Random Thoughts Thursday: NYC Half Marathon Edition

Ok, I’m trying to get back to my normal blogging ( and yelping) life.

Here are a few things that have been running around my head (no pun) about this past half-marathon.

-I’m glad that I went for it, and the half marathon has jump-started my interest in getting my ass (literally) back in shape. Hopefully, I’m gonna follow up with some goals in upcoming posts. Once I submit this post, I’ll sign up for a few races to start my 9+1 journey to the NYC Marathon in 2020.

-Since my Apple Watch has a crack in the screen, it was kind of cool running a race without focusing on time. Actually, it was quite freeing.

-Speaking of my Apple Watch, that fucker is going to cost to $300 to fix. The damn watch was $350; I guess that I should have purchased the extended warranty.

-Seriously, where were the crowds? Now that I think of it, I finished the Half Marathon around 10 am, so maybe the race was too early for the crowds to come out and cheer for folks.

-I found out that many folks did not receive a medal. Ummmmmmm, wouldn’t NYRR know how many people registered for the United NYC Half Marathon? Perhaps, NYRR assumed that many of the registered folks would not show up to the race or not finish. You know something like, ordering 10% less food than the number of people that you invite to an event. Here’s the other thing (purely my opinion), I really do not see the point of receiving medals from races. Usually, the day after the race, my medal will go in a random bag or drawer, and I’ll probably not see it again until I move. I’m more interested in the technical tees. 

What an inspirational story. Thomas Panek is the first blind runner to complete the half marathon with guide dogs (Westley, Waffle, and Gus).

-I wonder if this guy ran the half marathon with this basket from the security checkpoint?

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_2573

-Added insult to injury. Thanks a lot for the reminder, Facebook. I was so close to meeting my goal (a sub 1:45) for the NYC Half back in 2016. I had to take a stupid poop during mile 3 three. 

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_2617

-Oh, I’m not a fan of Honey Stinger Energy Gels; they are way too viscous for me.

Advertisements

I know that I have been MIA

I’ve been dealing with some stuff. Buuuuut, it’s not like many people read this thing. 

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_24d3

Well, I have a feeling that the NYC Half will not happen for me. Does anyone have a 10-day half-marathon training plan that they can hook me up with? The last time I ran any significant distance (5+ miles) was over three weeks ago.  Perhaps, I will do my 2017 NYC Marathon game plan for this half-marathon: run the first half “strong” and see where the rest of the race takes me. Hopefully, it will not take me to the emergency room. 

As most of my readers know, I do not really get into the details of my personal life, aside from my pooping, drinking, smoking, and general randomness. BUUUUUUT, I got married on Friday!!! Most of the time from my last entry involved entertaining out of town and out of the country guests. Today, my liver was like: you got one more day of drinking and eating fatty foods, bitch. 

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_24b7

I feel like my Ernie doll, and Burt is MIA.

Catch you on the streets. 

Running Questions and Answers a.k.a. Get to Know Me Better

Since this week’s half marathon training was not about sh*t, I borrowed the prompt for this entry from runningtotravel who borrowed it from The Writting Runner.

When did you start running?

I used to run in cross country and track in high school, but I stopped in college. Um, yeah, New Orleans was far too humid for running. Because of New Orleans’ weather, my college’s cross country team started practice at 5:30 am. Um, yeah, I’m not an early riser. My more recent running beginnings happened in 2010. My bicycle had two flat tires one morning, but rather than repairing the tires, I decided to run to work.

What do you consider to be the hardest distance to train for and/or race?

Definitely, a full marathon because you have to dedicate so much time to training. Also, it seems like there is never a perfect season for training – either it’s too hot in the summer or it’s too cold in winter.

Describe some of your favorite race courses.

Definitely, the Rock n Roll Series Montreal Half Marathon. Although I have visited Montreal several times, you really got a nice tour of the city’s (technically province’s) three islands. Unfortunately, the more recent Rock n Roll Series Montreal races do not include the other two islands (Notre Dame and Helene).

