Food Pic of the Week

I’m still trying to get back into the groove of getting back to my blog updates. 

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Since I’m trying to drop a few pounds, I decided to break my intermittent fasting periods with two scoops of protein powder and then have a nice balanced dinner. Yes, I know this is not technically food, but I needed a moment to bitch about something. This GNC Performance Pro brand tastes like crap. Actually, it tastes like crap mixed with dirt, anger, and evil. Normally, I tend to purchase protein power that Muscle Milk makes, but I was conned by GNC 2 for 1 deal for Performance Pro. Now, I have to struggle through two containers of this crap . . . maybe I will learn to like the taste. Even if this was 2 for 1, I wonder if I can exchange the unopened container for something less nasty like urine, spoiled milk, or raw sheep’s liver?

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NYC Marathon Training Update XI

Total Distance Ran/Planned: 20.7 mi /26 mi

There really is no point in doing a day-by-day rundown of my training “failures” this week. Buuuut, I did manage to do a 17 mile long run. Don’t folks say that the long runs are the most important runs for marathon training?

Aside from a 3-mile run on Monday, I did not do any runs this week because I was feeling some pain in my Achilles. It was a weird pain, because I experience tightness in both legs. The pain would start off kind of intense in the morning, then become dull throughout the day. I Youtubed some exercises that may help reduce this pain.

On Sunday, I was supposed to run 18 miles, but I ran only 17 . . . Close is better than nothing. I kind of “enjoyed” this run and tackled it as if I was running three separate 6-mile runs.

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I really enjoyed the running along the west side of Manhattan, but the east side was really tough because the sun was quite intense and there was not much shade. On a personal note, this run was nice because it allowed me to briefly run down memory lane.

The Frying Pan

The Frying Pan is a fun club that is in a tugboat. I remember spending many Friday nights here, circa 2005. The only annoying thing is that this club was so far west (for us) because my grad school classmates and I lived on the East River.

The Hudson River and a view of the Freedom Tower from the Westside Highway.

Bridges on the East River – Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queensboro. For this run, I wanted to include a trip across the Queensboro Bridge since it is part of the NYC Marathon. Unfortunately, mile 17 put me in Murray Hill which is about 30 blocks from the Queensboro Bridge. During my run, something told me to cut across Manhattan on 14th Street, rather than running to the tip of the island. Next week’s long run is a 19 miler so I guess I can incorporate the Queensboro Bridge then. 

I met a friend near the Staten Island Ferry.

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Oh, look it’s the place where I spent most of my 20’s during graduate school. NYU School of Medicine’s Sackler Institute of Graduate Biomedical Sciences in the house.

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Man, this doggie is pretty strong.

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A few things from this run:

  • My speed was not nearly as fast as I would have liked it to be. A LOT of people were passing me. My original goal was to complete the marathon in 4 hours, but at this rate, I’ll be grateful if I can finish in 4.5 hours.
  •  I’m at the distance where I need to bring my running ‘fanny pack’ on my long runs. 
  • I had to poop TWICE during this run. 😦  I hate using public restrooms to poop, but I could not ward off the call of nature this time. There have been times when I have gone home while bar hopping to take a dump. I was quite surprised that the restroom on the Westside was really clean . . . For a public MEN’S restroom in a park.

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  • Speaking of poop, this flavor tastes like crap.

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  • Pizza is always great after a long run. Casa Pizza  ( *** ) is a random place for a quick slice (or in my case, two slices). Also, the pizzeria has so many varieties of pizza, which is something that I appreciate. During this visit, I think that I counted 13 different types of pizzas. 
  • When I finished my run, I wanted to do exactly what this doggie was doing – laying in a puddle of ice-cold water. 

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Goals for the upcoming week:

  • Buy a new pair of shoes. Yes, I know that I have mentioned this a couple of times in the past, but a brotha has been busy.  
  • Figure out an appropriate eating pattern during long runs. As of now, I eat / gu every 6 miles; however, I know that I need to take my fuel during the long runs. 
  • Register for some NYRR races. 
  • Hill work on the Queensboro Bridge. I even planned out my run that will include two difficult bridges. But, I’ll get to run in three boroughs and along a nice chunk of the NYC marathon. 

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One consideration:

Last year, I could not train as much as I wanted because of a super demanding and worthless job; a search for a new job; and the intense heat. The longest distance that I ran during last year’s training was 16 miles. At least I now know that I am at a distance where I know I can finish a marathon. Now, I just have to figure out how to finish the marathon in faster manner. 

See you on November 4th, 2018, Staten Island Ferry!!!

