A Marathon Deferred

Let me stop going back and forth with the thought of running this year’s NYC Marathon. It’s just not happening. You know what? I’m fine with it. 

I was somewhat energized because NYRR released the corral assignments.

TkZdX05HTa+IkMEWR1eYZw_thumb_36d6But after struggling through a four-mile run this morning, I realized that I do not want to struggle for 26.2 miles in and around NYC. It was a little tough coming to this decision because this would have been my sixth consecutive NYC Marathon. Also, I was planning on getting a marathon-related tattoo after completing this race.

In one of my Marathon “support” groups on Facebook, I mentioned that not running this thing is not the end of the world. Surprisingly, I got a lot of pushback from folks saying things like:

  • It’s not a thing; it’s one of the best races in the world
  • It’s all about the experience
  • You have to push and power through

First of all. I don’t have to do shit. 

Last year, I did that whole it’s all about the experience. I think that I even posted a GIF of Jade from America’s Next Top Model doing her “beautiful, wonderful, fabulous” thing during a challenge to represent how I felt coming off of the Queensboro Bridge.

jade

I did the whole “let’s run 13.1 miles and see where the rest of the marathon takes me” for NYC Marathon 2018. Last year (once again), I was coming off of an injuring and flying back from Madrid two days before the race. Do not get me wrong, the experience is unbeatable, but I wanted more out of this marathon. I guess this would have been my redemption marathon. After this morning’s run, I do not feel confident that I can run 13.1 miles in a couple of weeks to the point of even seeing where the marathon will take me. Why risk further injury by doing too much too soon? Also, I will be traveling for work in Hawai’i will return the day before marathon Sunday. By deferring the marathon, I will not have to constantly think about it during my Hawaiian work trip/vacation.

So there it is. NYC Marathon . . . OUT! Wait. Not, 100% OUT. The marathon route goes through my block at Mile 22 so I’ll be out there cheering folks on. I’ll try to keep my hating and FOMO to a minimum.

Looking past NYC Marathon, I do have Madrid’s marathon to prep for.

besx6xA4QQGZW4Uhrmqz0g_thumb_36b0

The hubby checked tickets the other day, and they are fairly cheap right now – $320 RT (JFK <-> MAD). Actually, let me request some PTO in April so I can book the flight. He wants to see if I can take a full two weeks off. Those Europeans and their crazy concept of 2+ weeks of vacation.

For the months of October and November, I plan to do the following:

  • continue with my dumb PT exercises for my hip that probably will not work.
  • get a damn handle on my diet. It probably will not hurt to lose a few pounds.
  • do more strength training and continue with biking, stair climbing, and Zumba for my cardio.

With a combination of these things, I should be able to start training for Madrid’s Marathon (Apr. 26) in early January. Ouch, running in NYC during the winter months.  Something else for me to bitch about. Should I add anything else to that list?

Happy training.

Advertisements

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. 

img_3519

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 Thursday

Question edition.

I’m thinking of a quick summer getaway, where should I go? Unfortunately, the hubby can’t leave the US. Maybe another Philly trip? T

Which NYRR races should I register for? I still need to register for 5 more races.

Why can’t I bring myself to run with one of my running groups?

How/when did I gain so much weight? 😉 A couple of my suits are kind of tight.

(Not a question) I’m really excited to run my first race since March. It feels like it has been such a long time since the NYC Half.

Is this summer going to be super hot?

I’m becoming bored with gin, what should be my new go to liquor? Tequila?

Where have I been? Trail running is kinda fun.

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?

 

Be Prepared . . . for Marathon Training

be prepared.gif

A quick note about my title. I’m not going to lie, Scar from Lion King is one of my favorite Disney villains of all time (maybe even favorite character). Maybe it’s because I have a boy crush on Jeremy Irons’ voice. So of course, “Be Prepared” was one of my favorite songs from this movie. A little quick bit of trivia, there are two separate voices for Scar in this song, because Jeremy blew out his voice.

there will be a king.jpg

Ok, the first step of marathon  training is making a plan. As I mentioned in a previous post, I have decided to use Hal Hidgon’s Novice 2 training plan (***) as the backbone for this year’s TCS NYC Marathon. Only 151 days away!! Basically, I will follow the plan’s distances and running days (4 runs per week), but I will incorporate my own tempo, pace, recovery and interval runs.

