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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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!!!

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?

Making some plans – Weight Loss Part I

In the past couple of years, I try to come up with some things that I can do to get into better shape. Clearly, I’m not doing something right because I have not significantly dropped any major poundage. Usually, this idea comes right off of the heels of the NYC Marathon. After running the marathon, it takes me about 2-3 weeks to care about doing physical activity again. Recently looking at my beer gin gut, I guess now is the time.

For the longest, I have not been happy with my body. Not like sad, depressed unhappy. More like, I want to have a better figure/share. Yeah, yeah, yeah, men can have self-image issues. I’m not super big, fat, thick, chunky (whatever you wanna call it), but I would not mind dropping a few pounds over the next few months. Right now, I am hovering in the 203 – 205 pound range, which is not HUGE (for the average individuals of my height), because I have some muscle. I’ve even been told that I “hold the weight well” because of my somewhat muscular frame. Perhaps, this was a back-handed compliment. Unfortunately, I have inherited the body type of my mother’s side of the family, and all of my uncles generally plump (and that’s being nice) up around the age of 40. It’s funny, one of my uncles was pretty lean and fit at 37 years old, then by 39, he gained like 50 pounds.

A few things that I plan to do going forward. We’ll see how much I screw this up. 

  1. Track my calories . . . again. I accidentally updated the Lose It! app to Lose It! Pro (or whatever the hell the highest tier is called). In the past, I’ve tried (and failed in)  logging my daily food consumption. My biggest issue (aside from not logging my food) was logging my food after finishing a meal. One thing that I realized when logging my food (for the past two days) is that I snack A LOT at home. Since they are little bites to eat here and there (a few pita chips, a small glass of egg nog, a slice of ham, another small helping of dinner), I did not realize how much the little things add up. It’s like they say, losing weight is more dieting than physical activity. 
  2. I have started intermitting fasting (IF) again. Right now, I’m fasting for 14 hours. Although IF is not really a dieting plan per se, I did find that I got fuller with less food after a fast. Also, it works well because I get drunker too so I spend less money on booze. Yes, I’m a nut. 
  3. In terms of my physical activity, I have not really made in any concrete plans. I have been running a bit and going to the gym, but I’m kind of all over the place. I’ll need to sit down and think about my goals and plans that I can do for completing these goals. Word on the street is the NYRR is holding its drawing for the NYC Half-Marthon for March 2019. Maybe if I’m selected for that, I can better devise something to help with my getting more fit and losing some damn weight. Actually . . . Why do not I just “pretend” that I’m running a half in March and devise a training plan that way? Yeah, I’ll do that. Running 13.1 miles on my own is not as an arduous task of running 26.2 miles. Look, I’m already making some progress. 

 

TO BE CONTINUED . . .

A couple of questions:

  1. Do you have any plans for dropping some pounds over the next few months?
  2. What has your experience been tracking your food (i.e. counting calories)? Did you find food apps useful?

Random Thursday Update

Intermittent Fast:

So far, so good . . . for the most part. I have not been weighing myself to see if there is anydiet weight loss, but I do “feel” lighter. Well, I feel lighter until downing 1 liter of water to ward off my hunger. Actually, now that I am in week three, I really do not feel intense hunger pangs any longer. Outside of drinking water, green tea, and diet coke (here and there), my first meal of the day is around 3 PM – a time of day that I never thought I could have my first meal. Also, I have noticed that I do get a sense of fullness faster, since I have started this fasting program. For example, today I ate a little more than a quarter of a sub and I was still stuffed after an hour. Well . . . I also did have a small oatmeal cookie. My downfall to this diet will be late-night drinking, because my eyes become bigger than my stomach in those cases.

Foot infection (don’t worry, there will not be any gross photos).

Ok, I totally understand that a Ph.D. in Molecular Oncology and Immunology is not aphd medical degree, even though the field is biomedicine, but cut me some slack. This semi rant comes up, because I had an appointment with a podiatrist to figure out what’s going on with my foot infection (technically an infection between my pinky and ring toes). From jump, one of the doctors (I was seen by a chief resident and the main doc.) asked about my profession. Told her what I do now and mentioned that I used to be a cancer researcher. Asking that is not a big deal, because I know many doctors like (or should want) to know more about their patients’ lives. Long story short, the chief resident starting to give me a crash course about the epidermis, fungal versus bacterial infections, and the healing steps involved with the skin. All of which I know. Remember, Ph.D. in a biomedical field. She cleaned the wound with betadine, an antiseptic, then she started to explain what it was. Um, thanks, DOC. I used betadine to prevent bacterial contamination in cell culture for over 15 YEARS!!!! I know what it does.

