United NYC Half Marathon Training Week 7

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Planned mileage: 17.5mi

Completed mileage: 18.5mi

Actually, with this training update, I think that I may be on the right path for training for the United NYC Half Marathon. For once, I completed all of my planned training goals, and my back did not been bother me as much . . . for the most part.

Let’s get this started.

Monday:

Planned: 50min X-train

Completed: Elliptical and strength training

Unfortunately, I arrived at the gym kind of late and was unable to do as much as I wanted to with my strength training (arms and chest). But something is better than nothing.

Since I did not do much on Monday morning, I had planned to run with Harlem Runs. In a previous post, I mentioned that I wanted to run with a running group. Harlem Runs has weekly Monday and Wednesday runs so I figured it would be a good start. I arrived home from work to change into my cold-weather running clothes, but the BF informed me that he washed our clothes AND the dryer was broken. No run for me because my cold-weather clothes were all wet. Oh well, there’s always next week.

Tuesday:

Planned: 4.5mi

Completed: 4.5mi, 10min stair climber, 35min stretching

Man, I hate treadmill running.

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Wednesday:

Planned: 8 X 400m intervals

Completed: Rest. I think that I went out for drinks with friends after work. 

Thursday:

Planned: 3mi

Completed: 8 X 400m intervals; broken up 3mi run; 45min strength and weight training

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What polar vortex? Since the temperatures were around 4 degrees, these runs were obviously done on a treadmill. One cool (no pun) thing about this polar vortex was the gym was virtually empty. Score.

Since I skipped Wednesday workout, I combined the intervals with my “3mi” run. I say “3mi” because I did a 0.5mi warm-up followed by the eight intervals and a normal 2.5mi “recovery” run. Actually, my workout was kind of awesome. Aside from the first two intervals, all of the other ones was sub 2 mins.

Friday: 

Planned: Rest

Completed: 20min elliptical and 30min stretching 

Saturday: 

Planned: 9mi

Completed: 9mi 

This run was kind of make or break for me, especially after what happened with last week’s long run. Last week, my back really started to hurt within the first two miles of my long run. I managed to complete this run in Central Park; unfortunately, I had to walk a couple of times. But, 9 miles are 9 miles. I really noticed that I need to stop relying so much on the treadmill because it gives me a false sense of security when I eventually start running outside. In my defense, it has been really cold. Although I walked a few times (those damn Harlem and Sister Hills), I managed to eek out fartleks for a mile or so during miles 7 and 8. Or was it during miles 6 and 7?

Sunday: 

Planned: Rest

Completed: 20min stair climber, 60min strength and stretching, and a couple of bike rides through the city.

I think that I may have a new Sunday morning routine. Now, I will work out at CrunchUNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_2280 Fitness in FiDi (Financial District), then ride a CitiBike to Brooklyn (about 1.5mi), and teach my Sunday Bio class. Normally, I hate on many of the Crunch Fitness locations in NYC, but this one is amazing. Yes, I know that a lot of the awesomeness is because the gym is brand new. BUT, this location is HUGE, and there is actually enough room to workout. Plus, the locker room is also huge so you will not have to be on top of other half-naked men trying to change. Since FiDi is pretty much a ghost town on the weekends (and weeknights after 5-6pm), the gym is relatively empty. I have to say that I had a very pleasant experience on Sunday.

Oh wait, there was some BS associated with Sunday. While waiting for the subway to commute from Harlem to the gym, I sat in something that I thought was piss. Annoyed, I had to go home, literally wash my ass, and go back to the subway, which cost me 30 minutes. I think that I actually sat in malt liquor, but I’m still not 100% sure. I could have been malt liquor and piss combination – you never know with NYC.

That aside, I was really feeling Sunday for some reason. I think it had a lot to do with it not being a million degree below zero. After class, I was invited to a bday party on the UES. Rather than taking the subway, I decided to make it a bike ride, which was about 4.5 miles.

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All in all, I had a GREAT training week, which is something that I have not been able to say in a VERY long time. I just hope that I did not overdo it, making this training week a hot mess. My back pain has greatly reduced; I think taking out the glute extensions was a major factor. Today after work, I was thinking about going to Zumba class, but maybe I should sit it out and actually take a REAL rest day.

