Random Thought: Quickie Post

It has been a while since my last post, but I was living in Hatersville, USA. 

Why?

I think it’s official that I will not be running the NYC Marathon. My hip is still bothering me, and I was pretty much told to let it rest for a couple more weeks. By the time it heals, there will not be much time to finish training. I believe we are 38/39 days away from the marathon. Oh, well I guess. Had I known this was going to happen, the hubby and I could have planned a longer Hawaiian vacation. 

Oh, to stay on theme with Random Thursdays. Yeah, I know that it’s Friday. I have been noticing these random ass patches on my shoulders and back. taSVjpV6SzCG92x5%M+ciw_thumb_363d

It turns out that I have tinea veriscolor.

Tinea versicolor is a common fungal infection of the skin. The fungus interferes with the normal pigmentation of the skin, resulting in small, discolored patches. These patches may be lighter or darker in color than the surrounding skin and most commonly affect the trunk and shoulders. Tinea versicolor, which is also called pityriasis versicolor, is not painful or contagious.

The fungus that causes tinea versicolor can be found on healthy skin. It only starts causing problems when the fungus overgrows. A number of factors may trigger this growth, including:

  • Hot, humid weather
  • Oily skin
  • Hormonal changes
  • Weakened immune system

Just fuckin great. 

Have a damn good weekend. 

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Training Report (well not really)

This post will have to be quick because I have crap to do.

I feel like this will be a frequent complaint in many of my future posts so I might as well get it out of the way now. Man, oh man, is it hot out there. Ok, done.

This past week, I ran a little over 12 miles. Ugh, I’m already feeling defeated for the marathon training plan that I described yesterday. I mean, 12 miles is supposed to be the beginning of my weekly long runs, and that’s the distance I covered over seven days. I will admit that having a holiday in the middle of the week did not help matters.

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A nice view of the George Washington Bridge and Hudson River during my Sunday run.

Fourth of July

Before I jump into the report, I had a fantastic time on the 4th of July. I spent it at the hubby’s friend’s rooftop party, which had an awesome view of Manhattan and (most important) the Macy 4th of July Fireworks.

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I probably had waaaay too much wine, beer, champagne, Jello shots, and (ugh) Fireball. Seriously, who the hell over 30 years old still drinks/shoots Fireball? One week into the last year of my 30’s and I already failed my motto for the remainder of my 30s.

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Battle of the bulge

Aside from running my weak 12 miles, I have been incorporating more strength/X-training into my weekly routine. Not only has my running power dwindled, so has my general strength overall. Man, the next few marathon training months are going to be Zd2qdi+ZRZqJKjqJWBFT7A_thumb_2fcd a complete STRUGGLE. The Marathon Training Academy had a great podcast about weight loss for marathoners, and I received some decent advice and a couple plans of attack from the podcast. One key thing that I learned is that you cannot/should not count running as your leg days. I guess that I knew that but I actively ignored it.  Since I have bad/weak back issues, I have been doing nightly stretches and low-impact lower body exercises every night this week. Hopefully, this will be a practice that I can incorporate for the long term. I have noticed that I have a tendency to slouch a lot on the sofa when I’m home, and it creates back issues during the week. I guess it was not too big of a deal when I was a scientist (and weighed less) because I would stand for about 50 – 70% of my workday doing my experiments. Since I’m an administrator, I sit pretty much all damn day. Another thing I learned from the podcast, hard liquor and wine are better than beer. 😉

Meeting and greeting folks

For the past couple of entries, I mentioned that it has been kind of difficult meeting and making new running friends/acquaintances in real life. This weekend, I volunteered as a “bageler” with the Front Runners NY – my other running group that I never run with.  But, I have a feeling that will change very soon. After the Saturday fun runs, frnythe club provides breakfast (bagels, cereal, protein bars, fruit, etc.) for members. Actually, it was a pretty nice experience, and the members were super nice and friendly. The past couple of Manhattan events that I attended, I found that quite a few of the members were kind of sassy and cliquish. I specified the Manhattan events because there is a Brooklyn component to FRNY, but those folks were SUPER nice and cool. Since I was working crazy hours that that BS biotech company in Brooklyn, I could not make many of the Brooklyn fun runs. Hopefully, this weekend volunteering event will be a nice reset of my relationship with FRNY. This reset could really help me train for this year’s marathon because FRNY’s long run schedule aligns with mine (or rather Runner’s World) for the most part.

Foot Gear

Looks like it’s time for a new pair of shoes. These shoes aren’t even THAT old; I think I got them last year in October.

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Random, why do my shoes always rip, tear, or have holes in the right shoe?

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The right shoe is a mess (the pic was taken in a mirror)

The shoes before the pair in the above had a big ass hole on the outside of the right shoe. Maybe I land weird on my right side when I run.

Going back to the point that I made earlier in the post about my dwindling general fitness. As you can kinda see in this photo, my arms, without flexing, had some definition.

A couple more of my shoes with holes in the right shoe.

