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!!!

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NYC Marathon Training Update II

Total Distance Ran/Planned: 14.6 mi/14.0 mi

Reflections from the week

-This is not really a reflection, but more of a eureka moment. As most know, I use my

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Image from PCmag.com

Apple Watch as a sports watch. It was really annoying me that I could not use the watch to do interval/segment runs. As I recently learned, it’s really simple to use this feature. While the workout app is open, you just double tap on the watch and it will generate a new segment. Folks probably knew this, but I did not.

-Something is going on with my iPhone or a combination of my iPhone and Apple watch. The phone seems to be burning through it’s battery. I think it has something to do with the double logging of workouts.

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During my 6mi run, the phone used about 51% of battery juice.

Monday:

3 mile run (easy)

This three mile easy run was done on a treadmill, because my shorts did not have pockets. Although this was an easy run, I did 400m intervals at marathon pace at the end of each mile.

Zumba

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Actually, I cannot complain too much about this Zumba class, because my annoyance level was pretty low.

Wednesday:

Yasso 800m intervals.

This time around, I really want to incorporate more interval training for NYC 2018 marathon. I think this is really important, because I have not done much running during my off months. Well . . . I have not done much of anything during my off months. I really need to get up to speed  . . . no pun.

For this workout I did 6X 800 m intervals withthe goal of completing each interval in 4 minutes. Each interval was followed by a 400 m cool down. This is when knowing how to segment my runs with the Apple Watch would have come in handy. Anyway, I think that I pretty much either did better than or met the goal for five out of the six intervals. Since I did this run in Central Park, I had the opportunity (whether I wanted to or not) to incorporate some small hills in for this workout.

Zumba (impromptu):

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After my run, I returned to the Crunch fitness to stretch. While I stretching, a woman from my Monday Zumba class was hanging out in the studio. She asked me if I had planned to attend this Zumba class. I really had no intention of doing this, because I really wanted to go home after stretching. But, I guess that my body still was pumping endorphins, so I was like F*ck let’s do another Zumba class this week. Hell, I’m going to Cancun in less than a week, so any extra workout may make me look less like a beached whale. Actually, that workout probably was negated by the activities from the  following day.

I have to say that I may skip my normal Monday Zumba class, and become a regular for Wednesday’s class. A couple of reasons for this:

  • The class is smaller. So, there is none of that saving spots for five of your friends bullshit.
  • Since the class is smaller, one can Zumba “bigger”, because there are not 85 million MF’s in your face.
  • The instructor’s playlist was pretty on point. He actually had some “old” Latin songs from the 90’s that I enjoyed. I get kind of annoyed when a Zumba instructor only plays reggaeton for the entire class. I mean there are other types of latin music . . . just saying.
  • The instructor playlist was continuous, meaning that there were not too many gaps in between songs.

Thursday:

Rest . . . it was supposed to be 3 miles easy.

I read my training calendar wrong and thought that I had a rest day. I met a couple of friends downtown at Rise Bar ( *** ) and had SEVERAL glasses of wine.. Hey it’s pride month in NYC. Actually, I had several glasses of wine, a couple of froses, a couple of frozen cosmos (they tasted gross), and a couple of gin & sodas (my start) at Rise Bar.  I must have been insane, because I was drinking white wine, which I never do . . . unless there is no red wine available, with the exception of malbec.

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Why so many drinks?!!! Rise bar has 2-4-1 happy hour from 4 PM to 9 PM. And plus, . . .

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Sunday:

5 mile run (long)/ did 6 miles

I don’t know but I was really feeling it, so I added an extra mile to this “long” run. Might as well do this while I’m at the lower distances. According to my training plans, I’m supposed to be doing these long runs 30-60 seconds slower than my marathon pace, 9:09 min/mi. I actually had to fight myself to run slower that what I was doing. Hell, I ran the second half faster than the first. Then, again the first three miles was very hilly.

During the last mile, I even threw in a few fartleks. I guess this will not be too much of an issue once I hit the double digits for my long runs.

