United NYC Half Marathon Training Week 1

LET’S DO THIS!!!

Planned mileage: 12 miles

Completed mileage: 8

Lesson(s) learned from this week:

My hip abductors are really weak/underdeveloped so this is something that I will have to work on in the upcoming months.

Being sick kind of sucks. Also, hot toddies and manhattans are not so great for a cold. I thought whiskey cured everything. Maybe, that remedy works in your 20s and early 30s.

Monday:

Planned: X-train

Completed: 30 min. cardio class

The BF and I attended BLT (Butt, Legs, Thighs), a low-intensity class at my gym. Man, that class really kicked our butts . . . no pun. I thought the class was going to be super easy, but I clearly was in the wrong. Let me step back. The class was not super hard, but I really have neglected those types of lower body exercises for quite some time. I definitely plan to do more of these types of exercises during the week.

Tuesday:

Planned: 3 mi

Completed: 0 mi

Since the BF, his friend, and I went to our favorite seafood restaurant ( *** ) in Astoria, Queens, I was far too hungover to even think about running. Oh, after dinner, the three of us went to my beer club’s meetup at The Freckled Moose, which was a couple blocks away. Basically, on Monday night, I shared a bottle of champagne and wine, then I had a couple of bourbon neats, a few beers, and a couple gin and sodas.

Wednesday:

Planned: 5 X 400 meters at 5K pace

Completed: 3 mi and 5 X 400 meters at 5K pace

Because the distance for this speed workout was pretty short, I decided to add Tuesday’s run to this one. Actually, it was quite refreshing to do some speed work. For the most part, most of my 400 splits were in the 7’48’’ – 8’04’’, which is faster than my normal 5K pace.

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Thursday:

Planned: 3 miles

Completed: 3 miles and weight lifting

Unfortunately, I had to do this run on a treadmill. BOOO, but I was lucky enough to find a treadmill that was under a fan. For some reason, Crunch Fitness seems to have two temperature settings – HOT and HOT AS HELL.

My weightlifting activities primarily focused on the lower body. My exercises included: deadlifts, sumo squats, calf raises, barbell squats, dumbbell side bends, concentration dumbbell curls, dumbbell pullovers. It felt nice having time to combine running and weightlifting. Because of the short distances of the training runs for a half-marathon, compared to those of the full marathon, I like having enough time to combine two or more workouts while training for a half.

Friday:

Planned: Rest

Completed: X-Train,

I tried out a newish class called BOING. Actually, I have attended this type of cardio class in the past. Basically, you wear these mini trampoline boots and bounce around to different music. This class further confirmed my need to work on my hip abductors. Although you are bouncing around, a lot of the moves incorporate front, rear, and side leg lifts. Also, the boots are a few pounds heavier than your normal shoe. The class was really fun, but I was disappointed in myself because I could not lift my leg too high and my hips were pretty sore. Even by Sunday, my hips were still sore. 😦

Saturday:

Planned: 5 mi

Completed: (Unintended) Rest

Since my hips and my right foot both were really killing me, so I figured that it probably would have been best to chill and let my hips and feet rest. Also, I woke up with a bit of a sore throat. Man, I cannot seem to win for this week. Saturday, I pretty much chilled at home to recuperate a bit.

OH, BTW. Where the hell have I been for the last 17 years?!!!! One of my guilty pleasures is Fox’s Hell’s Kitchen, and I watch it on Hulu. After the newest episode finishes, Hulu will randomly select other similar type show. Hulu decided that I wanted to watch “The Amazing Race: Season 1”, and I was not too mad at Hulu for this suggestion.

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OMG, I am hooked. I pretty much watched the entire season in one sitting. Well . . . I did not see the final episodes, because I knew which team won. Basically, I did not like any of the final three teams, but of those three teams, I’m glad the two lawyers won.

One thing that kind of annoys me about this more (well some of the contestants on the show) is that it plays up to the mean, nasty American tourist stereotype. I was really disgusted when one team was saying the native people (I believe they were somewhere in India) were dumb and stupid. EVERYONE IN THE WORLD DOES NOT HAVE TO SPEAK ENGLISH. You are a guest in their country, stop being a-holes. I get that the show is a big race, but it is not their fault that you screwed up the challenge. Also, I really do not like how many of the contestants’ bark commands or requests to the host country’s citizens. Maybe . . . I do not like the show that much 😉

Goal for the week:

Try to do some type of foam rolling and/or stretching every night before bed.

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Food Pic of the Week (FPOTW)

It has been a while since I’ve posted an FPOTW. For some reason, I just have not been able to get into my WordPress groove . . . much like my diet plan. 