LOL. The Alcoholism “book” in the above-left picture is a free journal subscription for members of the Research Society on Alcoholism (RSoA). Back in my scientist days, one of my research projects involved studying the role that alcohol (and cigarettes) consumption had in oral cancers. 

Fingers crossed that the NYRR Superstore/Supercenter (or whatever hell it calls itself) has this shoe . . . with the wide toe box.

Speaking of feet: The surgery that never happened

Last week (or the week before last), I was supposed to have surgery to shave down a bit  of bone on the fifth toe of my right foot. That did not happen because the podiatrist’s office could not/did not want to get a pre-authorization from my insurance company for the procedure. I am not trying to get a random, surprise 1K, 2K, 3K medical bill for some crap that is not covered by my insurance. Hell just this week, I received a bill for $284 for my last visit. This bill is in addition to the $50 copay that I paid in late May. Basically, $334 for a 15-minute visit. What happened during this visit? He clipped some of the dead skin that was in between my fourth and fifth toes (something I could have done myself at home), put a piece of gauze and a bandaid on the toe, and scheduled the surgery. Fuckin con artists.

Well, I guess that I should have saved this post for Random Thursdays since this was not much of a training update.

What fun did you get up to for the 4th of July?

How do you increase your speed for a marathon training plan during the summers months?

Do you just focus on getting in the distance and worry about the speed in Sept/Oct.?

 

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. 

ask blackboard chalk board chalkboard

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

  • I need a nap.
  • Is it time to start complaining about the weather?
  • I really need to relearn Spanish. I used to speak it decently a few years ago. By speaking it, I mean being able to explain the Electoral College to some random Chileans.
  • I’m still annoyed that I had to break my streak run; I guess that could restart today.
  • Although I broke the streak, it was nice exploring different areas in my newish neighborhood.
  • I think NYC Marathon training season is right around the corner because I keep receiving emails about purchasing training plans.
  • This summer, I want to do a substantial run (at 8 miles) in a “random” part of each NYC borough. Where you at, Staten Island?!!!
  • Can we all agree that NYCers (real estate folks in particular) need to stop renaming neighborhoods?
Image courtesy of the The Gothimist

Image courtesy of The Gothimist

Stuyshwick is supposed to be a combination of Bed Stuy (where I used to live in Brooklyn) and Bushwick. I chuckled a little bit at the image used for this story because it was taken near there corner where 14+ people OD’ed on K2. Basically, these folks make up new names of already existing neighborhoods so incoming folks think they are moving to a cool, up and coming place, so the process of gentrification can begin.

  • Ugh. This time two years ago, I was drinking wine and eating tapas in Spain.
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  • Arranging this toe surgery has been quite annoying. Don’t most procedures requiresomething ain't right some type of pre-authorization from a health provider? The representative from the podiatrist office told me that the office does not make pre-authorization requests. Something does not sound right. When I had my back procedure and some dental work done, the respective offices had to get pre-authorization from my health insurance provider. Also, they were able to give me an estimated out of pocket cost for the procedures. The $300 deposit is the only cost that the podiatrist office was able to give me.
  • Why would Eventbrite send me this DURING my event? Shouldn’t the site have sent me this BEFORE the event?!!!
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United NYC Half Marathon Training Week 4

61 Days Until the United NYC Half Marathon!!!

Planned mileage: 18.75 miles

Completed mileage: 16.3

It felt nice getting in a full week of running and getting back on track for the United NYC Half Marathon. I will say that I kind of missed it over the Christmas and New Year break. Oh, I would have completed all of my planned mileage, but all of the treadmills were occupied for my three-mile run on Sunday. I did 30 minutes of elliptical work instead.

This will have to be a quick report because I have to start doing some work. Actually, this will be quick because I cannot remember much of what happened this week. I guess that my mind was still in vacation mode for most of the week.

Monday:

Planned: 40 min X-train

Completed: 3 mi run, 25 min elliptical, and stretching

Basically, I did a morning run and an evening workout that consisted of elliptical work and stretching.

Tuesday:

Planned: 4 mi run

Completed: 32 min on the rowing machine and 30 min stretching

I do not really remember why I did not run on Tuesday. Maybe it was raining in the morning.

Wednesday:

Planned: 1.75 miles (7×400 meter speed intervals)

Completed: 3 mi (7×400 intervals) + warm up and cool down

Ok, now my mind is back. I really enjoyed this workout. I performed the 400-meter speed runs followed by 128-meter cool off. I am quite proud that I managed to run sub 2min for all seven of my intervals. Hopefully, I can extend a similar trend once I start doing Yasso 800m intervals in the upcoming weeks.  Oh shoot, I need to start doing some hill work soon too.

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I really love Marcus Garvey park because it has a path that is very similar to a regular track. Oh, and the park is like one block away from my apartment. One loop is a little more than 500 meters, so it is perfect for running 400m intervals with a track vibe to it.

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Actually, the folks smoking cigaweed first thing in the morning is a little annoying, but what can you do? I guess you could call the police, but snitches get stitches.

