Planned Miles: 21 (Completed Miles: 17)
Rather than doing a day by day recap of my training experiences, I figure that I’ll just give some overall thoughts about my NYC Marathon training week. Going forward, I’ll give a recap, mention a pet peeve/annoyance during the week, and talk about some goals for the upcoming week.
Overall, I think that I’m getting into the flow of things. Yup, it only took FIVE whole weeks. 😉 Waking up early is one thing that I definitely need to work on so I can get my miles out of the way at the beginning of the day. For a few of my runs, I have been running during my lunch break. This is OK, but it can be rough running around 1 pm because of the heat. Also, if I can do my training runs first thing in the morning, then I can hit the bouldering gym to climb, lift, do core work, or do substantial stretching during my lunch break.
Now that I’m in the fifth week of training for TCS NYC Marathon, I think that I have an idea of my marathon goal. Based on my general (un)fitness, I’m going to shoot for a 5 hour marathon, which boils down to an 11:27 min/mi pace. I came up with this goal based on the pace of my most recent long runs. Since I’m slow as molasses (compared to a couple of years ago), my long runs have been in the 12 min/mi range. Previous training plans have recommended doing the long runs 1-2 minutes slower than your marathon pace.
Speaking of long runs: While one is supposed to take the long runs slow, I feel like I’m running too slowly. Since I fear injuring myself, I have not been pushing myself too hard during the long runs. Maybe I’m just lazy 😉 I have a couple of half-marathons coming up so I will be able to readjust my long run training plans depending on how I perform in these races.
I did “enjoy’ my speed workout 4 miles of 400m and 800m intervals. There’s just something about doing speed work that always makes me feel like I have accomplished something. Maybe it is running “fast” in short bursts compared to running longer and slower that does it for me.
Bouldering (when I do it) has been a nice cross training activity. I will say that I have been a bit more cautious with bouldering because I fear than any slight injury (e.g. landing wrong or falling off the wall) will screw up my marathon training plans. Actually this fear might be useful because I need to start focusing more on my climbing techniques – meaning I should focus on climbing better instead of higher. In particular, I am not positioning myself close enough to the wall and relying more on my arms/upper body than combining my upper AND lower body. Someone at the gym pointed out that it’s harder for men to break the habit of mostly relying on their upper body strength. Since many women do not have as much upper body strength, it’s easier for them to combine their upper and lower body strength when learning how to climb. While a woman climber gave me this information, I hope this this did not come off as sexist.
I found some resources that might help improve my techniques:
On a couple of occasions, I mentioned that I find it difficult integrating in running groups. Most of this is my fault because I do not consistently attend events and workouts. Hey, I’m working on this! To get over this, I decided to volunteer for one of my running group’s weekend brunch. “Brunch” is having bagels and coffee/juice/water in Central Park after the group’s Saturday long or fun run.
Another thing: I find that I typically talk to 1-3 people the entire time rather than interacting with a whole bunch of folks. Not sure if this is a good or bad thing. I chatted with a guy who was also going through a bit of a career chaos crisis like me (more info about my career chaos: ***). AND! It just so happened that this person used to work for the same employee as I. Based on Saturday’s conversation while setting up the running group’s “brunch”, a lot of my career chaos is NOT in my head because he also experience similar issues.
This week’s pet peeve:
Most folks know that I cannot run without having music; however, I never seem to have a decent pair of earphones that lasts more than a few weeks. Ok, this is my fault for buying earphones from sketchy bodegas.
Another related annoyance: If I’m using wired earphones, why do they need to use my iPhone’s Bluetooth to play music? I just assumed that Bluetooth technology is supposed to make things wireLESS. Also, the sketchy bodegas seem to have only the earphones that connects through Bluetooth. During my long run, my left earphone’s sound was going in and out, which is an EXTREME source of frustration for me. Also, the earphones constantly kept popping out of my ear. I’m just gonna bite the bullet and get a couple pairs of pricey earphones from Apple. Constantly replacing the earphones from sketchy bodegas probably equals the amount of money that I would spend for a nice pair from Apple, which would last longer.
Goals for the Week:
-Waking up early to do my training runs.
-Go for at least one run with one of my running groups.
-Get back on my quit smoking plan. I had a very tough week, broke down, and smoked quite a few packs. I am committed to giving up the cancer sticks so I need to get back on my program.
Questions of day:
-If you are training (or have trained) for a half and/or full marathon, what are your favorite workouts?
-If you could change anything about last week, what would you have changed? I would not have purchased a pack of cigarettes when I became super frustrated.