What is one weird/unusual thing you do as a runner that most other runners don’t.

Everyone knows this . . . I’m a smoker who runs marathons. Or a marathoner who smokes. 😉

img_3738

Do you have a bucket-list race?

I would love to run a marathon in another country. Actually, the plan was to run the full marathon in Montreal; however, I injured myself and had to settle with running the city’s half-marathon. Outside of mentally converting miles into kilometers, I would not mind running a marathon in Paris or Madrid.

I think my eyeglasses are my kryptonite

This week I have been in a bit of a lull in regards to my half marathon training. At first, I thought it was due to my recent work trip to DC; but now, I think that it’s my eyeglasses. However, I do think something is up with me. I do not know if I’m about to come down with an illness or if I’m not getting enough vitamins or something. Last week, I started wearing my glasses again because one of my contact lenses had a tear, and I really did not have time to search through my nightstand/junk drawer for my last contact lens. Note: I really need to make an eye appointment – it’s been about 2 years.

glasses

Just my glasses and I waiting for the M5 bus.

A little history about my glasses and me. Ever since I can remember I have been blind as a bat so my glasses have been pretty thick. I started wearing eyeglasses at 12 and contact lenses at 15. One example when I was 17 or 18. After my dad saw me with my new glasses, he was like: why didn’t you get the featherweight lenses? I responded: These ARE the featherweights. 

Growing up, I was never really THAT self-conscious about my glasses, but now, I only wear them when I’m prepping for bed, sick/hungover, giving zero f*cks, or making a quick run to buy some cigs. Since my prescription is pretty strong, I always have a fear that if I lose or drop my glasses walking around town then I’m screwed. This fear increases especially during the summer because the sweat from my face causes the glasses to slip quite frequently. Actually, last week, my glasses fell off my face at a bar and I needed someone to help me find them.

Since my body pretty much goes into chill or don’t get a crap mode when I wear them, IUNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_237e have been very “relaxed” about training this week. I attempted a run this morning, but I just was not feeling it so I ended up stretching for about 45 minutes. Oh, LOL. After my workout, I had to wear my glasses to the shower at the gym.

Starting tomorrow, I will go back to my contact lenses and get back on my training plan (hopefully). I figure that taking 6 days off from my training plan will not be a big deal.

United NYC Half Marathon Training Week 8

Planned mileage: 19.6mi

Completed mileage: 8mi

Eh, just another subpar training week. Unfortunately, I did not get a chance to complete my long run, which was supposed to be a 15K 😦 There was just way too much work to be done last week. 

Monday:

Planned: X-train

Completed: Rest

I was completely pooped from Sunday’s long run and figured that I needed a rest day. 

Tuesday:

Planned: 5mi

Completed: 5mi

Normally, I do my short weekday runs in Marcus Garvey Park (a block or two from my apt.), but I wanted a taste of

PhED3I4DQuuJm9QTPWNbfQ_thumb_22a2

Best view after running up a hill.

something different so I ran in Morningside Park. The park, which is right next door to Columbia U.,  is about 0.5mi from my apt. I will say that I really enjoyed doing a couple of loops in and around this park. As one goes from east to west in this part Manhattan, the elevation increases so this regular run became a bit of a hill workout too. Going forward, I really need to start incorporating some hill workouts in my training plan because the first part of the United NYC Half is very hilly. Also, we will have to run across the Manhattan Bridge from Brooklyn into Manhattan. 

Harlem

What a great view of Harlem

Unfortunately, this run did not go as well as I would have liked because I ran slower than what I would have liked. I think that I did not get enough sleep the night before (you know, snoring BF) and was super groggy the morning of this run. 

Wednesday:

Planned: Interval

Completed: Nada

I had a crap of work to complete and could not fit in a workout. Also, I had to stay late at work because the program that I direct had an event, which ended at 8:30 pm. Then, I had to go back to my office to finish work and pack all of the recruiting items that I needed for my work trip to D.C. I think that I finally left work around 10:30 – 11:00 pm.

