Tag Archives: long run

20 Miles to Remember

I’ve had some ups and downs this training go-round. I had a run-in with strep throat that slowed me down and made me feel super tired, I had some moments where I lacked motivation and chose to go out drinking for St. Patrick’s day rather than run a long run (oops), and every now and then I’ve had some ITB pain.

However, today’s long 20 mile run made everything better. It gave me a renewed sense of trust in my training and my strength, and it was really, really needed. I know not every run can be a good run and I accept that I need to have some bad runs to appreciate the good ones. So I am going to appreciate the heck out of this run. It was pretty much perfect.

20 Mile Run
So the run was great, but it didn’t start off well-planned at all. I was originally supposed to head upstate this weekend and run 20 miles there, with a short 5k plugged in the middle. At the 11th hour, Hubby and I decided not to go, which meant we were both planning on doing our long 20 mile runs in Central Park.

That my friends is the first problem. Central Park and I have had a love/hate relationship for a while. I love CP when I have to do a short run (8 miles or under), and I love that a lot of the NYRR races are held there–so convenient to my homestead, and it’s always been a big part of my marathon training. But that’s where the hate part comes in–sometimes I get pretty bored with Central Park pretty quickly during training. I feel myself dreading running there because I always know what comes next and where the hardest parts are.

So you are probably asking why I don’t just suck it up and try running over to West Side for a bit and then finish in Central Park? Fabulous idea–except for the fact that today I really needed to be close to water fountains because I decided to ditch my waterbelt.

What? You’re probably saying: “Girl, you’re crazy!” And Hubby looked at me the same way when I left the house. But I managed to pull off this long run without the belt…and it was pretty freaking awesome. Here goes:

Miles 1-7: Running to the park and one loop around. Easy breezy! Don’t follow my example here, but I didn’t take any water this first loop. The air was cool, I was moving fast and feeling great. I held off on water but formulated my plans.

Miles 7-13: Now I was heading into my second loop, which meant enjoying Harlem Hill another go ’round. Surprisingly, I still felt pretty strong and was cruising and pretending to be speedy. As I reached the top of Harlem Hill, I decided it was time for water. I missed the first water fountain after HH, but beelined it to the second one. I had to wait for two people to finish up, then I gulped down some heavenly water and headed back out.

Apparently the water tasted so good when it hit my lips that my body screamed for more. So I pulled over again after finishing the three rolling hills on the West side and gulped some more. I was on my way and still feeling okay.

I decided to actually buy a bottle of water and carry it around mile 12. I was on the East side, running past the stinky horse area and I was drawn to the vendor ahead. Two bucks later, and after possibly cutting in front of some tourist who couldn’t make up her mind, I had my delicious overpriced water in my hand and was back on the road. As I finished up my second loop, I sucked down a chocolate Gu and prepared myself for the last loop.

Miles 13-20: Third and final loop. Here we go. Things got tough for a little bit. Harlem Hill on the third try REALLY kicked my a$$ pretty good. But I pulled through. I finished my bottle of water as I reached the top and then made the wisest decision of my run: to not throw it out, but refill it instead. BOOM. How DID I get so smart? I refilled at the next water fountain on the West side and shuffled along. Actually – I really wasn’t moving that slow. I was kind of impressed with my pace throughout the whole run.

I made my way around the lower loop and headed back up the East side. I chucked my water bottle around mile 19, cleared out of Central Park and headed home for my last mile.

So here are my mile breakdowns:

I crept into the 9’s a few times, but most were when I was buying water, stopping for water, or refilling my bottle at a water fountain. And here’s how three lovely loops in CP looks on the map:

You’d think it was only one easy loop if I didn’t tell you!

And lastly, a few of my random thought during this run:

  1. I am pretty sure I saw Tim Tebow running the CP loop…carrying a football under his arm. Or it could have been a Tebow look alike that was trying hard to convince people he was Tebow. If the latter is the case, the imposter did a good job – or I was just moving too fast and a person walking wouldn’t have been so easily fooled.
  2. How the heck were people wearing winter sweatshirts and long sleeved shirts in 70 degrees? I did not get it. But I saw so many people who were waay over-dressed.
  3. I found my running pace twin. She doesn’t know we’re twins, but we ran about mile 11-18 pretty near each other. She kept stopping for water too or stretching or whatever she was doing, and I would pass her, and then she would pass me, etc. Normally, I might find this annoying. But this chick wasn’t all up in my space or anything and it took me a while to even notice it. But she was cool. We were running friends…even if she didn’t realize it. See ya around soon new friend – a.k.a. girl with the gray shorts and pink t-shirt.
  4. Throw your stuff in the trash, not on the ground. So I understand in a race if you’re taking a Gu, you might just fling the wrapper on the ground. You’re in a freaking race and you gotta move it – understood. But when you’re running during your free time in CP, have the common courtesy to hold it until you pass a trash can or something. Geesh people. Earth Day – ever heard of it?

