Be Prepared . . . for Marathon Training

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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.


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:


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?



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?


This may be a bit of a rant post.

Marathon Prep:

I’m getting a little worried about the upcoming TCS NYC Marathon, which is in 46 days. I have recovered from my injury and I am ready to get out there and run. Today, was going to be my “first” day back on the running job, so last night I prepared all of my crap for my early run this morning. Unfortunately, I did go to sleep around 2 AM – a little later than I had expected to, but I really needed to do laundry. I set my alarm for 6 AM, so why did I wake up at 5 AM? I do not know if I was excited to start running again, so it made my body want to wake earlier. Before big races, my body sometimes is too excited and I wake up way too early or I have trouble sleeping. It’s kind of the same affect when your parents make you sleep on Christmas Eve. Random thought: In the States, we should just do what many folks in Europe do and open Christmas gifts on Christmas Eve.

Now, I’m looking at my schedule for the upcoming few weeks and it seems so jammed packed without marathon training. I do not know why this marathon training cycle has been so hard this time around. In previous training cycles, injuries usually were my only issue.

A few of things have come to my mind

  • I will admit that my current job has taken a lot out of my training. There is some other stuff going on, but I do not really want to put that out there at this moment. You never know who reads these things.
  • With previous half- or full-marathons, I do not think that I was seriously dating anyone, so I obviously had more time to do things for myself.
  • For my previous job, I could run to work (3-8 miles depending on my route), so it was easier to get my weekday runs out of the way without having to wake up super early. Plus, I rented a locker at a Crunch gym that was in the general direction of my job, so I did not have go out of my way.

I guess that I have been a little lucky with previous half- and full-marathons. I will say that I have been spoiled during my 15-year tenure in New York City. For example, I did not had to search for an apartment until 2 years ago. I have always had housing through my employer when I was a graduate student and a postdoc.


For the last few weeks, I have been noticing that I have been eating way too much crap. Well, way too much for me, because we know that I can grub. Ok, I enjoy eating; it’s of the main reasons why I wanted to live in NYC. I do know if I have been slightly depressed, lazy, or a piggish. Also, I have noticed that my appetite has been insatiable over the past few weeks. I will have dinner and be hungry within 30-60 minutes.

Example 1:  The other night I had chicken over rice (BTW, the sh*t was delicious).


I did not eat all of it, because I split some of it with the bf (although he said that he was not hungry). Looking at this picture, I could go for chicken over rice for lunch but I will be strong.

Yeah, within 50 mins, I  ate damn near an entire bag of chips.


I really need to be like Brutha Shaquille Sunflower (any “Martin” fans?) and “Get right and see the light!!”


Rant over

Defer or not?

Ok. I have gotten the official go ahead to continue running. Here’s the question, there are only 50 days remaining until the NYC marathon. Let’s subtract 1.5 weeks for a very basic tapering regime. That brings us to 40 days. So far my longest run has been 15 miles.

Is it still possible to train for this thing coming off of an injury? Or would it be better to defer to next year’s marathon?

TCS NYC Marathon Training – Week 8

Theme for this past training week was “Change of Scenery”

This week was pretty productive in my opinion. In my last training summary (***), I had mentioned that I was somewhat frustrated with my lack of enjoyment training for this marathon. This frustration could have been the result of boredom, lack of motivation, and/or burnout. To fix some of those issues, I decided to mix up my routine a little bit, and I think that it may have worked. Yay, me!

Monday: Rest Day

Tuesday: Planned – 5 miles | Actual – 5 miles

Change of Scenery #1

For my treadmill recover run, I visited another Crunch Fitness just for a change of IMG_1186scenery – in terms of the gym facility and the members of the gym. Actually (and “secretly”), I made plans to meet a friend for drinks in Williamsburg after my run, and the bar is really close to that gym. Although it was a recovery run, I pushed myself during the last 400 meters of each mile, and it felt grrrreat.

I treated myself to a couple of drinks with my friend. At Sweet Science, one of the restaurant’s most delicious beverage is the frozen slushy. They normally come in one color, but you can ask the bartender to give you a tri-colored slush.


Wednesday: Planned – Zumba and Weight lifting | Actual – Zumba and Weight lifting

Change of scenery #2.

Last week, I mentioned that I wanted to mix up my Zumba class because the routines have been come too predictable in my Tuesday class. I visited another Crunch Fitness (in Crown Heights) and attended a Zumba class. Man, that class was so much!!! It’s not that the Zumba class in Crown Heights was better than the one in Ft. Greene. The classes were just different in terms of music, choreography, and instruction. The Crown Heights class has some abdominal components to it, because my obliques were sore the next day. Going forward, I think that I will alternate Zumba workouts between Crunch Fitness in Fort Greene (Tuesdays) and in Crown Heights (Wednesdays).

Speaking of Crunch Fitness. Although I liked my Zumba class, my weight lifting was not aIMG_1055 productive as I would have liked. I think that this Crunch Fitness Express is so poorly designed, because there is no room to lift. Plus, the equipment is so close together that you are literally on top of each other; it scares me to death doing bench presses. Plus, during prime time hours, you have to work in your sets with 3-4 other people. It makes no sense when you have three people waiting for an incline bench. I’m one of those folks who likes to do supersets back to back, targeting two muscle groups while lifting (e.g. bench press set followed by back row, dumbbell curl followed by tricep dips). Doing these supersets is pretty much impossible at this Crunch location. During that workout, I lifted for only 20 minutes because I was getting annoyed and frustrated.

Conclusion:   I will visit this particular gym only for Zumba and simple cardio work. 