Thursday:

Planned: 3mi

Completed: 3mi (interval) and stretching

Even though I was in work travel mode, I managed to fit in a quick run in my hotel’s gym. Rather than doing a regular 3mi run, I decided to alternate between easy and hard 800m intervals for this distance. Eh, something is better than nothing . . . I guess. This definitely was not a fun run because upon arriving to DC, I grabbed a burger and fries in Union Station, which is one of my favorite stations in the US.

Speaking of DC

I guess enough time (~1.5hrs) did not pass from my DC arrival to my workout at The Line DC. Let’s just say that I was very close to vomiting dinner on the treadmill. 

Off topic: 

I really liked the place, The Line DC, where I stayed during my work trip . . . although it was a little further from the nearest Metro station than I would have liked. 

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_22da

When I arrived to the hotel, I did not know if it was a museum, a monument, a bank, or an old courthouse. Upon entering the hotel, I realized that it was both a hotel AND a swanky, bougie ass lounge. Also, loved the fact that the rooms had a non-traditional hotel vibe to it. 

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_22d9

I really liked the light fixtures and the “rustic” furniture in the room. 

Friday:

Planned: Rest

Completed: Rest

I really wanted to do some weight training before heading to the conference, but I did not wake up early enough. . .  I had to set up the university’s recruitment booth by 10 am. Also, I kind of stayed out till about 1:00 am drinking at a local bar near the hotel. I would have had a few drinks at the hotel, but the music was way too loud and I honestly did not feel like paying $18 bucks for weak-ass cocktails. 

I will say that I really enjoyed Larry’s Lounge, and the people there were very “chatty”. One of the guys kept giving me compliments about my booty. I guess that it’s nice to feel “pretty” every now and then. 

Saturday:

Planned: 15K

Completed: Nothing

There was no way in hell I was going to be able to complete this run. 

  1. I wanted to attend some early morning sessions that started at 7:30 am. Plus, I had to pack all of my crap so I could check out of the hotel and leave after the recruiting sessions at 4:30 pm. Actually, I probably could have gone for the morning run, because I really did not get much out of the sessions. 
  2. It was kind of cold Saturday morning. 
  3. After the conference, I met up with an old friend to have a few drinks before I headed back to NYC. 

Sunday:

Planned: ???

Completed: Nothing

Although there was nothing on my calendar for training, I told myself that I would go to the gym after teaching. By the time I finished class, I did not feel like doing anything besides getting something to eat and taking a damn nap. I guess that I’m getting older and need more time to recover from traveling. In my defense, I did pack my gym clothes and brought them with me to class with the intent of going to the gym after class.  

I did have a healthy smoothie at home. I combined apples, kiwis, blueberries, oranges, carrots and Tanqueray 10. The smoothie was so healthy that I had two of them. 

That’s my lame training week in a nutshell. I was kind of disappointed that I could not complete my long run, but I had a pretty intense work week that was supplemented with work travel. Hopefully, next will be more productive for my training. This half-marathon is a little over a month away.  

I am intrigued by this drinking app, SRVD. 

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_22c9

United NYC Half Marathon Training Week 6

Planned mileage: 21.5 (+40min tempo)

Completed mileage: 11 miles

Looks like I was pretty far away from my goal. 

From last week’s update, I mentioned that I was having some back issues with a couple of my training run. Thus, I decided to dial it back a little bit lot to recover. Also, work was quite intense this week. The program that I direct will soon start accepting applications for next year’s cohort so there’s a lot of planning that I have to do. Also, the spring semester has started for the course that I teach. My procrastinating ass had to get all the crap ready for the course (lectures, syllabi, rosters, etc.). Basically, I finished all of that stuff at 11:00 pm on Saturday night for a Sunday class. Lol, at an email that I received from a student a few days before the class. 

I don’t see your course on blackboard. If you can look into that problem that would be great.