Thursday:

Planned: 3 miles

Completed: Nada

Eh, I overslept and missed my morning run. Then after work, I decided to get much-needed after work cocktails.

Actually, I overslept because I woke up a bunch of times during the night due to the BFs LOUD ass snoring. How do y’all cope sleeping next to a loud snorer? I need some tips.

The meme is 100% correct.

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Friday:

Planned: Rest

Completed: 3-mile treadmill and strength training

What KOS doing a workout on a Friday night?!!! I guess that one has to do what one has to do.

My local Crunch fitness installed new treadmills that are supposed to closely mimic outdoor running.

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Honestly, I did not really see/feel a difference between this treadmill and the regular treadmills. Maybe I did not play around with all of the “fun” features. It seems as if the person who authorized this purchase for the gym may have gotten scammed. Great, so Crunch fitness will probably raise the membership fees for this waste.

Saturday:

Planned: 7 miles

Completed: 7.23 miles

This run made me feel like such a whiny baby. Well . . . the pre-run made me feel like a whiny baby. Saturday’s temperature was around 31 F, and as most know, I cannot stand running in the cold. I knew that I needed to get this “long” run out of the way. Also, I knew that I needed to do it because I need to start getting used to running in the cold. After bitching and moaning for most of the morning, I decided to get my act together and do the dumb run. And then, the cold weather was not THAT bad. For my upper body, I wore a short-sleeved tech T, a long-sleeved tech T, and very light hoody. Within 200m of the run, I had to take off the hoody.

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I will say that I really enjoyed the run. Aside from the 28 F weather, it was a very lovely day. My run pretty much consisted of running to Central Park and doing loops around the Harlem Meer, which is about 0.8 miles. I really need to decide if I want to report my distance in miles or meters because this back and forth is really annoying me. 

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During my one of my loops, I ran in and around Central Park’s Conservatory Garden. In all of my 16+ years in NYC, I have never visited the Conservatory Garden. The garden is quite nice, but I think the views would have been better in the spring and the summer.

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Sunday:

Planned: 3 miles

Completed: 30 min elliptical and strength training

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Without going into great detail, Sunday was pretty much a leg day.

Although I did not get into it in this update, I have been trying to do daily stretching and core exercises at home before going to bed . . . except on those cocktail nights.

Random: I really want this T-shirt.

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That’s it out of me. I hope y’all are having a great start to your week.

Catch you in the streets.

I’m back . . . kind of sorta.

Not only did I take two weeks to “celebrate” the birth of my Lord, but it also seems that I took two weeks away from my half-marathon training plan. Very bad, KOS. Very bad, KOS. Now, I’m getting back to my routine . . . I hope.

Lol, I actually forgot the floor where my office is located. 

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Word on the street is that we have 69 days left until the United NYC Half Marathon. I didIMG_4876 complete a very struggling 3M run this morning. Man, it was cold AF this morning (24F). Although this entry is not going to be my usual weekly training recaps, because I have not done shit since the 20th. No wait, I lie. I did attend ONE Zumba class during my break. Well, I did watch over 18 seasons of The Amazing Race. So, I did “run” 18 “races”.

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Here are a few things that I think that I need to do to get back on track.

Lose some damn weight. OMG. How in the hell did I gain 18 pounds from June to last week?

Weight Loss Struggle

There were some good lows and bad highs regarding my weight in 2018.

This graph confirms one thing – Intermittent Fasting (IF) works for me, and I will start IF’ing tomorrow. During 2018, I IF’ed from February (the start of Lent) until June (my all-inclusive aka drink like a fish vacation in Cancun). It’s kind of strange that I gained weight while training for the NYC marathon. Actually, it’s not that strange (for me) because I tend to overeat while training. Just because I run 15 miles does not mean that I should eat a million tacos and wash them down with a million margaritas. Ok, I guess that I may have partied a little too much during December and January with all of the holiday parties and birthdays. I know too many people born in Dec. and Jan. Come to think of it, I have another bday party this weekend. Oh and my delicious eggnog martinis, eggnog smoothies, screwmosas, and any & all things whiskey- or gin-based did not help.

During today’s run, I noticed that the middle part of my back was super sore. I think my back muscles may have atrophied during my staycation because of my extreme couch surfing. Hang ten. I hope this is just an issue of getting back into the groove. For January 2017 and 2018, I have been cursed with flare-ups of my herniated disc in my lower back. Actually, Facebook reminded me that two years to this date, I was in the ER for FOURTEEN hours because of my back.

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To get more integrated into some running communities, I have renewed my lapsed membership for the New York FrontRunners and joined Harlem Runs. The latter starts its runs a block away from the apartment so no excuses.

I hope everyone is having a great time meeting their new year’s resolutions. Or rather new year’s intentions. Recently, I learned that you are supposed to make intentions instead of resolutions. Ummm, aren’t they both the same thing? Something you start on Jan. 1st but fall off around Superbowl Sunday. Ok, let me stop hating.

Let me see what y’all have been up to over the past couple of weeks.

Catch you in the streets.

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?