Getting My TCS NYC Marathon 2019 Train On.

Random start: Is it me or is the NYRR website and app becoming more and more user UNfriendly?

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Ok, looks like we are about 118 days away from NYC’s Marathon. I think this year, I

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The die has been cast Photo by Jonathan Petersson on Pexels.com

will try to do a 16-week training plan, which starts on July 15th. I debated purchasing a virtual training plan from NYRR, but I decided to use a free one like in previous years. I figure that I have not been the most committed with my training plans so paying for one seems like a waste. Plus, I’m cheap. I wish that I was in better marathon-training shape going into this thing, but there is nothing that I can do about it at this point. 

I decided to go with a 16-week marathon training plan from Runner’s World ( *** ). This training plan seems to have all the nuts and bolts that are needed to run a decent marathon. I want to get a couple of long runs out of the way before setting a time goal for the marathon. The plan involves five days of running; however, I may have to modify that schedule a bit. Aside from my failed attempt at doing a 30-day run streak, I rarely have run more than four times a week after my back injuries. For this plan, I may alternate between three and five runs per week . . . depending on how I’m feeling. Maybe during the three-run weeks, I’ll add an extra X-training day.

The plan has a little bit of everything. 

  • Hills and strides
  • Cross training
  • (Obviously) long runs
  • 400 and miles
  • Yasso 800s

To (kinda) keep me on track, I’ve already made a Google Calendar for all of the training runs. 

Hopefully, this calendar will keep me on track (no pun). But, then again, it did not really work that well last year. 

Plans for NYC Marathon 2020 9+1 Guaranteed Entry

So far, I have completed four of my nine races and my volunteer opportunity. On the docket: 

  • NYRR Retro (4M) – July 13
  • TCS Marathon Training Session (10M) – July 20
  • NYRR Team Championships (5M) – July 27
  • TCS Marathon (I probably should not use this as one of my 9+1 races, just in case) – November 3

Ok, I just registered for two more races (NYC Marathon Training, 12M, August 11 and Grete’s Great Gallop, 10K, October 5). If all goes well (aka if I’m not too hungover), I should be done with all of my qualifying races in October. 

See ya on the streets

Any upcoming half- or full-marathons on the radar for you?

 

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What’s your “why?” for running?

From time to time, I listen to the Marathon Training Academy podcast ( *** ) while working out at the gym. The episode, “Finding Your ‘Why’ as a Long-Distance Runner,” really hit home for me. After March’s NYC Half-Marathon, I found myself questioning why do I even bother with this sport. Or, what’s the point?

Marathon Training Academy podcast

Marathon Training Academy podcast

 

One of the things that the episode talks about is having a “sticky why” – something that will continue to drive your interest in long-distance running (or anything in life). I will say that over the last couple of years my why has not really adapted/evolved. 

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Originally, my why was all about commuting to work. I mentioned this before, but I got into running by chance. Back in 2010, I used to ride my bicycle to work pretty much every day. One morning, both of the bicycle’s tires were flat, and I did not feel like changing them. Since I already had my athletic clothes on, I decided to run to work (to the Upper East Side from Roosevelt Island). The original distance was about 3.5 miles, but I started adding more distance to my commute, mainly by doing one or two loops around Roosevelt Island, then running through Queens, and over the Queensboro Bridge into Manhattan. Depending on the day (and the experiments I had to run . . . no pun), I was running either ~3.5mi, 7.0mi, or 10mi to work. At that point, I was not really training for anything. I was running because I enjoyed it. 

My postdoctoral lab had a couple of runners who told me about NYRR’s races. Then, my “why” changed from random running to let’s run some races. Once I learned about NYRR’s 9+1 program for guaranteed entry into the NYC Marathon, my why changed to let’s run some half- and full-marathons. 

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Believe it or not, I used to hate the NYC marathon. Since my postdoc lab was near the route of the marathon, I would have to go out of my way to arrive at work. Also, when I was in graduate school (also in NYC), I never paid attention to the NYC Marathon. Don’t even get me started on how I felt about people wearing their marathon medals days after the marathon.  As I was training and running races, my times were getting better and better – my best pace for a half was 7:15min/mi. Then I was like if they can run marathons so can I. Ever race that I ran, I wanted to run better than the previous . . . I guess that my why became competitive and sassy in nature.

Then, I had a couple of big injuries (kind of back to back) – a stress fracture in my tibia and a herniated disc in my lower back. The latter injury still bothers me to time to time. 

After those injuries, my why changed to let’s see if I can actually run long distances again, which kind of happened. BUUUUUUUUUT, over the past couple of years, I have not really been able to improve my times. I’m pretty much at a plateau – A LONG TWO-YEAR PLATEAU.

  • Yes, age may play a role.
  • Yes, for fear of injury, I do not push myself as hard I probably should.
  • Yes, my social lifestyle is not conducive to a runner’s lifestyle. However, I think that I was drinking/smoking/sloring/eating crappy food way more back then than I do now.
    • For example, I cannot remember the last time I had a liquid lunch . . . by liquid lunch, I mean drinking a crap ton of margaritas/gin & sodas, then going back to work to get our stuff to go back out for happy hour

Now, I guess that I need to change my why again or make it more sticky. I have run just because; I have completed several half- and full-marathons; and I have improved my times. I would love to get faster again. Maybe not a 7:15 min/mi half-marathon pace, but I definitely would like to be in the 8:00 – 8:30 min/mi range.  However, I do not think that will happen . . . anytime soon. I definitely need a better why for this round of NYC Marathon training (and other races) besides, I might as well run it because I paid a lot of money to do so. 

The questions to all (or the 2/3 people who read this thing)

What is your “why” for running?

How has your “why” changed/evolved over the years?

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?

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-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. 

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

I know that I have been MIA

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

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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. 

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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. 😉

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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.

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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

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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. 

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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. 

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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. 

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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. 

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