I do not know if I should be impressed by the student’s initiative to reach out before our first class or annoyed by the student’s presumption that I would use Blackboard for my course. 

Ok, let’s get into this thing. 

Oh, one more thing: there’s like 1.5 months left until the UnitedNYCHalf. I really need to decide if I’m going to do this thing or not. Well, I guess it is up to my body. 

I made a couple of changes from my previous week:

  1. Obviously, I did not run as much. 
  2. I decided to skip some of my near-daily stretches, especially glute extensions. 
  3. Since I have a full-time desk job (and probably slouch way too much), I started doing quick stretches every 60 – 90 minutes in my office.

Hopefully, these changes were not made in vain. 

Monday:

Planned: 50min X-train

Completed: Rest

Tuesday:

Planned: 4.5mi

Completed: 4.5mi, stretching, strength training

This was a very tough one, and I felt quite defeated afterward. I did this run on a treadmill and had to walk multiple times. I pretty much had to walk every 0.5 miles. 

unadjustednonraw_thumb_21ac

I even adjusted Crunch Fitness-FiDi’s motivation wall. 

Wednesday:

Planned: Interval 8X400m

Completed: Not a damn thing

There was way too much work that I had to complete between Monday and Tuesday so there was no way that I could fit in this run. 

Thursday:

Planned: 3mi

Completed: A few sprints

I had planned to combine Wednesday’s and Thursday’s run by doing the interval workout and following it with the 3-mile run. Once again work got in the way. No, wait. TV AND work got in the way. While working on some stuff for work, I stayed up watching Ken Burns’ documentary about the Vietnam War. 

Around 8pm, I decided to put on my running clothes and do the intervals (at the minimal) before finishing work. Everything went wrong with this run. 

  1. It was super windy and cold along the Hudson River, and I really needed another layer.
  2. Both my phone and Apple Watch died, so I could not really keep track of my times for the intervals. Lately, I’ve been noticing that my iPhone has been dying a lot. 
  3. I packed the dumb tights that always seem to fall down when I run. After the third or fourth interval, I became so annoyed with constantly pulling up my tights while running. At that point, I pretty was over it. One, two, three strikes, and I was out. 

Thursday, Friday, Saturday:

Planned: 3m, Rest, and 9mi

Completed: Nothing. 

In my defense, I did plan to do some weight training on Friday. But I decided to go hang out with a friend in Hell’s Kitchen, which actually became a little bit of a shitshow. However, what is a Friday night in NYC without some fuckshit?

Rise bar was not playing around with its drink prep on Friday night.

unadjustednonraw_thumb_21df

Sunday:

Planned: 3mi

Completed: 6.2mi

Although my long run for this week was supposed to be 9mi, I thought that it would be better to do the 6.2mi instead. Since I have been having back issues and did not want to risk fucking it up more, I did a very easy run on the treadmill. I pretty much alternated between a very, very slow mile and a very slow mile. It did feel nice to finally complete a planned run. 

Well, that’s my ho-hum week of “training”. 

Goals for the week:

  • Let’s complete a full week of planned training activities. 
  • A few posts ago, I mentioned that I joined a couple of running clubs. I really want to try to do a run with Harlem Runs on either Monday or Wednesday. Fingers crossed. 

Have y’all seen either (or both) documentary about the Fyre Festival? I’m sorry, but how do we live in a country where someone can defraud folks multiple times and only receive six years in prison? Whereas, we have folks serving DECADES for minor drug offenses. Hell, the Billy creep was defrauding people while he was out on bail for his OTHER CHARGES of fraud. Don’t most people try NOT to commit crimes while on bail?

fyre-fyre-

Did you like the Netflix or Hulu version more?

 

United NYC Half Marathon Training Week 5

Planned mileage: 13.2 (+40min tempo)

Completed mileage: ~9mi (+2mi speed)

One, I really need to get back to a normal blogging schedule. After looking at three computer screens all day, I really do not feel like looking at another to update this thing when I get home. However, I need to get over this feeling, because I need to start doing some of this stuff at home. My resolution/intention for 2019 was to get more involved with scientific communications and to start a biomed/higher education blog. Also, starting next semester, I will be eligible to take graduate courses for free so I will have to start getting used to doing work at home. Wait, I have an MS and a Ph.D., do I want/need another MS?