Tacuba Hell’s Kitchen ( *** )

The restaurant is a kind of bougie-style, slightly upscale Mexican joint. This was my second time visiting the restaurant. For my first visit, I really had to pee so I bought a margarita, which was delicious. Normally, if I have to use a business’ restroom, I will order an item . . . it’s just polite. This was my first time eating at Tacuba. Although the food was good, it was a bit pricey because I have eaten better Mexican food for half the price. In NYC, you pay for a restaurant’s rent, not for the food. 

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Carnitas

I was playing around the small ass tortillas. Then again, I do have large hands. 

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Some drink served in a pineapple

My roommate from grad school and I shared this $24 “adult” pineapple beverage. It seems as it was a $24 thing of pineapple juice. I believe that there are grilled pineapples in there somewhere . . . maybe that’s why it was so pricey. 

All in all, it was an ooooook place that I would visit once in a blue moon. I would not mind getting happy hour drinks, then going someplace else for food. I tend to visit more hole in the wall type Mexican restaurants because the food is cheaper and you get more bang for your buck

It’s on like Donkey Kong

Annnnnnd we’re off. Today marks the first day of my training plan for the United NYC Half Marathon, which happens to be 97 days away. Woo Hoo . . . I hope.

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This time around, I decided to work with the Hal Higdon Intermediate plan for a half marathon. I’ve already put all of the workouts into my Google Calendar. Yay me. To summarize, this training plan has five days of running (one day dedicated to speed work), one day of cross training, and one day of rest. However, I think that I may modify this to alternate between two days of speed work and two rest days.

My overall goal is to become a faster runner because I can do the distance. I hope. I mean, I just ran a full marathon last month. Also, this past weekend, I ran a 15K, which is about 70% of this distance for a half-marathon. Sooooooooo, I need some advice from you expert runners.

Question 1:

This training plan has long runs that are all under 13.1 miles. I’m thinking that maybe I can throw in a couple of long runs that are in the 15-18 mile range. I know some folks do not like to run a longer distance than the race that they are training for; but in my case, I think running further would be beneficial for me. I have completed quite a few half-marathons so it is not like I am going to blow my wad running more than 13.1 miles during the training period.

Question 2:

How much speed work and why types of speed work should one incorporate to become a faster half-marathoner? I’m thinking Yasso’s 800s, some hill work, and tempo runs. Interestingly, the training plan only has 400 m at 5K and 30 – 40 min tempo runs.

Question 3:

Aw, hell. I forgot the other question.

I know that I’m going all over the place with this next point. But, I think that I may have  a-man-with-a-shade-said-duh-memeto add another cross training component to this plan. Yesterday, the BF and I went to the cardio class, B.L.T. (Butt, Legs, Thighs) at Crunch Fitness. Man, that class kicked our collective asses. The class was not hard at all, but I have like no core strength whatsoever. Also, I struggled to do all of the balancing exercises that focused on the left side of my body. Come to think about it, I did not do much better with the right side of my body either.  Actually, as I write this, I think that I should do some core work every day of the week. I mean, these exercises are easy enough that I can do them at home while watching TV or general bullshiting around the apt.

Speaking of TV. The BF just started watching “The Good Place”, and I have to say that I really like the show. I do not know if this is a good or bad thing, but Eleanor Shellstrop reminds me a bit of myself. Yeah, I can be a little self-centered. BUT, at least, I am not delusional enough to realize this character flaw.

Ok, that’s my peace for my training plans for the United NYC Half-Marathon 2019.

See you in the streets!!!

Race Report: Ted Corbitt 15K

Date: December 8th, 8:30 am

Distance: 15K

Place: Central Park, New York, NY

Weather: 29 F, 54% humidity

Finishers: 4,971 total (2,553 men / 2,418 women)

Official time / pace:  1:31:02 / 9:46 min/mi

Swag: Long-sleeved tech shirt

 

This 15K race honors the life of Ted Corbitt, who was the first president of New York Road Runners (NYRR) and the first African-American to compete in the Olympic marathon. During his life, he ran over 223 marathons and ultramarathons, so many cool achievements!!!

Going into this thing, I was not really feeling the race because the weather report called for mid 20 F temperatures. Y’all know that I don’t mess around with super cold or super hot weather. However, I am glad that it did not rain or snow.

I was not feeling mentally strong going into this race, because of a couple of struggling ass short runs during the week. I did a (near) 5 mile run on Thursday, and it was so much of a struggle to finish. WTF? I just ran a marathon last month, but I was struggling to finish a 5-mile run. Since this race takes runners through two loops in Central Park, the plan was to run the first loop and do 400m and/or 800m walk/run intervals for the remaining distance.