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NYC Marathon Training Update X

Theme for this week: Indifference

After running a few marathons, I have noticed that I get to a point where I do not give three sh*ts about my training plan. I guess that I’m one of those people who gets bored by doing the same routine week in and week out. This week I did a couple of runs without completing (or even attempting) my long run of 17 miles. Well . . . I contemplated it (even laid out my clothes the night before) but I wanted to sleep in on Saturday and Sunday morning. I suppose that it is ok to take a break when training for a full marathon. With my training plan, I added (subconsciously) a couple of weeks where I could miss a couple of long runs (just in case of an injury or random indifference) and still stay on track to my goal. Well . . . maybe my goal for distance but not time. I still have a little over two months until the marathon, and my longest distance so far is 15 miles. 

And here comes the excuses reasons 😉

-I will say that there has been some (positive) changes at work, which caused me to work a little late during the week. Basically, my program moved from one school to another school on campus so there was a bunch of administrative stuff that I had to take care of this week. One cool thing: I did get a brand new office AND a new Macbook Pro out of this arrangement. 

-The bf has been training for a new job at another restaurant so he has been getting home around 2 am. A few days during the week I tried to stay up and wait up for him at home, so I was a bit sleep deprived for most of the week. 

-One cool thing about marathon training is that I can forget about the failures training failures from the previous week. This week, I will get back on that training horse and try to repeat training week X. 

Avoiding the post-marathon depression/blues ( *** )

To put it into context, when you accomplish any goal that you’ve been targeting for months, it’s only normal that a letdown of some sort is inevitable when it’s over.

-Runner’s World

To avoid this lull, I think that I attempt to run the perimeter of Manhattan ( *** ). It is something that I have done on a bicycle, but I think it may be kind of cool to do this on foot.

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Since the marathon is 26.2 miles and the perimeter of Manhattan is a little more than 34 miles, I think this would be a cool challenge to attempt. I’m already training to run 26.2 miles, what is another 8 miles at this point? Also, I could use the marathon to train for my “event”. We’ll see how this goes. Next week, my flaky ass probably will change my mind. The TCS NYC Marathon is November 4th, so I’ll plan my Manhattan perimeter run for December 15th, 2018. That should give me enough time to get over the NYC Marathon runner’s high and train for the extra distance. Hopefully, NYC will not be TOO cold in December this year. 

This week’s goals:

Simple, redo training week X

How do you get over your post-marathon (or any other major race) blues/depression?

NYC Marathon Training Week VI

Total Distance Ran/Planned:   17.1 mi / 21 mi

Reflections from the week

This training week was a little bit of a struggle, because I did not get in many runs during the week. I have been doing ok with the morning runs, but I was super exhausted for many days this past week. I do not know why my mind thinks that it can go to sleep at 2:00 and wake up at 5 or 6 am to go for a run. The sad thing is that I did not really hang out during the week. Did I? No, wait. I did on Tuesday . . . my job had its summer cruise celebration = free booze and food. Aside from that one event, most times when I go to sleep late, I’m just sitting at home bullshiting on my phone and watching TV.

Monday:

Planned: 3 mi

Completed: Rest

Tuesday:

Planned: 6 mi intervals of some sort

Completed: Eight Yasso’s 800 m (5.38 mi), 0.6 mi warm up, 0.6 mi cool down

I have a love/hate relationship with interval runs, but I definitely loved this workout. Aside from the workout itself, Central Park was absolutely beautiful on Tuesday morning.

The plan was to complete these 800 m intervals within 4 minutes and do a 1.5 – 2 minute recovery, based on my heart rate. For the most part, I hit (or came close to) the 4 minute time for 800 meters. For one of my intervals, I took a very nasty spill, so I did not count that. 

Wednesday:

Planned/Completed: Rest 

Thursday:

Planned: 3 mi

Completed: Rest 

I just could not get up. The night before, I went to bed around 1:00 am (which is normal for me) but I did not actually go to sleep  until around 3:00 am.

Friday

Planned: 3 mi

Completed: 3.27

In order to make up some differences in mileage, I decided to do a quick run that involved a new route. Unfortunately the route did not agree with me. The plan was to do a “circular” Manhattan-> Randall’s Island-> Manhattan run. Unfortunately part of the route was closed, so it became an in and out run, which involved a stop at Target.

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Saturday :

Planned: 9 mi

Completed: 7 mi 

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I attended a conference in Hartford, Ct and I was so excited to run in a new location. However, I woke up very late, and it was far too hot outside to do anything. Sooooo, the treadmill was my form of punishment. These 7 miles were tough, because the Hilton’s gym seemed to be just as humid inside as it was outside. Plus, I became really bored by mile 5. Even if I was running through “Germany”.