So those were my random thoughts during today’s almost 3-hour run. And here’s what a happy runner looks like after finishing a fabulous 20-mile run:

And now it’s time to foam roll, roll with the marathon stick, shower, and EAT!

Happy weekend!

Not So Sexy 17 Miles

Sometimes the best long runs aren’t the ones where everything goes as planned, but you just plain get it done anyway. I wasn’t particularly looking forward to today’s long run. My weekly running plan hadn’t worked out right and I ended up having to run 3 miles on Friday night after work. Ideally, I like to take the day before and after a long run off completely. My two days of rest for the week.

Well, since I skipped my Monday run I had to end Friday with a few miles. Nothing crazy, but I hated it nonetheless.

So this morning I woke up around 7:30 a.m. and started this process of getting ready. Breakfast was the usual oatmeal, coffee, and water with nuun. But then I could not figure out what to wear – short or capris? Long sleeve, short sleeve or tank top. For some reason I was totally unsure. The decision was made (shorts and short sleeve shirt) and run-time was inching closer, but (excuse me for sharing too much info) my bathroom visits were not over. I ended up leaving about 15 minutes later than I wanted, still unsure that I wouldn’t have to stop somewhere along my route.

But I was off and made my way to Central Park. I don’t know what it is about CP, but it spurs my competitiveness. Although, it may not be completely competitive–sometimes I just don’t like running next to a person (or way too close) for a prolonged period of time. I start saying in my head “come on, just hurry up and pass me, if you’re gonna” or “come on Lindsey, you are totally crowding this chic, keep it moving.” And then inevitably, I end up going faster than I planned to put some space between me and the other person.

Does anyone else who runs in CP have this issue or am I totally weird that I don’t like being too close to other runners?

Today’s run consisted of two large loops (12 miles – 6 mile loop each), one bridal path loop, and then another mile on the main path, with a mile run to the start and back home. And what does that equal? 17 Miles!

Surprisingly, despite the rocky start, I felt pretty good at the end of my run. Here are my splits:

And the route…

I gotta be honest, the Central Park loop, while fueling my competitive drive, is getting a little monotonous. I’m not sure how I’ll get through next week’s 18 miler and then 20 in CP. I might need to get creative.

And after all was said and done, I was still able to smile after 17 miles!

I guess that probably means it wasn’t such a bad run, right?

And now, the rest of the weekend will entail a trip to NJ for dinner with friends and then a whole lot of cleaning tomorrow, including about 4 loads of laundry!

What are your plans for the weekend? How do you handle the laundry pile-up when more than one person in the family is exercising or training a lot? Do you do it all in one day or throughout the week? I’m tempted to start the throughout the week approach…

Have a great weekend!

2012 Spring Marathon Training Week Two

So, the second week of spring marathon training is OVER! I just finished my long run for the week and it felt great. But before we get to that, I left off in the middle of my kind of tough week.

The rest of the week was pretty busy, but I managed to get my runs in. It’s fun to have Hubby running throughout the week too. And he does most of his runs after work at night, so I’ve started giving that a try here and there as well. On Wednesday night I ran 4 miles along the East River, and then on Thursday I ran 3 miles in the same area.

Wednesday night’s dinner was some leftover veggies mixed with rice and grilled chicken.

Dessert was some fruit…

Thursday night after my run I finished up the veggie lasagna leftover from earlier in the week. I love leftovers, it makes dinner so easy. I do know people who get freaked out by leftover or “used food.” How do you feel about them? And what’s your favorite leftover recipe?

Friday FINALLY arrived and it was a jam-packed day. I was thrilled to get home to relax a bit. We ordered pizza, and I may or may not have snacked on a cadbury egg and some sweettart hearts. :-/

So you can imagine that my gluttony on Friday night did not make for a great feeling start to Saturday. I was feeling a little bloated with carb overload and sugar. But I knew that I had a long run on the schedule and that I would probably feel a little better after it. So I dragged myself out of bed, ate my oatmeal and had some water and coffee, and then geared up for my long run.

I had 11 miles on my plan for the day, so I headed to Central Park to join all the other runners. It was pretty nice out – around 45 degrees – and I was pretty comfortable. Surprisingly, I didn’t feel as sluggish and heavy as I thought I would. I didn’t check my Garmin at all during the run, I just ran whatever felt right.

A few miles into the run, I decided to shoot for 12 miles today. I also decided to run two smaller loops in the park – cutting off Harlem Hill – giving myself a little break.

Other than my nose running non-stop the whole time, I felt really great and strong. I ended up running 12.5 miles and here are my splits:

Not too bad! And as expected, I feel SO much better now. It was like I got rid of all the excess sugar and carb calories and cleansed my system. But lesson learned for the next long run to not overdo it with bad food the night before.

