughout the year. This suggestion may be a little tough because the Bronx and Queens races typically are held during the summer.
  2. Since it is too much work to get into the Brooklyn Half-Marathon, NYRR should make it lottery based (similar to the NYC Half). Last year the race sold out in about a couple of hours. Honestly, I know many people work hard at their jobs (eventhough I’m writing this at work)and cannot sit around their computers waiting to register for this race.
  3. Have more evening races. It is a shame that the one evening race this year was cancelled because of the heat. I think that it would been a different running experience to have a race around 6pm in Central Park. Oh, or have some night races . . . besides the NYE race.
  4. Crap there was one more thing that I thought about but I forgot because of dumb work.

Enough out of me. I’ll proofread this later, because my PCR has finished and I am ready to enjoy the weekend.

I’m already messing up

Yesterday, I was supposed do a fast 5.5 mile run but I woke up very late. I could run only three miles on a treadmill. But hey, some miles are better than none. 

I think that I will adapt my training program so that I will not have consecutive running days. During my short run, I noticed that my legs just did not have the power to get me through the run. Today is a rest day, so maybe I can kill my 5.5 mile run tomorrow morning. 

Since I have a citywide Crunch Fitness membership, I checked out the Crunch express in Crown Heights. 


Crunch Express means: 

  • the gyms are smaller than the regular Crunch gyms. 
  • There is no towel or overnight locker service and no saunas
  • Most memberships are around 10 bucks, compared the the 70 bucks that I pay for the regular gyms. 

The problem with some of these express gyms is that the buildings and equipment are subpar, because they are built so fast. Here are a couple of the many “funny” notes that I saw yesterday. 


This treadmill could be “useful” for speed days.

All of that said, at least there is a 24hr White Castle next door

Ok that is it for today. Let’s see what the rest of WordPress is writing about. 

Let the Marathon Training Begin!!!

So, today officially marks the day that I begin training for the Washington DC Marathon in March 2017.

Just a couple of stats, that probably will not change after training, because I have no will power over food and wine.

  • Weight: 196.9 lbs
  • Fat: 24.1%
  • Muscle 30-something, I knew that I should have written this down this morning.

For my training, I have decided to use the My Asics app, which allows you select a time goal for a variety of races and it will set up a custom training plan for you. Plus, it is free!!!! In the past, I would start out with this a My Asics plan and then make 80+ modifications to it. I think that this go around, I will stick with the plan and try to make too many deviations. Well . . . I am already not really feeling the back to back running days.

The plan for the week.

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This week’s training plan.

A few months, ago I joined a running group that meets on Tuesday evenings in Prospect Park. I have not really been going to the runs because I started a new job and today I figured that I would change that trend. Unfortunately, I could not make meet the group today because of dumb work, so I just decided to run home from work. Today was a nice easy 3 mile run,  because I was able to explore a little of East Brooklyn. Hell, I even found a faster bike route for commuting to and from work.

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The route – Flatbush to Bed-Stuy

Some (well, two) scenes from the ‘hood.

Music of the run – Queen, Edith Piaf, and Cafe Tacuba

(Worst) Race Report

Race’s Name: NYRR Ted Corbitt

Distance: 15 km (9.3 miles)

Time (Pace):1:27:54 (9:39min/mi)

I will start this off by saying that I am not too disappointed with my time because

  1. I have not ran at ALL for three weeks.
  2. I had to stop twice because nature called.

Because of the distance, this race got me a little amped to start my DC marathon (or NYC Half marathon) training, which officially started today, for March. Also, the weather brought me into reality about training in cold weather. For the longest time, I would flat out refuse to run outdoors when the weather dropped below 33 degrees … I guess that mindset will have to change for my training program.

Leaving cold and dark Bed-Stuy at 6:15am

The race itself was pretty and people were pretty cheerful for starting a race in 30 degree weather.

Central Park at 7:30am

I actually was quite cold (meaning that I had my heavy hoodie on) until about mile 4.5. For the most part, I took the race pretty easy until mile 5/6, because I wanted to run with negative splits. Although that was not too difficult because of my bathroom breaks in the first half.

Although the race was in Central Park, I enjoyed the two-looped course because I have never ran this race before. So it was nice to run a new route … I am so glad that the course did not take us north pass the 102st street transversal.

One cool thing about this race at a slower pace (for me) is that I was able to see the winner, Teshome Mekong (44:49), finish the race.


Another exciting thing about this race is hat it was my last race that I needed to qualify for 2017 NYC Marathon. I think in will do an overview of my 2016 NYRR races in a later blog.

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This race was kind of do or die, because I would have to run the New Year’s Eve race, which starts at midnight, if I did not complete it. No gracias.

Post-race selfie and meal (bacon, broccoli, potato omelet with a double mimosa):

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Music of the race:

Conflicted

 


Ok, recently I wrote a post about beginning to train for the Rock n Roll Marathon in DC on March. So of course NYRR sent me this email last night.

Random: I guess that I won’t have to file a civil lawsuit because I was not selected in the NYRR’s lottery.
I was suprised that I was selected, because I was selected in the lottery last year and I figured that I would not be selected again.

The conflict arises because I do not know which race to run.  The DC Marathon is on March 11 and the NYC Half is on the 19th. I do not think that I can run both races well … maybe if I were a few years younger and in better shape.

I think that I will train as if I am doing the full marathon and see where my body is around February. Earlier this year, I trained for the Montreal Marathon and ended up doing the Half. Doing the half, instead of the full marathon, was one of the reasons why I wanted to do the DC marathon – I felt robbed of a marathon experience.

We shall see how this plays out.