Since I pretty much live by Google calendar for work, I created a NYC Marathon calendar and scheduled all 80 or so runs.

Concerns:

Intermittent Fasting (IF): How does one incorporate this eating plan into long distance running? Should one run in a fasted state? I do not think IF will be too much of a problem for my long runs, because I normally do not fast during the weekend.

When to run: The million dollar question for me. Lets keep it real, I am not a morning person, but I have to get to work by 9:30ish. I think that I will have to do my runs after work. A possible option (if I is not too damn hot) is to incorporate a run toward the end of the work day or incorporate a run on my commute home. My job is near the Hudson River, and there are nice shaded paths along the river.

 

Plus, I will have to see how to incorporate running during the hot ass NYC summer.

sun running

We’ll see how this plays out.

General advice from the plan:

2ea9e1bad413b95d2c40b73fe917353b

Each topic had a paragraph of info, so I’m quoting the aspects that meant the most to me.

Long runs: You can skip an occasional workout, or juggle the schedule depending on other commitments, but do not cheat on the long runs.

Run slow: [their] long runs anywhere from 30 to 90 seconds or more per mile slower than their marathon pace.

Walking: It’s best to walk when you want to, not when your (fatigued) body forces you too.

Strength training: For gym rats, continue to work out, but you might want to cut back on the weights as the long run mileage moves into the double digits.

Midweek training: How fast is “comfortably easy?” That might vary from day to day.

Race pace: duh

Rest: Coaches also will tell you that you can’t run hard unless you are well rested.

Any tips or tricks that you have used to become a better marathoner?

rhoa.jpg

Random Thoughts

-It is tough getting back into running after a looooooong hiatus.

-I’m not a fan of sharing my Google calendar with others at work. Just because I have free block of time doesn’t mean that I am not doing anything, have time to meet or want to meet.

-I have been enjoying watching old episodes of The Addams Family.

-I really need to get my teeth cleaned and to “buy” a new tooth.

-Also, I need to buy a lint brush/roller.

-After the México vacation, I’m going to try to quit smoking.

-What was I thinking making this mess?

-I’m still addicted to the Citizen crime tracking app.

Where the hell did they get loose pipes?

-I have been loving this podcast.

-I really need to figure out my career strategy with this job.

-Running along the Hudson River is so nice.

Random Question:What’s you favorite running app and why?

Weight Annoyance

Random rant

Goddamnit, I am gaining weight and I’m getting quite frustrated. I was bordering on the “obese” zone in regards to my BMI. It is well known that one should not rely on BMI for tracking your fitness, I use it to gauge my (lack of) progress. Except for last weekend’s trip to Philly, I thought that I have been doing better with limiting my food (and liquor/beer/wine) intake. Before we get into the whole muscle weighs more than fat thing, my % of body fat has increased too.

I still have a somewhat muscular frame, but the filling in between the frame is increasing. . . FAST. It’s getting to the point where I am not happy with what I see in the mirror – no one likes that.

Issues that I need to rectify.

  1. Late night eating. So the BF is a snorer and a loud one at that (I never noticed the snoring before we moved in together). When I wake up at 2/3/4 am from the snoring, I often will have some carbs or a small helping of leftovers. Sometimes, I have noticed that I wake up full, which is not supposed to be the case.
  2. Figuring out how/what to eat at work. I pack a small lunch for work and have two protein shakes during the day. By the end of the work day, I am in complete starvation mode.
  3. Modify my exercise routine. I admit that I have not be as active because of my back issue and the cold weather. However, I think my back is well enough to start running and doing more intense cardio again. I’m going to try a run in Central Park tomorrow and see how it goes. Plus, I want to incorporate more HIIT exercises in my weightlifting workouts.
  4. Green tea extract. One of the trainers at the gym mentioned taking this to increase my metabolism. I have not read up on the benefits of green tea extract, but it is worth a shot (or pill).

How do you deal with weight loss or fitness failures?