Two, this entry will be a little woe is me.

Ok, let’s get this thing started.

Monday:

Planned: 50min X-train

Completed: Rest

Tuesday:

Planned: 4mi

Completed: 4mi

Wednesday:

Planned: 40min tempo

Completed: 60min Zumba class; 2mi speed work

I just was not up to running. You ever have those days where you wake up and just do not care about running? That was my day. I tried to do the run after work, but I decided to attend Zumba class instead. I did ride 3.5 miles to the gym, so that’s something . . . I guess.

Thursday:

Planned: 3mi

Completed: 4mi

I was quite pleased with this one. Hell, I even did an extra mile. I did not manage to do my run in the morning so I did it after work. It was nice running alongside the Hudson River, and the change of scenery was quite nice. I did the first half of the run in easy mode and did the second half at half-marathon pace.

Hudson Running

The George Washington Bridge in the distance.

Friday:

Planned: Rest

Completed: Rest

Saturday:

Planned: 10K at race pace

Completed: some bullshit (1.25mi)

This is where I am beginning to reach the end of my rope.

Since this was going to be a 10K race pace run, I decided to do this run in Central Park so I could run uninterrupted. I started the run with a simple 0.5mi warmup from my apt to the north side of Central Park. For those of you who are not in the know, Central Park spans north to south from 110 street to 59th street, and one big loop is about 6 miles.

Ok, I get to Central Park after my warm up then I do my standard stretches. Within the first mile, I started having some lower back pain. I did not even get a chance to make it to race pace!!! It was not excruciating, but I knew that I would not be able to finish 10K. Hell, I did not think that I could even complete 2 miles.

I was quite upset with the situation because almost every night I have been doing my PT back/core exercises before bed while listening to TV. WHY is this getting harder? Maybe I’m slouching too much on the sofa. 

Plus, I just did a really nice 4-mile run two days before this run. It seems like the more I try; the worse it gets. Just as an FYI, I did not have any back pain with any of my other runs or workouts during the week. One thing I can think of that may have affected this run is the hills big hill on the north side of Central Park. Most of my weekday runs are on pretty flat courses; however, my Thursday run had a couple of low-moderate hills. Being aware of the big hills at Central Park North was one of the reasons why I did the warm-up run. I did not want to shock my body with a huge hill (for NYC standards) at the beginning of the run. Again, I did not even get near a race pace.

Also, I was pissed because I did a pretty fast 7.5mi long run the week prior to this run. Basically, in a week’s time, I went from being able to complete a 7.5mi run to being unable to run a mile IN THE SAME SECTION OF THE DAMN PARK.

Another one of my issues. Once I’m over something, I’m over it. By the time I struggled to do the 1 mile, it may have been at 1.25mi at that point. I was like

  • “Ok, the run is not going to happen.
  • I’m close enough to one of the Crunch Fitness (W. 83rd) so I can do another form of cardio.
  • I get to the gym, hop on a stationary bike but after 5 miles, I was over it.
  • Kind of like, if I cannot run then I do not want to do anything at all. I did get a delicious salad from a random deli though.

Sunday:

Planned: Rest

Completed: I went bowling. Does that count?

Conclusion:

Basically, I do not know what do because I cannot depend on my own damn body. In terms of running, I am in a super crabby mood and just do not give any shits about running this half marathon. What’s the point? I mean, I will have a great run one day and a week later have a shitty run. Also, I will set a goal, not meet it, then be pissed off for the following week. I would not be so down on myself if I did not do any prep work during the week. But the fact that I’m doing daily back and core stretching/exercises and my situation has gotten worse is the annoying part. The time wasted doing those exercises could have been allocated for something more productive like drinking or smoking.

End rant.