What is your go-to pre-long-run food?

I’m usually pretty good about keep my long run dinner pretty clean – either having pasta or a rice dish. I don’t think pizza is the right fuel for me. Of course, the candy didn’t help either.

Total mileage for the week: 28.15 miles

With my long run done, the rest of the day will be fun. We are meeting up with my sister-in-law and her husband, and our niece and her husband to gallivant around NYC a bit and get some dinner. Should be fun!!

Lastly, I will leave you a lovely Mr. Murphy photo. He hasn’t been on the blog in a while. Here he is having a relaxing night at home…

Hope you have a great Saturday!

 

And I’m (We’re) Back!!

Hello 2012, hello blog world! Wowza, I’ve been gone for a while. Okay, it’s quite obvious by now that I’m a fickle blogger. But something about starting to train for another marathon gets me back in blogger mode. I think it’s partially to help me stay on track, and also because I like being able to look back on all my training.

So as you may have already guessed, I’ve got another marathon coming up. If that wasn’t good news enough…my husband is also running it!! Hurray! This is going to be the best race ever.

Of course, I probably won’t spend more than 2-3 minutes actually running with him during the marathon because he’s so speedy. But at least we’ll get to run some training runs together, start together, and meet at the finish.

The Race
So what race are we running? The Vermont City Marathon in Burlington, Vermont.

It’s taking place on May 27, 2012 (Memorial Day Weekend). We’ve heard some really great things about this race, how scenic it is, generally flat, and overall lots of fun. We booked a hotel about a block from the start/finish, so hopefully the logistics will be easy and smooth.

Another great thing about this race is that my husband is raising money for a charity through his training efforts. He set up the whole charity page and all the details himself, and I’m really proud of his efforts. It will make running his first marathon even more special for him.

So, if anyone is looking for a spring marathon – you should sign up! We just completed our first official week of training. We are doing a 16-week training plan. Here’s what the first week looked like:

Monday: 3 miles on the treadmill
Tuesday: 4.5 miles outside in the morning (I know crazy!!)
Wednesday: 5 miles after work outside with Hubby
Thursday: Rest
Friday: 3 easy miles outside after work
Saturday: 9.25 miles in Central Park in 45-degree weather (nice!)
Sunday: Will be  a rest day
Total: 24.75 miles

Not too shabby for the first week. Hopefully I can stay on track for the next 15 weeks! Now it’s time to clean a bit, get a hair cut, download my next book club book (and maybe start it), and then hopefully have a nice date night with the Hubby tonight – dinner and movie! Hope you all have a great weekend and get out to enjoy the sun!

My First Fifth Avenue Mile – Race Recap

I’ve never been a sprinter, never had much speed, never liked the pressure. And as I toed the line of the Fifth Avenue Mile start today (okay, well quite a ways back from the line really), these thoughts circled through my head and I asked myself again why I decided to sign up for this race.

Specifically, I really hate the pre-fast-race-feeling. You know it. It screams that you need to bolt out of the gate and push your hardest because this race is too short not to. Oh the pressure. And I knew I wasn’t alone in feeling this as I eavesdropped on other conversations where girls talked about nerves and tightness in their legs. It leaves me asking the same question I did in high school: Who the heck wants to be a sprinter?! Not this girl!

But I tried to push those thoughts aside as I readied myself for the race ahead of me. And then it was go time. There was a slight pause at the start and it took a few seconds to get “out of the gate” but then the crowds pretty much dispersed. This was probably because I’m so OCD that I showed up to the start super early and was pretty close to the front. So all the speedy ladies around me took off.

To be fair, I wasn’t holding anyone back. I got going at a pretty good clip right from the start. I propelled myself forward by some unknown force and told myself it wouldn’t be so bad. And the first few hundred feet weren’t!

And then I think just before the half mile point my body realized how fast I was asking it to go and abruptly went into revolt. I glanced at my watch to see a 6:20 pace!! Holy crap.

Just keep going I told myself. Thankfully, there was a slight decline that helped a little. But then it was back to pain. I actually think I started to get dizzy at one point. And then I felt like I was going to pee my pants. This people, is why I’m not a sprinter.

But I didn’t pee or faint. I pressed on and finally saw the end ahead of me. I’d like to tell you that my pain faded away and I was able to really kick it in at the end.

Not so. I finished and it wasn’t pretty. My watch tells me I ran that one atrocious mile in 6:28. Fine by me. I was shooting for 7 minutes and I didn’t pee myself. All in all, I’ll call it a good race.

What about you – are you a sprinter or more of a long-run, endurance runner?

Now it’s decision time. I signed up a LONG time ago for the 18 mile tune-up tomorrow. Dare I do it? My last long run was 15 miles…3 weeks ago. It would be nice to run a long run tomorrow with water stops along the way. I could always drop out at any time – it’s not really a race…

Mmm – did I just talk myself into it?