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Random Thursdays: Running Edition

-When people walk in pairs or groups of three, why must they take up the ENTIRE width of the sidewalk? Single file, folks. SINGLE FILE. People are trying to run pass you.

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-On that note. Why don’t folks know how to properly walk a dog? You are supposed to hold the leash like this:

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And, the dog is supposed to be either at your side or behind you, so you can establish/maintain your alpha dog status. I do not know maybe some folks like being the beta dog.

-Corral issues. As most know, many races have a corral system for arranging runners based on their speed in previous races or their predicted finish times, which is great. For NYRR races, the corral system is based on your best 5K race’s time, which is an issue on to itself. Back in the day, I mean like in 2010, I pretty much was running at a 7 min/mi pace, so I’m usually placed in the B or C corral, depending on the size of the race. Last week’s race had about 5, 000 runners, so I was in corral B.

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Here’s the thing. I know that I’m no longer a 7:00 min/mi runner. Soooooo, now I take my black ass to a higher (or is it lower) corral, like E, F,or G. I will be honest, sometimes I doi-dont-understand-how-someone-can-have-so-little-self-awareness not have a choice, because my ass typically is running “late” for these races. During last week’s race, I went to the F corral. Why were people, who were assigned to the F corral, walking within the first mile? Ok, if you know that you plan to walk most or all of the race, why not go to one of the last corrals? It’s call self-awareness, people. 

-Best speed work prep for a marathon 0.5 mi, 1 mi, or 2 mi intervals?

-I really need to up my efficiency for my morning runs. This week, I woke up at 5:30 am and did not start my run until ~8:10 am. Ok, you can subtract the 30 min bus ride to the gym, but that still gives me more or less 2hrs of wasted time. I know part of  this is my poop schedule. . . I’m one of those folks who has two morning poops. FYI, my morning double poops always have been a thing with me, since as long as I can remember.

-I want to incorporate “new” routes into my training plan.

I’m thinking something that would involve a run from NYC to the Palisades cliffs in New Jersey.

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Randall’s Island

New York Scenic Shots

A lower Harlem – Manhattan “perimeter” run ~18 miles

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-Next week, I really need to buy a new pair of shoes.

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-How do city runners run in and around the city? I cannot stand the constant stop and go when waiting for traffic lights to change. Maybe, I can do “city” runs for my easy runs where stopping more or less at ever other corner will not be big issue.

-Random selfie of me trying to be chipper at 6 am.

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NYC Marathon Training Week IV

Total Distance Ran/Planned: 18.7mi / 23mi

Reflections from the week

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-It’s still a little early, but I am really getting into training for this marathon. I have a feeling this sentiment is due to last year’s hot mess marathon training, and the fact that I would like to do better for this marathon. Last year was a struggle, because I did not have time to really train (I was looking for another job and interviewing for said jobs). Also, I just was not feeling “life”, because I was working in a very toxic environment.

-I think that I will have to give up intermittent fasting or fast on days when I’m not doing morning runs. Since my body is a mess when it comes to heat, I have to run in the morning. Yes, I could run in the evenings but for my schedule and level of dedication, it’s better for me to get the run out of the way at the beginning of the day. Also, it’s still muggy and humid when the sun goes down.

Monday:

Planned: 3 mile run (easy)

Completed 2.95 miles . . . eh close enough

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Simple recovery run. I am a little annoyed with technology. For my runs, I typically use Strava and my Apple Watch to track my training runs. I’ve noticed that my iPhone’s battery would drain at a faster rate, which would be expected running two separate apps that use GPS. I figure that I should use one or the other. Ok, I found an article that informed me that I could use Strava on my Apple Watch and it would sync the data to apple’s training app. Yes, it syncs the data, but it cannot sync the GPS data to the app.  

Tuesday:

Planned/Completed: Rest day

Wednesday:

Planned/Completed: Four 1 mile intervals and X-train

I have to say that I have a love hate relationship with interval runs. I wanted to do an 8’00” pace, which I did not really accomplish. However, I came kind of close. Unfortunately, I have not idea what happened with the last interval (9’31”). But it was a good start for my first one-mile interval workout. Hopefully, these times will go down as my training plan progresses.

Following the workout, I lifted weights for a few minutes.

I wanted to incorporate some more lower body work, but I did not want to over do it.

Thursday:

Planned: 3mi (easy)

Completed: X-training. 

I was supposed to run, but I was not feeling it (because it was a little/lot warm outside), but I did ride a bike for a few minutes in Paris, France. 😉

Also, I incorporated a few minutes of weights and stretching into this workout.