This song is perfect for a cool down to any exercise.

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After completing my run, I treated myself to breakfast, because I get to eat breakfast only once or twice week, since I’ve been intermittent fasting.

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Ok I was annoyed with my breakfast for a couple of reasons.

  • The dish was too damn expensive 13 bucks. I was going to get an omelette, but a simple ham omelette was like 20 bucks!!!!
  • Also, when I order eggs over easy, I want to be the one who breaks the yolk. Stop flipping the eggs so damn hard.

I guess that is it for me.

Goal(s) for the week. 

  • Have enough dedication to run while vacationing in Cancun.

 

Ranting Thursdays: Sometimes People Need Their A**es Kicked

Warning, long Zumba rant, but I think it will be kind of funny. 

Previously, I have mentioned that there is a little clique BS going on in my Monday class.zumba Basically, one or two girls will arrive to class 15 – 20 minutes early and will save MULTIPLE spaces for their other friends. For me, it not a big deal to save one spot for someone else, but to save 5-6 spots?!!! Since I know how these b*tches roll, I tend to arrive to this class a little early, so I can get a decent spot. Last week, I noticed that many of these women arrived EXTRA, EXTRA early to save spots. Even one of them said, I do not care if the class is full, I’m coming anyway. We have to sign up for classes either using the Crunch Gym app, 22hrs – 1hrs before the class, or in the gym 30 min before the class. Ok, no biggie. For this week, I decided to attend the ASS and ABS class, which is from 6:30 PM – 7:00 PM. Perfect, the ASS and ABS class ends 30 minutes before Zumba starts and both classes are in the same studio. Great, there should be no issue with me getting a decent spot that I like, since I’m 30 minutes early.

One participant (we’ll call her LHBB) arrived at 7:15 and started to mark her territory for her gang in front of me. I did not really care, because I had my spot. I call them a gang because they go to the Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday classes that are taught by this particular instructor (and I think they brunch together after the Sat. class). Surprisingly, we actually chatted a little bit, because she said that she wanted to make sure there was enough space for us. I jokingly said that’s a good thing and that I never know if I’m inside or outside of the row formation. At around 7:27 (three minutes before class starts), one of her gang members (CDWaDC) asked me if the spot in front of me was taken. I said yes, I think that is your friend’s (LHBB) spot, but I do not know where she went. LHBB bitch comes back to the spot and asks if I could move back. I told her a very firm no. Basically, she wanted to squeeze between CDWaDC and myself, which was stupid because there would not have been enough space. Plus, there were other people behind me, so I could not move back. Also, I have seen other members of their gang “politely” ask people to move so the gang will be accommodated. *Not tonight with Dr. KOS,before-you-go-further-you-today-is-not-the-day-15749801 girlfriend.* Then, LHBB tells CDWaDC that I was being “difficult”. How am I being difficult? I arrived early to class to get my spot. I followed the rules for reserving the class and my spot. The funny thing is that there was enough space to my left. Yes, I could have moved to the left. But, why should I?

  • I got to class early.
  • I like to be closer to the center, so I can see the instructor better.
  • What gives LHBB the right to have a particular spot when she arrived after I did?

Since I am a man, I really do not like verbally going back and forth with women (not that I don’t or won’t) – it is not really my style.

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This is not because they are women, per se, but there are certain negative perceptions that are associated with a man going off on a woman . . . especially with a black man going off on a white woman. I’m trying not to be tagged as ABM (angry black man).

Man this has gotten really long.

Some options:

  • Dance really big by making extra and over exaggerated dance moves, so no one will want to dance around me.dance
  • Purposely fuck up moves, so I’ll bump into people. You know, cha cha left when everyone else cha chas right.
  • Mark my territory, by shitting in the location where I want to dance.

After class (damn this could have been two entries), I guess she was “telling” on me to some of her other gang members. I hope they will not do a drive by on me next week. Instead of bullets, they probably would throw things from the BB starter pack.