Ted Corbitt

Getting to the start was a little of a struggle because I did not set my alarm the night before. Why do I self-sabotage myself so much? I woke up at 6:30ish in the morning and was like I can sleep for about 15 more minutes. Yeah, I guess that 15 minutes became 60 minutes. Well, why did you do that? The race starts near 102nd St. in Central Park, and I live in Central Harlem in the low 120s. Basically, the distance is about a mile or so from the start. I am so glad that I laid out all of my clothes the night before. At 7:30 am, I started preparing the coffee, took a poop (while smoking a cigarette), threw on my clothes, hopped on a Citibike, and biked to Central Park just as the race was starting. I did not mind starting near the back of the pack (even though I was assigned to the B corral) because I knew that I was going to be a little lot slow for this race. Come to think of it, I did not stretch before starting.

Ok, let’s get to the damn race.

The race started off really slow even for being near the back. I think the cold made folks a little cautious about slipping. Also, I think many folks are still coming off of the marathon and were doing this race to finish up their 9+1 requirements for next year’s NYC Marathon. I think that I had the perfect amount of clothes for this race/weather. I never felt too cold or too hot.

Head: a Baseball cap and a head/ear band

Upper body: A singlet, two long-sleeved technical tees, and a very, very light hoodie

Lower body: A pair of shorts, tights, and over the calf socks

Hands: I only needed my gloves for the bike ride to and from Central Park

The crowd was pretty packed for most of the first loop (~4 miles). I decided that it would be too much work to zig in and out of the pack to pass people, so I figured that I would just “enjoy” the race. Although the weather was below freezing, I’m really glad that it was a sunny morning. Actually, it was a very picturesque run. Too bad that I could not take many pictures . . . dumb iPhone. I remember last year that it snowed a little bit towards the end of the race so this year’s race was leaps and bounds better than last year’s.

Finishing the first loop, we were able to see some of the elite runners finish. Man, they were so freaking fast. Ok, the annoying part of the run where I wasted some time.

I wanted to shoot a quick video of the top three runners, but my phone died. It’s getting that time of the year when my phone does not do well in cold temperatures. Before shooting the video, the phone’s battery was at 60%. After the quick, five-second video, the battery went to 2%, and the phone died. I am so glad

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that I had my iPhone external battery/case. If you are in the market for a case/external battery, I highly recommend this case from Gasopic ( *** ). I completely charged my phone back to 90% and there was still 75% of reserved juice in the case. Although it’s a little bulky, I love this thing.

I think that my second loop went better than the first. Although I have not really investigated my splits, I definitely was passing folks and did intervals between two light posts starting at mile 7.

Interesting randomness:

  • I ran a better marathon this year.
  • I ran a faster Ted Corbit last year.

What’s the point of this info? I figure since I was in better shape this year, based on my marathon finish, I would do a better job for this year’s Ted Corbitt run. I guess that you can never use one metric for predicting your finish for a run.

Last year’s Ted Corbitt 15K

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This year’s Ted Corbitt 15K

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Eh. Oh well . . . what’s done is done.

With the conclusion of this race, I earned my 9+1 guaranteed entry for next year’s TCS NYC Marathon. 

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Man, there were so many people waiting in a line to take a picture with the 9+1 sign. I swear, NYCers love to wait in lines for the most random shit. I pretty much took a selfie and kept it moving. It was far too cold to be bullshitting around in a line. 

I hopped on a Citibike and rode my ass home, and the BF had breakfast waiting for me!!!!

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  • Anyone else doing NYRR’s 9+1 program for next year’s marathon? If so, which race was your favorite?

Food Pic of the Week

Ok, this the Food Pic of the Week is not from a restaurant, but it’s from my beer club’s annual cookie bake-off. No, I did not enter this year. I’m still a little salty for coming in 3rd place a few years back. Fuckin’ haters. Actually, I’ll explain the bullshit. 

The first place winner was a goddamn pastry chef, who should not have been allowed to compete. The second place guy made shortbread. Ummmmm, I thought it was a cookie bake-off, not a goddamn cake bakeoff. You see, I should have gotten first place with my “aconbay ocolatechay ipchay” cookies. #fuckers.

Anyhoo, these were my favorite “cookies” – peanut butter and chocolate macarons. 

#cookies

The baker won second place. 😦 What a minute, how did he get so many votes, when there were quite a few cookies on the plate? I know that I had about three of them before voting. Perhaps, the baker put out more cookies before the second round of voting. 

Random Thursdays

I’m trying to get back into my weekly flow of blogging again. I seem to have fallen off of the wagon with blogging . . . although, it’s not like I have a million followers, so whatever. 