For this workout I was in a bit of a rush and I do not feel that I accomplished too much. But, hey. Something is better than nothing . . . I suppose.

Saturday:

Planned/Completed: 11 miles (with NYRR 4mi Retro Run)

Yea!!! I finally have hit double digits in my training for #tcsnycmarathon. The plan was to wake up early, run close to 6.5 miles, run 4 miles for the race, then finish up whatever remaining mileage to get to 11 miles. Yeah that did not work. I woke up late and could get only 2.8 miles out of the way before the race. The race was Ok, and I will post a race report later.

The second part of the run (4.2 miles post race) was a bit of a struggle. I kind was not feeling it, but I struggled through it. Unfortunately, I had to walk a couple of times. But, hey, I got the mileage in. Even though the second part, post-race (technically, I guess it was the third part) was a struggle, it will help me prepare for the marathon by running in a tired state.

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The park near my apt, which is where I finished the long run, has these sprinklers that shoot water up from the ground. This dog had the great idea to jump through the sprinklers, and I followed suit after my I completed the run.

Sunday:

Planned/Completed: X-train (Stationary bike, strength training, and stretching)

Goals for the week:

  • Try to do all of my runs in the morning and to do them in a fasted state.
  • By doing my runs in the morning, I need to prepare my crap (running clothes, work clothes, water, etc) the night before.

Question: What has been your biggest training accomplishment for the week?

Marathon Training Corner: Yasso 800s

As I begin, or rather continue, through this marathon training program, I would like to talk about some of the things that can improve (or deter) my training. I figure that if I write about it, then I can incorporate it into my training plan. Keep in mind, that most of the time I do not know what the hell I am talking about.

The first topic in this series will be Yasso 800’s

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From my limited reading and understanding, these workouts should “predict” your marathon finishing time by running ten 800 meters intervals with equal time between each 800. More specifically, one would convert the predicted marathon time from hours and minutes to minutes and seconds. If you want to run a 4 hour marathon, then you should be running 4 minute 800 intervals

Ok, when I first found information about this technique, I really gave it a side eye.tenor (1) Actually, I’m still side eyeing this predictor. Perhaps, there are other implicit factors that were used to develop this predictor, but I would think that longer runs would be a better indicator of a marathon finish time. Since I used to be a biomedical researcher, I come from the line of thought that predictors are closely related to potential outcomes. Like if want to test the effect of a drug on in a particular cancer, I would induce the cancer in an animal model and give the animal the drug with the appropriate controls, of course. Same for marathon training. Wouldn’t an 18-mile run be a better indicator of a marathon finish than running ten intervals that pretty much equal five miles? If that’s the case, then why not run a bunch of 400s, and half the number?

Also, I am a little confused about the workout itself. Is one supposed to take the average of all ten intervals or is one supposed to the use the slowest time (more than likely interval 7, 8, 9, or 10) as the predictor?

In my limited search, it has been hard to find some of the background/theory behind this training regimen. Most of the information seems to point in the direction of coincidence than an actual theory. Buuuuut, I could be wrong. Hey, I was kind of lazy in my search. A couple of reports mention the role Yasso 800s have in VO2 max, but those reports really do not expand on the topic. Other reports mention that one should add 5 minutes to the predicted time.

Obviously, I am not going to completely write off Yasso 800s, since Burt Yasso clearly is more of a long (or any) distance expert than I. It appears that these are great interval workouts to complement a regular marathon training program. Sometimes I neglect the importance of interval training days, because I get so focused on making sure that I meet my distance goals . . . which I often do not. It take it that these could be great workouts to monitor how a runner’s speed improves (rather than predicting a marathoner’s finishing time) during a training program.

There are some other recommendations that can be used in lieu of or in conjunction with Yasso 800s

A fast finish long run: Pretty much is as simple as it sounds. A runner will run the first 12 miles of an 18-mile long run at regular pace, but finish the last 6 miles at marathon pace. I have a feeling that this method would work best for me.

A long distance race: I kind of mentioned this earlier in my post. Typically you will see this type of run/race associated with the McMillan Calculator ( *** ). Some even mention that you could take your half-marathon time, double it, then add 5 minutes. I take it that this method is more for intense runners, because I always seem to f-up the second half of a marathon . . . by a lot.

I figure that there are soooo many variables and conditions could affect a person’s performance that one, two, three, or even four methods of prediction.

Since this entry is more or less about my marathon training thoughts, you can take them with a grain of salt. The grain of salt you may have sweated out during a long run.

Do you utilize any marathon predictors workouts? If so, how close were they to your finishing times?