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I did notice that another gang member (RGDBB) was talking to the instructor and gesturing in my direction.

Why don’t you take another damn class, Dr. KOS?

I looked into other Crunch fitness Zumba classes and based on my location and time, this one only works. Actually, there is one taught on Wednesday, but that will not work:

  1. It’s taught by the same instructor, so the same gang is in that class.
  2. Wednesday is date night with the BF.

After that class, I considered going back to my former class in Brooklyn (Tuesday, 7:30). That would be too much work commuting from the UWS to Brooklyn, then back to Harlem after class.

Victim complex:

I noticed that “certain type” of women start shit storms and play victim when there are covered in the shit. You know, they ones who throw stones and hide their hands. .

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Many women in my family has expressed this sentiment in their professional lives, but they have to tread lightly when dealing with it because they will come off as “aggressive”, “angry”, “uncooperative”, etc. I will leave it at that.

Friendly Rant:

Often I am asked for ID when buying cigarettes. It’s kind of annoying that when cashiers are like you 22 years old, after looking at my ID. Ummmmm, if I look 22 years old then why are you carding me, since the legal age to buy smokes is 18? I guess that I can take it as a compliment.

Random Gym Thoughts

This is a list of most of things that I say to myself at the gym.

Cardio Equipment:

  • I really hope that I can get a machine by a fan.
  • This 45-minute workout feels like 3 days.
  • How do people watch TV and do a cardio workout? I can’t multitask that well?
  • The BO is real.
  • Why do people come to the gym just to talk on the phone for their entire duration on a treadmill?

Weights

  • Why doesn’t this place have more benches or lifting spaces?
  • Man, this space really is tight. Will today be the day that someone bumps my bench press bar and decapitate me?
  • Speaking of decapitation, I wonder who is my emergency contact? I have not updated that form since I joined Crunch Fitness, back in 2010
  • Will this be the day that I can do bench presses?
  • Must you grunt so loudly? Your weights are not THAT heavy.
  • Can my back handle deadlifts today? No worries, that area is full of people.
  • I never work out my forearms.
  • I really hope that guy doesn’t fall over.
  • Damn, I guess one has to be in great shape BEFORE working out at this gym.

Locker Room:

  • There already are four half-naked to full-naked guys here, must you come over here to change?
  • Why does the steam room take to long to get to temperature?
  • Will this be the day that I’ll get a fungal infection in/on one of my feet?
  • Yay, warm towels.
  • Boo. These towels are so rough that one of my nipples will be “sandpapered” off of my chest.
  • I’m smell like a nice steak/grilled chicken. Crunch gym uses some lemon basil soap from Bliss Spa.

Where are my keys? I lost my phone

I’ve had a little bit too much, much
All of the people start to rush.
Start to rush by.
A dizzy twister dance
Can’t find my drink or man.
Where are my keys? I lost my phone, phone.

 

Ok, now that I (and many other WordPressers) have completed the TCS NYC Marathon, one has to wonder what’s next. This week has been a whirlwind of recovery and cleaning up things at my soon to be former job. Although I was not at 100%, I did go to Zumba class just two days after the marathon. Class was fun but it was a bit of a struggle for me, because front of my thighs0794c0174d7c112e8c8be33167bfe54c--dance-fitness-zumba-fitness still were sore. Even though I did not fully recover, I still wanted to hit up Zumba, because it was going to be my last Zumba class at this particular Crunch Fitness in Brooklyn.

Since I’m starting my new job on Monday, I do not think that I will be able to commute from Morningside Heights to Forte Greene by 7 PM on Tuesday. Actually, maybe I could make it, but I definitely will not make the commute once I move to Harlem. Hopefully, the next Zumba class I find will be as good as this one. As most know, I religiously attended this Tuesday Zumba class, so I am going to miss it a lot.