Goals for this week:

-Definitely go running with the Harlem Runs crew. I’m thinking that I will go on Wednesday since that is the group speed workout day.

-Begin increasing the distance for my interval runs (800m or 1600m intervals).

-Although this may not happen this week, but I need to start introducing more hills into my runs. The first part of the new half-marathon’s course is somewhat hilly, and we have to cross a bridge from Brooklyn to Manhattan. For this Saturday’s long run (10mi), I think that I will incorporate the Manhattan Bridge, which on the United NYC Half’s course.

I hope y’all had a great running week.

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TCS NYC Marathon Training – Week 10

I have been a bit of a bad marathon trainer AND blogger over the past week. This week has been so intense with work and other crap that I barely fit in any runs. This is not a good thing, since my marathon is right around the corner in November. Basically, this week’s update will be focused around my long run, because that was the only run I could complete this week. Hell, I did not even attend a Zumba class!!!!

Saturday: Planned – 14-16 miles | Actual – 13.5

I did not meet my goal for this run, but it was a very sentimental run. I’ve mentioned in previous post that NYC has Summer Streets during August. IMG_1316

Summer Streets is an annual celebration of New York City’s most valuable public space—our streets. On three consecutive Saturdays in August, nearly seven miles of NYC’s streets are opened for people to play, run, walk and bike. Summer Streets provides space for healthy recreation and encourages New Yorkers to use more sustainable forms of transportation.

Since this was the last weekend for Summer Streets, I was super determined to run, come Hell or high water.

ONE RANT:

I really feel that the Brooklyn Bridge path should not be open for cyclists during certain hours of the day. The Bridge is way too congested with its narrow pathways combined with pedestrians, runners, real cyclists and rent-a-bike tourists. Let’s start a petition!!!

THE RUN:

Like many of these runs, I started out the run by stretching at Crunch gym.

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This time, I did not lose my wallet on a city bus, like I did last weekend. Overall, the firstIMG_1357 part of the run (Ft. Green, Brooklyn to E72nd Street) was pretty nice. I was running on a 4hr marathon pace, and I was really taking in the sites of NYC. Going back to Brooklyn was where I struggled. The first part of the run (8 miles) was easier because, for the most part, the tall NYC buildings provided ample shade on the east side of Park Avenue. However, on the way back to Brooklyn, I was running in direct sunlight for the majority of the run. At one point during the run, I was feeling light heading and seeing black dots. I realized that I would not be able to complete the entire 16 miles. Thus, I had to stop 3 miles short, because I knew that there would be no way that I would be able to run across the Brooklyn Bridge in the direct sunlight.

I have been in NYC for 15 years, 1 month, and 17 days. More specifically, I lived in Manhattan for 13 of those years, so running up (and down) Park Avenue brought back plenty of memories in NYC. If not for living in NYC, I do not think that I would be the person that I am today (for better or worse). During the run, I remembered the good and bad times; friends made and lost; discovering new places; having a cute beagle puppy; drinking like a fish, etc.

Union Square Park and surrounding areas

This area was pretty much the jump off for late night shenanigans. There is ALWAYS something going on in this area (although I am not a big fan of the area now). Actually, I lived in Union Square for an entire summer (RENT FREE!!!) when I participated in an NYU Summer program. The coolest part of that summer was turning 21 in NYC, so I really had the time of my life, as a person of age.

The now defunct Virgin Megastore and Union Square “clock” was an excellent meeting up point. FYI: the numbers left to right represent the time, and right to left the numbers represent the countdown to the next day.

L’Express has to be one of my favorite classy 24hr-french diners in the city. I mean where else (outside of Paris) can one get a croque madame and creme brûlée at 4am? Plus the restaurant is not TOO pricey. IMG_1383

My old hood (Murray Hill):