Ok, let the randomness begin

  • What the hell are the kids (not) learning in high school? Last week in my Biology lab section, I was lecturing about X-linked disorders, which meant a discussion about hemophilia among the various royal families. Please tell me why none of my students knew anything about the Bolshevik revolution? Not even my student who has an Eastern European background.
  • Why do people enter and exit the elevators so damn slow? I’m like hurry the hell up and get out of the goddamn elevator because I have 80 million emails that need responses.
  • I start my United NYC Half Marathon training plan next Monday. I’m a little afraid because I HATE running in the cold (and in the extreme heat for that matter).
  • From the start of my training period, I’ll have 69 days until the Half-Marathon.
  • Speaking of 69 and being random. I have a tattoo of the cancer astrological sign (a horrible mistake from my early 20’s). Back then, I kind of went a little crazy when I moved to NYC – I had red hair, got a couple of tattoos and a few piercings. Anywho, most people think I got a 69 tattooed onto my shoulder. img_4467

I mean, it’s a 69 if you turn your head to the damn side

  • I still do not really understand Instagram. Maybe I’m doing it wrong. BTW, you can find me @Swosei12.
  • My office group is having a holiday potluck. What should I make? Someone already stole my plan to make a tres leches cake. 
  • Why are many of my favorite YouTube personalities beefing with each other. I swear they are all in cohots with eat other. 
  • Woo hoo!!! Saturday is the last race (Ted Corbitt 15K) that I need to run for my NYRR’s 9 + 1 program for 2019’s NYC Marathon. 
Ted Corbitt 15K

Ted Corbitt 15K

  • This bar should change the sign to say – You can pee for a fee. 

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Take it easy, y’all

I feel it coming together – NOT

So this week did not go so well for my weight loss and fitness plans. I talked about some goals in my last blog ( *** ). Basically, my biggest problem is willpower . . . or my lack thereof. The BF went grocery shopping and bought all of this fun junk food. I‘ve never seen a Cheeto that I never liked. I damn near ate an entire big bag of Cheetos, as a matter of fact, I think that I may have eaten the whole bag. Also, I was not very good a logging my food during the week. Pretty much I failed at everything. Well . . . I did manage to fast stick with my 14-hour fast. That’s something, I guess. 

So, this upcoming week will be a reset. 

Although I did not have anything to train for, I decided to make a training plan to run a “virtual” half marathon on the first Saturday of March. I thought this could be an easy goal that I could incorporate into my new training plan. Honestly, I had fitness block (yes, I made that up) because I could not think of an obtainable three-month fitness/training goal. A half-marathon seemed like an easy enough goal to do. Plus, it is “easy” enough for me to run 13.1 miles without having to participate in a race. I even figured out the route that I was going to run for KOS’ Half-Marathon (yes, I made up that race’s name too).

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Random: Is it me or has Mapmyrun become so user-unfriendly? Maybe one has to upgrade so there is not all of that shit that makes the map too small for mapping a route. 

For the KOS’ Half-Marathon. I decided to use Hal Higdon’s Intermediate Half-Marathon Training plan ( *** ). This is a 12-week plan that has 4-5 days of running, with plenty of speedwork and X-training. Like I did for NYC Marathon 2018, I entered the entire training plan, day-by-day, into my Google Calendar, which took about 30 – 45 minutes. I was all set to start the training plan today.

The day after I entered my training plan into my Google Calendar, this happened. 

Half Marathon

I was completed caught off guard because I never expected to win the lottery (again) for entry into the United NYC Half-Marathon. Here’s the damn problem, for two years in a row, I had some back issue that prevented me from running this race ( *** ). 

  • 2017  – My back injury caused me to defer to 2018’s United Half-Marathon.
  • 2018 – My fucking luck. I had another flare up with my herniated disc, but I could not defer again. That was $130 down the drain. 
  • 2019 – Fingers crossed.

I was really sad that I could not run last year’s half-marathon because NYRR introduced a brand new course for the race.

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Since there is a clear trend of back injuries that happen sometime between Dec. – Mar., I definitely will need to take some precautions and incorporate more stretching into my training plan for the upcoming half marathon. Perhaps, I should dial back my running schedule to include 3-4 days or running. 

This Half will be held on St. Patty’s Day (March 17th), which is like the Superbowl for us “drunks” (even though the parade will be held on March 16th). Perhaps, folks will pass out beers and/or Irish whiskey along the route. 😉

Ok, this is getting long.

Oh, one more thing. I picked up my bib for my last 9 + 1 race for guaranteed entry to TCS NYC Marathon 2019. Hopefully, all will go well and I’ll complete the race so I will not have to run the Midnight 4 Mile on Dec. 31st. 

Ted Corbitt 15K

Ted Corbitt 15K

Questions for y’all:

Do you have any major races planned for 2019?

What type of offseason or base training do you plan to do during your downtime?