Thursday: Planned – Six 800 meter intervals with 90 second recovery | Actual – Five 800 meter intervals. 

Man, I do not know how you early risers do it. I woke up at 5 AM to do my 800 meter interval run, and it was very “painful”. I woke up early to do this workout, because I had plans to see “Aladdin” on Broadway later on in the evening. It felt nice doing some spadework again – not so nice at 5:30 AM. Since I am not used to waking up that early, my body was super exhausted and I could not finish the last interval set  – my body was “one and done”. After this workout, I realized that I really have to stop skipping out on these interval and hill workouts. During the racing season, I know that my body will thank me for these workouts.


Post-workout with Slappy, the seal, in the background.

Clearly, the early start affected me later on, because I feel asleep during “Aladdin.” Do not worry, I am pretty sure that I know how the show ended 😉  Yes, money well spent.

Friday: Planned – Static Stretching | Actual – Not a d*mn thing.

I kind of had a “fat boy” day on Friday. After a very long (and useless) day at work, I had


The Popeyes on Broadway and Halsey is back!!!!

a HUGE craving for fried chicken, and I made a nice trip to Popeye’s. One just “reopened” in the neighborhood!!! I kind of lost my mind, because I ordered chicken tenders, coleslaw, mashed potatoes, AND french fries. Yes, I ordered two sides of potatoes . . . and I’m not ashamed for doing so.

Saturday: Planned – 5 mile race | Actual – 5 mile race.

NYRR  Team Championships – I will post a race report later.


Sunday: Planned – 12 miles | Actual – 12 miles.

Change of scenery #3.

I decided to mix up my long run by running the Brooklyn Bridge and through the West Side of Manhattan. Originally, I wanted to run 6 miles into Manhattan and 6 miles back to Brooklyn. OMG. I feel in love with this run so much that I decided to keep going along the West Side for the entire 12 miles. It has been a while since I have ran along the West Side Highway. I believe running the Manhattan Half-Marathon two years ago was the last time I did this. This run was so amazing, I felt strong and energized. I did not think that I would have been able to pull it off, because I ran a 5 mile race the day before. I think the combination of the nice weather (mid 70’s) and the scenery of lower Manhattan and the Hudson River really made the difference.

Some pics from the run:

A ban on cyclists (during certain times of the day) on the Brooklyn bridge is only thing that I would change about my run, which I have no power to do. The bridge is way too congested for cyclists and pedestrians and the cyclists should use the Manhattan Bridge instead. I am saying this as a person who rides his bike quite often around the city.

After my run, I rewarded myself with a nice pint of Shocktop ale and a burger (I passed on the fries) at McKenna’s Pub. My beer tasted like pure nectar from the gods, but the burger was not so great. 😉 McKenna’s is a somewhat shady bar, BUUUUUUT it has 2-4-1 drinks all day and music from the 90’s and early 00’s rule the jukebox.

Favorite tunes from the run: 

Housekeeping stuff: 


Although I just went on about talking about my Friday date night with Popeye’s, one of my goals was to eat out less and do a better job with healthy eating. For the most part (aside from Friday), I have been on point. I decided to cook for the week, so I can know what I’m eating and save some money. I did pretty good for the week, aside from dinner after Aladdin and Popeyes on Friday, I did not eat out at all. Using the Spark app, I made this quick and easy Mediterranean Chicken with Rosemary Pasta (the Key Foods did not have orzo). IMG_1048

Monitoring Food and Water Intake:

For a while, I have been talking about monitoring how much food and water I consume. I probably will make a separate entry about this, because this entry is getting quite long.

My week in food and water: 

Goals for the upcoming week:

  1. I do not know, I think that I may do a trail run next weekend. Any recommendations. 
  2. Core work, because the folks at Runtastic sent me this email. 

I guess that Runtastic is trying to tell me something.

Were you satisfied with your week of running/training?

Getting Some Motivation

I am posting some motivational quotes about marathons that was compiled in Runner’s World  I may need a little motivation to get me through the weekend. However, one cool thing is Summer Streets starts this weekend.

From’s website (***):

Summer Streets is an annual celebration of New York City’s most valuable public space—our streets. Summer Streets provides space for healthy recreation and encourages New Yorkers to use more sustainable forms of transportation.  . . Held between 7:00 am to 1:00 pm, Summer Streets extends from the Brooklyn Bridge to Central Park, along Park Avenue and connecting streets, with easy access from all points in New York City, allowing participants to plan a trip as long or short as they wish. All activities at Summer Streets are free of charge, and designed for people of all ages and ability levels to share the streets respectfully.


The quotes: 


Even if you run a slower than expected time, you succeed in any marathon you finish – Hal Higdon

There are no shortcuts in marathoning, so anyone who is a marathoner has worked hard. – Jeffrey Horowitz, a marathoner who has completed over 170 marathons on 6 continents

If you are losing faith in human nature, go out and watch a marathon. – Kathrine Switzer, the first female running in the Boston Marathon

I’ve learned that finishing a marathon isn’t just an athletic achievement. It’s a state of mind; a state of mind that says anything is possible. – John Hanc, a Runner’s World contributing editor

The marathon is an opportunity for redemption. Opportunity because the outcome is uncertain. Opportunity, because it is up to you, and only you, to make it happen. – Dean Karnazes, an ultramarathoner

When you run the marathon, you run against the distance, not against the other runners and not against the time. – Haile Gebrselassie, a two-time Olympic gold medalist

You have to forget your last marathon before you try another. Your mind can’t know what’s coming. – Frank Shorter, a gold medalist