Getting “Skinny”

Although training (even half-assed training) for a marathon is a tremendous feat, I am not too happy about my physical condition and outward appearance. I do not think that I’m “fat”, but I feel like I am. Going further, I would love to drop a few pounds, specifically 15 pounds over the next 4 months. I think this will be tougher than training for a marathon, because I LOVE eating. This will be tough, because most people say that losing weight is 80% diet and 20% exercise. Forget it, maybe I’ll save up some cash and get lipo 😉 I wish that I could grown fur on my stomach and shave a six pack.

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Starting Monday, I will begin to make some drastic changes to my diet; however, gin will stay in the diet. I am pretty good for breakfast and lunch but dinner and social activities throw off my caloric intake. Also, I do not sleep that much, so my leptin (the hormone that decreases appetite) and ghrelin (the hormone that increases appetite) levels probably are all off. So here’s to a skinnier Dr. KOS

The lyrics from above, as some may know, is from Lady Gaga’s “Just Dance”. Last night I went out to celebrate leaving my current job and I ended up losing my phone. It was so dumb, I managed to request an Uber and I must have dropped it either in the Uber or on the street. Well, maybe it is at the BF’s house. Yes, I was a little intoxicated. Jokingly I hold him personally responsible, because he would not let me play my drunk music (Cardie B’s “Bodak Yellow” or anything from Gloria Trevi) through the Uber driver’s speakers.

Here to a fun and relaxing weekend. Any fun weekend plans?

 

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?

Random Wednesdays

I guess that my Wednesday posts will just be a combo of my random thoughts.

For the city that never sleeps, it sure moves as if it is sleeping

IMG_0623I received some bad news about an opportunity on Monday, so I did not do my Monday Recovery Run. Instead, I figured that I could combine my 5.5 mi run and do Zumba afterwards. WRONG!!!! It took me 55 minutes to travel from work to the gym . . . a trip that should only take about 20 minutes, tops. By the time I arrived to the gym I only had time to run three, instead of five miles. It’s so funny how the fares for the Metropolitan Transit Authority keep going up but the service and efficiency keeps going down. This organization should really change it’s name, because typically if someone is an “authority” on something, he/she is good at it. For example, the MTA is planning to spend $20M dollars for these directional floor maps, so people know how to enter and leave a subway . . . Yep, money well spent.

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Adapted from Scott Lynch / Gothamist

This annoyance really threw me off, because the timing was completely out of  my control and it messed up my training plans a bit.

Zumba was amazing!!!

I have blogged about my love for my Tuesday Zumba class at Crunch Fitness in Fort Greene. IMG_0621I’m telling you if you are a fan of Zumba, a member of Crunch Fitness, and live in New York City, you should definitely check out this class taught by LaShawn. *I know there are a lot of stipulations with what I just typed.* Yesterday’s class was so full of energy. Perhaps, people were extra turned up because we did not have class last week, due to The 4th of July. I really had a blast and the instructor even gave me a shout out by thanking me for constantly coming to her class. I mean, it’s one of my favorite Zumba classes sponsored by Crunch and I really hate missing her class. Now, that wack one on Monday, I can do without 😉

I’m probably behind the times, but I am really loving this song, “One Wine” by Machel Montano Ft. Major Lazer. As a matter of fact, I’m going to play this song right now. IMG_0620

It was my favorite song for the class. However, I may have to start wearing an athletic supporter because my man region was a little after all the gyrating, bouncing, and dancehall wining from this song.

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My 3 mile run may have affected my Zumba performance, because I did not burn as many calories or hit my cardio peak zone like I normally do. I felt like I was “Zumba’ing” pretty hard but FitBit reported otherwise. Usually, I spend about half of the class in my peak and regular cardio zones. Oh well . . . there is always next week.

I love my (somewhat) new running shoes

I have never been one to rave over running shoes but this pair is so amazing. Often I feel like I’m running and/or walking on air. I have to say these probably are the best pair of running shoes that I have EVER worn. That’s saying a lot, because I can be somewhat of a hater. Shoot, I may go back to the running store and buy another pair this weekend.

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That’s all for this issue of Random Wednesday. Happy running and training.