Murray Hill (more specifically NYU Medical Center) is where my NYC tenure began. Although it was not a “trendy” place to live, I definitely had a blast growing into to myself in NYC. We were close enough to some of the NYC action but far enough not to be totally engulfed in it. Actually, I lie, I was quite engulfed in it. I remember in graduate school we pretty much had a drinking calendar for acquiring cheap booze pretty much everyday of the work week: Mondays (Monday Margarita Madness @ Baby Bo’s), Tuesdays (Endless beer for 10 bucks @ Hook and Ladder, RIP), Wednesdays (Endless beer for 10 bucks @ McSwiggans), Thursdays (wine @ Van Diemens), Fridays (general happy hour 2-4-1 for NYU Medical Center employees/students @ The Hook and Ladder). I’m surprised that I was able to finish earn my Ph.D. 😉

*Ok, this is getting long,  I’m getting off topic, and I have other stuff to do.*

Back to the run: I had a decent run but I was a little disappointed that I could not complete the entire run. It is funny how much Summer Streets has changed  and become more popular over the years.  Hopefully, I can get back to my training plan (and blogging) during this week. Crap, I just looked at my weather app, it is going to be very warm this week.

After the run and stretch, I was really craving Pho. I went to Nha Trang One, one of my Vietnamese restaurants, in Chinatown for a huge bowl of pho and a cold bottle of beer.

The restaurant has “a hole in the wall” feel to it, but the food is really authentic and good. It annoys me that I have visited other pho places outside of Chinatown, and they want  to charge 20 bucks for a bowl of pho . . . no thanks!!! A bowl of pho with all of the fixings averages around 8 bucks and taste better than the more expensive places.

Music from the run. 

Goals for the upcoming week:

  1. Actually, do my weekday runs. I’m really going to have to play with my schedule for this week. Plus, I’m going to have to figure my my long run schedule, since I will be teaching 12pm – 3:30 pm Saturdays and Sundays.
  2. Run the Percy Sutton 5K run on August 26.
  3. Register for two NYRR races so I can get my 9+1.

Question

When you are running on city streets do you stop your watches at stop lights?

No Sleep till Brooklyn or Manhattan

QUICK POINTS

  1. Two bridge run
  2. New training plan
  3. It’s hot as hell

 

1. Two bridge run

To mix up my runs in Brooklyn, I was going to do today’s run in Prospect Park but the logistics of getting to the Crunch Fitness near the park was going to be a little annoying. Instead, I decided to run across the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges because I have never ran across the Manhattan Bridge. The run itself was reatively easy because the Manhattan Bridge is not nearly as steep as the Queensboro or the Williamsburg Bridges. Eventually, I would like to do a marathon training long run to incorporate the Brooklyn, Manhattan, Williamsburg, and Queensboro Bridges. 

Some pics from the run:

2. New Training plan

In a previous post, I mentioned that I’m not feeling the marathon training plan that the My Asics app has constructed for me. I did not care for the program because there were no gradual long runs – basically you go from 8.5-mile weekly long runs to 11.5 miles then to 18.5 miles. I found one that is a little more suited to how I want to do my long runs.

3. It’s Hot as Hell

Ok, so it is not THAT hot outside . . . yet. But, anyone who has experienced an NYC summer knows that July and August can be unbearable, in terms of temperature. My issue is I am a terrible runner in hot weather. For what ever reason, my body overheats VERY fast, which is weird on the genetic level because half (probably more) of my DNA comes from the Subsaharan part of Africa. For example, I did my run around 8;30am and the temperature was around 75, I did the run fine but I felt crappy at the end. At this point, 75 degrees will be nothing compared to the 90+ degree weather later in the summer when my long runs will be 15+ miles. Obviously, I managed to do it a few summers ago when training for the NYC Marathon but I just stopped for some long runs (i.e. at 18miles for a 21 mile long run), because it was too damn hot. Then, on top of that I get annoyed with holding a bottle of water for more that an hour and the sunscreen becomes all sticky and icky.

Some options:

  • Do the runs at 3am 😉
  • Do the runs on a treadmill and incorporate “hills” by increasing the grade. I think that running 18 miles on a treadmill would be insanely boring. Hell, I think running 3 miles on a treadmill is insanely boring.
  • Run at night. It’s still can be hot but not as bad.

Maybe the late evening/ night may be the better option. According to accuWeather , the 64F is the average temperature in Montreal during the last week of September. Perhaps, I can do the shorter runs in the heat and the longer runs at night. We will see how this plays out. Any tips or suggestions for summer running?

Let’s see what you folk are blogging about.