The Return of the Long Run – 15 Miles

So things are slowly getting back to normal after our vacation and hurricane adventures. And along with the normalcy was the return of the long run in my life. I ran a solid 14 miles two weekends ago in upstate NY, but this past weekend the 15 I ran with my friend really felt like the official return.

But that’s not to say it was easy by any means. It was tiring and somewhat painful, but in a good way – like “oh how I’ve missed you” way. We ran it very slow and kept waiting for the downpour that was predicted, but it never came. My friend was kind enough to let me tag along on her 20 mile run, of which I ran 15 with her. As sick as it sounds, I envied her and the fact that she had been training hard enough to do the full 20. You marathoners out there now what kind of envy I’m talking about. Or maybe not and I’m just totally crazy. But…I think you secretly do.

Anyway – the run was good in that painful kind of way and I finished feeling okay. Here are out splits:

Like I said – it was slloww. But slow and steady wins the race and avoids injuries in my book.

The rest of my weekend was busy but good. It involved some baby shower shopping, cleaning out my entire room at my parent’s house, and quality time with some family and friends. And last but certainly not least, the weekend involved lots of nachos!!

These nachos were homemade (by yours truly) and delicious. I had nachos on Friday night as well at Beff’s. What’s a girl to do? When people are interested in sharing nachos, how could I possibly turn them down. I think in the midst of devouring the second batch, I admitted that I would have put nachos on our wedding menu, if I thought that would have been acceptable. I have an unnatural obsession with nachos, yes. But at least I’m honest about it. 🙂

What’s your favorite “bad” food that you just can’t so no to? Also on my list: hugs, candy corns, mini snickers bars, salt and vinegar chips and caramels.  Not all at once of course…well not usually. 🙂 Happy Hump day!!

Hurricane Irene and Long Run

So I finally posted my Maine vacation recap, but I never even mentioned the Hurricane Irene and all the fun she brought into my life. So last weekend Hubby and I were both headed upstate, but separately. I went to a family party way up in Watertown, NY (up near Canada!) and he was in Utica. I took the train and he drove.

When I left on Friday afternoon, I was getting nervous. Hurricane Irene was on her way, Hubby and I were going separate ways, and our cat was staying home alone in our apartment. Worried momma is what I quickly became. As I headed upstate on Amtrak, I listened as the Amtrak ticket dude laughed hysterically when a woman asked about service back into NYC on Monday and he told her she’d be lucky to get back in by late Tuesday. My stomach churned.

I began making preparations to have our neighbor check on Mr. Murphy, and our apartment, and conjured images of our windows shattering and Murphy dashing down the fire escape. I am a worry-wart – without a doubt.

So my weekend upstate, while fun, was also riddled with anxiety. I wish I could have relaxed a little more, but it’s tough when newscasters a predicting terrible destruction right in your backyard.

To relieve some of my building stress, I went out for a long run on Saturday morning. I ran along a gorgeous road right down by the water, up to a small lighthouse, into the town of Cape Vincent, and then back to my grandparent’s farm (yes, I said farm. They owned a farm and we stay in the farm house). All in all, I covered about 14 miles. Here was my route and splits:

Yes, I was soo slow!! But it was my first long run in a while and I didn’t want to push it. Plus I wanted to enjoy the scenery. It felt good to log the mileage though.

We had a fun family part on Saturday and then on Sunday we woke up to crazy wind and knew it was time to make our way back south. My parents dropped me off in Utica and Hubby and I ran a few errands and then we attempted to make it to Albany. What would have taken an hour and half took 3 hours. It was not fun. Road closures, detours, detour road closures, flooding, etc. We finally got to Albany around 11 p.m.

At that time, we also knew the thurway down to NYC was partially closed. But we got ourselves up at 4:30 the next morning to begin the trek down to NYC. We got to about 50 miles away and then encountered road closures and from there it just got worse and worse. Every road we attempted to drive on was closed. We kept heading West and then South. The best moment was when we got to a closed road with a message on the sign. It said something like:

“This road is closed, but if you can get up enough speed to jump the 15 foot gorge ahead, then by all means continue on…”

It was hysterical and I was soo mad that I didn’t get a picture of that sign. I will never forget it though.

We finally reached home at about 10:30 – 5.5 hours of traveling that usually take 2.5 hours. ARGH! I worked from home for the rest of the day on Monday and then fell asleep at like 7 p.m. – exhausted from my stress.

The rest of my week got better. I squeezed in a 5-mile run on Tuesday and a 6-mile run on Thursday. And now we are headed upstate again this weekend. I’m hoping to get another nice long run in.

So that’s all for me. How about you guy – how did you “weather” the hurricane? And what fun plans do you have for Labor Day weekend?!