Basically, the doc prescribed me more antifungal cream and to keep doing what I have been doing regarding cleaning the infection. Great a $30 copay and $25 cream well spent.

Half-Marathon

Ugh, I think that I’m not running (or walking) this thing. I feel really shady, because so many folks are posting about it on WordPress and on Facebook. And, I’m all like whatever. I guess that’s how people were when I was always talking about running the NYC marathon during the summer.

Vacation:

The BF wants to plan a vacation (oh snap, this topic reminded me that I need to checkvacation how many vacation days I have) . . . Sweet 7 days (I accrue two days for every month I work, with 24 being the max). Any recommendations for us? We gotta act soon because it’s already March and prices are gonna start going up . . . if they haven’t already. I’m thinking of a lazy vacation, so maybe a resort type of thing. He really wants to go to eastern cost of Costa Rica, which I’m not too big on because I’ve been to that region two times. I do not want to be the person who is the “know it all” on a trip. I would like to go somewhere where I haven’t been but I’ve traveled extensively in Latin America and he has not. Cuba has come up, but I do not know if I can travel there anymore (he can go, since he is a citizen of Spain). HA! Just as I was typing this a coworker stopped by and started to talk to me about his weekend trip. Then, we talked about my potential trips, and he recommended Nicaragua.

Quick List for vacation:

  1. Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic – easy breezy resort trip. I’ve been there a few times, pretty nice (and cheap) accommodations
  2. Cancun, Mexico – resort trip. Laying on my big ass, sloring, and eating tacos are fun things for me. Maybe this time I can check out some culture.
  3. Limon, Costa Rica – adventure  vacation . . . maybe not.
  4. Nicaragua – adventure vacation . . . need to do more intel

That’s all for me.

Where in the Western Hemisphere would you visit multiple times?

Running Anguish

So far 2018 (I guess the end of 2017) has not gone anywhere near according to plan, in terms of running (and weight loss). At this point, I was supposed to be all excited for and counting down the days until running the United Airlines Half Marathon. nyrr half.pngThis half was going to be amazing for me, because the race features a brand new course. As pretty much most of you know, my back has been giving me issues since the enScreenshot (13)d of Dec. Basically, I cannot do much for it, except for my back exercises that I learned in PT. So freaking annoying. Because of this injury, I have not really been that interested in running . . . at all. As a matter of fact, I still have not renewed my Front Runners of NY club membership. Then again, I really did not do much within the club. Also, it has taken me a hot minute to renew my New York Road Runners membership.

Since the same back injury prevented me from running last year’s half marathon, I deferred my entry to this year’s. Unfortunately, I cannot defer again, so I guess that I will be walk/running this one . . . if I decide to do it. I would be like Jade from America’s Next Top Model.

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I do not know if I have enough fucks to wake up super early, to drag my black ass from Harlem to Brooklyn, and to participate in a race where I know that I cannot do my best . . . even if I tried to. This would be reliving November’s full marathon all over again. I did enjoy the experience of running/walking the NYC marathon, but I’m not a half-assing kind of guy – especially if I have to fork over a decent amount of cash. Do you know how many gin and sodas one can buy with the cost of the entry fees for the NYC Marathon?!!  I guess that I will find out on March 18th, if I will “participate” in the half marathon. This weekend, I will try to go for a run to see where my back is, since there are only 22 days left until the half-marathon. On the cardio side, so far I am able to do everything (stair climbing, elliptical, rowing matching, cycling, Zumba, etc.) except running. Funny how that works.

Since I brought up the NYC marathon, I put myself in a do or die situation. By finishing NYRR’s Midnight Run, which was a hellish race, I completed my 9+1 requirements for a guaranteed spot in this year’s NYC Marathon; however, I had to claim my spot by Feb. 15th. Although the marathon typically is in November, I was “feeling some kind of way” about claiming my spot. I did pay the 255 dollar entry fee (again how many gin and soda can one buy for that price) to claim my spot, but I not 100% sure about my back issues. And, I definitely do not want a repeat of what happened in last year’s marathon, because it would be a waste of time and money.

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You can see that a photographer caught me texting about all the “fun” I was having during the marathon

This post was just a quickie for me, and I will see how this plays out.

Random: I think that I may take a day off from my intermittent fast, because I really want a burger and I really want a burger NOW, but my 16-hour is supposed to end at 4 PM. Actually, now I want Asian food . . . I wonder if I can combine the two. Ok, I will be strong and stick to the fast and follow up with my dumb, healthy tofu rice casserole. Maybe I will get take-out after visiting the gym tonight . . . I’ll feel less guilty.

Any fun weekend plans?